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tmy999
27th January 2017, 12:26 PM
Hi All

I am keen to acquire a flash but get confused over whether an Olympus flash is best or whether one of the other big flash manufacturers would be better?

I might sound a bit ignorant on the matter but what difference is there and could they be used with different cameras (now and future / different brands e.g. Canon).

Anyone have any thoughts / experience / advice.

I've currently use a OMD-5 (mk1)

Grateful for any advice. Thanks All

Simon

Naughty Nigel
27th January 2017, 01:28 PM
Hi Simon.

If you want full functionality (such as TTL flash metering and high speed shutter synchronisation) you will need to buy an Olympus FL series flashgun or a compatible third-party gun such as those sold by Metz.

Full functionality makes flash photography as foolproof as it can be, although I find the Olympus guns are slightly limiting when it comes to power output.

If you are prepared to use manual mode you can use virtually any MODERN* electronic flashgun, including studio flash, (which invariably uses manual control), and those designed for other makes of camera.

Good examples include the Metz 45CL and 60CL hammerhead series, which are very powerful, and can often be bought second-hand for 65 or so.

However, you will be limited to a maximum shutter speed of 1/160 second, or whatever your camera's maximum X-Synch speed is.

I use the Olympus FL50 flashgun on my EM-5, but if I need more power I use the on-camera flash with a pair of Metz 45CL4's connected to slave units.

Note that non-dedicated flashguns such as the Metz must be used in manual mode, as digital cameras use a pre-flash to calculate flash power. A non-dedicated gun will empty its storage capacitors during the pre-flash, so your exposure will be very dark!

(Some older flashguns had high terminal voltages, typically 300 Volts or more, which will destroy the electronic circuitry in modern cameras.)

tmy999
27th January 2017, 01:59 PM
Wow thanks for the quick reply Naughty Nigel

I'm not sophisticated enough to use anything other than something thats compatible (connects intelligently to my camera).

So for compatible units does anyone have a particular recommendation or is it simpler to go for an Olympus unit - its just that they are pricey?

Thanks

Simon

Naughty Nigel
27th January 2017, 02:12 PM
The Olympus FL50 or FL50R is the best 'intelligent' flashgun for Olympus cameras in my view, although it is quite large on the EM5.

You can pick up used, non 'R' (radio) versions for a reasonable price if you look around.

Alternatively, have a look at the Metz Metz 52 AF-1 Digital Flashgun for Olympus and Panasonic (http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-metz-52-af-1-digital-olympus-panasonic-fit-flashgun/p1533008)

Beagletorque
27th January 2017, 04:41 PM
If you don't need to go big, then the FL36 or the R version are also reasonable secondhand price wise.

https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Olympus-FL-36_173391.html
https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Olympus-FL-50R-Flash_171254.html

Naughty Nigel
27th January 2017, 04:48 PM
If you don't need to go big, then the FL36 or the R version are also reasonable secondhand price wise.

https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Olympus-FL-36_173391.html
https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Used/Olympus-FL-50R-Flash_171254.html

LCE's photograph of the FL36 looks like the 'pancake' version! :D

Does the FL36 offer full speed shutter synchronisation (like the FL50)?

Beagletorque
27th January 2017, 04:52 PM
It has 'FP' mode too!

Naughty Nigel
27th January 2017, 05:03 PM
It has 'FP' mode too!

Ah yes, that's it.

It has a different name on my OM4Ti / F280. :)

Graham_of_Rainham
27th January 2017, 05:04 PM
I use old Sunpak, Olympus, Vivitar guns bought off eBay for very little money and trigger them with PiXeL Pawn radio triggers.

I also do most things manually using a flash meter.

However the FL-50s come into there own when they are placed out of reach and adjustment is needed

alfbranch
27th January 2017, 07:40 PM
I happy with my Nissin Di466 (this has been used for tens of thousands of shots). I bought an R36 to replace it and sold the R36 instead.

I would also consider a Nissin Di40. The Metz 36AF was the biggest waste of money I have ever bought in photography it did not use up one set of batteries before failing and Metz and the retailre were not interested.

OM USer
27th January 2017, 08:23 PM
It has 'FP' mode too!
Ah yes, that's it. It has a different name on my OM4Ti / F280.

Eh?? The back of my F280 has a switch for "Super FP". I've never known it by another name.

DerekW
27th January 2017, 08:33 PM
I still use the Fl50 I bought to use with the E1 when new - it has worked well with the E1, E3, E5, OM1 EMD and I have every confidence it will work with the MK ii (it better do as the budget has run out for new toys) I am still bereaved after discovering my FL20 has failed - it was so useful when travelling and the flash head was that bit higher than the popup or plug in flash heads.

Talking of flash - I remember buying a used Mecablitz hammer head type flashgun in 1964 - it cost me 30 or so.

Harold Gough
29th January 2017, 06:46 PM
I use old Sunpak, Olympus, Vivitar guns bought off eBay for very little money and trigger them with PiXeL Pawn radio triggers.

If you have, or purchase, Olympus OM T-series guns and chords you can use them manually or via the integral meter in T32 models, (and perhaps other but not T-20).

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/flash/index.htm

Close-ups/macro:

http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/#flash

If you are using them for macro you have to lie to them about the ISO being used, depending on the magnification factor:

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=117843#117843

Harold

Naughty Nigel
30th January 2017, 10:14 AM
Eh?? The back of my F280 has a switch for "Super FP". I've never known it by another name.

You are so right. Sorry, I don't know what I was thinking of. Put it down to old age :o

tmy999
30th January 2017, 08:53 PM
Thanks all for the useful and helpful posts. It appears I need to do more homework for myself although I feel I will plump for an Olympus model to save the additional "homework" necessary.

Thanks

Simon

Petrochemist
31st January 2017, 01:53 PM
Thanks all for the useful and helpful posts. It appears I need to do more homework for myself although I feel I will plump for an Olympus model to save the additional "homework" necessary.

Thanks

Simon

I did the homework a year or two ago so can pass on what I have from then.
MFT compatible TTL flashes I found were:

Meike MK300 (40 32GN, no bounce)
Polaroid PL108-AF (40 24GN)
Metz 24 AF1 (50 24 GN)
Metz 36 AF5 (70 36GN)
Nissan Di466 (80 33GN)
Metz 44 AF1 (120 44GN)
Olympus FL300R (135 28GN)
Panasonic DMW-FL36L (230 unknown GN)
Metz 52 AF1 ($270 52GN)
Metz 58 AF2 (245 58GN)
Olympus FL600R (280 36GN)
Olympus FL-50R ($500 50GN)
Bower SFD9560 ($100 unknown GN)
Olympus FL36R (150 used, 36GN)
Metz 15 MS01 (290 15GN macro only)

I settled for the Meike which has proved to be an acceptable no frills flash. More expensive models might give useful extra features like wireless support.

Harold Gough
31st January 2017, 08:06 PM
More expensive models might give useful extra features like wireless support.

The Olympus with the R suffix do. Only the Nissin with "a" suffix do.

Harold

MartinF
31st January 2017, 09:20 PM
If you have, or purchase, Olympus OM T-series guns and chords you can use them manually or via the integral meter in T32 models, (and perhaps other but not T-20).


I've several T32 flashes which I have used successfully with an E-3 in the past (in manual mode), but was put off by the comments about the higher voltage on old guns. Are the T-series guns safe with modern Oly cameras (FT and MFT) - latterly I've used a radio trigger, but that isn't always convenient.

Naughty Nigel
31st January 2017, 10:11 PM
I've several T32 flashes which I have used successfully with an E-3 in the past (in manual mode), but was put off by the comments about the higher voltage on old guns. Are the T-series guns safe with modern Oly cameras (FT and MFT) - latterly I've used a radio trigger, but that isn't always convenient.

It is easy enough to check with a multimeter. Simply measure the DC voltage between the central terminal and hotshoe terminal.

If they have worked with a radio trigger they should be OK, but better safe than sorry! The current will probably be quite low, but modern cameras are designed for TTL circuits running at 5 Volts or so with high impedance.

Some of the older flashguns were actually quite dangerous. :eek:

Harold Gough
1st February 2017, 06:27 AM
I've several T32 flashes which I have used successfully with an E-3 in the past (in manual mode), but was put off by the comments about the higher voltage on old guns. Are the T-series guns safe with modern Oly cameras (FT and MFT) - latterly I've used a radio trigger, but that isn't always convenient.

Well I used them, almost daily, on my EP-2 for two years.

In my linked article "In this topic the images are of the exact setup, except that my film OM4 stands in for my E-P2".

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=117843#117843

What you can't do, a software, not voltage, issue, is to get R series guns to work RC with the EP-2.

Harold

spn0923
1st February 2017, 11:32 AM
shame about alfbranch's metx. I have the 48 which kind of sits between the oly 36 and 50 (nearer 36) and it is a joy to use and faultless (at least 5 years use). Does all the remote triggering etc. I have 2 sets of rechargeables but have yet to need the backup set. Sounds like a faulty unit. I have no regrets other than brand loyalty