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View Full Version : HELP! E-3 and external flash options


Wreckdiver
12th November 2009, 03:09 PM
When I need to use a flash on my E-3 I currently use an FL50 (original version) and STO-FEN diffuser. However, I would now like to find out about using something a bit more creative and versatile; I have in mind initially portrait work of my grandchildren. I know very little about external flash systems so could anyone please advise me? I have in mind some form of flash head(s) with white umbrella(s) and wireless link, or perhaps a wireless system based on FL50R(s).

I believe that the E-3 can trigger external flashes via the in-built flash or an FL50R but I would prefer not to use any on-camera flash (for creative side lighting control without any head-on from the camera's flash). Relying on a wireless controller on the hotshoe and external heads. What would people recommend as a starter system? Or maybe would buying an FL50R (or two) and using them with an umbrella each be an option? Are there wireless transmitter/receivers systems that are compatible with the E-3 and FL50R? I would like to avoid any trailing cables.

I have seen items such as this on ebay: Studio Flash 16 channel radio trigger (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Studio-Flash-16-Channel-Radio-Trigger-2-x-Receiver_W0QQitemZ400084493922QQcmdZViewItemQQptZU K_Photography_StudioEquipment_RL?hash=item5d26e4e6 62) These seem very cheap, how good are they? are they compatible with the FL50R?

Would an FL50R (or two) configuration be powerful enough (with umbrella(s)) for use at say a church wedding?

Sorry for all the questions but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve

Graham_of_Rainham
12th November 2009, 03:35 PM
Steve,

I use two FL-50R guns mounted on light weight stands with white brollies either as reflectors or diffusers with a 5 in 1 reflector and all maner of DIY reflectors. The FL-50s are great because you can use them in many different modes as well as the RC mode.

I often set them up as simple slaves and dial the popup flash down to 1/64th power which the subject hardly sees and if there is an issue I simply put a tiny deflector in front of it so that the flashguns get the signal but the subject is not illuminated by it at all.

Power wise, I have never used them above half power (through the diffuser) and most of the time they are down to 1/8th to 1/4 power. I use DIY light modifiers "Snoots" etc., bounce them off all sorts of surfaces (some coloured) and they do everything I have ever wanted of a flash.

OK on full power they do take a few seconds to recycle but I've never wanted to shoot that quick anyway. I used them on a two hour shoot and only needed 1 set of extra batteries on the main gun.

For a portable system, I don't think you could do better. I'm looking to upgrade my old FL-50 to the R version just to give me the added capability that having three fully RC flashes provides. Using them in RC mode is brilliant as often my guns are high up and manual adjustments, just slow things down.

If there is anything specific you want to know, send a PM

*chr

Wreckdiver
12th November 2009, 03:42 PM
Thanks Graham. That answers a lot of questions and confirms that an FL50R system could well be the answer. Portability wise, they seem to be ideal.

The only downside I see is the cost. A couple of FL50Rs won't come cheap and I am wondering if there are other cheaper options.

Cheers,

Steve

Graham_of_Rainham
12th November 2009, 03:48 PM
... A couple of FL50Rs won't come cheap and I am wondering if there are other cheaper options.

Cheers,

Steve

Why not see if Ian will put them on the "KIT HIRE" list along with the big batteries that someone asked for.

photo_owl
12th November 2009, 04:35 PM
it really is an easy way to play (well you know what I mean). It sounds like Graham uses the same set up I do - although I'm currently working on setting up a better 'home studio' arrangement because my current large space is the conservatory, which contributes a little more light than I would like most of the time!

I use 2xFL50Rs and 1xFL36R, usually all in TTL Auto mode. 2 x white brollies and I'm currently working on a softbox arrangement. for stands I use spare tripods....but outdoors I have made threaded spiked of various materials and lengths which work great and are mega portable.

I really don't have a problem with any contribution from the controller but my one niggle is controlling the 'far side' flash with the camera in portrait mode - if you see what I mean. In a reflective environment it works fine but sometimes I'm trying to reduce the amount o f light bouncing around and that includes the controller! In landscape I have no problems.

Wreckdiver
12th November 2009, 04:38 PM
Why not see if Ian will put them on the "KIT HIRE" list along with the big batteries that someone asked for.

That's an idea Graham, try it out and see how I get on. If there would be discount for buying after trying it could well be an option.

Steve

Wreckdiver
12th November 2009, 05:16 PM
Can I ask what stands and brollies you guys use? Just want to get an idea how the FL50R, stand and brolly all fit together.

Cheers,

Steve

photo_owl
12th November 2009, 05:30 PM
you use a little flash/brolly bracket........will snap one and post in a sec.

like this

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2515/4098011697_c7acb2be83.jpg

Wreckdiver
12th November 2009, 06:29 PM
Thanks Photo Owl, it's all becoming a lot clearer now. Just looked up similar items at Warehouse Express and the bracket and brollies are very reasonably priced.

One question about the E-3 and FL50R. Does the FL50R work on receiving a flash from the camera, as in a master-slave config? I thought the FL50R was wireless, as in radio or infra-red?

Cheers,

Steve

Ian
12th November 2009, 06:35 PM
Thanks Photo Owl, it's all becoming a lot clearer now. Just looked up similar items at Warehouse Express and the bracket and brollies are very reasonably priced.

One question about the E-3 and FL50R. Does the FL50R work on receiving a flash from the camera, as in a master-slave config? I thought the FL50R was wireless, as in radio or infra-red?

Cheers,

Steve

The FL-50R (and FL-36R) are controlled by the camera's built in flash strobing. The siginalling may indeed be one way (camera to flash). Of course the camera can meter via pre-flash.

Ian

Graham_of_Rainham
12th November 2009, 06:39 PM
My stands are Konig LS-10 from these guys:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/PAIR-OF-Professional-Studio-Photo-Light-Lighting-Stands_W0QQitemZ200402923994QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_ Photography_StudioEquipment_RL?hash=item2ea8f1f1da

The flash/brolly clamps are like these BUT make sure you get the right size for the spigot of the stand. Some are 1/2" others 5/8"

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Flash-Clamp-for-Studio-Umbrellas-New_W0QQitemZ170402603593QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Pho tography_StudioEquipment_RL?hash=item27acc96249

photo_owl
12th November 2009, 06:49 PM
you happy with the stands Graham? Is 2m enough?

Wreckdiver
12th November 2009, 07:07 PM
The FL-50R (and FL-36R) are controlled by the camera's built in flash strobing. The siginalling may indeed be one way (camera to flash). Of course the camera can meter via pre-flash.

Ian

Is it then possible to use an FL50 on the E-3, instead of the camera's in-built flash, to fire FL50R(s)?

Thanks,

Steve

photo_owl
12th November 2009, 07:16 PM
not as a controller (this includes remote settings etc) only as a trigger to the FL50Rs in slave mode.

meach
13th November 2009, 12:26 AM
I've been looking at a similar setup - also for photographing my grandchildren - and found this in Warehouse express:

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-wexpro-mini-umbrella-flash-bracket-kit/p1030315

I think I'm going to get one and if I do I'll post some with and without shots on here so you can all see how good (or not!) it is.

Paul

Wreckdiver
13th November 2009, 09:00 AM
I've been looking at a similar setup - also for photographing my grandchildren - and found this in Warehouse express:

http://www.warehouseexpress.com/buy-wexpro-mini-umbrella-flash-bracket-kit/p1030315

I think I'm going to get one and if I do I'll post some with and without shots on here so you can all see how good (or not!) it is.

Paul

Just looked up similar items at Warehouse Express and the bracket and brollies are very reasonably priced.

This was the item I was looking at yesterday. Seems ideal for what I need.

Steve

Steve

meach
13th November 2009, 09:43 AM
Have just ordered mine - hope I haven't got the last one if you've decided you want one too!!

photo_owl
13th November 2009, 10:54 AM
well I decided to get a pair of stands - using old tripods worked but was a bit cumbersome!

Graham_of_Rainham
13th November 2009, 11:55 AM
you happy with the stands Graham? Is 2m enough?

Very happy :) By the time the bracket goes on and the flash, the brolly is hitting the ceiling of most rooms. If I need to go any higher, I use DIY polls, tiewrapped to the stands (with lots of ballast on the feet)

The other trick is to work with short models or have the tall ones sit down. :cool:

Wreckdiver
13th November 2009, 12:40 PM
By coincidence there is a very good article on Studio Lighting in the December issue of Photography Monthly. It covers continuous lighting, monobloc heads, mains & battery operated units, portable flash, brollies etc.....

Well worth a read.

Thanks to everyone for their comments and suggestions. Very helpful :tup

Steve

Wreckdiver
13th November 2009, 03:51 PM
Have just ordered mine - hope I haven't got the last one if you've decided you want one too!!

Just ordered a WexPro Mini Umbrella Flash Bracket Kit and Giottos LC210-1 Light Stand. Also found a very useful video link on the Warehouse Express site: Lastolite videos (http://www.lastolitevideos.com/)

Steve

Wreckdiver
13th November 2009, 04:58 PM
Has anyone used a Seculine T2D wireless flash trigger: Secukine T2D (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140358851981&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT)

As the transmitter fits on the camera's hot shoe connector and the flash fits on the same on the receiver I would assume that all the functions would be communicated between the camera and an FL50.

Any comments?

Cheers,

Steve

photo_owl
13th November 2009, 05:30 PM
Has anyone used a Seculine T2D wireless flash trigger: Secukine T2D (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140358851981&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT)

As the transmitter fits on the camera's hot shoe connector and the flash fits on the same on the receiver I would assume that all the functions would be communicated between the camera and an FL50.

Any comments?

Cheers,

Steve

depends what you mean by 'all the functions'...what exactly do you have in mind as an overall set-up and operating in what mode?

Wreckdiver
13th November 2009, 05:57 PM
depends what you mean by 'all the functions'...what exactly do you have in mind as an overall set-up and operating in what mode?

In terms of all the functions normally available between the camera and flash, i.e. TTL Auto, Auto, manual, FP Auto etc. However, just manual would be fine.

Steve

photo_owl
13th November 2009, 07:20 PM
I wouldn't expect any ttl functions - even for 1 unit - but I may be wrong