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Old 11th April 2011
Andrena Andrena is offline
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Flash for macro insects with an E-500

I'd be very grateful for advice. I'm wanting to try using faster shutter speeds to capture detail on insects, with a Sigma 105mm macro lens on my E-500, handheld. Given a limited budget, it sounds as though a flashgun on a bracket might be worth saving for, and I'm trying to find out what's possible with an FL-36 (R or otherwise). For example, can anyone tell me if itís possible, and effective, to shoot Super FP with an E-500, with an FL-36?
The manual doesn't really help on this, and the American Olympus website seems to suggest there'd only be limited communication/ speed. The FL-50 sounds as though it definitely would work, but Iím thinking it would be much heavier to have on one side on a bracket, as well as being much more expensive, and isn't it a waste to have all that throw when Iím only interested in close-ups of insects? Any help would be much appreciated!
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Old 11th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrena View Post
I'd be very grateful for advice. I'm wanting to try using faster shutter speeds to capture detail on insects, with a Sigma 105mm macro lens on my E-500, handheld. Given a limited budget, it sounds as though a flashgun on a bracket might be worth saving for, and I'm trying to find out what's possible with an FL-36 (R or otherwise). For example, can anyone tell me if itís possible, and effective, to shoot Super FP with an E-500, with an FL-36?
The manual doesn't really help on this, and the American Olympus website seems to suggest there'd only be limited communication/ speed. The FL-50 sounds as though it definitely would work, but Iím thinking it would be much heavier to have on one side on a bracket, as well as being much more expensive, and isn't it a waste to have all that throw when Iím only interested in close-ups of insects? Any help would be much appreciated!
Im a bit confused! What does 'super fp' mean? And why do you need the fast shutter speeds?

If you could let me know I'll be able to chuck my 2p's worth in!

Regards

Neil
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Old 11th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrena View Post
I'd be very grateful for advice. I'm wanting to try using faster shutter speeds to capture detail on insects, with a Sigma 105mm macro lens on my E-500, handheld. Given a limited budget, it sounds as though a flashgun on a bracket might be worth saving for, and I'm trying to find out what's possible with an FL-36 (R or otherwise). For example, can anyone tell me if itís possible, and effective, to shoot Super FP with an E-500, with an FL-36?
The manual doesn't really help on this, and the American Olympus website seems to suggest there'd only be limited communication/ speed. The FL-50 sounds as though it definitely would work, but Iím thinking it would be much heavier to have on one side on a bracket, as well as being much more expensive, and isn't it a waste to have all that throw when Iím only interested in close-ups of insects? Any help would be much appreciated!
For the set up you have, the FL36(R) would work great for macro shots & if using the R version, can be slave triggered if desired (for other applications), but with the E500 for off camera use, I would suggest using a TTL cable (which can be a Canon TTL cable off ebay) & an ebay bracket may be enough as the Olympus one is quite expensive. I would also suggest you get a diffuser from an ebay seller for it as well as a straight light is too harsh in macro use (it comes with the FL50R). I actually use twin FL36R's but they are RC triggered which could also be slave triggered if a deflector is used for the built in flash or the second one can be be slave triggered from the first cable connected one, but in this instance they should be both set to Auto (non-TTL) or manual for ideal control.

Hope that helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
Im a bit confused! What does 'super fp' mean? And why do you need the fast shutter speeds?

If you could let me know I'll be able to chuck my 2p's worth in!

Regards

Neil
When attaching external flashes such as FL50(R) & FL36(R), their normal mode is Auto TTL & operates with the normal shutter of the camera for flash (1/180 sec or 1/250 sec for E3, E5 & E30) which is the same mode available for the built in flash, but the external ones have FP TTL mode which allows any shutter speed up to the maximum of the camera (1/4000 or 1/8000) for daylight use so over exposure is not an issue. Hope that helps.
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Old 11th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

I use a Metz 15 MS1 which in effect is a twin flash purposely designed for macro use. It can be adjusted for angle and balance and a diffuser is available as part of the kit.

I reported on this in this thread, but unfortunately I have removed the images. It may however be of some interest as it is relatively inexpensive compared to some and is very light.

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12698

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Old 12th April 2011
roadkill_6mm roadkill_6mm is offline
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross the fiddler View Post
When attaching external flashes such as FL50(R) & FL36(R), their normal mode is Auto TTL & operates with the normal shutter of the camera for flash (1/180 sec or 1/250 sec for E3, E5 & E30) which is the same mode available for the built in flash, but the external ones have FP TTL mode which allows any shutter speed up to the maximum of the camera (1/4000 or 1/8000) for daylight use so over exposure is not an issue. Hope that helps.
I take it 'FP TTL' is HSS? (high speed sync)? FP is not a term I'm familiar with.

As for the OP's original question I wouldn't discount other brands of flash such as David has suggested.

I had a Metz 48 when I had my E510 which had high speed synce, allowing the use of faster shutter speeds - it also metered through the lens (TTL)

This flash sat somewhere between the 2 Oly ones, though performance wise was probably closer to the 50R than the 36.

Also have a search on the internet regarding DIY ring flash etc there are plenty of ideas for cheap and easy ways to use either the on-board or external flash for macro photography

Regards

Neil
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadkill_6mm View Post
I take it 'FP TTL' is HSS? (high speed sync)? FP is not a term I'm familiar with.

As for the OP's original question I wouldn't discount other brands of flash such as David has suggested.

I had a Metz 48 when I had my E510 which had high speed synce, allowing the use of faster shutter speeds - it also metered through the lens (TTL)

This flash sat somewhere between the 2 Oly ones, though performance wise was probably closer to the 50R than the 36.

Also have a search on the internet regarding DIY ring flash etc there are plenty of ideas for cheap and easy ways to use either the on-board or external flash for macro photography

Regards

Neil
Yes, FP is the same as HSS. The Metz flashes can be a good alternative & there are various home made methods that can be succussful too. One is by attaching a ring of white paper at the front of the lens & using the built in flash (in TTL mode) which works best if an internally reflective snoot is used (again can be home made with foil inside a toilet roll). Googling these methods can bring up ideas from any forum discussing it, like this:
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=409118 & http://www.flickr.com/groups/canonds...7624469150341/
which was searched by "homemade macro flash" in Google Images, a great resource.

Here's another method http://www.flickr.com/groups/macroex...7614520493346/ but this is how I do mine (on the Sigma 150 Macro lens), but this is using RC mode & the LED ring light allows easy night focusing (but doesn't have any input compared to the strength of the flashes).
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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).
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Old 12th April 2011
Andrena Andrena is offline
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Wow what a great site. Wake up in the morning and find loads of helpful comments - full of hope! I shall work my way through them with much pleasure - most goes right over my head right now. But it's SO nice of you all.
Re the initial question, I don't know what it stands for, but in the Manual it says: >Super FP flash timing is longer than standard flash timing. This means that pictures can be taken at a higher shutter speed than is possible with normal flashes. Fill-in flash shooting with the aperture open (such as in outdoor portrait shooting) is also possible with Super FP flash.< I've read elsewhere online that it's a series of very fast flashes, starting even before the shutter is properly open. But anyway it sounded good because currently, when on Shutter priority mode, the fastest it'll do is 1/160, and even at that speed it makes the Aperture wide open, so I can't get much of the insect in focus at a time. But as I say I'm really going to enjoy reading all these kind replies very slowly to take them in, and including going to find these DIY ways of using the inbuilt flash.
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Many thanks indeed. I shall definitely look into that too then. It is SO helpful to have help like this, after hours of going round in circles trying to find alternatives!
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Ooops, I see that the messages come up sequentially. That last was trying to thank David for the Metz suggestion, and, having thanked Roadkill before that, I wanted now to thank Rossthefiddler. I've just started clicking on those brilliant links, and found the links lead onto more links, and it's all SO helpful and inspiring... fabulous!
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrena View Post
Ooops, I see that the messages come up sequentially. That last was trying to thank David for the Metz suggestion, and, having thanked Roadkill before that, I wanted now to thank Rossthefiddler. I've just started clicking on those brilliant links, and found the links lead onto more links, and it's all SO helpful and inspiring... fabulous!
I've been looking up the Metz 15 MS1 & the specs seem to be for a short distance (50mm) & if that was the case it would be fine for the 35 & 50mm macro lenses, but may start to be at its limit with the 105mm Sigma & would be too small for the Sigma 150 Macro lens. It mounts on rings (filter thread) up to 58mm which would be fine for the Sigma 105 Macro lens. It might be the answer to your needs in macro, but just for macro use. I would prefer to see examples using it with that lens before buying.

I wish you well. I would try different ideas that come free or cheap to start with & then spend if that is what you really want. Unfortunately, the wish list can just keep growing.

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I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross the fiddler View Post
I've been looking up the Metz 15 MS1 & the specs seem to be for a short distance (50mm) & if that was the case it would be fine for the 35 & 50mm macro lenses, but may start to be at its limit with the 105mm Sigma & would be too small for the Sigma 150 Macro lens. It mounts on rings (filter thread) up to 58mm which would be fine for the Sigma 105 Macro lens. It might be the answer to your needs in macro, but just for macro use. I would prefer to see examples using it with that lens before buying.

'hmm - the Metz MS 1 works perfectly well for the Sigma 150 (and indeed for portrait type distances). For the 150 you purchase a 72mm adapter ring (about £14). The supplied rings are for 'lesser' lenses.

The Sigma 105 is not recommended with the metz as the front element is moved when focussing, so the weight of the flash is added to the load on the focus motor.

There are plenty of pictures using the 150 and the MS 1 in my gallery.

Nick
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Well that was really kind of you Rossthefiddler to look into it, and also I very much warm to the notion of trying some of the DIY routes, which are probably everso satisfying if you can get them to work, and a learning experience to boot. And thank you, too, Nick, for the lowdown on the Metz 15 MS1. It's disappointing it's no good for my Sigma 105 (I don't have a 150 sadly) but I just can't imagine how long it would have taken me to think of the Metz, and find out all about it, and then understand why it's not such a good idea - were it not for this terrific forum!

It's invaluable having ideas like this raised and
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Old 12th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

I concur with Nick, I regularly use the Metz with a Leica 14-150 @ 150mm with and without the EX25 with superb results. At 150mm minimum focus of 50cm I can get well exposed images at f22 so there is no shortage of power or capability.

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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Temple-Fry View Post
'hmm - the Metz MS 1 works perfectly well for the Sigma 150 (and indeed for portrait type distances). For the 150 you purchase a 72mm adapter ring (about £14). The supplied rings are for 'lesser' lenses.

The Sigma 105 is not recommended with the metz as the front element is moved when focussing, so the weight of the flash is added to the load on the focus motor.

There are plenty of pictures using the 150 and the MS 1 in my gallery.

Nick
Thanks for that feedback Nick & also David, it might end up being another option for me in the future to cut down on the bulk & weight for my use. I wasn't aware of this Metz model being available & so versatile with a number of brands of cameras, otherwise I might have considered it instead of a second FL36R. The specs say Standard 50 mm illumination & that concerned me that there might not be enough power for the less macro (just closeups) shots.
It is a shame the Sigma 105 can't handle it because of its moving element.

I hope Andrena, you can end up with a successful & affordable solution with your lens which is also a great performer.
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Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
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Old 15th April 2011
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Re: Flash for macro insects with an E-500

Clarifying Super FP as I understand it

A normal flash synch speed will emit a very short duration of light, but it is capable of being very poweful and synhronised with the flash

Super FP puts out a longer (or series) duration of light, but at a lower power and from the moment the shutter opens to when it closes

This means it can be used at faster shutter speeds than a full power discharge can be synched at, but it can also be used to allow some motion in the picture as the duration of light is longer if you use Super FP, but don't go for a very fast shutter speed

For macro it should be fine either way depending on what shutter speed you want to use and what kit you end up deciding on

Of course my understanding may be wrong in which case I am sure someone will correct me

Regards
Andy
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