Best flash for EPM1

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Adobres, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Adobres

    Adobres Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Nov 25, 2011
    Hi there folks. Just wondering if you could point me to the Best possible flash for the Oly EPM1. Im looking to spend the money on the best one out there. thanks so much.

    Adam.
     
  2. bryan

    bryan Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Feb 27, 2012
    There is no best. It really depends on what you want to get out of it.

    What do you intend to shoot? What environments will you be shooting in?

    Do you wear your camera around your neck?

    Are you OK with having a huge and heavy flash on a tiny and light camera body?
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The FL-600R... but you can only pre-order it at the moment and wait for it to actually arrive. :)

    Otherwise, you have the FL-36R which is compact and will fit your E-PM1 better physically, but has less power and is slower to recycle than the FL-50R.

    The FL-36R is smaller, which draws less power, but it only uses 2 batteries instead of 4 which is what gives it a slower recycle time. The FL-50R is larger and has twice the power, but it uses 4 batteries for a quicker recycle time.

    The FL-600R will have the same power and small size as the FL-36R, but it uses 4 batteries to recycle twice as fast as FL-50R (since the FL-50R draws twice the power). It would be the best choice overall for your PEN, but it's just been announced and has not arrived in stores yet. It should be in with the OM-D, which will be by April.

    If you want a flash now though, then I wouldn't want for the FL-600R. The FL-36R and FL-50R are both very wonderful flash units. I would pick the FL-50R as the #1 choice if you want the best you can get. The FL-36R is the economical choice for those who are also size-conscious.

    All the flash units I mentioned are R-series with optical slave sensors. They can be triggered wirelessly with full TTL or manual control through the E-PM1's Remote Commander panel on the camera itself, using the clip-on flash that came with the E-PM1. It can also be set to optical slave to be triggered remotely by any other flash unit, including the clip-on or another hotshoe flash.
    Or you could of course use a radio trigger or PC Sync cable, but any flash can do that. ;)
     
  4. Adobres

    Adobres Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Nov 25, 2011
    hi there. well, I'm thinking for capturing for example kids playing around in low light, or taking photos at events where there is dim light and lots of movement but want to freeze the moment in time. im cool with having a heavy flash on the camera. depending on HOW heavy I guess :) also it would be nice for my wife to use it to photograph her art pices, jewlery, and clothes. Thanks
     
  5. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Ditto what Ned said.
     
  6. Adobres

    Adobres Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Nov 25, 2011
    and once i used a flash which had a foggy white cap on it I guess is that a diffuser? sorry I know nothing about flashes. i really like the light produced from that. is that used for specific applications? or just taste? And thanks for the help!
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Don't forget that if you want high quality light from your flash, you need to use a decent light modifier. This will usually require a regular (larger) gun-style flash with a tilt head. Thus, the FL-36R or FL-600R is probably the smallest you should be looking at. Especially if you want to be shooting products.

    Also, 1 flash is really not enough for product shoots although it'll be good for events and kids. For events and such a single FL-50R should do you well. You will want that extra power and recycle time for that kind of setup. For the product shoots you should have at least two, preferably a few speedlights set up... or studio strobes, of course, to get that even coverage. Don't forget to invest in some light stands as well. For this, you could use a couple/few FL-36Rs, which are about half the price of a single FL-50R. Or if you have money to spare there's no reason not to get a few FL-50Rs. Or maybe one FL-50R to use at events, then an FL-36R as a second light for products or when you want to go light.

    *EDIT: Yes, that foggy white cap is a diffuser. If it's the one I think it is though, then it's not a very good one! Look for little softboxes instead. Do not get diffusers which are made only to work with bounce, such as the Sto-fen Omnibounce (which is what I'm thinking you saw) or the Gary Fong Lightsphere, as these have very limited applications. Bounced light will not spread evenly across your subject, but will instead create an uneven exposure with more light in the direction of the bounce. If you get a softbox-type diffuser instead, it will soften your light while aimed directly at your subject. That can be used without a low ceiling or close-by wall, and will give you even exposure of your subject, also allowing more creative effects such as light fall-off (bouncing will add to the overall ambient light instead - which may be a good thing depending on what you're after). I'm not saying that bouncing doesn't have its uses, but that it's not a good "general purpose" practice which is good for a wider variety of uses.

    Your off-camera flash on light stands can also be used with an umbrella, but you want a mini-softbox for your camera/bracket mounted flash.

    Oh, and I guess I didn't mention brackets, did I? Good idea for your events to have your flash on a bracket or flash grip (if you get the FL-50R, you can get the Olympus flash grip to go with it, which will provide you with more power)...

    flash_bracket_web.
    (pictured is the FL-36R on an E-P1 with Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 and Etsumi Flash Bracket)
     
  8. bryan

    bryan Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Feb 27, 2012
    The reason I asked if you are OK with a heavy flash is not because it would be fatiguing to carry, but because it will likely be unbalanced on the tiny E-PM1 body.

    If you wear your camera with a neck strap, a larger flash mounted on the hot shoe will literally flip the camera upside down when you're not holding it, and may make it awkward to handle (unless you're using a large lens, of course).

    If you're OK with that, then I'd hold out for the FL-600R too, as Ned recommended. Although it's still vapourware at this point, its specs look promising, especially considering that all of the other Olympus flashes have been around for a while.

    I know you asked for the best possible flash, but seeing as this is your first flash, I'd also encourage you to consider trying a more inexpensive model first to get your feet wet. For example, I've had good results with the Nissin Di466, which retails for about $140, and strikes a decent balance between size and performance. You can spend the dollars saved on diffusers, reflectors, batteries, brackets... :)

    11133%7C000003a30%7C4f16_4662.

    HTH
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Although a lot cheaper, I will also add that the Nissin (as well as the Metz) are very good flash units, and actually quite comparable to the OEM ones. :) That's one thing about flash guns... OEM models are always so much more expensive but unnecessarily so. For me, I always buy OEM because I can't wait for online orders and the off-brands are never available locally for me. When I can wait though, the off-brands are worth having. Especially when you run a half-dozen speedlights at a time like I do. Every flash I can add to my arsenal is appreciated, even if it's a $5 thrift store find (but when I go out to an event with a single flash, then I pick one of the better ones).
     
  10. Adobres

    Adobres Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Nov 25, 2011
    gonna wait...

    yeah I think i'm going to wait for the new flash... if I can...that is.. we'll see how much in demand the flash will be in my life. Thanks for the help guys.

    adam.
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No prob. ;)
     
  12. thinkcooper

    thinkcooper Mu-43 Veteran

    227
    Oct 29, 2011
    Is that a home made Tupperware diffuser? Very cool. Very McGyver.

     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup, I make those and even sell them to local photographers (at cost) because I'm tired of seeing people get ripped off by $40-$70 retail brands which don't even do anything. For $5 my diffusers actually produce results, as I can attest to because I use them professionally from studio to location work. I've never gotten worthwhile results from any of the overpriced plastic-bobs sold at any of the retail camera stores.

    It's not just tupperware though, it does contain filters inside. :wink:
     
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  14. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    NedWare(tm)



    :thumbup:
     
  15. thinkcooper

    thinkcooper Mu-43 Veteran

    227
    Oct 29, 2011
    Does that keep your green and orange filters all crisp and unwilted?