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Can you control slave flashes with an Olympus?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Johnny1.33, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Jun 4, 2011
    I was looking at an Olympus E-PL1. I only want it for portraits. Outdoor and indoor. But I want to use generic "slave" flashes like the once from Yongnuo. Will the Olympus take the radio control and allow me to trigger external flashes like for a softbox, umbrella, etc.?

    side question: Is an E-PL1 too old to consider? I can't afford very much and found them used with a lens for about $215.

    Thanks.

    edit: lens is 14-42 the "kit" lens, I believe.
     
  2. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Yes it will.
     
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  3. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    No, it is not too old.
     
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  4. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Jun 4, 2011
    But if I get slave flashes won't they just go off full blast? To really control them what do I do? Or if I put them in a s softbox or umbrella do I want them to go full blast?
     
  5. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    113
    Jun 4, 2011
    What lens are you using in most of your pics with the e-pl1?
     
  6. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    I'm not sure if I know - I switch lenses quite often. I would guess it would be either the kit zoom or Panasonic 20mm (seeing how I got those when I bought the camera), or an adapted Minolta 50mm f1.7. If it's a native lens, it'll say in the EXIF data.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I've seen the E-PL2 sell in the area of $250 here on this forum. That's a much better deal, if you ask me. The E-PL1 is a great camera, but the E-PL2 is just better. Twice the screen resolution, a rotary control dial, faster AF and response, twice the max shutter speed, remote compatibility, and it comes with a much improved lens which has internal focus (solid, quiet, fast, and able to take polarizing filters and petal hoods). Plus, it just looks and feels better. ;)
     
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  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You set the power of the flash using manual control on the flash itself. You can set it to full (1/1) power, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, etc.

    If you're using them in a softbox or behind an umbrella, then yes you may want them at full power or 1/2, 1/4, etc. It all depends what you're shooting, where you place your lights, how strong the diffusion is, the key you want for your image, the ambient light, and a myriad of other factors.

    You can also power optical slaves using the pop-up flash on the E-PL1 by the way... Either set it to 1/64th or 1/32nd power so the pop-up doesn't interfere with the image, or else use the Remote Flash Commander built into the pop-up flash to wirelessly control Olympus R-Series flashes with either TTL or Manual control through the camera (you can adjust power settings, compensation, etc. right through the camera's RC Control menu, with up to three separate groups of flash settings). Radio is more reliable than optical though, so if you're getting radio triggers anyways than just use those (plus it can be used when other photographers are present). However, optical will allow you to use the VF-2 or VF-3 viewfinder at the same time, give you TTL control, or simply free yourself from more equipment.
     
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