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Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by iamcanjim, Jan 10, 2015.
Looking for an inexpensive flash.
OzRay which 4/3 flash do you use? FL-50?
My 4/3 compatible Metz flash doesn't work in TTL with any m43 stuff I have (my E-M1 nor my wife's G2)...
I think one or two of the low-end 4/3 Olympus flashes aren't TTL compatible with M43 either...
Looking at a Vivitar 283 for an E-P5.
A Vivitar 283 is NOT TTL. it's an automatic Thyristor flash. It uses a tiny sensor on the front of the flash unit
to control exposure once you set a colour-coded dial on the front.
How old is the flash unit? If it was made before 1997 I wouldn't use it - it may produce very high voltages across it's hot-foot into the camera hot-shoe.
I have an old Vivitar 283 from my Canon FD days. I would be very leery of mounting it on a modern digital camera hotshoe due to the aforementioned voltage issues.
I've got the FL-14, FL-36, FL-50 and FL-50R. All work fine with my m4/3 cameras (obviously the FL-14 was designed for m4/3).
The FL-40 or flashes before it won't work.
I have a Metz AF-58-1 that... sort of works, it works as a remote wireless slave however the hotshoe is damaged so it doesn't work 100% when attached to the camera (it works one shot, disconnects, reconnects, doesn't work... works... the hot shoe on it is stuffed basically).
However it worked before it was damaged, the damage is more recent due to my own stupidity(I slipped it into my bag *outside* the padding which is removable from the bag itself, not inside where it would have been protected).
I've been looking at getting another one because I haven't found anything that can put out the same raw power as it. It was rated with a guide number of 58 with the primary reflector only - if you put it into "close up" mode (just one click *down* so the main head is still on target however angled down 5 degrees) you could engage the secondary and double the output for some really really stupidly powerful long range flash.
I use a Sunpak 5000AF, but it's meant for Canon cameras, but it still works on my E-P3. However not in TTL, just in auto (sort of like the Thyristor mode on a Vivitar 283) if I set the flash and camera's aperture to suit, or in manual mode (ie: setting the power ratio directly on the flash, and adjusting the camera accordingly).
But since I'm either shooting in Manual mode (99% of the time it seems) or in Aperture priority, I'm usually fine with using a flash like that.
Eventually I'll replace the flash with one that's meant for the olympus (so I'm checking out suggestions in this thread as well), but for now, the sunpak works for me.
FL-20, FL-36, FL-50 and R versions were the only Olympus flashes designed for 4/3s, and as already stated work with m4/3s.
Another possible compatibility issue is that apparently Panasonic/Olympus use two different types of exposure setting systems and a Gun that works on one type may not work on the other.
On some of their cameras they use the pre flash system where a low power flash is emitted first and the camera quickly works out the correct exposure which is then used when the shutter is pressed.
On some of their newer cameras they are using a system where the camera just measures the amount of light bounced back during the actual exposure, extinguishing the flash when it detects enough light has been emitted, which is more like the old system used by film camera makers.
see here for an explanation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BNjKy26mNI
One amendment I would make regarding the comments on the Meike MK-300 in the video where he says it works fine on the G5, well it does not work on mine
There is more to this compatibility issue than at first seems. Some guns are fully compatible and some are only Partly compatible.
For me I have found the following compatible with my G5, G6 & GX7
And the following not compatible.
I suggest we need a sticky on the forum with a list of compatible and none compatible Equipment.
I don't believe that's correct at all, unless you end the exposure on a pixel early you cannot tell what it's charge is - thus you can't measure the light (you can't multisample sensors with current technology, you can stack exposure however the read noise makes it useless with the sort of durations we're talking about). Due to the anti reflection coatings the filter stack on sensors also have weird behaviour with reflecting light, that technique has already been shown to fail.
I believe the way Panasonic was working is based on flashmatic, it *was* the reason they've been adding distance encoders into lenses after all. The lens tells the camera how far it's focused, the camera knows aperture, GN, and ISO... Thus it's dependent as much on which lens you're using as anything. I wasn't aware that they had actually added it into any m4/3 cameras as yet though so it's kind of cool to know they have (I only knew about adding the encoder into lenses, I was pretty sure the bodies all still used preflash currently), I thought they were only using it on compact cameras.
This is the same reason nikor added distance encoders to all their lenses... and it's one reason their flash system was so good for so long.
How do explain what is shown in the video then, on one camera it clearly gives a pre flash and on the other it does not, how is that possible if they are not using two different flash exposure systems?
In the video I see two cameras that use preflash and get the correct exposure, and one that either doesn't support the flash or has a higher ISO set and overexposes. What am I meant to be looking for here exactly?
Either way as I said above, if they're using a second system it's likely flashmatic based (a guide number, distance, aperture, and ISO triangle) as this appears to be what Panasonic has been working towards by adding distance encoders to all of their lenses, rather than something based on what film cameras did which doesn't work as you cannot measure reflection off digital sensors due to the anti reflection coatings.
In the video he talks about the distance on the flash, this is the LONGEST distance the flash will have enough power to illuminate a subject at when at full power, it will also have a MINIMUM distance if the aperture was too wide when combined with a higher ISO where it cannot extinguish the flash fast enough, if this distance was reached then the subject would be overexposed as you need to stop down more to reduce the light level because the flash cannot.