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E-M10, FL-300R only in RC mode (no pop-up flash)

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by Klorenzo, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I started again to play with the flash. I'm quite sure that to use the FL-300 in RC mode with the E-M10 you need to rise the pop-up flash. In this way everything works fine and both fire.

    Now I'd like to fire the external flash only. This because I want to learn with one flash only and also because it casts an ugly shadow with the 12-40.

    I was sure that I could go in the Flash menu and set the camera flash (bottom element) to off and be happy but this is not working now. Setting it off it still fires! I tried every combo with no luck...

    I found this answer in an old thread:

    RC Mode with FL-300R on E-PL5 a problem?

    but I really hope there is a better way then putting a hood on the pop-up to stop it.

    Any suggestion?
     
  2. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Olympus communicated remotely to off camera flashes optically. Meaning the camera has to use the on board flash to communicate to the remote flash. It won't work without the camera's flash being up.

    Because of this the remote flash has to be able to "see" your camera's flash. So you might try bouncing or partially blocking with white paper the on camera flash, but if you do it too well the remote flash may no longer be able to detect the incoming communication.
     
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    So you mean the FL-300 is an optical slave only? I expected it to be radio controlled (wireless): FL-300R Flash | Olympus
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    The native Olympus flash system, as are the Nikon and Canon systems, are described as wireless as in that the off camera flashes do not need a physical wires to operate. Instead they use either Infra red or simple flash pulses to communicate.

    They don't use radio signals. There are third party systems such as Pocket Wizard that do use radio signals, but they are working to their own communication protocols and are not integrated to the camera in the same way.. ie you cant control the flash power from the camera interface.

    Up until now there have been versions of the Pocket Wizard that offer features that require communication between cameras and remote flashes such as TTL for Canon and Nikon. A recent announcement from the company indicates that the next version will support Panasonic... and possibly Olympus .

    PocketWizard® - Introducing the New Plus IV Transceiver

    It seems odd that they are proclaiming support for Panasonic and not Olympus as I thought both used the same system, but that may be them just being cautious because they are still testing.

    Part of the issue with using radio communication is that the licensing of radio frequencies is not a global standard. I believe that Pocket wizard have to sell different versions for Europe and the US.

    All that said, the Olympus system is pretty groovy , if sometimes a bit temperamental. The ability to change the flash power from the camera as opposed to walking to the flash, reaching up inside the softbox etc makes set up and control so much easier.

    Going back to your original problem... yes the on camera flash will fire, but it will do that before the remote flash fires. If you have set the on camera flash to off, it shouldn't contribute to the final exposure, though I have noticed that I do often get a very small spot of light as a highlight in an eye when working close... but thats quickly resolved in PP

    K
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Thanks for the long answer. I'll try again this evening with the ideas a little more clear and looking at the actual results in the pictures too, yesterday I was lost in the settings battle.
     
  6. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    KevinParis already answered but just to reiterate, you get full remote/wireless communication from your camera to your remote flash but it is not using radio waves but instead using optical communication (a series of very fast light pulse to the flash just before the actual photo is taken). So it is full TTL communication rather than a simple optical slave but it is still optical in nature.
     
  7. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Thanks, I did a few tests. With no flash I get a whole black photo. With the pop-up off and the external turned away I get only a little light from the pop-up and a few scattered specular reflections. When I move in the external flash it floods everything and there is no shadow at all from the lens. So I'm an happy camper.
     
  8. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    happy to hear that... happy shooting

    cheers

    K
     
  9. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    232
    Jun 9, 2015
    Midwest
    Cactus makes radio transmitters that work with the Olympus flash system.
     
  10. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I have one more question on this. The E-M1 does not have a pop-up flash. So how does it control the FL-300 or FL-600 in RC mode?
    Is there a micro flash somewhere in the body strong enough to transmit the activation signal?

    Because I got this cheap toy:

    www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00I0QGB90

    to try a very old Metz 34BCT2 I had at home (the voltage is too high to connect it directly). The problem is that the transmitter blocks the pop-up so I can no longer control the FL-300 :(

    No big deal, maybe I'll get an optical trigger for the Metz or give up, it seems like I can get only three different different power levels anyway (or I did not get how to use it). Or I could try with an extension cable to connect the transmitter: that should not block the pop-up.

    http://www.foto-sandor.de/documents/image/36/36152/IMG-2760.JPG

    The three A modes gives me three different light levels. The M mode a different one. The ASA scale on the left makes no difference for the A modes and there is just a little variation in the M mode, from 12 to 400. Any ideas?
     
  11. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    The E-m1 comes with a little plug in flash that will act as the commander as indeed did my e-m5 and E-PL6

    K

    K