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Feeling Dumb And Need Some Flash Help

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Winter, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Winter

    Winter Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 23, 2012
    Portland Maine
    I've been searching and reading through the mu-43 archives for hours and can't quite seem to find the answers I'm looking for to my question(s) so I figured I'd make a post.

    Here's my situation: I've got an OMD-EM5, and (due to budget constraints) I'm looking to get a manual flash and set up, and I just don't know what I'll need.

    Here's what I'm looking for/to do:

    • Get a reasonably powerful manual flash with tilt and swivel. I'm thinking probably a Yonguno 560II, but it's just so damn big.

    • I'd like to be able to use the flash on the hotshoe, but I'm not wedded to the idea. For the life of me I can't figure out how to determine what flashes would be hotshoe safe for my camera, and what would burn up the OMD's delicate insides, without actually having said flash in front of me to test with a multimeter.

    • I *do* need to be able to use it with a flash bracket, but I can't figure out what the best way to trigger it will be.
    • What might be a good flash cord? ​
    • How does it connect to the OMD (hot shoe I assume)? To the flash itself?​
    • Am I better off buying a safe-synch with a PC cord connector on it anyway? ​

    • Would it make more sense to get a radio trigger? ​

    • Can you still mount to a cold shoe with a radio receiver mounted to the bottom of a flash?​

    • I'd also like to be able to do off-camera studio work with said flash. I'm guessing for that a radio trigger set up is the way to go, but I can't figure out how to pick a radio trigger set up for a manual flash, everything I see is TTL based.

    I know these may seem like stupid questions, but there's a dearth of clear info out there both on the OMD and on using a manual flash, of which there are surprisingly few options it seems.

  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    There are plenty of solution to your flash requirements. The flash you suggested will do the work without frying your camera. You can get plenty of cheap ttl flashes for less than 150 dollars that will also do the work. For remote control I just got last week a radio trigger on ebay for 12 dollars, it do the trick and fire up the flash. You can also use slave mode and control the flash trigger by your omd supplied flash. I write this of the phone so I could not attach links.
  3. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    What's the budget? I love spending other peoples money....

    It seems to me that once you start adding radio triggers to the cost you're going to fast approach picking up something like an FL600R or 2nd hand 50R. Which you can trigger using the provided mini flash.

    Any Canon cord will work for off camera, including TTL. Get a couple of cheap ones off eBay. Short one for the bracket and longer one for off camera.

  5. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Yes, but off camera, do you really care? :)  The stand is going to be holding the flash, not you.

    Just, FYI, all the Yongnuo YN-4xx and YN-5xx flashes sync at well below 10V. They're all safe. Frankly, nearly any flash that's been released in the last five years will probably be in that arena. If you're buying new, chances are you'll be ok. It's when you purchased used you have to worry about the sync voltage. And you can look that up on the botzilla page.

    Secondly, if you're truly honestly flirting with the idea of using the flash on the hotshoe, then you'll probably want a TTL unit and one that's slightly smaller so you won't have a top-heavy combination. Because on-camera usage generally means that your go-to technique is bouncing, and that you're liable to be in more of a run'n'gun event situation (chasing little kids, parties, weddings, etc.) and you may not have the time to dial in the power yourself, as you are forced to do with a manual flash.

    With brackets, you just need a TTL cable that connects from the hotshoe of the camera to the hotshoe of the flash. You could use either Olympus or Canon for this.

    No. Not unless you need it. Safesyncs can cost more than a YN flash. :)  And the more stuff you're stacking on the hotshoe the more unstable the combination can become.

    If you get a manual-only flash and are planning on using it off-camera exclusively? Maybe. Budget and usage play a part. Indoors, with plenty of bounce surfaces, using the Olympus infrared commanding system (for more function) or optical slaves (for less money) could make more sense. But if you want to work outdoors in bright sunlight, or tuck flashes around corners and behind doors where there's no line-of-sight between a slave sensor and the master flash, then, yes, radio triggers might make more sense.

    Yes. You can also use a short sync cable the connect a trigger to the flash (if the flash and trigger have sync ports) if you want to take the trigger out of the "sandwich" for stability or to lower the height of the flash on the stand (can make a difference when you're aiming for the center of an umbrella, say).

    Actually, the majority of cheapie radio triggers are manual only. I'd point you to the Cactus V5 and Yongnuo RF-602 triggers (the RF-603s apparently require modding to work on an mft hotshoe). If you plan on getting studio strobes (bigger lights, powered by wall plugs, not batteries) from Paul Buff (e.g. AlienBees, Einsteins), Cybersyncs might be a better way to go.

    TTL options for Olympus are few. Manual options abound, because manual is system-agnostic and doesn't care what brand your camera/lights are.

    Just me, but I'd say go with Cactus V5s and the YN-560ii, or wait for the YN-560iii and get RF-602s, so you don't need to worry about bringing along the receivers and extra batteries. :) 
  6. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Uh. A pair of YN-602s is in the $30-40 neighborhood. Cactus V5 around $60. And a YN-560ii is $85. The YN-560iii is assumed to come in at the <$100 pricepoint.

    A new FL600R or used FL50R is about $300. YMMV.

    Granted, you get your extra $150 worth with remote TTL, FP, remote commanding etc. with the built-in triggering system. But the cost is different, particularly for a multi-light setup. And you're still limited by range and line of sight with outdoor daylight usage.

    A key/fill/rim setup with FLs would be about $900 (3 speedlights). A key/fill/rim with YNs would be $255 for the lights, and $120 for the Cactus triggers, so $375 vs. $900. At that point, going manual-only for a hobbyist kinda makes more sense. :) 
  7. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've got this and an old Vivitar 3700 and they work fine for most everything I've tried. TTL is not on the table but really have not found the need for it yet. The cheapo radio poppers are nifty but the contacts are not always in exactly the optimal place so sometime are finiky but some minor adjustment gets things working. Quality and reliability are worth the extra price.

    I really wish the YN-560 versions came with AC power ... Next flash purchase will have to have AC power option.

    My old Vivitar has AC power so it does afair amount of the heavy lifting. The YN is usually slaved and used for fill or detail type work.

    The YN on the camera (I use E-P1) hotshoe is a bit clunky but servicable.

    Just to be complete my next purchase will be a flash that can do TTL and a Oly TTL cord.
  8. tl1234

    tl1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Any suggestions for a tiny flash with bounce capabilities. Something like the Nikon sb400?
  9. Winter

    Winter Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 23, 2012
    Portland Maine
    Thanks for everyone's input. I picked up a Yonguno 560-II, some CowboyStudio flash triggers, and a decent flash bracket for around $100. I mostly want the flash for off-camera work, but I've got an event coming up where I wanted the option of shooting with the flash bracket. So far, it all seems like a decent set up without breaking the bank.
  10. stingx

    stingx Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 10, 2012
    Weird, NJ
    Hugh Douche
    I picked up a Yongnuo YN560-II and it works very well with my m4/3 and Canon SLRs. Great stuff.
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