First Flash: Which one? Metz 50 vs Oly 36r?

MrKal_El

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Amazon.com: Metz 50 AF-1 MZ 50312OPL Digital Flash for Olympus, Panasonic and Leica Cameras: Camera & Photo

Amazon.com: Olympus FL-36R Electronic Flash for Olympus Digital SLR Cameras: Camera & Photo

Since these two are pretty much the same price (and what I am looking to spend) Which do you guys prefer for an E-P3?

I do know the Metz is more powerful (and probably a direct competitor for the Oly 50r).

Are there features of either that should sway me? Does the Oly 36 support better integration w/ the E-P3 in terms of feature etc?

Any help would be great guys...looking to get either one before Christmas.

Another thing: Do you guys think the Flash Bracket:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/607523-REG/Olympus_260120_FL_BK04_Flash_Bracket_for.html

Is needed / worth it?

Also...If there is another Flash in that price range you guys suggest go right ahead!!
 

Linh

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heh, sorry can't help too much in this department. I don't really like TTL for some reason, and have generally stuck to manual flash. I had a Canon 550EX on my GF1 for a wedding reception =)

And now, I just have a pair of YN560's and an Sunpak 383. But offhand, I'd stick w/ the oly just for optimal compatibility (mostly with features, not actual functionality). I'm speaking in generalities though, from my experience with finiky compatibility between canon and sigma flashes.
 

relic

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I can only say that when I bought the FL-36R, my decision was based on its smaller size, and I was aware that it had the disadvantage of a relatively long recharging time between flashes.
 

Ned

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Small size, or faster, more powerful performance? The choice is really up to you.

The one flash I always have with me is one of my FL-36Rs. It's compact, and travels best with my PEN cameras as a close companion which packs great performance in a small, portable package.... just like my PEN. ;)

However, I also have a wide variety of other flashes to choose from, including FL-50s and FL-50Rs, when I need fast recycle and a more powerful punch. That opens up my choices more, and if I didn't have those options I might consider an FL-50R if I could only have one flash. The Metz-50 would be comparable.
 

MrKal_El

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Thanks for the responses so far everyone. I really would love the performance ability of the Metz, but again as you said...Size vs Performance...

I also read somewhere about the Metz not allowing for "focus assist" in dark situations (or something like that)... Something I need to think about?
 

Ned

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Which model of body do you have? Some of them have Focus Assist lamps built into the body...
 

sprinke

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I love my Metz-50 but I have a larger body: GH2. I don't have any experience with other flashes because the Metz is my first one...
 

Ned

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That seems quite a chunk of cash when something like this seems to do the same job Samigon Right Angle Bracket CSA822 B&H Photo Video
Cool, they still make these!

I have this exact same bracket, but it's an old one made by Etsumi/Nikko. I didn't know anybody still made this bracket, but I'm really glad you shared that link just in case something happens to mine. Mine is old and has been modified several times. It now uses a bed of electrical tape instead of the original rubber track (though I think I have that rubber around somewhere), regular nuts and bolts from the hardware store to hold the grip together, and a new hotshoe fashioned from a cold shoe adapter (meaning mine is a real PC Sync hotshoe, not just a coldshoe like the original) with a new hole drilled into the bracket to attach it with the bottom screw from another flash bracket and a plastic washer formed from a piece of retail clothes hanger.

This is by far my favorite bracket for the PEN! It may not extend as far as the more expensive brackets, but it's very compact to carry and offers a substantial grip to hold onto.

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As far as the Olympus bracket goes, I don't consider it terribly expensive. It's right at the lower-end pricing of every other flash bracket I've seen, priced about the same as a Stroboframe Quickflip - the most standard bracket sold in most camera stores. However, if I'm going to pay that much and order online, then I want to go for something more unique which Olympus makes and the myriad of third-party manufacturers don't offer... and that would be the "Twin Flash Bracket": Olympus FL-BKM03 Twin Flash Bracket for the Olympus 260121 B&H (more info here: Twin Flash Bracket FL-BKM03 | OLYMPUS E-SYSTEM | Olympus Imaging Asia ). Of course, this one is made for Macro but I would use it for more than that. ;)

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Sammyboy

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The Olympus FL-BK04 Flash Bracket from BHphoto that the OP is referring to
is a special bracket for the Olympus FL-50R in that it has an additional attachment screw in addition to the hot shoe lock. The FL-50R is a large flash and has the additional attachment screw to prevent the flash breaking at the hot shoe area. Very well designed, but only for the 50R.

Here is a 2 piece bracket from Olympus, it can be used with the flash on either side of the camera. (This would be my choice with an FL-36R)
Olympus FL-BK01 Flash Bracket $49.00
http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-200666-FL-BK01-Flash-Bracket/dp/B0000510VF/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1324076628&sr=8-1

Here is cheaper priced bracket, works with the flash on the left side only.
Precision Design Flash Bracket with 2 Accessory Shoes for Digital SLR Cameras & Video Camcorders $9.95
http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Design-Bracket-Accessory-Camcorders/dp/B005JSTLYY/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&qid=1324076743&sr=8-28

Tomorrow I'll start a new thread showing the difference between a TTL cord from Olympus and a cheap third party TTL cord.
 

SNTP

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I was actually in the same boat as the OP a while back, and ended up deciding that i wanted power more than portability when it came to my flash. I shoot with an EPL1 and the high iso capability on it isn't great so making sure my subjects are illuminated properly and with enough power is more important to me. It works great and i love that it swivels all the way around so i can shoot over the shoulder if need be. I have noticed it does sometimes have trouble focusing in some of the lower light conditions as you mentioned earlier, but I can always switch to manual mode for that.
One thing that i didn't like about the Metz... the UI/Buttons. They've got a solid feel, and are good quality, BUT the UI requires you to press 2 buttons at the same time to switch modes. This cannot be done with 1 hand, and for me that was ALMOST a deal breaker. It's just not as "convenient" as I would like it to be. Once you get the hang of it though it's not bad. It is a BIG-A$$ flash though. It dwarfs my EPL1 and weighs more than my EPL1 as well. I usually 2-hand hold it just to make sure there isn't much excess stress on the hotshoe.
In terms of TTL, it does it very well, especially when you do spot metering.
Bang for the buck, i think the Metz is worth it. Good build quality, pretty nice recycle times (i use normal double A's), and good power. HSS and Wireless HSS work wonderfully and fully TTL as well.

I did mess around with the Oly FL50r, and that thing is definitely comparable to the Metz 50, but the UI and buttons were much nicer. For me price was an issue with the Oly, so I ended up getting the Metz. The 36r felt too dinky to me, and didn't have all the fun swivel action that the 50 had, but it definitely produced nice results when i tested it out in shop. And i'm sure with a grip like the ones posted above you could get around the "non-swivel" aspect of it :)

Flash is a WHOLE different ball of wax, but once you get into it, you get hooked! It definitely adds a wonderful dynamic to your shots.
 

MrKal_El

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The Olympus FL-BK04 Flash Bracket from BHphoto that the OP is referring to
is a special bracket for the Olympus FL-50R in that it has an additional attachment screw in addition to the hot shoe lock. The FL-50R is a large flash and has the additional attachment screw to prevent the flash breaking at the hot shoe area. Very well designed, but only for the 50R.

Here is a 2 piece bracket from Olympus, it can be used with the flash on either side of the camera. (This would be my choice with an FL-36R)
Olympus FL-BK01 Flash Bracket $49.00
Amazon.com: Olympus FL-BK01 Flash Bracket: Camera & Photo

Here is cheaper priced bracket, works with the flash on the left side only.
Precision Design Flash Bracket with 2 Accessory Shoes for Digital SLR Cameras & Video Camcorders $9.95
http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Design-Bracket-Accessory-Camcorders/dp/B005JSTLYY/ref=sr_1_28?ie=UTF8&qid=1324076743&sr=8-28

Tomorrow I'll start a new thread showing the difference between a TTL cord from Olympus and a cheap third party TTL cord.
Wow..Thanks for that bro! I think I will def. pick that bracket up...

BTW Can you hint what you mean about the diff. of the cables?
 

Ned

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I really like the looks of that FL-BK01. I don't have one of those, but that's exactly the kind of style I like in my flash brackets. ;)

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MrKal_El

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I really like the looks of that FL-BK01. I don't have one of those, but that's exactly the kind of style I like in my flash brackets. ;)

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Yeah, that plus this cable will be perfect...

Olympus FL-CB02 Hot Shoe-TTL Cable 200663 B&H Photo Video
 

Empireme

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I'm a novice here, but why use the flash bracket? In other words, why is using a flash bracket better than simply placing the flash on the hotshoe?
 

taz98spin

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I'm a novice here, but why use the flash bracket? In other words, why is using a flash bracket better than simply placing the flash on the hotshoe?

I use the FL-36R with the Olympus FL-BK01 Flash Bracket all the time!

The reason why one would use a flash bracket is to move the flash far off the camera as possible, because it creates weird shadows on faces sometimes, if the flash is on the camera.

This is my set up, makes it easy to hold as well :thumbup:

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Empireme

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Does anyone have pictures with the flash on the hotshot vs. the same shot on a bracket? Or anyone kind enough to take 2 sample pictures for the rest of to compare? :thumbup:
 
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