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

Rudi

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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.
Ummm, no. That's not the reason! You're thinking of bouncing flash off the ceiling, and bouncing flash when it's on a flash bracket will still create the same unwanted shadows sometimes (raccoon eyes).

The reasons you move the flash away from the lens are:

1) to avoid red eye, and
2) to intentionally create some shadows which "model" the face. By moving the light source off camera, or as far away from the camera as you can with a flash bracket, you create shadows which then provide a 3D effect - they show the face as it really is, not flat and featureless like a straight-on flash would.

You can also model the face by bouncing flash off a white wall instead off the ceiling. This can be done even when the flash is in the hotshoe, and it creates the same sort of pleasing, flattering shadows that you want when shooting portraits.
 

taz98spin

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Ummm, no. That's not the reason! You're thinking of bouncing flash off the ceiling, and bouncing flash when it's on a flash bracket will still create the same unwanted shadows sometimes (raccoon eyes).

The reasons you move the flash away from the lens are:

1) to avoid red eye, and
2) to intentionally create some shadows which "model" the face. By moving the light source off camera, or as far away from the camera as you can with a flash bracket, you create shadows which then provide a 3D effect - they show the face as it really is, not flat and featureless like a straight-on flash would.

You can also model the face by bouncing flash off a white wall instead off the ceiling. This can be done even when the flash is in the hotshoe, and it creates the same sort of pleasing, flattering shadows that you want when shooting portraits.
Ha, ic ic..

Thanks for the correction :smile:
 

Empireme

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Thanks for the clarification, Rudi. But a picture would definitely be worth a thousand words here! Anyone with a pictorial demonstration?
 

Rudi

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I don't usually shoot with one-camera flash, but this is a photo a friend of mine took, and asked me to fix the B&W conversion (didn't quite like the way it looked originally).

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Even with the contrast turned way up, see how flat their faces look? It's a great photo, but it has a "snap-quality" feel about it. Compare that with another snap, but here I used the large window that was off to the side of her to good advantage:

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See how her face looks more three-dimensional? You can do the same thing with flash, just move it off to the side and "fake" the window light:

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Even if it's off by just a little, it helps:

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If its off by a lot, it's more dramatic:

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If I took this with on-camera flash, it would look a lot less interesting:

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These are just a few examples that I have available online. There are probably much better examples that I have, but I'd have to go looking. Being the lazy type, this will have to do. :smile:

Hope it helps.
 

MrKal_El

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Great stuff guys!! Loving the info... I am still going back and forth between these two flashes...

I am almost sure the 36r is enough light for what I need...yet for the same price the Metz allows for more flexibility, it's just so big for on-cam use...
 

Empireme

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Rudi, thanks! I've been on so many forums in the past years as my interests have changed as I've gotten older, but I'm really always impressed by the willingness of the people on here to help and to teach. Rudi, again, thank you.
 

MrKal_El

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So I decided to go with the Metz, test it out for Christmas and see if it is managable... Will report back...

Thanks again everyone!
 

MrKal_El

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Which model of body do you have? Some of them have Focus Assist lamps built into the body...
Sorry I missed this...But I use an E-P3 currently... Which has focus assist, so I guess this a null point anyway :)
 

Sammyboy

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Comparing the FL-36R to the Nikon SB-800

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FL-36R & E-P2

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Tilt and swivel capabilities of the FL-36R

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Full 180 degree swivel.

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MrKal_El

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So I decided to go with the Metz, test it out for Christmas and see if it is managable... Will report back...

Thanks again everyone!
Actually I lied... I just bought the Oly 36r also. I will decide on which one I like the most after some real world test...

Will post findings afterwards...
 

Empireme

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I bought the same flash, too. Only problem is Amazon says it was delivered yesterday but I never got it. I was home all day yesterday, too. *Sigh.
 

MrKal_El

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So I got both flashes and bracket yesterday...Didn't have time to take pics of them but initial thoughts:

1. The bracket is badass.

2. Either flash on the hotshoe makes the camera a bit too top heavy IMO.

3. The output of the 36r is *probably* sufficient for my uses, but the refresh rate is lacking, esp. compared the Metz. (I also bought these batteries: Amazon.com: Sanyo XX Battery Powered by eneloop, 2500mAh High Capacity, 4 Pack AA Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries: Electronics )

4. I would LOVE the build quality and size of the Oly w/ the output & battery capabilities of the Metz.

5. I am almost 99% sure I will stick with the Metz, but will test them continually over the holidays.

6. Lastly, if you are on the fence on purchasing an external flash (of this level), don't even think twice...just do it. The pics I have already lost to blur/low light issues already made me wish I bought this a long time ago...

P.S. I also got the Large Grip for the E-P3...another Must have accessory.

I will post pics etc ASAP...
 

MrKal_El

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A follow up for those who know... When putting the E-P3 into RC mode....why do we lose the SP or any other adjustment menu (unless you assign them to buttons)?

If I DO NOT put into RC mode... everything stays the same...but do I necessarily lose TTL function? Seems weird IMO, unless I am missing something...
 

Ned

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A follow up for those who know... When putting the E-P3 into RC mode....why do we lose the SP or any other adjustment menu (unless you assign them to buttons)?

If I DO NOT put into RC mode... everything stays the same...but do I necessarily lose TTL function? Seems weird IMO, unless I am missing something...
When the RC mode menu is up, then hit the INFO button and it'll cycle you back to the Super Control Panel (or Live Control if that's what you have enabled). :) Took me a while to figure that one out too, and I always disabled RC until I discovered it. Not that it matters to me as I don't use TTL anyways, lol.
 

MrKal_El

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When the RC mode menu is up, then hit the INFO button and it'll cycle you back to the Super Control Panel (or Live Control if that's what you have enabled). :) Took me a while to figure that one out too, and I always disabled RC until I discovered it. Not that it matters to me as I don't use TTL anyways, lol.
Thanks! Always appreciate the help... I wish had the cam on me...but I could swear I did hit Info after and nothing worked.

I'll check as soon as soon as I get home...
 

MrKal_El

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I've never been disappointed by a Metz flash yet. They are real workhorses!
Also, unless I didn't look hard enough...are flashes rated on how many cycles they should be good for?
 

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