I've joined in on a couple of threads regarding the FL-36 and the Panasonic equivalent; and the slow cycle time of these two flashes compared their FL-50/FL500 brothers. I ordered a set of Maha Energy Immedion AA batteries thinking that these may have faster cycle time than standard AA batteries - they do. But what really makes a difference is the lens you use. Up until now I had been using the f4.0-5.8, 14-140 zoom. With this I typically experienced 3 to 7 second cycle times. I recently purchased a Panasonic f1.7/20 lens, which of course, is much faster. With this lens the flash cycles in about 1 to 3 seconds depending upon subject distance. I tried a Takumar f1.4/50 and got similar results. Moral of the story: FL-50/FL500 faster cycle times? Yes. Better batteries faster cycle times? Yes. But faster LENS makes all the difference. The flash does not discharge as much and is much quicker to cycle. Try it out. You will be impressed. The attached shot was from our belated Halloween (delayed due to the freak snow storm here). I used the 1.7/20 with the camera set in iA mode, RAW plus small JPG file. The image is the JPG down res'd for 72dpi viewing.