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FL-36R and E-PL1

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by FredUK, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. FredUK

    FredUK Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 29, 2012
    I have just ordered a used FL-36R flashgun to use with my E-PL1. I was using a Metz 24 AF-1 but did not like that only Auto flash modes were available because the pre-flash of the auto modes makes my children blink when I photograph them resulting in lots of photos of them with their eyes shut.
    Also I have noticed that in shots where I bounced the flash that people's eyes were dark and there were no catch lights in their eyes so it is with this that I would like your help please.
    Is it possible to use the Olympus FL-36R off camera to proved a bounced light whilst using my E-PL1's built in flash to provided fill light for people's eyes without any pre-flash from either?
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Your problems with bounced light (ie, dark eyes) are problems with bounced light period. Instead of using bounced light, which causes uneven exposure weighted towards the end of the bounce, you should be using a light modifier which allows for directional light, such as a softbox. That will allow you to brighten the eyes and get those catch lights you're looking for, by aiming your light where you actually want the light to go.

    I use my own brand of light diffusers (the Cyclops Type-B) which work a lot better than any retail brands I've tried, but your best bet for a retail option would be something like the LumiQuest SoftBox - LumiQuest for speedlights.

    And no, don't use your camera's built-in flash as "fill light". Your built-in flash is harsh and can ruin your image. Use a proper light modifier on your FL-36R instead of bouncing it, and your image will be nicely filled with directional lighting where you want it. If you do want to use a camera-mounted flash (properly diffused) as fill light to go with your off-camera flash however, then just set your FL-36R (off-camera) to SL mode (Dumb Slave) and set the power manually on the flash. It will trigger from any flash, be it another hotshoe flash or the pop-up. If you use the pop-up to trigger your off-camera flash this way, then you should set it at a low power like 1/64th, to avoid having it affect your image.

    There will be no pre-flash when using manual power instead of TTL.
  3. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Ned has some good advice. And here's one more thing you might try...

    Use a bounce card to create some of those eye highlights. It's just a simple sheet of white affixed to your flash that will redirect some of the bounced light to your subject. A do-it-yourself 3x5 index card and rubber band will do it, but there's a whole industry built around other solutions.

    Here's what one DIY solution looks like...


    See how to make it at Do-It-Yourself Flash Bounce Card
    • Like Like x 1
  4. FredUK

    FredUK Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 29, 2012
    Thank you both for the advice. I will invest in a soft box and make a bounce card :thumbup:
  5. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Why not try a flash bracket in addition to the diffuser? It'll move the flash away from the camera.

    I use a generic flash bracket and a TTL cord that has swivel to it. Works great and it's cheap.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, I second what Drew says...

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