Flash (not small) for GX1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by RoadTraveler, May 10, 2013.

  1. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Unlike the other active GX1 flash thread where the OP wants something small, that's not a primary focus for me.

    While I don't necessarily want a huge flash, I realize the GX1 is a small camera and many flashes will appear big on the sexy GX1. I also realize the GX1 is not a fantastic body for flash use, at least not while also trying to use a LVF2, though the GX1 will be my chosen body for a while (I have 3). I'm also not much of a flash user, however there are times when I need or want something more than the little on camera unit (I used a Canon 430EX on dSLRs before selling that kit recently).

    I'm leaning toward the Olympus FL600, seems like a decent flash for the $300? Ideally I can pick a good, reasonably priced flash that will work with the GX1s I have now and still work well with other Panasonic or Olympus bodies in the future, probably the GH3 when they are about 1/2 their current price.

    With these parameters in mind is the FL-600R a top contender, am I missing others that will work well now and with other m4/3 cameras? Bounce and swivel are important and I have 7-14, 12-35, and 35-100 lenses.


  2. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    or a 100-300 lens?

    One other thing...

    I know it's apples and oranges, but the one other major piece of gear I want/need eventually for my m4/3 system is a much longer lens. The Panasonic 100-300 is the one I'm considering but I can't afford both the lens and flash right now.

    One reason to the buy a flash and wait on a looonng tele lens if for a higher quality lens to be introduced. Of course that will be many months, and more expensive that the current $500 for the 100-300.

    If anyone would like to include some lens comments with their flash suggestions I'd appreciate them. Surely I will have both a flash and long tele lens eventually.
  3. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    From what I can gather the FL-600R is indeed your top contender. There are earlier models you can buy used to lower the cost, and some 3rd party options, but that's probably going to be your top pick.

    Long lens-wise, have you considered compromising on the 45-200 OIS? Much cheaper, but the equivalent of a 70-300 on a crop, or a 90-400 on a full-frame. I didn't have the bucks for the 100-300 when I went looking, and all I wanted was a zoo lens, since the G3's AF isn't up to tracking birds in flight for my skill level. :)
  4. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    If I had the rangfinder styled body, I would consider a handle mounted flash. Metz or Sunpak (quantam if you got the dough), Lots of power, less obstrusive, and not right on top of the lens. And when you get a tele try out a better beemer flash x-tender, I used it with a 500mm cat lens to good effect paired to a nissin with ttl.
  5. redalien

    redalien Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    I just picked up a Metz 44 not long ago and i am very happy with it. Works really nice with my G5.

    Here is a shot from a couple of weeks ago. The restaurant was dim, no windows, inside a mall, the ceiling had all sort of vent tubes and pipes, uneven and not even sure what color. Despite the less then ideal conditions my Metz 44 flash worked like a charm (bounced 45 degrees up behind me, nearest wall/ceiling was about 10 feet away), now if only I could get my son to chew with his mouth closed :)


    Edit, if your budget allows to get a FL600 then maybe you should get the Metz 52, or if you have the means I think getting the best from Metz will serve you right, I think its the Metz 58af.
  6. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Thanks for the input.

    Nope, don't really want the 45-200.
  7. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012

    Very interesting suggestion, I'd not thought about a handle mounted flash...I'll have to give this some consideration.

    I assume the best/proper way to use one of these would be to have it on a mount that the camera was also on? If so, that may dictate using it one body and changing the lenses more than changing the flash to the cameras, but maybe that’s not a big deal. I know about zero about handle mounted flashes.
  8. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    That's great and fun picture of your son.

    Thanks for the Metz suggestions. I did shop the specs of the Metz 58AF-2 a little last night. The range/power seems good, just need to decide if I want it $100 more.
  9. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    Typicly they'd mount to a bracket that attatches to a tripod mount. GN's in excess of 100 can be expected, usually the baby ones are aound GN60. Some have their own ttl, with measurements made from the flash unit. They got the power. Quantums... they'r their own little beasts, they are more powerful then some low end monolights, and not much smaller.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The FL-600R is the Olympus equivalent to the Canon 430EXII. Or you could say the Canon 430 is Canon's copy of the Oly FL-36R which the FL-600R replaced.

    It sounds like the FL-600R should suit your purposes just fine. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    That is a helpful comparison Ned, its easy to compare to something I already know. FL-600R continues to look good.
  12. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I have the Metz 50-AF1 (since replaced by the Metz 52). I don't have any shots of it on my GX1 but I do on my G1. Since the GX1 is smaller it looks even sillier ;)

    But it works well.


    Put a diffuser on it and it looks like you came armed for bear ... :eek:

  13. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Whoa, look at that setup! :smile:

    I was thinking I might buy a flash before leaving town this week but I've run out of time to buy anything, so I will ponder the options a few weeks longer.
  14. josh

    josh Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    i personally think you're asking for flash advice on the wrong site. I would read through this Strobist: Lighting 101 before making any decisions. It's a very quick read and extremely informative.

    after spending a little time reading that site, i ended up doing a lot with a vivitar flash from the 80s that cost me next to nothing. as long as you have control over the power and zoom and the flash won't fry your camera, you are good to go. i had a metz 36 made for m43 that didn't have power control, used it for about a week before selling it and sticking with the vivitar. eventually when i wanted a two flash set up, i got some cactus radio triggers and a lumopro lp160, a little big, but you don't care about that.
  15. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Helpful and interesting input Josh.

    I've yet to buy any lighting, I took my trip and shot many good pics with my GX1s, almost all of them with the light available (as I prefer). Though sometimes I want/need flash, particularly fill light.

    I'll try to make time to check out the link you shared.

  16. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    This is just me, but I think entirely too many people jump directly to the Strobist without taking the intermediate steps of learning on-camera flash and bouncing.

    Yes, the Strobist way of doing things is low-cost and ultra-cool and the bees' knees, etc. etc. We all love off-camera flash. And with m4/3, it may be worthwhile skipping the intermediate steps, given how unwieldy a full-sized flash on a small mirrorless compact can be. But.

    Strobist means you're going to be ditching TTL and all the inherited goodies that includes, like 2nd curtain sync, high-speed sync, and remote commanding. The Strobist way of doing things requires a lot of extra equipment, not just a flash (lightstands, triggers, and swivels being the bare minimum for many of us). You typically end up with a second bag of gear, and your setups take additional time and effort. And, well, frankly, having manual-only flash sucks for run'n'gun event shooting--like chasing after the kids.

    There are reasons for pop-up flashes and why speedlights have a foot that goes on a hotshoe.

    To me, if you really want to get started with flash, the sequence goes: 1) get really comfortable shooting in M mode on the camera. If you haven't mastered ambient and the "exposure triangle", mastering flash+ambient will get that much harder. 2) learn on-camera flash, TTL, and bouncing. The Strobist assumes you already know all this, and are chafing at the limitations imposed by on-camera flash and are willing to ditch the extra TTL goodies for lower-cost all-manual gear. 3) When bouncing won't cut it any more and you can fly without TTL, that's when you go for off-camera flash and the Strobist.

    Just me. But you should know what you're giving up when you go the manual-only off-camera route. Given that many of us went to mirrorless for a smaller gear bag and convenience, off-camera flash may be more of a PITA than you want to deal with, and on-camera may give you just enough light to work well.

    Not saying there aren't tremendous rewards for going with off-camera flash. Just saying, it's not the only way to play with light, and not necessarily the best in all situations.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Valid points. I've not read the "Strobist" recommendation/page and my intention is to stay relatively compact and mobile with my m4/3 kit. I use very little flash/auxiliary lighting and losing TTL and adding other equipment and complexity is not what I'm looking for.
  18. rhoydotp

    rhoydotp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Toronto, Ont
    learning proper exposure with flash, in general, is definitely something that has to be learned first before venturing into complex light setup.

    this is a little bit extreme but I guess eventually go to this point.
  19. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    A modest length TTL cable lets you get that off camera look with on camera TTL as a middle ground between on-cam flash and strobist wireless mania. I like ~3m uncoiled cables but even a 1m uncoiled is handy. Way more bounce options at the end of a cable!
  20. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    That's a good suggestion. A short cable and a good bracket for my GX1 (if available) could be a good setup for one of my bodies when flash work is needed.
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