Flash sync speed and off camera manual flash

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by sokar, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    I am hopeful the more experienced here can provide some information regarding off camera flash and the shutter sync speed. I have searched the net and cannot locate a definite answer on this.

    I currently own an EPM1, EP1 and FL36R flash. I wish to experiment with using the flash off the camera in manual mode. I am about to purchase a radio trigger set up so that the flash can be used with either camera, and possibly a 2nd flash unit can be used in certain situations. Following previous advice here, I believe that would be the most practical set up.

    My questions are;

    1. Does the shutter sync speed apply when using a flash unit off camera in manual mode?

    2. If I was to purchase a 2nd flash unit for manual mode off camera use, are any members aware of any of the Chinese items currently on Ebay that are reliable and have a reasonable lifespan and build quality. Worst case I cold purchase another FL36R, but that would be a little excessive for the use it would get.

    3. With regards to radio flash triggers, is there any method of triggering an off camera flash whilst having the VF3 attached to the EPM1? I highly doubt this, but thought it was worth asking? It would be of great benefit on a sunny day when the LCD is hard to view fully.

    Any advice / information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I don't own an ePEN, but for Panasonics the sync speed applied to manual flashes (which is what I use).
  3. wiley

    wiley Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 21, 2012
    Washington, DC
    My 2 cents: Your sync speed will apply to manual flashes (on or off the camera). In fact, with some cameras, you'll find the stated sync speed to be a bit optimistic by maybe a stop (you'll just have to experiment. If you're looking for non-dedicated flash guns for wirelessly-triggered manual setups, look at the Vivitar 285HV (the replacement for the long-running 283). These are very popular among strobists. Last, I don't think it's possible to both trigger a remote flash with a radio slave and have a camera-mounted unit, unless your body has an x-sync terminal (which I don't think it does).
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  4. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    You can with an optical slave.
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  5. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    1. Yes. You mayeven need to go a bit lower because of the delay introduced by the radio trigger.

    2. The Yohongu (spelling??) flashes are quite well regarded. Personally I just use Metz guns because theyre bomb proof. However, since you have to factor in a radio trigger, it may be worth just getting either another FL36R or a Metz and using the accessory flash as a controller. Probably not any more expensive. Anfpd yougetwireless TTL as well as manual.

    3. Unfortunately no. But you can get a LCD hood for use on bright days. Also get a 3 stp ND filter unless you like shooting at f16 with flash.


    p.s. Appologies for the typing errors. Im stick uing thishorrible android thing after i dopped my ipad yeterday.
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  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    1. Yes. The X-Sync for both your bodies is 1/180s. If you use 1/3 shutter stops, then your closest would be 1/160s. If you use 1/2 stops, then you can get to 1/180s exactly. Any faster and you may see the second curtain closing across your image (the faster you go past X-Sync, the more pronounced it will be).

    2. Yongnuo is the correct spelling for the one Gordon mentioned. :) I would suggest it as well. You can also get Yongnuo radio triggers, which although cheaply built are very reliable.

    3. Nope. On both your cameras you can only use one or the other. The E-PL1, E-PL2, and E-P3 on the other hand, allow for simultaneous use of EVF and flash by using the optical wireless sensor of your FL-36R. This can be triggered in RC mode with full control of the flash from your camera, or as a dumb slave with flash control on the flash unit itself. Using an optical eye, you can also trigger other flash units this way as dumb slaves, besides an R-Series Olympus flash.

    In most situations you should be able to get away with one or the other. Indoors when flash is really necessary, you should be able to see the LCD just fine. In bright light, you can probably get away with just the EVF. If you're trying to even out the shadows in bright sunlight with flash, then you can still use Autofocus.
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  7. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    I was pleasantly surprised when found out that Olympus Pens can actually sync at up to 1/320! At least my E-P2 does, and I've read then that E-PLx (1 or 2) is also capable of similar speeds. Just try it, I guess it's the same for all Pens. I use Yongnuo 560 (but there's newer mark ii version now, get the new one instead).

    By the way, it's really important to get decent triggers, cause while I get clear shots @ 1/320 all the time with the flash installed in the camera's hotshoe, I can only go up to 1/200 with cheap Yongnuo triggers (PT04CN or something). I'm fine with 1/200, but probably upgrade to Cactus V5 later cause they can work at higher speeds and that may result in sharper images when shooting with longer lenses. For someone who doesn't yet have triggers at all, I'd suggest just getting Cactus V5 in the first place, they're supposed to be the fastest of all those cheap (non-PocketWizard) options.
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  8. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    My E-P2 also syncs at 1/320, but only with non-dedicated flashes like the Nikon SB-26 & SB-800. When using the FL-36R, the flash & camera communicate with each other and the top shutter speed is 1/180.
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  9. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    Thank you to all for the information. I own a hood loupe and have a magnetic attachment for the rear of the EP1, so this may be a good option for shooting in bright daylight.

    I will research the flash and trigger recommendations now and purchase in the near future.

    Thanks again to all.