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Help me with use of flash & adapted lenses

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by silver92b, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi everybody, I don't know if this is the right place to ask for this help, but here it goes.
    I purchased the FL-600R flash and I don't know how to use it in my particular application. I like to try some macro photography and I recently got a Canon 50mm f3.5 macro lens. I would like to use the FL-600R to get better shots and fire it from the signal of the little flash which came with the OM-D camera.

    I understand this is possible at least with the native lenses although I have not tried it with them yet. When I try to use the flash with the Canon lens, nothing happens. The little flash in the hot shoe does not fire and neither does the FL;600R. I tried just using the small flash unit, but that did not work either.

    Obviously, I don't know what to do to make this work. Can anyone help me with some instructions? I would certainly appreciate it. :biggrin:
     
  2. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    The lens used has nothing to do with it.
    You have two options to trigger the off camera FL-600R from the on camera flash, slave and RC.
    Slave mode is simpler, but more limited. The second flash fires when it sees the first flash go off. The camera can only control the on camera flash in this mode, so the off camera flash would either have to be used in manual mode, adjusting its power output directly on the flash or in auto mode using its own sensor to judge exposure. You would either set the guide number or f-stop on the flash.
    In RC mode a lot more is happening. The camera first does a preflash which triggers a preflash in the off camera flash. The light from that flash is measured by the camera and it then calculates the power level needed for the actual exposure as set in the camera. This information is then communicated to the external flash using a second flash sequence that triggers the actual exposure flash.
    You first have to enable RC mode in shooting menu 2.
    After that you have three flash groups plus on camera flash that can be controlled independently.
    It's really quite powerful, but needs a bit of studying to make use of.

    The FL-600R needs to be configured to tell it which mode it is supposed to operate in. The LED is flashing when it's in RC mode...
    Rudy
     
  3. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks Rudy. What I am a bit confused about is the RC vs the flash slave. I've looked around and read some blogs and looked at some Youtube videos. So far what I have understood is that the off camera flash must be in line of sight of the on camera flash unit or it wont work. The RC feature is not clear. Some people suggest that the OM-D and the FL-600R do not offer this feature... Since I need the flash for macro work, the flash unit on the camera is not at all in line of sight with the FL-600r which would be actually behind it to one side or the other...

    I have some problems with understanding manuals and so forth. It's a bit difficult for me to learn from the manuals. The videos or direct replies to my questions seem to help me a lot. It seems that I have failed to properly set up the flash and/or the camera... I will keep trying until I figure it out :biggrin:
     
  4. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    449
    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    In RC mode the camera "talks" to the flash via data encoded in a preflash.
    Therefore the flash has to be able to "see" this preflash that is coming from the camera flash. Since the OM-D does not have a built-in flash you will have to put one in the hot shoe and it has to be able to act as a RC commander. The little one that comes with the OM-D can do this. The second flash also has to be compatible with RC mode and set up as such. All Olympus flash units ending in an "R" are RC compatible. It does not have to be strictly line of sight, but some percentage of the on camera flash light has to reach the sensor on the slave for this to work.

    Slave mode is much simpler. A slave flash simply fires when it sees a flash happening. The flash needs to be set up as such and the amount of light it puts out is determined by the flash setting, manual or automatic. In manual it simply puts out the fraction of power it is set to. In automatic mode it measures the light from its vantage point and stops when the set exposure is met. This might or might not be what the camera considers a correct exposure. Another caveat with slave mode is that any flash will trigger the slave. So if there are others taking pictures with a flash the slave will fire.
    They are effectively borrowing your flash and in most cases this will mess up their pictures and drain your batteries...

    If you are mostly interested in macro work, then I would suggest you forget about the remote stuff and get a hot shoe extender cord instead. Then run the FL600R off-camera corded from the hot shoe.
    You can get either Olympus or Canon compatible cords which you can get for less than $20. You won't need any remote control and can use full TTL automatic with complete control from the OM-D. You won't need to change any settings on the flash at all as it will be directly controlled from the camera.

    Rudy