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Help with fill flash EP-3 and FL-300

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Kevmaughan, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Kevmaughan

    Kevmaughan Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 26, 2011
    I tried using some fill flash outside for the first time this weekend and ran into some difficulty. Normally I use my 7D with the 580EXII, which is a very versatile flash system regardless of available light. Apparently the little FL-300 can't handle the higher shutter speeds of outdoor fill flash. The EP-3 maxed out at 1/180th and I couldn't find any work around except for stopping the lens down which is no good for portraits. Is there any in-camera settings on the EP-3 that I'm overlooking or is my only recourse to use a heavy ND filter for sunny portraits? (and no, I have no interest in buying a big Oly flash as it defeats the compact m4/3 setup). Just wondering if I might be missing something here...
     
  2. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    You need the bigger flashes like the Olympus FL36 to do FP mode.

    1/180 isn't the highest the camera can sync at. You can sync at 1/320 if you trick your camera into thinking the flash is a purely manual one.

    Tape the TTL pins, to trick your camera intp manual flash, otherwise, you'll have to use ND filters.

    The Sony nex is even slower at 1/160.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The comparable Four-Thirds flash to the Canon 580EXII is the Olympus FL-50R. It will do FP sync, as Songs says. The OM-D E-M5 will do 1/250s X-Sync without resorting to FP, just like the Olympus E-5.
     
  4. Kevmaughan

    Kevmaughan Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 26, 2011
    I've been looking into the OM-D but the 1/250s won't really help on a sunny day. Looks like an ND filter will be my best option. Has anyone tried using a 580EXII with the EP-3? I know that I would have to use a manual flash exposure, but can it even be done? I know that flash voltage varies and I would want to fry the camera or the flash.
     
  5. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Keep in mind that with any high-speed sync mode, your flash's working distance drops exponentially as you increase the shutter speed over the sync speed. Since the 580EX is so large, you may not have noticed it, but if you are willing to drop your shutter speed in other ways, you can preserve the guide number of your flash. Drop your ISO to the base ISO (200 in the case of E-P3), and consider using either a polarizer or an ND filter. This will start to give you reasonable shutter speeds for flash photography outdoors.
     
  6. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    It'll be fine, Canons use 6 volt triggers, so it'll be safe. Just cover all the pins except the center.

    You won't be getting FP flash. So you're max sync will be something a bit higher than 1/180 but less than what you would get with your canon combination.

    I get 1/320 with a SB 700 and a Olympus PL1.

    I would also try using the Olympus FL300 in off camera mode. You can get the flash closer to the subject, so you won't have to have use a more powerful flash when using ND filters.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would just pick up a flash bracket and shoot with a PC-Sync cable. That will reduce everything down to the one trigger contact. Or you could pick up a hotshoe adapter with a live hotshoe at the top (Wein and many others make them) which will also reduce to 1 contact, but I prefer the flash bracket and PC Sync on a flash as large as the 580EXII (or Olympus FL-50R) as it just makes holding them more comfortable...

    Here's a PEN with the FL-36R, which is about the size of a 430EXII (like half the size of the FL-50R or 580EXII)...

    flash_bracket_web.
     
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    At that size, the OP isn't gaining anything over just grabbing his 7D!
     
  9. Kevmaughan

    Kevmaughan Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Dec 26, 2011
    Exactly! I really appreciate the suggestions however I'm trying to go on outings with the family without hauling 20 pounds of Canon gear. I love that I can fit a body and a bunch of primes in a small shoulder bag while getting excellent quality shots. You just can't appreciate the difference until you've marched around with a 85mm attached to a 7D bearing a 580EX hanging on your neck The MFT setup is going to keep my spine from reverting to caveman posture!

    I have several ND filters on the way so I hope me and the little Oly flash can get along.
     
  10. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    You may want to consider the FL-600R. Still relatively small, but supports high speed sync.