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I want to get into high speed photography. Need help finding a flash.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by colbycheese, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    So i have decided that i want to get into high speed photography, and a flash is obviously essential. I didnt want to spend more than 150 but i am not sure what i would be able to get that cheap. The camera i would be using this flash with would be my E-M10. I also heard that the em10 can trigger a flash not connected to the camera via the inbuilt flash. Does anyone know how i could find out if this would work. Also i am not too sure about compatibility, but are flashes pretty universal in terms of compatibility? What affordable brands out there are any good? Thank you
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Someone is selling an FL-36R for under $100 in the for sale forum today. That would be a nice flash for the money that also works off camera with wireless E-TTL.
     
  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Manual flash is pretty universal, you just have to watch out for proprietary mounts like the old Sony/Minolta shoe, or old flashes which have too high a trigger voltage. The ones with optical triggers will all also work as a slave from your popup flash.

    It's TTL (and remote TTL) where it becomes incompatible, you have to pick one of the right system.
     
  4. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    You probably want to go for a higher power flash which has lower duration settings, I personally use Metz AF58 1/2's which are 1/58'000th of a second minimum duration.

    The lowest duration I can remember is the Nikor SB 900 which can go as low as 1/87,000th of a second (I *think*). You're basically at the limits of Xenon flash at this point as the duration of the flash is actually limited by the gas used, if you need faster you're better off using an air gap flash instead.

    Although I may be thinking of the wrong thing when I think of high speed :)
     
  5. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    I was looking at a few. One that i found out that shold work with the OMD line is this one
    http://www.amazon.ca/Yongnuo-Speedl...e=UTF8&qid=1435342821&sr=1-1&keywords=yongnuo

    The price seems reasonable but i am not really sure if this is a good brand or not. If not this one, i think i might get the Olympus FL300R since it is designed for micro four thirds and will for sure work. I can grab that Yongnuo one cheaper but i just need someone to tell me if i can trigger it with the E-M10 on board flash
     
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have YN560-IIIs. Optical triggering will work.
     
  7. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    564
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    I am not sure what you mean by “high speed photography” but have you Googled some sites dedicated to that type of photography to see what equipment they are using and the setup requirements. I know there are several You Tube video’s demonstrating the setups used to taking some high speed captures but as I recall they are using way advanced electronic trigger equipment.
     
  8. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    So, nothing extra i need to buy to use this flash off camera triggered from on board flash?
     
  9. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    saw a video on high speed photography on the cheap. Thought it would be something fun to get into. If i lose interest having a flash around is still not a bad idea.
     
  10. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes. Put your pop up flash into manual mode (no TTL, no RC), set your camera to M as well, put the YN560 in S1 (dumb optical slave) mode and experiment.

    BUT

    Any sort of remote triggering will add small timing delays for firing. There will be finite time between the onboard flash firing, and the remote optical slave firing. This is not ideal for high speed photography, where you want as short a combined flash duration as possible. You might be able to negate the effect of the onboard flash somewhat by dialling down the power or deflecting it away from the subject, but it's not ideal.

    Depending on the subject and environment, it might be easier to just use the external flash as your shutter, and not worry about syncing at all. If you can make sure the room is dark enough, just set your camera to a long shutter speed (while still grossly underexposing everything with ambient light), and rely on firing the flash as your shutter and primary light source You can do this using a clever trigger for the flash (like a TriggerTrap) or using the manual test fire button on the flash.

    See an examples here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYF2uMtYcs-l6FVCsd6iamIlsQFSNID2f
     
  11. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    alright this is helpful info. Thanks
     
  12. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you want "high speed flash", to me that sounds like you want fast shutter speeds (i.e. faster than 1/250 sec). The way that the camera is designed is to use FP TTL flash mode with an external flash & also with compatible wireless (RC coded light triggered) flashes. The FL36R will do that that but is a little slow for recharge times between flashes. The FL50R uses 4 batteries which has a faster recharge time, is more powerful & can do FP TTL flash on & off the camera (using RC mode with the camera's pop-up flash as a controller). I think the Metz AF58 flash maybe OK for this (but not sure), but I don't think the Yongnuo flashes will (because the camera won't fire a standard inbuilt flash faster than the specified standard speed of 1/250 sec.).
     
  13. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    For high speed, normal flash is typically used, not FP flash. FP flash extends the lighting duration for the whole shutter speed (effectively turning it into a constant light), making it rather difficult to freeze motion unless you use a REALLY high shutter speed (then you need to consider whether you will have enough light to expose properly).

    Normal pulses from IGBT hot shoe flashes, however, are very short. Most full sized units at 1/16 power have pulse durations of about 1/8000s. 1/16 is still a lot of light on a GN58 unit like the YN560 btw. See some real world measurements here: http://gock.net/2012/01/flash-durations-small-strobes/
     
  14. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Example water drop shot that I just did - camera set to ISO200 at maximum flash sync speed of 1/320s. Lens was at f/18 to get some macro DoF. YN560-III on the hot shoe (I was lazy), set to 1/128 power (theoretically shorter than 1/20000s duration).

    This is pretty fast, and is about the limit of standard camera/flash equipment - you can start to see some motion blur in the really high speed bounce splash around the impact area for instance. Freezing stuff moving at more human speeds is a lot easier. Freezing stuff that goes any faster will require some pretty expensive equipment...
    D6270744e.JPG
     
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  15. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    OK, thanks for that.
     
  16. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I found the hardest part for water is lighting it so that you don't get specular highlights, even when putting objects into water using a slingshot apparatus motion blur was almost never a problem (although with metal slugs penetrating through the water and the wall of the containment vessel ... was).

    I found the limit of xenon flash is a balloon popping, the initial movement is well past the speed of sound (hence the sonic boom heard). These shots are about 1/60,000th of a second.
    bal2.
    If you time it so that the flash goes off shortly after the balloon has popped and the fastest movement is over however xenon flash can *just* capture it with some slight movement blur.
    bal1.
    Notice the shadow of the microphone, this was a test shot for positioning. The distance from microphone to balloon changed the duration between balloon popping and microphone hearing the sound, further away allows for more time between balloon being hit and flash triggering (you need to make sure the flash it setup to only fire once as the sound will echo off the walls of the room and trigger it more than once).
     
  17. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    Now I am slightly confused. If the max sync speed of the flash is say 1/250s does that mean fast action will cause blur? Or does the flash act as your shutter speed? Considering the fact that a flash goes off for a very short duration I think this makes sense. If this is the case could I pick up a fl300r for high speed photography? EDIT: i looked at the specs of the fl300r, and it says the flash duration is 1/500 - 1/20000 sec. Does this i would treat this as my shutter speed or how exactly does this work
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2015
  18. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It will blur if you mix ambient light with the flash. If the flash is effectively lighting the whole scene, then yes, the flash duration is acting like your shutter speed.

    The only real concern here is the duration of the flash pulse. The motivation for a larger flash is to dial down the power to shorten the pulse, while maintaining decent power. With a small flash, you're not left with much if you dial it down.
     
  19. colbycheese

    colbycheese Mu-43 Veteran

    378
    May 1, 2012
    Way up there.
    alright. Would you recommend the yn560? I can pick it up for around 80 bucks on amazon. I am wondering if its worth it. I was thinking either the yn-560 or the fl-300r
     
  20. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Totally different use cases IMO. For your intended application, I'd say go for a YN. The YNs are great for controlled off camera use with modifiers, but too big and heavy for casual use (or on camera). For dedicated shoots I use the YNs every time, but for casual carry around stuff I use a smaller TTL Nissin i40.

    The FL-300R is low power, doesn't zoom, doesn't swivel, is slow to recycle... but good for carry around use I suppose. I'd rather get a used FL-36R in that case though as it swivels, zooms, and has FP mode.

    Some idea of power though, full zoom ISO100 GN in m, and in parenthesis, zoomed to 14mm for m4/3:
    YN560 - GN 58 (30)
    Nissin i40 - GN 40 (25)
    FL-36R/FL-600R - GN 36 (22)
    FL-300R - GN (14) (fixed no zoom)
    E-M10 - GN (5.8) (fixed no zoom)