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Lazy flash question: can you control on cam flash and remote flash on EP3

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by WT21, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I've got an EP3 with a pop-up flash.

    I've got an FL-300R and am getting an FL-600R for my birthday.

    Can I set the strength of the remote flash independently from my on-board or pop-up flash?

    I'd like to really weaken the pop-up flash so that it is only adding a weak fill, while have the remote flash trigger more strongly. Can I do that, and is it different whether using the 300 or 600?

    Thanks. I'm still a newbie with Flash, but am trying to learn.
  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Bump for help
  3. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    I am guessing that Ned would be an expert on this subject. I use the EPM1 and Fl36R, both off an on camera. The clip on flash uses minimal power to trigger the radio flash, and there is little or no lighting effect from the clip on unit. The different levels of trigger light (low, medium, high) are for transmitting sufficient signal to the radio flash. I have found that low is sufficient the large majority of times.

    The off camera flash unit can be adjusted through the RC menus on the camera. Once the RC mode is turned on and the flash is set to the correct mode, either TTL or manual settings can be applied and adjusted via the menus in the camera.

    Hope this is of some assistance.
  4. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Bill, I've done something like this, but not exactly as you describe it :biggrin: (see below). Your best bet for this would be to use the two flashes together in semi-strobist mode: :eek: 

    1 - set your camera's exposure mode to Manual and your shutter to one setting less than the maximum flash-synch speed. (Example: if your camera synchs at 1/160 max, set the shutter to 1/125.);

    2 - set your camera flash exposure setting to TTL;

    3 - adjust the on-camera flash to deliver whatever proportion of light you want as your main light (based on the f-stop=GN/distance formula);

    4 - set the off-camera flash to "slave" mode (NOT remote mode); i.e., it fires when it sees the main flash fire but its output is not controlled by the main flash.

    5 - set the off-camera flash to deliver the amount of light you would like to see from it, in proportion to the main light (i.e. 1-stop less, 1-1/2 stop less, etc.);

    6 - pose your subject, focus and shoot a test shot.

    The above should get you in the ballpark, but you may have to adjust your aperture or off-camera flash-balance/distance to create exactly the effect you want to achieve.

    This should work, although I've not tested it precisely this way (using pop-up). I hate the way pop-up flash looks (even with supplemental off-camera flash), so never use it except occasionally in RC mode. Instead, I usually use my FL-36 on-camera in this manner to provide main light, with fill-in from a Metz 50 or LumoPro 160 which is mounted off-camera and fires through through a softbox.

    Once you've done this a few times, it becomes almost second-nature to dial in the correct output from your off-camera flash to achieve whatever effect you're after.

    Have fun!

    EDIT: a few hours after posting the above:

    Just a quick follow-up, Bill...

    To clarify the above, I never use on-camera flash pointed directly at the subject. It's always bounced from wall or ceiling (or some other reflector) using the "black-foamy-thing" trick.

    Also, I just tried it with the add-on mini-flash of my E-PM1 and don't much like the results. Doesn't seem to have enough output for a main light, but it can soften shadows a bit if your off-camera flash is the main light and on-camera is the fill. Problem still remains that, when pointed directly, the on-camera light is too harsh for my taste unless you shoot through a modifier (or bounce). The E-PM1's mini flash (and almost any pop-up) doesn't seem to have enough output for that unless you crank up the camera's ISO which I refuse to do when shooting flash (always shoot at ISO 200 or 400 with flash).

    Tell ya one thing, though... it was fun to experiment!
    • Like Like x 2
  5. ante

    ante Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2012
    Would you mind explaining what you mean by that ("black-foamy-thing" trick)? Show a picture of the setup? I want to learn new tricks.
  6. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    The "black foamy thing" is a modifier popularized by Neil VanNiekerk. You can see it and learn how to make and use it on his blog ...

    Have fun shooting! :2thumbs:
    • Like Like x 3
  7. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Many thanks! That's a great blog to read as I've just started using my first flash :) 
  8. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2012
    The answer is YES for both FL-300r and FL-600r. You have to put your camera in RC mode, then customize the flash power output from the subsequent menu that appears on the display. You can assign any of the TWO channels (A, B) to the FL-300r and control the flash output power. You can assign any of the THREE channels (A, B and C) to the FL-600r and do the same. Channels are designed to give you different power control output to different (groups of) flashes for creative lighting (i.e. key + fill + hair lights controlled independently).

    NOTE that you have to use your E-P3 camera flash as a commander for the FL-300r. The control signal is sent from the camera via the pop-up flash and depending on your settings and angle, sometimes this may interfere with the picture. Obviously, remote control being done via the camera flash, line of sight is required.

    AMA. I'm a flash guy.
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