m4/3 TTL flash with power pack option?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jloden, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I was trying to research this earlier today and thought I'd ask here for further advice/opinions. I'm looking for a m4/3 TTL compatible flash that accepts an external power pack (probably goes without saying but it also needs to tilt/swivel for bounce flash). It looks like the Olympus FL50R might be the only "native" flash unit that fits the bill, unless I missed one?

    So twofold question: does anyone have any experience/feedback on the FL50 they can offer? Secondarily, I'm also interested in any third party alternatives anyone can recommend... maybe a Metz unit?

    Thanks in advance :smile:
     
  2. CaptZoom

    CaptZoom Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Apr 11, 2013
    Quantum was working in a TTL system for Olympus. I'm not sure if they actually released it, but it might be worth your time to check them out.
     
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  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Metz 58 AF2.

    Gordon
     
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  4. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    May 28, 2011
    I have two FL50R and they work well. However, I have a Panasonic body and like to use the flash off-camera, so they're usually in manual mode. Unfortunately, I've never used either with an external battery pack.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks Gordon, that does look like a good option.

    I can't find any info on the battery pack, does this require a specific brand power pack from Metz or something? It looks like a different connector than I've used on my other (Yongnuo) flashes.
     
  6. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Back in the 80's the original Quantum battery worked with any flash by fitting fake batteries in the battery compartment. I used it in both Olympus T32’s and Vivitar 283's. You needed to cut a slot in the battery compartment door for the wire so if you're squeamish about modifying things it's not a good solution.

    Fred
     
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    There are fundamentally two types of external battery types: low voltage and high voltage. Low voltage packs supply the same voltage as the internal batteries. High voltage packs contain a low voltage battery and circuitry that raises the voltage up to around 300v.

    The significance of the difference is based on how a flash works. Flash tubes take a high voltage to fire. A capacitor is charged up to the required voltage and when has to fire, the circuit between the capacitor and tube is completed. A critical thing about capacitors is that they appear as a dead short at the beginning of being charged. They will draw as much current as power source can provide. Circuitry inside a flash raises the battery voltage up to the required voltage and is designed to handle the current supplied by small batteries. A low voltage, high current, external battery pack makes it easy to overheat the step-up voltage circuitry when the flash is fired multiple times in rapid succession.

    High voltage packs can charge up the flash capacitor directly (that's why the flash will have a dedicated connector for the pack). The step-up circuitry in the pack is designed for high current and won't overheat. Note: with a high voltage pack, the flash capacitor will charge much faster and the flash will be able to be fired repeatedly at full power fast enough to wreck the flash tube.
     
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  8. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yeah I'm just looking at the low voltage ones that take extra AA batteries and allow you to cut recycle times. Not looking for the mega battery packs that you wear on a belt that can fry your flash :tongue:
     
  9. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    You did read the part where I said the high current, low voltage battery packs can do more damage to a flash than the high voltage ones, right?
     
  10. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Read it backwards obviously, but the point remains the same.

    I'm just looking at the AA battery packs like the ones I have for my Yongnuo flash units. Not talking about the large belt-worn battery packs that are likely to burn out a flash unit. In any case... not to worry, I'm aware that there's no free lunch and cutting recycle times also means increasing the risk of overheating the flash if you don't let it cool between bursts.