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My first Flash ???

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by PantelisMor, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    282
    Jan 14, 2013
    Good evening,

    I am thinking to buy a flash in order to improve my portraits ... What is the best option ?? I am not a pro....

    Plz your advices
     
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Are you aiming for mostly on run-and-gun and bounce flash on hot shoe/bracket or more controlled off camera?
     
  3. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    360
    Nov 11, 2014
    Stuttgart
    Johannes
    1. Do not use a flash on camera.
    2. I do recommand Yongnuo 560EXIII: They are cheap and pretty robust.
    3. Use wireless controllers like the Yongnuo 560TX (It controls the 560EXIII and IV)
    4. Buy a reasonably priced light meter: the yongnuos are manual, but easy to use with the controler.
    Maybe 2 nightstands and 2 umbrellas... And you are fine...

    p1632455878-5.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  4. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Some reviews to help you along the way....

    Yongnuo YN560-IV
    Yongnuo YN560-III
    Yongnuo YN560 Transmitter
    Nissin i40 (the one I carry with me the most)

    The Yongnuo flashes are strictly manual. You have to know what you want out of them and set them up.

    The Nissin i40 includes some automatics but very easy access to flash compensation (increasing / decreasing the brightness) via an easy to use rear dial.

    Others to look at are Lumix, Olympus and Metz.
     
  5. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
  6. Timmy

    Timmy Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Dec 3, 2013
    Wiltshire - UK
    +1 for the Yongnuo 560 flash & 560TX transmitter. I got these to learn off-camera flash and improve my portraits.
    Very low cost, wireless, and has proved reliable. Obviously no TTL but that's no bad thing.
     
  7. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    For what camera and use?
     
  8. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    232
    Jun 9, 2015
    Midwest
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Recommendations are coming thick & fast, but it would be better to know it's intended use (studio or otherwise) & camera outfit to use it with.
     
  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Since you are talking about portraits, I would start with a single hotshoe flash, one umbrella with a removable back so you can shoot either reflective or shoot through, one stand, and then the little adjustable angle holder to hold the umbrella & flash and mount to the stand. If you get an Olympus compatible TTL flash that supports Oly's remote mode then you are all set. If you get one that does not, then you need to pick up a cheap radio trigger setup to be able to fire the flash without it being attached to the camera.

    Things to look for: I prefer a slightly larger umbrella around 40". Get a light stand that is at least 7-foot tall fully extended as often you want to have your light a bit above your model and a 6' or shorter one won't work unless you put it up on something (easier said than done if you are, for example, in a park), and something (small sand bag) to weigh down the bottom of the stand so the umbrella doesn't catch the wind and fall over if you work alone (no assistant to hold the light stand).

    In US dollars, about $15 for the umbrella, $20 for the light stand, umbrella holder is only a few dollars, and then whatever flash you decide to go with (add $20 if you need cheap radio triggers for a non Oly remote capable flash).

    This is a fully portable battery operated system that can be used anywhere. If you shoot more of your portraits in a studio setting and can plug in then you might consider cheaper monolights instead of hotshoe flashes.
     
  11. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    764
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I will add that a lot of books, websites, and forum people often jump in with elaborate setups of multiple lights, umbrellas, softboxes, reflectors, "flags", backdrops, etc. etc. etc. But it is hard to jump in even with something as simply as a two light setup with an umbrella and a softbox, let alone 3+ lights and all the accessories. Which is why I recommend if you are coming from not using anything, start with ONE light and work from there. Once you have mastered how to use a single off camera flash effectively THEN you can start adding on to your kit.

    As to all the flash options people have been giving, I am sure they are all fine but the actual flash itself doesn't really matter all that much (for the most part most flashes if they put out enough light will work equally well once you know how to use them) if you don't know how to use it well. A $60 basic flash will likely give you as effective a light source as a $400+ Olympus TTL flash assuming you are looking for something to just give you some "ommmph!" to your portrait shots, a little fill, a little texture, etc.
     
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  12. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    282
    Jan 14, 2013
    I read your posts guys. For now i will not use it in studio though i would like to create a studio for me.. These Yongnuo 560 can i stick to my omd or these works with transmitter ?? Also what is your opinion about a used olympus fl50 ??
     
  13. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    Screw the Yong things .... Get a used FL36R or FL50R .... you can get inexpensive TTL cables that let you take them off camera .... they will hold their value too :)
     
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  14. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    If the used FL50R is in good shape, I'd say that is your best option. The Olympus flashes work seamlessly with the EM1 TTL system and the 50 has power to spare.
     
  15. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I use both the FL50R (& FL50) & FL36R flashes all the time, the latter with after market diffuser caps like the standard one that comes with the FL50R flash. They are great for bounce flashing, the FL36R for house use (with a white ceiling) & the FL50R for larger venues (but must be a plain white surface to bounce the flash though).
     
  16. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Yes to both on the Yongnuo...

    Note the fl50R should be the one with remote capabilities, iirc.
     
  17. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    You can buy a pair of radio transmitter to use remotely any flash (in manual flash mode). Or you can use simple "audio cable" with adapters to move the flash off camera.
    Some flashes have a native wireless communication, in this way you can use TTL or control the flash power from the camera instead of from the flash.

    Probably the best thing is to buy ANY cheap full size flash, even a used one for a few bucks, and start to practice with what you can find on the Strobist site. You use it in Manual mode, no fancy things, but it is probably the best way to learn anyway. With a simple cable.
    If you want something more look for one that can act as an optical slave so this flash can become your second flash as soon as you find the need for a better one. By then you should have a better idea of what you need and this can even save you some money.
     
  18. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Many of the Yongnuo have radios built-in.

    Barry
     
  19. ChrisN

    ChrisN Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Jul 13, 2015
    If you want an inexpensive TTL flash, you might want to check out the Promaster 7500EDF flash. I don't know how well it compares to the more expensive Olympus or Nissin flashes, but it works for me.
     
  20. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, the FL50R can use the in camera RC mode with full TTL & FP-TTL control (as well as a slave possibility), whereas the earlier FL50 can only be used on the camera or with a TTL cable (which can also be a Canon cable since the pins line up).
     
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