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Newbie; flash problem OM-D EM-5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by machineman, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. machineman

    machineman New to Mu-43

    5
    Jun 4, 2012
    South Australia
    Good evening/day all...

    I've had my OM-D (in black) twin lens kit for about 4 weeks now. I've kept the lenses aside and bought some decent glass, viz 9-18 Zuiko, 20/1.7 Pana, 45/1.8 Zuiko. I have to say, this is a lovely kit, bought to suit my bicycle-centric lifestyle. I've even found the perfect handlebar bag to fit it all in!

    One fly in the ointment. This evening I tried to use a standard single-pin flash, to no avail. Look up the manual, check the ISO, M mode, Shutter speed... nothing.

    Has anyone had this issue? Have I overlooked something?

    ANy help appreciated. I look forward to chatting in the future.

    Cheers!

    Kev aka Machine Man
     
  2. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    First you should check if your flash compatible with 4/3 or m4/3 hot shoe here a link that may be useful...

    Olympus External Flash Support
     
  3. machineman

    machineman New to Mu-43

    5
    Jun 4, 2012
    South Australia
    Thanks for that - what a quick response!

    I don't have any of the flashes listed; I only have an old National single-pin flash and a hotshoe-PCsync adapter. It doesn't seem to work with the National's single pin, nor with its PC sync cable running from the adapter. This, presumably, also means it won't run my studio flash either!

    I was planning to use the old flash to set of two Nikon SB800s in slave mode. Ah, the best laid plans...

    Kev
     
  4. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    I do have the National brand flash from the old days of my M42 Fujica camera, it's broke now but even if it's in function I doubt it will work with my E-1, EPL-1 or EM-5. I read somewhere there's a differences in voltage that prevent the old flash to work, it may even damaging the hot shoe CMIIW.

    If your Nikon SB800s have wireless receiver it can be triggered by OM-D included flash in slave mode.
     
  5. Agent00soul

    Agent00soul Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Jan 22, 2010
    It should work. Just set the flash to manual mode in the camera's flash control panel (you must activate this panel in camera setup menu 2).
     
  6. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Get a voltmeter and measure the voltage across the flash's terminals when it's switched on (and not connected to your camera). Olympus' cameras can handle about 6V according to the manual, but some older flashes can be giving more than 200V. This isn't an issue with an older camera, where the flash is fired by mechanically shorting the two terminals, but it's an issue with an electronic camera where the electronics have this job.

    kevin murray photography archives - How To: Check your flash trigger voltage
     
  7. TDP

    TDP Guest

    I use a single pin transmitter often, no problems.
     
  8. alans

    alans Mu-43 Veteran

    340
    Feb 28, 2010
    Excellent point. You may also risk damage to your camera. Try the other advice above with the Fl-LM2.
     
  9. machineman

    machineman New to Mu-43

    5
    Jun 4, 2012
    South Australia
    OK... so I tested the flash bt shorting the terminals with a voltmeter... 180V!!

    WHo'd have thought that tiny little old flash (didn't even have an auto sensor) would pack such a punch?

    So i'll have to try it out on something that's more of a known quantity tomorrow.

    I knew I could use the included flash, too, but the spirit of the explorer is alive in me. I needed to see if it would all work!

    Thanks for your help, all. Will keep you posted.

    Kev
     
  10. TDP

    TDP Guest

    You could wire a few of those together and make a stun gun if you like...or jump start your car :)
     
  11. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    438
    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Every time I see a reaction like this, I'm relieved that somebody's camera has been saved from damage. It's not something that seems to be as widely known as it should be.
     
  12. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    The manual states the E-M5 is safe for flashes up to 24V. The National flash, besides being too high in trigger voltage, may also have reverse polarity, which may have saved your camera from tuning into toast. SB-800's are safe (mine check in between 3.8 - 4.2 volt) and work very well in the manual mode. Set your camera to MANUAL and select 1/250 shutter speed. Set the SB-800 to manual or auto, not TTL. You should have no problem.
     
  13. oneuglydog

    oneuglydog New to Mu-43

    1
    Jun 5, 2012
    How about a picture of the bike bag. :)
     
  14. bitmatt

    bitmatt Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Apr 7, 2012
    Cleveland
    Matt
    Second this!
     
  15. kkskkskks

    kkskkskks Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jun 7, 2012
    I have a Yongnuo YN462 single-pin manual flash unit that works on a GF2 but not on a OM-D (on hotshoe), does anybody have similar experience? Is an Oly/Panny external flash required on OM-D?
     
  16. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    That's how flashes work, they generate a high voltage which is disharged in the flash tube creating light.

    In the old days cameras used a mechanical switch to trigger the flash, so that high voltage was dumped through the camera, switch, and back to the flash.

    Today's cameras use electronics which can't handle high voltages. So today's flashes are designed with low voltage trigger circuits that trigger the high voltage.

    BTW, never use non-Olympus TTL flashes (ones with multiple contacts) on your camera...again you can damage the camera (that is especially goes for Canon TTL flashes because all of the pins line up with Oly's).
     
  17. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  18. machineman

    machineman New to Mu-43

    5
    Jun 4, 2012
    South Australia
    Interesting to see I'm not alone here. looks like we might have found a production/QC problem.

    Btw, I've since tested lower voltage units to no avail, including an SB800 (I covered the extra pins on the flash).

    Will post shots of the bag shortly. Camera will go back for repairs after my interstate trip this week.

    Kev
     
  19. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    I think it may just be some paint/grease on a contact (having black painted hotshoes doesn't help).

    I just tried some flashes that I knew were safe to use (I also have unsafe ones, but as I'd be using them with a safesync to lower the trigger voltage there was no point).

    Anyway at first I couldn't get the flash to work, but after sliding it back and forth it then worked every time putting it on the camera. The next flash I put on the camera also worked.

    I then tried the flashes on my other EM5 and they worked immediately with no issue.
     
  20. machineman

    machineman New to Mu-43

    5
    Jun 4, 2012
    South Australia
    I think it's shorting. A closed circuit. I just switched the camera on and tested it for continuity between the central X-sync and the sides of the mount which contact with the flash. [beeeeeeep]. Yep. It's permanently trying to fire the flash.

    Weird huh?

    Anyway, I'm going away tomorrow for a few days and want a camera. It can go in for fixing after that.

    Apologies for distinct lack of bag photos yet. They're coming, I promise.

    Kevin.