Off-brand Flash

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by sprinke, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    I'm really interested in getting an external flash to use on and off camera, but probably mostly on. But I'm a bit leery of the $250+ price tags of the ones specially made for use with m4/3, with TTL metering and all that.

    How would a non-m4/3 flash work with, say, my GH2? Would I have to set everything on the flash manually? Would I be in danger of having everything horribly overexposed if I tried using it as fill flash in the daytime?
  2. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    It's actually much easier than you think to get correct flash exposure manually (a la strobist), with one caveat.... you need time. Not a lot of time, but enough to get a couple of shots off and 'chimp' the results on screen and adjust accordingly - it's not for wedding work or kids running about!

    Unless you have no option, the last place you want the flash is on the camera anyway, so think about getting it off it - even bare flash on a lightstand alongside you is better than on camera.

    I've got a couple of Yongnuo YN-465's I use regularly, and they work a treat - they have an optical slave built in, so all you need is a pop up flash on the camera, or a cable from hotshoe to one flash to trigger them.

    The Metz flashes are also good value for money - I own a 48 AF-1 that I can use with wireless control on the E-PL2 and it never lets me down either - the first Metz I had was with my E-620 and, strangely, both of them underexpose by 1EV; kind of defeats the wireless control, but once you know it's there it's easily rectified.

    If you just want to pop off quick shots, you really need to get something dedicated like the Metz.....
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    Beware: I learned the hard way that on the Panny G1 there is a pre-flash that triggers optical slaves, so they have already fired before the "real" flash and the shutter opening. My guess is that the GH2 will be the same. If you watch carefully as the flash fires you can probably discern a pre-flash.

    I, too, have a Metz 48 and its optical slave mode is useless with the G1. I will have to buy a radio trigger set or a small, non-automatic, non-dedicated flash to use on the camera as a trigger.

    Yup. Mine, too.
  4. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    This is an issue when the on-camera flash is on TTL or AUTO. It should not be a problem when in Manual mode. Would you agree? My flash is in the shop for repairs, so I can't confirm...
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I mostly have Olympus R-series flashes for no other reason than that they are the only ones that have lasted me. Whenever I find good deals, I pick up flashes from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Vivitar, etc. Anyone but Sony or Minolta as they use a non-standard hotshoe. I never shoot my flash in any mode but Manual Power, and as such am free to trigger it any way I like - PC Sync, Radio Trigger, Optical Slave...
  6. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    I think DekHog hit the nail on the head for me at least ... I DO plan to be running around after kids and such, so perhaps I do have to pony up the dough for a dedicated unit. I've been looking for used Metz 50 units on eBay but they are few and far between.
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I agree that it should not be. Why the G1 would preflash when in manual mode is beyond me. However it does.
    Just to be clear, the issue is with the camera not the off-camera flash. The optical slave in the Metz does just what it is supposed to do -- fires the strobe when it sees a flash. Its mode setting is irrelevant. The problem is that it is being triggered by the camera's preflash. (Note, too, that this is not a red-eye reduction situation. That is a separate setting and will also cause any off-camera optical slave to fire at the wrong time. But the redeye will really be reduced!)

    I scored my 48 for about a hundred bucks on eBay. You might want to watch for one of those. It has plenty of punch (I recently wanted a little fill in an outside, backlit photo in a sunny garden and had to turn it down to 1/128 power.) and it cycles really fast with lithium batteries. The main advantage of the 50 as far as I can see is that the foot is metal instead of the 48's plastic.
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  8. lannes

    lannes Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia