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off camera flash question

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by shootingprof, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. shootingprof

    shootingprof New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 11, 2014
    Hi all
    I am very new to u4/3 system and EVF and am coming from FF slr. I like to shoot macro and with FF optical view finder of course I see the world at the fastest aperture for the lens I am using since we are using OVF. With FF slr I would typically set up the off camera flash with pocketwiz triggers with a setting of F22 1/250. Of course that would give me a black image if flash was turned off. however, focusing was easy since I am using OVF. However with EVF, the beauty of this system is I see the exposure live. So with my setup with omd em1 and using Pocketwizard for triggers, I set the aperture at say F11 and 250 to eliminate any dragging the shutter and blur, BUT the obvious is that I can't see anything to focus. So I temporarily open up the aperture to say 2.8 (using Olympus 60mm macro) to get focus then stop down. Now this seems like a real pain in the butt. Am I missing something with the u4/3 system with respect to how macro shooters go about their workflow when using off camera flash? For all the fantastic things that my Olympus does, this seems like a problem.

    any suggestions would certainly be helpful.
     
  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    There is a setting which keeps the image neutral exposure regardless of the settings chosen. Not sure exactly what it is called on the EM1, but that is the solution to your problem. It will allow you to stop down, and rely on the flash to fill in the light, but the viewfinder may be grainy as a result of lightening the exposure so much.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ccasey

    Ccasey Mu-43 Regular

    157
    Jul 29, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Chris
    Live View Boost in the Display menu is what Cruzan is talking about.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. shootingprof

    shootingprof New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 11, 2014
    Thank you
    I've looked through menu and couldn't find anything obvious

    If someone knows the setting please let me know
    Thx
     
  5. shootingprof

    shootingprof New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 11, 2014
    Oh I will try that. Thank you.

    I would sure like to hear from other macro shooters on the forum regarding their macro workflow when using flash

    Thx
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You must be doing something wrong, if I'm reading you correctly, as the m4/3 lenses/bodies work just like any other camera. Unless you actually stop down the lens, the view in the viewfinder remains at the maximum lens aperture.
     
  7. shootingprof

    shootingprof New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 11, 2014
    Yes that is precisely what I am doing for macro work. I want no ambient and all flash. So in manual exposure I stop down to get greater DOF. On u4/3 I use f11 at 1/250. The LCD screen or EVF are close to black. Whereas with ovf and dslr I see image fine and have no problem focusing.

    I would imagine that this would also be a problem for studio work as well where often the ambient light is killed in favor of total flash for light

    Maybe I am missing something or have something incorrectly set since I can't imagine this to be an issue for those studio folks where models are often moving rapidly and focus needs to be obtained quickly.. I will try the expose boost to see if that helps

    Thx
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Then you're setup is somehow wrong. You should be able to choose whatever aperture you wish, but still view the scene at fully open and only when the shutter is fired, will the aperture close down to the set number.
     
  9. mrerics

    mrerics Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Nov 21, 2013
    US
    Eric
    Shootingprof - I think where the confusion is coming from is that when you see the EVF darken in Manual mode as you adjust the aperture to say f/11, you're assuming this is from the lens stopping down. However the lens is actually still wide open -- take a peek into the business end to confirm -- but the camera by default is simulating the exposure that will be obtained in the ambient light based on your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. In the same way, if you set a 30 second shutter speed, the EVF is going to get really bright, as the camera is simulating the effect of that shutter speed on the exposure. (Note that it seems the EVF never goes all black or all white even if the actual exposure would turn out that way.)

    Since the light for your exposure will be coming from flash, and the camera has no way to simulate that, turning on Live View Boost as suggested above tells the camera to stop trying to simulate the exposure and just give you a nice clear image in the EVF that will work perfectly for focusing and composition. As an added benefit, if you map a button to Preview, the camera can temporarily stop down the lens for you to preview the depth of field at your chosen aperture, but unlike with an OVF, the camera can compensate for the loss of light to keep the EVF at the same brightness level as when the lens was wide open (assuming there is enough ambient light, it will only gain up so much).

    Hope that clarifies things. If you haven't done so already, read up on the focus peaking and magnification options, you'll never miss your OVF again. :cool:

    Edit: On the E-M1, the Live View Boost setting is in Custom Menu D (Disp/Beep/PC), scroll down to the second item on the second page.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Now I understand what you're doing. Unfortunately, when in full manual mode, that's what you get. Have you tried using one of the other modes, even P? If the Pocket Wizards work correctly, the camera should assume that there's a flash attached and default to the pre-set flash shutter speed and the viewfinder should be viewing at fully open, but close on firing the shutter.
     
  11. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 Top Veteran

    617
    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    I was wondering the same thing again, when shooting in M mode with flash, the viewfinder was totally underexposed.
    With this setting ON, you can't have "live exposure" anymore, but you can see what you are shooting...
    There should be an option to automatically set "Live View Boost setting" ON when you use a flash in M mode.
     
  12. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Bangkok
    rob collins
    Great stuff. You know I have had the E-M1 for 6 months and didnt know about Live boost and I thought I knew everything there was to know about this camera. It is a great feature.
     
  13. shootingprof

    shootingprof New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 11, 2014
    Excellent Thank you very much for the explanation. I now have a better understanding of how the electronic viewfinder is working
     
  14. shootingprof

    shootingprof New to Mu-43

    6
    Mar 11, 2014
    Excellent explanations from everyone thank you for your help!
     
  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Another alternative to doing this is that you can use a small hand held flashlight to illuminate the subject enough to lock focus.