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Off-campus flash with GH2

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by sprinke, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Off-camera flash with GH2

    Okay, so i got a cheapo flash bracket so I can put my new Metz 50 AF-1 flash onto a stand, and was playing around with it last night. I don't have the budget for any wireless trigger setups, so I put the flash in optical slave mode and was trying to get it to trigger.

    I read in the GH2 manual that the flash always fires two flashes, and from my research online, there doesn't seem to be any way to turn that off. As a result, I found that the Metz was firing on the first preflash, and not when the shutter was actually open.

    Taking a tip from another online post, I dialed the power down to 1/4 and found that at that power, the Metz was able to recycle fast enough to pop with both of the GH2's flashes. Right now I've got just regular alkaline batteries in the Metz, but I bought some eneloops ... I wonder if those will give me faster recycle times so I could bump the power up to 1/2.

    I'd like to hear any other suggestions for how to best use optical slaves with the GH2, since I won't be getting any wireless triggers anytime soon, and would love to experiment more with off-camera flash.
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm an Olympus shooter, but I can't see how you couldn't turn off the pre-flash. The key is to turn off any kind of TTL metering, and that will stop the pre-flash. I use "Full" flash with manual power settings, and set mine to 1/64th power to trigger a first slave (then that slave reliably triggers all the other slaves around the studio with a full 1/1 flash burst, which never fails... lol).

    Mind you, I remember responding to another Panasonic user who couldn't put his camera in manual flash mode... so it's possible this is a big Panasonic deficiency and you may be stuck. o_O Hopefully a Panasonic user can come by and give you a solution. ;)
     
  3. wirehead

    wirehead Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    Aug 15, 2011
    IIRC, that's a known obnoxious Panasonic bug.

    You can always hunt down a cheap shoe-mount flash with a safe sync voltage or some cables and sync it without use of the onboard flash. Most of my non-m43 camera gear doesn't have a built-in flash. :)
     
  4. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    It certainly seems that the GH2 has no manual flash mode. Bummer.
     
  5. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Just get the smallest cheapest hotshoe flash you can find and use that instead. Even better if it has a bounce and swivel function so you can point it away from your shot. With a non TTL flash in the hotshoe TTL is disabled. You may even have a flash from a previous system lying around.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yup. Been there, done that on a G1. Vivitar 2400 that I scored for $9.95 delivered from a deal-a-day site. But they are only $20 or so from other sources. No bounce or swivel and power is not adjustable. Tape over the lens makes power continuously adjustable from full to zero, however. Biggest defect is it is not fast to recycle. Seconds, not fractions of a second.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I've got the GH2 and the Metz 50-AF1 and have experienced the same problem. What's extra disappointing is the fact that I can't set the Metz to Auto and have it meter itself. Not only that, but in TTL mode there's an extra moment of delay when taking the shot so I've got to rework my timing.

    All in all, not a good flash experience for the GH2...
     
  8. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Btw, I graduated over 20 years ago, so most of my shooting is "off campus" :cool:

    don't blame me, my iPhone sent this
     
  9. alans

    alans Mu-43 Veteran

    340
    Feb 28, 2010
    Flashing off campus used to mean running naked through the streets off campus. Flashing on campus would have been running back to campus naked.

    Back to photo... I agree with Mr. Gordon above. A cheap flash will do the trick.

     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    just realized what I did

    :dash2:
     
  11. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
  12. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I use a cheap Chinese IR flash. Bought it from Gadget Infinity for $23 shipped. Works as a charm and is not visible in the photos.
     
  13. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Jul 11, 2011
    Worthington Ohio
    I bought a Nissin TTL hot shoe flash and love it. It was like $130, is heavy, but I use it as a grip when shooting video, and I have no idea why, but works fantastically. I love the omnibounce!
     
  14. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I'm with you there John. The delay in TTL is absolutely infuriating. I found out it is because the GH2 doesn't have a separate sensor for the flash exposure. It's done off the sensor. So it's an extra step in the pipeline. I also found that having TTL metering off the sensor gives me huge problems in back lit scenes.

    I don't have a 50. I have a 58AF2. With that one auto works, but the aperture set is the one you set in the body. But the cell on the flash does the metering. I much prefer this to TTL. I just use exposure compensation on the flash in auto and it works a treat. It also completely eliminates the delay.

    Gordon