Oly FL-36R delayed flash; any ideas?

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by thinkcooper, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. thinkcooper

    thinkcooper Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2011
    I was using it in RC mode yesterday, triggered by the built-in flash on my EP3. Aperature mode, to dial in max depth of field using f1.8 on my 45mm Oly lens. ISO 200 was used and the shutter speeds (pretty sure anyways) were all between 1/30 and 1/180. Flash was on a remote stand, with a diffuser, to fill subject's eyes and brow for a head shot portrait. Both the FL-36R and onboard flash were set to TTL, with the onboard flash set at an exposure value of -2 and the FL-36R set a full value.

    The majority of shots came out fantastic, and we ultimately had a great set of headshots for my subject to use for an editorial piece he was writing.

    Here's the part where I'm being ignorant...

    Occasionally the FL-36R would flash twice, once when the shutter was pressed and the onboard flash triggered it, and then a second time about three seconds later. What the? Any idea what I'm overlooking? I read the camera and flash manual last night and didn't really come up with an explanation.

    Please help a confused brother out. :redface:
  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    I don't own the flash, but that sounds like non-standard behavior for any flash. I'm wondering if there is something messed up inside the electronics. It's like maybe it's building up some charge and then releasing it after 3 seconds. Are you able to verify if the flash does the same thing with a different body?
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I've had this happen before with both flash and studio strobes. I had one time when one of my 500W studio strobes would suddenly start going off every few minutes for no reason. I was running two strobes and 5 speedlights at the time, so it took me a while to isolate which one was causing it! After I unplugged the strobe for a while, I plugged it back in and resumed working with no problems. Sometimes I pull the batteries on my speedlights if they start doing weird stuff like that. It's not uncommon, though I don't know the cause.
  4. thinkcooper

    thinkcooper Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2011
    I'll try it with the E-PL2 we have here in the house to see if it replicates. I'm also going to do some really precise variable lock-down to be sure it's not due to me mistakenly selecting a shutter speed that's outside the operating range.
  5. thinkcooper

    thinkcooper Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 29, 2011
    Weirdly, the flash seems to work flawlessly when simply in remote/slave mode. It's only in RC mode that that I'm seeing this strange behavior. Looks like it's time to try and do a little troubleshooting to fine tune the issue.