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Olympus Wireless Flash

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by OzRay, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The recent talk about wireless remotes got me to look into the wireless flash capabilities of the E-M1 and for the life of me I couldn't find how to set the camera up to fire my FL-50r flashes remotely. At one point I was thinking it didn't have that capability or that I was a complete idiot. I couldn't find anything in the manual and then after really careful reading, I finally found the section on wireless flash. But even that wasn't all that well laid out; however, it finally led me to the control on the camera which I'd completely missed. I'd been going down to the detailed options and skipping over the previous menus.

    Anyway, once I found that and turned the system on, everything fell into place and I could do some testing with the flashes. The wireless flash setting now becomes an option in the info screen and I'm almost certain that this wasn't the case with the E-5 and that it stayed in the menu, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the wee flash that comes with the E-M1 is a great little unit for wireless flash, low power, lightweight, unobtrusive, yet very effective. I didn't use the wireless flash often enough with the E-5 to be comfortable with it, but I'm going to do more with it now, given that all I need to do is turn the flash/flashes on and shoot away.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    215
    Jul 23, 2012
    uk
    that's a good start... please update us on your progress with radio-triggered off camera flash... i, for one, am very interested!!
     
  3. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The Olympus TTL system is not radio triggered - it uses optical pulses from a master flash unit.
     
  4. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    i love it too. it gets a little tricky with line of sight, but bouncing the commander off of walls helps. holding the camera in portrait orientation gets tricky too. For those reasons I may experiment with PC cord off-camera flash soon though. but all in all a great low budget wireless solution!
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Yes, it's not wireless, so it's range is more or less limited to line of sight. That said, for general use, it's not that often that you would have flash set up in such a way that they would be completely hidden from each other. If that was required, then you could combine a wireless unit with the Olympus 'wireless'. The thing about the Olympus system is that it allows a fair bit of flash control from the camera, three groups of flash can be controlled, so you don't have to be adjusting flash units individually.
     
  6. SSSYURRR

    SSSYURRR Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Mar 12, 2014
    Moscow, Russia
    Sergei Yurin
    OzRay[FONT=Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif] [/FONT], may be you know. If I use hight speed sync on bright sun and I have 2 x FL600, and one of them does not see the camera, will it fire from the first one and will it be in hight whetter speeds?[FONT=Tahoma, Calibri, Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif][/FONT]
     
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I haven't tried that so can't answer immediately, but I can give it a go with my FL50r flashes and see what happens, though I suspect that the control flash will still have to be visible to both flashes for things to work.
     
  8. SSSYURRR

    SSSYURRR Mu-43 Regular

    64
    Mar 12, 2014
    Moscow, Russia
    Sergei Yurin
    If second and third flashes sees control then yes, they should work properly, but it is interesting does flashes transmit TTL information this way control ---> second flash ---> third ---> fourth
    fourth doesn't see any except third, third one doesn't see any except second
     
  9. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Jun 16, 2012
    My 2x FL-36R do NOT relay info. They both have to see the on-camera flash. I suspect the same applies for the other models. No manufacturer to date does this optically as far as I know.
    The "wireless" capability of Olympus resides in a "coded" flash (that is, a train of small flash impulses) sent by the on-camera (master) flash to the slaves. In doing this, the master is NOT supposed to act as a flash but only as a commandeering unit. The "code" sends info such as flash power and TTL info to the slaves.
    Therefore I don't see how the slave flashes, in turn, would at the same time execute the order from the master AND act as commandeering units themselves too. Not to mention that the "command" flash in itself is annoying for a lot of photographers as it sometimes acts as a "parasite" light that interferes with the planned lighting setup (been there, done that.) Having the flashes do the same, IMHO, would result in a royal lighting mess.
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I did some tests and one flash will not trigger another. However, if there is a reflective wall that can transmit the camera flash signal to the flash that is not in a direct line of sight, then the signal can get through. If you want to trigger flashes that are not in line of sight, then radio or optical triggers are your only option, but they can work well.
     
  11. wanderenvy

    wanderenvy Mu-43 Regular

    153
    May 11, 2012
    A reflective wall or even a reflective subject can help to trigger a slave.
     
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    In this case, it's a bit different, as the remote flash units (in this case two FL-50Rs) are triggered and controlled for power output solely by the on-camera flash. If the on-camera flash signal doesn't reach the remote flash, then it won't trigger. I guess it's swings and roundabouts as to which is better, 'radio' wireless or 'optical' wireless. Radio wireless will reach further and enable flash to be fired around corners and through walls, and has greater range, but the optical wireless is embedded into the camera and flash units, so you don't need any ancillary devices. For studio work etc, the latter makes things much easier.
     
  13. andix

    andix Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Jun 16, 2012
    Sorry couldn't help it :)

    mp44-4.
     
  14. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    In the scenario where you want to use the FL600R off-camera, how are you dealing with fill light from the commanding flash i.e. I don't actually want any of it's light to fall on the main subject. I am aware that the FL600R can be fired off camera via a chord - in my case it does not stretch far enough and I don't really want to buy another chord just yet! I'm also aware from the SCP that I can dial down the fill flash/commanding flash power, but even at lowest settings, it bleeds a little light...
    Surely there is a way to trigger this remotely and not have the commanding flash leak light onto the subject?
    I'm new to flash photography so be gentle - think radio controlled flash photography for massive dummies (that's me!).
     
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Normally, the small control flash shouldn't affect the lighting, but if it does, then your only option is generally radio triggers and then use the flash in its auto mode or manual mode. Ebay has tons of options at relatively low cost, so that you don't have to pony up for the very expensive ones. The other option that might work is to use your flash cable (I'm assuming it's like this Canon one that is Olympus compatible: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-5m-Fla..._Photographic_Accessories&hash=item3f228f1f9c) to hold the trigger flash in a different direction and turn the FL600R sensor so that it sees the flash.
     
  16. ThomD

    ThomD Mu-43 Veteran

    424
    Jun 1, 2013
    SF Bay Area
    The on board light's influence varies by camera. On the G6 there is an option to completely turn it off when using it only for wireless control. If that isn't an option, consider something like this:

    Nikon SG-3IR IR Panel for Camera Built-In Flashes
     
  17. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    FL600R does remote control, with the ability to change the flash output from the camera. The other R flash models do this as well. This is all done optically, so the remote/slave flashes have to be able to see the burst from the commander flash mounted on the camera (or off camera via cable). I do too much weird stuff to rely too much on optical slaves (daylight shooting, flashes mounted in strange places or inside softboxes), but it comes in handy occasionally.

    Also, contrary to what OzRay thinks, there is a commander-only mode for the on-camera flash that prevents the flash from firing at the same time as the picture is being taken, preventing any light from the commander flash from reaching the subject and only triggering the remote slaves.
     
  18. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The RC flash mode has been available on the Oly cameras since the E3, showing up in the E420 & E520 next & all models since. The INFO button will cycle the display screen & the RC screen is only one of them, depending on which screens have been enabled, but the RC flash mode is only switched on & off from the Menu (see page 131 of the E-M1 manual), unless they've included a function shortcut for it, which I don't think they have.

    There is a little bit of light spill, or hangover from the commander flash into the exposure time frame that can be seen in close range (try taking a photo into a mirror in RC Mode & you will see how much flash there is in the exposure), but in those situations a reflector or deflector can be in front of the flash as the reflected commander flash signal can still be affective if in close enough range or if there are suitably reflective surfaces that can bounce that pulsed RC flash command & that way any residual flash from the commander should not then add anything to the lighting of the subject.
     
  19. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I wasn't aware that you could set a delay in the flash firing. Do you have a page reference in the manual for this?
     
  20. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It's not the delay he is talking about (I believe), but that the commander coded pulse flash happens before the shutter opens for exposure. A bit of residual flash light can be seen if taking a photo of yourself in the mirror if the flash is set on RC Mode (using the add on FL-LM2 flash or the pop-up flashes on the DSLRs). It might mean there is a slight shutter delay in the process, but not noticeable. In other words, it's a pre-flash.