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om-d lack of pc sync

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by loony33, May 12, 2012.

  1. loony33

    loony33 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2012
    Hello guys and gals.

    I am moving from Canon to m4/3 and have spent many hours trying to find a way to mimic what I used to do on my Canon 5d and 7d.

    It's basically having a TTL flash on camera and a wireless transmitter connected via pc sync to trigger other off camera flashes.
    The lack of pc sync ports on the m4/3 bodies are crippling this option. Adding a hotshoe to pc adapter would kill the TTL functionality, right?

    It seems though that if a flash has a pc sync port, a wireless transmitter can be connected to it to simultaneously trigger off camera flashes / strobes.

    In short, I am looking for an m4/3 hot shoe TTL flash with a pc sync port. I can't seem to find any! Any other solutions for this?

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    What you're looking for is very easy and readily available. This is what you need for multiple wireless TTL.

    1. The mini flash supplied with the M5 mounted in the camera hot shoe.
    2. Go to the camera menu and set to RC.
    3. A flash bracket of your choice.
    4. As many as 3 Olympus flash with RC capability per channel. ( FL-300R,
    FL- 36R, FL-50R, FL-600R) Set all flashes in RC mode.
    5. Mount one flash on the bracket, it can be used for bounce or direct.
    6. The other 2 flashes can be placed to your suiting, bounce or direct.
    Very easy and no wires.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    You can try a ETTL sync cable with a PC Sync out. Apparently ETTL sync cables work with Olympus/Panasonic TTL.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. loony33

    loony33 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2012
    Thank you.

    While these solutions might work for some, I still am looking for a method that allows me all the following:

    1) Shoot TTL flash on camera (mostly for fill, dialed down)
    2) while triggering far away strobes and flashes via radiopoppers or other triggers.

    It would be so easy to do if Oly included a cheap pc sync.
  5. Jerrym

    Jerrym New to Mu-43

    Jan 10, 2012
    Oakland, Michigan
    PC Sync

    Someone wrote a very detailed description on how to add a pc sync to either a fl36 or an fl50, though I think it was a 50 he used. He added pictures of the process and even gave some links where he purchased the material. Use the search on fourthirdsphoto.com. I found it couple of different times, but I never added it. The hotshoe adapter and a long cable work fine with strobes. Your strobes may fire with your camera flash too.

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    While I certainly agree that the OM-D should have a PC Sync port, and I think it would have been even more beneficial for the PEN series to have PC Sync ports (due to the viewfinder taking up the hotshoe)... I don't quite understand the purpose of what you are trying to do.

    If you are using manual power for all your external flashes, I don't understand why you would want to use TTL for your on-board (or on-bracket) flash? Your external manual flashes are going to mess up any TTL readings and will require you to compensate for them. If you are already adjusting power with controlled settings, then why add one uncontrolled variable into the mix to throw everything off?

    Have you tried using your light setup with manual power on all flash units, including the one on the camera?
    Otherwise, if you want TTL why not have ALL your flash, both on-bracket and off-camera, use TTL? If you follow the steps Sammyboy left, you will have an full TTL light setup. I see no purpose to mixing TTL with manual. Shoot one or the other... I prefer manual, myself.

    Let me make one correction to what Sammyboy posted though... You can have far more than just 3 flash units using the RC flash menu. You can have up to 3 separate flash groups (A, B, and C) with their own unique settings, but how many flash units you decide to use in each group is infinite. You just set each flash unit to which settings group (A, B, or C) you want it to belong to.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Thanks Ned, now that I read my post, I see that I got my words in the wrong place. You are correct, there are three channels, not limited to three flashes per channel.
  8. loony33

    loony33 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2012
    Thanks guys,

    Interesting thoughts Ned. I typically shoot manual off camera flashes and strobes and use on camera ttl dialed down via exposure comp to add some fill at times when needed.

    A scenario that I typically need this is in a large hall with 3 lights and many people.
    1) An assistant and an umbrella providing key light on say a dancing couple.
    2) A far strobe giving a dimensional light on subjects in background and accent or key on subject. (If strobe becomes key, assistant switches to accent light)
    3) On camera ttl bounce dialed down fill if light path gets occluded or just to add some detail to shadows.

    I also like the flexibility of disconnecting sync to mute of camera flashes while keeping on camera flash bounce if moving to another room or for artistic purposes. Am I being too picky and a control freak?

    I wonder why there is no hot shoe to pc sync adapter that allows on shoe oly flash to maintain ttl. I believe Canon has that on flash zebra, but never needed it on pro and prosumer bodies.

    A pc sync on the little ep em epl series would be way way too cool!

    I really appreciate the responses.

    Btw, I found the fl50r hack thread but I suck at that stuff.

    Sammyboy, I wish this method could provide long range reliability and out of line of sight capabilities. That said, I still prefer manual off camera.

    Question though. Can I slip on the em-5 / epm1 / Lx5 a Nikon sb-24, use it in manual or auto, and hook up its sync port to a cybersync, radiopopper or other transmitters?

    Many thanks
  9. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Yes. I would tape up the TTL contacts on the SB24 though, might get shorted when sliding the flash on the hot shoe.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Yes, putting tape over the contacts is good insurance, but really not necessary. I've used my SB-26's & SB-800's in manual mode with no problem. The SB-24 thru SB-910 have low voltage triggers, mine measures 3.8V to 4.2V, and the M5 has a safe trigger voltage up to 24V. I've tried Pocket Wizards and they work flawlessly, but the largest area I would use a multi-flash set-up would be in about 50 ft. x 30 ft. area, so in my case the optical set-up is what I use. The most flashes I have triggered optically as the same time was when I used an SB-800 on the camera with three SB-26's and three Olympus T-45's remotely, bounced with color filters and non-filtered fill and side light.
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Well, the reason is simply because third party manufacturers support Canon more since they're a bigger company. That's all.

    However, that exact same adapter for Canon should work fine on your Olympus! Olympus and Canon may use different electronics, but their pin-out pattern is the exact same. That means that you can use a Canon TTL cable or adapter between a Four-Thirds (or Micro Four-Thirds) body and flash. All the adapter is doing is transmitting the same information between the same pins in the same locations. If the body and flash are compatible, then it doesn't matter if the adapter/cable in between is Canon or Olympus.

    The one thing I've always wondered though, is if the Pocket Wizards with Canon ETTL will work for Four-Thirds/Micro Four-Thirds. Theoretically it should, but with the massive amount of flash I use I can't afford to mount them all with Wizards, so I've never tried this out. ;) 
  12. OdzBodkinz

    OdzBodkinz Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    I don't like TTL flash, although I can see where it would beuseful in some cases (event shooting for one). I have been using Radio Popper Jrs to fire my Nikon SB800's. The beauty of it all, is I can use the trigger with my D700 or on my OM-D (or any other m4/3 camera). I like the Nikon Flash/RP Jr solution, because I can dial my flash exposure power up or down from the trigger (this only works on SB800 and older flashes that support TTL). The TTL is not functional, but the flash must be compatible to enable me to adjust flash power from my trigger on my hotshoe. This is very convenient for me.
  13. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
  14. loony33

    loony33 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2012
    Yes, this is what I do with my Radio Poppers setup and the s-b24 flashes. Dial in the power remotely. It's pretty neat.
  15. loony33

    loony33 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2012
    Thanks. I do go manual mostly but as explained, sometimes on camera TTL goes handy with my manual setup. This hot shoe adapter wouldn't help because of lack of TTL pass-through though, right?

    I might just try the manual-on-camera route as well but will try this after hearing what Ned said:

    FlashZebra.com: Canon Camera ETTL Pass Through Hotshoe with Screwlock PC Sync Port (Item #0268)

  16. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    I don't understand how you're shooting on your Canon setup. You're using an ETTL flash via hot sync, but also manual flash via PC sync terminal? Don't the ETTL and manual flashes wreak havoc with each other? (ie: ETTL preflash metering is ruined when the actual flash exposure is much brighter than the ETTL preflash figured?)

    Or are you somehow getting ETTL through PC sync terminal?

    I have a Canon ETTL hot shoe cable that I ripped apart and put a CAT5 cable in the middle of. It's now a 10ft (or was it 25ft) ETTL cable. This works much like a PC sync cable would, but keeps ETTL communication. This should also work on M43, assuming there's no electrical problems with the super long cable.

    Might be something to consider....
  17. hoggdo c

    hoggdo c Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    Huntington Beach, CA - SOCAL
    I agree, moving from Nikon to u4/3 and the OM-D E-M5 has been easy re off camera flashes. I use the Radio Popper JRX system with the RP adapters for Nikon that allow me to remote control the power levels of flashes in up to three groups, all wirelessly. The solution is not cheap, but it has amazing range and is 100% reliable. Click the link below for more information.... BTW the RPs work with and Nikon compatible flashes that support TTL.

    RadioPopper Store - RadioPopper JrX System
  18. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    why not just use slave triggers for the remote flash
  19. Nepherim

    Nepherim Mu-43 Regular

    May 27, 2012
    NJ, USA
    I'm no expert on this, so I hope I don't derail the conversation, but from what I'm reading, the OP is pretty much the only on who refers to a PC sync. What is that? Is it truly using a PC computer to sync flashes? Seems overkill if so. Even if I have the wrong end of the stick, what does the PC sync offer that other solutions presented do not? Perhaps that is the key to understanding the actual issue?
  20. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Old style two pole connector used for basic x-sync trigger. Was he standard for a long time along with the old style two prong household cords. Still very common in studios that haven't moved on to wireless radio triggers. They have been around since before cameras had hotshoes..

    Look up paramount photographic cords online. They make good quality sync cords and have a decent photo reference for different sync connectors including the PC versions
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