Questions on RC Flash Mode

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Arvin, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. Arvin

    Arvin Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Jan 18, 2012
    Hi Guys,

    I am piecing together an off-camera flash kit and am considering two options:

    a) NikonSB910's + Pocket Wizard plus 3's

    b) Olympus FL-50R + Flashwave 3 radio transmitter (because the FL-50R doesn't have PC ports for pocket wizards)


    RC mode is attractive to me because it allows me remotely to set the power of an off-camera flash from my OMD's touch screen.

    So my questions:

    1) I know that they can be triggered wirelessly using optical triggering, but is there a way they I can trigger them with the Flashwave 3 transmitters and still be able to control them from my camera?

    If the answer is yes, the I'm definitely going this route. If not, I will have to go with the SB910's and have to live with setting them manually by interfacing with the flash itself.

    2) I'm not sure how the flash instructions get from the camera to the FL-50R...is it only through the light(through timing or pulses)...or do the OMD and the FL-50R both have radios in them? My guess is that the instructions are from the optical light, otherwise why would Olympus put a radio in their flashes and not implement wireless triggering as well?

    Thanks!
    -Arvin
     
  2. digitaldan1

    digitaldan1 Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Mar 22, 2010
    The OMD uses the tiny add on flash that comes with the camera to optically communicate with R series flashes. The system works well indoors but has a limited range. Outdoors in bright sun, the range is much less (25 feet indoors maybe, 10 to 15 feet outdoors at best).

    I'm not familiar with the Flashwaves, but pocket wizards are great. I use the Olympus wireless system (FL-600R, FL-50R and FL-36R) myself.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would just stick with the pocket wizards and SB910s. There is no advantage to the Olympus flash unless you want to control it through the camera and that would require optical triggering. The RC menu only works through the optical commander in the built-in or clip-on flash.

    Besides which... if I'm reading you right you already own multiple SB910s and pocket wizards, but would be using the FL-50R as a solo? That's a huge downgrade then, if you go with the Oly...

    I always shoot with multiple flash or strobes, if using speedlights at least 5 at a time. I mix and match my brands and use whatever is available at the time. That works best for me.
     
  4. Arvin

    Arvin Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Jan 18, 2012
    Yes, optical seems like a very limited solution in terms of range and line-of-sight.

    FL-50R and Metz 58 AF-2 don't have pc-sync ports, so if I really wanted to use pocket wizards, I could get this adapter but I don't think I will be able to control their output power on the fly through my OMD :(
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, I use those flash foot adapters all the time. There's no problem with that.

    But there also would be no advantage to choosing the FL-50R over the Nikons without using RC mode, anyways. :)
     
  6. Arvin

    Arvin Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Jan 18, 2012
    Thanks for the confirmation that the RC mode works only through optical triggering. I am impressed, though, that a quick pulse of light can control and change the power outputs on 4 off-camera flashes in RC mode.

    I only own an FL-600R, so I am building my kit from scratch. But if the Metz 58 AF-2 is comparable in power to the sb-910, then I will go Metz with the pc-port/hotshoe adaptor + pocket wizard. The optical RC mode will be very practical for studio shots.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That sounds like a good plan, Arvin. If you have a few Metzes and flash adapters then you can take the pocket wizards to use them outdoors, or leave them on optical RC in the studio. :)
     
  8. Arvin

    Arvin Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Jan 18, 2012
    Cool, Ned. Any idea on how the 58 AF-2 stacks up powerwise to the SB-910?

    I really like the idea of paying $350 instead of $550 if I'm not sacrificing performance.

    As for the non-working RC manual mode, I really hope Metz addresses this with a firmware fix.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Power is close enough to the same. :)
     
  10. Arvin

    Arvin Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Jan 18, 2012
    Since the original post is resolved, I can digress.

    Since I'm always game for great performance for cheap, I'm looking at the Flashwave3 triggers. Reviews say it's very reliable and it has an integrated hotshoe that the 58 AF-2 needs anyway.

    Thoughts?