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Recommend a small flash for a G3?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jloden, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Looking for some help finding a flash and I'm a little overwhelmed at all the choices out there. Can I get some recommendations for a small tilt/bounceable flash unit that's compatible with a G3?

    A little background: I tend to avoid flash and so far have gotten by with the built-in flash on my GF2. I really only ever used it to bounce off the ceiling indoors (bending it back with my finger), and I really miss that on the G3 with it's less flexible on-camera flash. Doubly so since I get a shadow in the image from most lenses thanks to the G3's low flash clearance :frown:

    Given my uses for it and that the tiny on-camera flash was working sufficiently before, size is my primary criteria here. I'm not looking for a huge flash to light up a room like the sun - just something I can bounce off a ceiling or add a little fill. Bonus if I can adjust the output on the flash, but it's not required.
     
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    If you want TTL, the only smallish flash is the FL-300R.
     
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  3. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    I've been using a Metz 24 AF-1 with both my LX-5 and E-PM1. I've used it less with my E-PM1 since I got an Oly FL-300R, but whereas the Oly tilts 60 degrees for bouncing, the Metz tilts up to a full 90 degrees.

    I got the Metz because I hate flash and use it very little. But when I saw a used FL-300R at a good price, I picked it up so I could try wireless flash too.

    Amazon.com: Metz MZ 24312OPL 24 AF-1 4/3rds TTL Flash Mode for Digital Olympus/Pana/Leica Cameras: Camera & Photo

    Since getting the Oly, I've thought of selling the Metz, but I do prefer the greater bounce range on the Metz. Both are light, but the Oly weighs less than the Metz. Still, I almost always reach for the Oly now.

    Both the Metz and the Oly must be controlled via the camera, but they both balance very well on small bodies. :smile:
     
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  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    What is it that you don't like about flash? It sounds to me like you don't like the look that bare flash gives.

    If that's the case, then what you want is a LARGER flash, not a smaller one. A larger flash will allow you to mount modifiers to soften and spread the light, giving you NATURAL lighting to the scene instead of the harsh direct light you get from a small flash.

    If physical size is a concern, then I would go for the smallest gun-style flash you can get, such as an Olympus FL-600R or FL-36R. These units provide similar design and control as a larger flash, but with less power. They can be mounted with most of the same diffusers and light modifiers.
     
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  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The reason you mentioned is half of why I don't use flash much. The other half is I like candid photos for travel, hanging out with friends, parties etc. Firing off a flash pretty generally obliterates opportunities for candid photos (or at least more than one in a row) :biggrin:

    Sizewise, since I don't use it often I just hate to lug around a huge flash unit for the once in a blue moon it gets used. The FL-36R looks interesting, I like that it can tilt AND swivel though it looks appreciably larger than the FL-300R.
     
  6. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    297
    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Lee Osenton
    Olympus FL36R

    I use an Olympus FL36R with my G3 and it works fine. There is also an older version that does not have wireless and it should be cheaper if you can find one. I believe the Olympus FL36 is also sold under the Panasonic brand with a different model number (but is overpriced).

    These flashes only take 2 AA batteries, so recycle times are a bit slow when compared to larger flashes. I use Sanyo Eneloop batteries; they work as well as alkaline and are rechargeable. Unlike NimH batteries, they don't bleed down when stored so my flash is always ready.

    Many others are using Metz flashes. I previously had a Nissin DI466 that was pretty good for a low budget choice ($125). The 466 is about the same size as the FL36R, but it takes 4 batteries so recycle times are faster.

    Lee
     
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  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    If you like to bounce, you'll want both tilt and swivel. Otherwise you'll be limited to horizontal format shots.

    I have a Metz 48 AF1 that I lucked into on eBay for under $100 delivered. It meets all your requirements plus it swivels. Generally it has more power than I need. I recall one backlit outdoor shot with the subject at about ten feet where I had to turn it down to about 1/32 power to get the subtle fill I wanted. It is not very small though.
     
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  8. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks for the input all! Here's what I've decided to do for now:

    1) Get a LightScoop and try it out with my G3. This might be approximately equivalent to what I've done with the GF2 before by bending the flash head back and I'm thinking it will work for most of my day to day flash uses (or lack thereof).

    2) If the LightScoop doesn't work out the way I want, I'll probably pick up the Fl-300R solely for the tiny size.

    3) Eventually I'll probably pick up a larger flash to play around with for fill and tilt/swivel bouncing when I really want to use a flash. After doing some more research it seems like my choices for a tilt/swivel flash unit are "big" and "bigger", so I figure I'd just as soon go with the more versatile (and faster recycling) flash. I'm considering a Polaroid PL-150DOP, Metz 50, or Olympus FL-600R right now.
     
  9. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    "...a LightScoop"
    Let us know how that works; particularly when there is no wall to bounce the light. I'd hate to have a face full of light as I place the viewfinder-less camera in front of me when I hit the shutter.
     
  10. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The G3 has a viewfinder. On the viewfinder-less GF2 I just bend the flash head back with my finger since the hinge bends in both directions. Wish they'd put that (unintentional I'm sure) feature into more pop-up flashes!

    The LightScoop is listed as compatible with the G3 but we'll see how it works in practice. That Demb Pop-Up Flip-It looks good too, I may order one of those as well to try out. Definitely let us know how it works for you when you get your Demb.
     
  11. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    deleted. duplicate post
     
  12. Pixelslave

    Pixelslave New to Mu-43

    5
    May 18, 2012
    I've been looking at the Metz 44 as it's ttl and can also be used for remote flash work with Olympus bodies. It seems fairly compact but I think it only has 4 levels in manual mode when it's set off camera (1/1, 1/2, 1/8 and 1/64) which might limit the usefulness for some. If I get that I might just get a Yongnuo model to go with it so I can experiment with lighting a bit more.

    The FL36R looks like a really nice little flash but I find it hard to justify paying those sorts of prices for something I don't tend to use that often. I've been looking on eBay but they don't go cheap in the UK.
     
  13. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Nov 26, 2011
    Jloden - what did you get? I'm looking for a flash for my G3 as well.
     
  14. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I did two things:

    1) Got a Demb Pop-Up Flip-It Deluxe which works really well for softening and bouncing the on-board flash on the G3 (now a G5 since my G3 took a fatal fall a few months back). I'm a huge fan of this product. Fits in a pocket of my camera bag and turns ugly harsh flash into nice diffuse lighting.

    2) Eventually picked up a FL600R flash unit. I don't use it much yet but I'd like to get into off camera flash so I invested in a larger flash for that eventually. The FL600R is considerably smaller than the Metz 50 which I also tried, but it's still pretty large compared to the G3 or GX1 body. Definitely not something I'd throw in a bag as a "just in case" flash.

    That's where the Demb is far more useful in my bag. For the rare times I want to use flash the Flip-It is most of what I need, just a little fill light that doesn't give that "deer in the headlights" look.
     
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  15. badcatgary

    badcatgary Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Jun 26, 2012
    Denver, CO
    Jeremy
    Do you have any pictures of this on your G3 or G5? I'm considering one as well, but not sure if the basic or deluxe makes more sense.
     
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I've got both the basic (for the GX1) and the deluxe model. You want the deluxe for the G3 or G5, because it sits in the hotshoe mount to make it more secure, and it will fit perfectly over the flash unit.

    Here's some examples of the deluxe on the G3 that I took for Joe Demb when we were emailing back and forth.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. badcatgary

    badcatgary Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Jun 26, 2012
    Denver, CO
    Jeremy
    Perfect, thanks!