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Recommend me a flash.

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Speedliner, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Need it to be as automatic as possible and capable of off-camera use.

    Simple to use is good. Inexpensive is good, but not at the expense of usability. If it's hard to use I'll wind up not using it.

    Thanks in advance. There are so many at wide price ranges.
  2. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Automatic means you want TTL... that leaves you with native Oly & Panasonic 4/3 & mu-43 flashes and possibly Metz.

    Many of the Oly & Pana flashes have infrared wireless control, but it's line of sight and doesn't work well in sunlight.
    IIRC, there may be a set of remote radio triggers which do TTL pass-through.

    Do you have an idea of GN (brightness / distance) needed?

  3. evilnim

    evilnim Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 27, 2012
    Nissin i40 - works with FL-LM2 commander for off camera wireless use, small, decent GN for general use and HSS 1:8000.

    Still learning and playing around with mine but enjoying it thoroughly.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I really like the Oly FL600R. Not terribly expensive, works like a champ on my EM5 without much hassle, the TTL exposes properly, it comes with a remote stand and it links fine to the little FL-LM2 flash that comes with the camera, used as a commander. Fits in my camera bag as well without leaving out another lens. It turns out the Sto-Fen even has a diffuser to fit it.
  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I agree with Jfrader. The FL600R is a good all round choice. The other benefit to having at least one FL600R it is the only large flash that will work as a flash commander. This helps to mitigate the bright light issue for wireless TTL using the optical remote trigger.
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    Oly FL600R or Panasonic FL360L (same flash) are excellent. THe Panasonic one is usually cheaper for some reason, even though they are interchangeable and literally the same unit with different branding.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Thanks folks. Barry, I don't have an idea. New to flash, just don't want to go small and wind up having to upgrade. Would rather get the right one and grow into it.
  8. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Panasonic FL-360L. It's the same flash as the Olympus FL-600R, only $70 cheaper ($229 vs. $299 on B&H)

    Same. Flash. Same features. Same compatibility. TTL, HSS, and, since you have an EM-1, RC (TTL/HSS/remote power setting) slave capability if you use the accessory flash on the hotshoe.

    Translation: The power's not as high as the FL-580L, but then it's a smaller, more compact unit and half the price. It has TTL (which automatically sets the flash's power output based on metering a small "preflash" burst of light), so it's good for run'n'gun event shooting (social stuff, parties) where you may not have time to set the power manually. It has HSS, so you can use shutter speeds above your sync speed (1/320s, I think). And it has wireless control over near-infrared light signals (kind of like a TV remote) with the RC system. This system may have line-of-sight and range issues outside in bright sunlight, but will work well indoors in studio-type conditions. It has manual power control, so you can also use it off-camera with manual radio triggers.

    It also has a tilt/swivel in the head, so you can do on-camera bouncing and have your choice of bounce surfaces (ceilings/walls) and angles so you can choose the direction of the bounced light. There is, however, no sync port and no battery pack port (this is not uncommon for a midgrade flash vs. a top-end one).
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
    • Informative Informative x 2
  9. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    The Panasonic is not cheaper everywhere. For some reason, in Toronto, while the FL-600 price doesn't change, the Panasonic is constantly going up and down in price. It'll overshoot the price of the Oly, then come back down below it. Then overshoot again... Meanwhile, the Oly flash sitting next to it is the same price, day after day.

  10. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    Metz 50af-1 is good and cheap.
  11. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    The Nissin i40 or older Di466 will save your pocketbook some pain and are great flashes.
  12. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    I have the Fl36R which I am really happy about. I amnily use mine for Macro stuff as I reaaly dont like the look of flash lighting when used in low light.
    I found a used one very cheaply (I paid about 75 USD) for mine. It is small and compact which I like - a too bulky falsh sort goes against the idea of the m43 format. The tradeoff is that the small size/low weight comes at the cost of longer flash recycling due to only having 2 batteries. The remote function also works nicely.
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    As a second flash I think this is the best option. If it would act as a remote commander it would be perfect, but I think the FL600 gets the nod as the first flash.
  14. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    Go on ebay and get a Sunpak 383 super. As powerful/good as an FL50 for $40 give or take. They are out of production I think, so ebay is your best bet. Work fine in auto on camera and off camera w/triggers. No TTL or light activated. Fast recharge too.
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    As a budget or light use solution, I think that is a nice option if you can find it used.
    The FL-600R (or panasonic version) is actually a hair smaller and lighter and recycles several times faster.
  16. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    As i recall the Fl-600r takes 4 batteries vs only 2 in the Fl-36r which improves recycle rate but it should also mean that the 600 is somewhat heavier if not bigger?
  17. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    It just means the newer flash was designed to make better use of space. The size and weight of the flashes are almost identical according to the published specs, with the FL-600R actually being slightly smaller and 5g lighter. Of course, loaded with batteries, the FL-600r would weigh about 2 AA batteries more. But I doubt that's a major consideration for most.

    Here's a side by side using the matching simulation site:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. ThereAndBackAgain

    ThereAndBackAgain Fighting GAS

    May 26, 2014
    North Devon, England
    I have the Metz 44 AF1 which works very well with the tiny bundled flash as a commander on both my E-PL5 and E-M5. It seems you have a fair choice out there: others might recommend the Yongnuo offerings for sheer bang-per-buck but I've yet to try them.
  19. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Would any TTL flash work automatically, like a yongnuo, or must it be compatible? Not clear if TTL is a universal standard or not.
  20. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    No they have to use either the 4/3 hot shoe protocol or the wireless optical protocol. This is a good resource:

    • Like Like x 1
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