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Using strobes with GH2

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Z-man, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    Can't find anywhere on my GH2 where I can manually control the flash so it can fire remote strobes. How do you guys accomplish this?
     
  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    My first attempt was using the pop-up flash. I had to dial down the power on the remote to 1/4 power so that it could recycle quickly enough to fire twice in a row (preflash and then flash).

    That was a PITA so I bought an cheap manual flash for $11 off of eBay to use that as a trigger.

    Then I decided I wanted to have more fun, so I got another real flash (a Yongnou) and a set of radio triggers from Cowboy Studio. They work just fine. I use the receiver with the Yongnou and the Metz is in optical slave mode.
     
  3. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    If you're looking for wireless TTL, the GH2 doesn't support it. None of the current Panasonics do. Otherwise, what sprinkle said.

    Gordon
     
  4. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    If it's like my G2 you can't control the flash manually. I used to exactly what you want on my E600. Set the flash to manual at a low power setting to trigger an off camera flash. I really miss this.

    Fred
     
  5. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    So what about Olympus .? Does one their bodies allow firing of strobes by using the on board flash?
     
  6. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    All of the Oly bodies support RC mode (optical firing with TTL support).

    Edit: You have to use a slave flash that supports RC mode, e.g. Oly FL-50R or the Metz versions, etc
     
  7. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    On Olympus bodies the built-in flash can be set to manual and the power setting can be reduced. This allows it to trigger any flash with an optical trigger without affecting the exposure much, if at all.

    Fred
     
  8. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012
    Has anyone tried an IR-pass filter over the popup flash to use it as a flash commander? Supposedly old developed pieces of film (unexposed) will work for this....
     
  9. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    This does work, although its a less than elegant solution. I cut a window out of a black plastic film canister and covered it with the film then cut a notch on the other side to allow the film canister to fit over the popup flash of my Fujifilm S6000FD. It worked to trigger an off camera Metz slave flash.
     
  10. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    628
    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    remote flash trigger, or an optical slave triggered off the camera flash
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Remote flash trigger yes, but I think the OP's problem with the on-camera flash is Panasonic's inability to manually control power on it. Of course, adding a hotshoe flash would work instead.

    I don't know if the OP is talking about studio strobes (ie, like monolights) or speedlights though. Both can be called strobes... If it's the latter, then adding a hotshoe flash to trigger another hotshoe flash may not be the solution he's looking for.

    Radio trigger is really the best option, though.
     
  12. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    Just to clarify. Elinchrome monolights with soft boxes. My buddy is giving them to me. Which Olympus? Obviously just for portrait stuff.
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Every Olympus has always had manual power control for flash, from Reflex to Non-Reflex.

    The Remote Commander stuff talked about here is out of context with your Elinchromes, but every Olympus camera since the fall of 2007 (the E-3 and on) has had the Remote Flash Commander with the exception of the E-P1 and E-P2 PENs.
     
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    You could use wireless triggers like these
    CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories

    If you want to go with wires you can get a hotshoe adapter that has a pc connection on it like this
    CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories

    Along with sync cables
    CowboyStudio Photography Lighting | Studio Equipment | Studio Accessories

    Fred
     
  15. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Nov 16, 2011
    I just want to be able to trigger them (strobes) using the on board flash and slave mode. Can't do this with the GH2 because it fires a pre flash which would trip the strobes early. I think I will look at the Olympus EPL2. As long as I can scale back the on board flash.
     
  16. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Just want to point out that I thought the same in the beginning, but eventually I ran into a situation where I absolutely didn't want any light coming from the direction of the camera. So radio triggers have been invaluable to me.
     
  17. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    +1 Even moreso than not wanting light coming from the direction of the camera, I found that the slave flashes just weren't as consistent as I would have liked because so much depended on how the off camera strobes were placed as well as the ambient light levels. With radio triggers they fire every time.
     
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If I use the on-board flash on an E-PL2 (or other Olympus) to fire strobes, I set it to 1/64th power. This should be sufficient to trigger your optical sensors. Of course, the more enclosed the space the easier. You can also bounce the E-PL2 flash up with your finger, but you shouldn't need to at 1/64th power (putting that much effort into using an optical slave defeats the convenience of the optical wireless system).

    Personally, I prefer to use a hotshoe flash on a bracket, as that will allow me to soften the light with modifiers so it gives a nice fill rather than any harmful effect.
     
  19. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Jul 20, 2010
    Buy all your strobes that have a "Slave" function option.

    I have a Sunpak AF5000 For a Canon TTL, (it will work with the flash in "A" and "M" mode. The Contacts are in the same pattern as far these two modes are concerned. The Electric Zoom will work also (via the On flash control, not via lens signals)

    And it has 1:1 to 1:32 Power output, AND Slave option, And 2nd curtain sync.

    If you NEED TTL because of the nature of the project, then a Flash with TTL and Slave Option. The Main flash will control the output of itself only, and shot it down when ALL the light flashed has satisfied the exposure. Not as good as IR, control in some rooms and setups, but a little cheaper.

    And Cheap eBay IR flash controllers/transmitters. can be an option also with TTL flash that don't have a Slave Option.

    BUT, I have [not] used it with my G3 on board flash, But, on the flash shoe for a more powerful unit.
    Why not put an external flash on the GH2, and the other units as Slave unites?
    It worked for Pro's Way before Wireless Flash Control was around.