Will Canon 580 EX ll work on the OM-D

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by timein, May 18, 2012.

  1. timein

    timein Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 9, 2011
    I'm a little confused - will the 580 EX ll work in TTL mode on the EM-5. Is it fully compatible or do I need an Olympus flash for this? Thanks for your help.

    This is a great site!
  2. captevo

    captevo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    It will ONLY work as manual. No TTL.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you're mounting it on the hotshoe, it's better to put some tape over the extra contacts besides the center trigger. If you're using an adapter, don't worry about it. The important part though is to keep the flash on manual.
  4. timein

    timein Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 9, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I'm in the process of switching over to the Olympus m43 system and though I could still use the flash. That will go with the camera, lens, and accessories too.
  5. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    To toss a little extra info in, if you've got other hot shoe like off-shoe cables, the Canon models work perfectly on M43. Canon's wiring layout is the same as Olympus except they have one extra pin.

    I use my old Canon off-shoe cables to trigger my FL-36R off-shoe from my M43 cameras. Works great; no trouble passing TTL even with a hacked-up cable I made with 20ft of CAT5.

    The 580EXII has a secondary thyristor flash mode, doesn't it? I bet you could use that on your EM5 to get auto exposure.
  6. TDP

    TDP Guest

    I wouldn't get rid of a 580ii, just rig a cable or go wireless.

    From this evening, my em5 and 580ii

    Wireless flash by Photos by TDP, on Flickr
  7. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    You know, this then begs the question whether for-Canon wireless TTL radio triggers would work, too. Guess it would depend on whether they're simply passing the TTL contact signals through or manipulating the signals. (i.e., could be problematic with PocketWizards [think: Hypersync]).
  8. Uwharrie

    Uwharrie Mu-43 Veteran

    May 10, 2012
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Lynne Ezzell
    I was just about to ask if pocket wizards would work ( canon to m43)
  9. TDP

    TDP Guest

    You would need to know the pinouts of both the 580 and the om5, and also the trigger voltage. Canon uses 5 pins, my Olympus has only 4.
  10. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    You'd think they'd just be passing the TTL over the air. That would be a ton simpler than trying to decode Canon's protocol (which Canon is notoriously tight-lipped about). But who knows!

    TDP, the Canon and Olympus pinouts are essentially the same. For Canon there's the standard center point for trigger and four signal points arranged in a square pattern. Oly is the same but with one of the four signal poins missing.

    If you put a Canon off-shoe cord on an Olympus body, the extra signal point contacts plastic, helplessly, and thus won't make a contact.

    I don't know Canon's trigger voltage, but it's <=6V (I say because some low-end bodies cannot handle >6V trigger voltage without shutter damage). I know the Olympus E-410 (Four Thirds) couldn't handle >6V trigger voltage, either, so Oly's trigger voltage must also be <=6V.

    You can assume by the fact that both systems are spec'ed to 6V maximum on at least some of their bodies that neither system's flash is >6V, and thus neither system can damage the other. At least as far as Four Thirds goes. I'd guess that M43 is the same, but I don't know that for a fact.

    Anecdotally I know it's not a positive proof that you cannot damage a camera this way, but I've used each system's flashes on the other system with no problems (Canon cameras tend to lock up when they are confused by a flash). I didn't tape anything off, FWIW.
  11. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Well, to me it's pretty clear that PocketWizard is doing some manipulation of the Canon signals within the Canon protocol to provide additional features like Hypersync (I think this extends the flash pulse duration, not sure) and wireless rear-curtain sync (something Canon's own protocol [even the fancy new 600EX-RT/ST-E3-RT radio signalling] does not accomplish). Not simple pass-through, and obviously protocol-specific.

    And no way are Olympus and Canon using the same signalling protocol.

    The Pixel Kings and the Phottix Odins, though, I have no clue.

    And RadioPopper PXs are a completely different matter, since they completely bypass the hotshoe communication and use the magnetic pulses caused by the light signalling to pass through the (near)-IR signalling via radio. Theoretically this would work with Oly gear, if you have a master unit as well as a slave.

    But cool beans about the pin/contact layouts and sync voltage limits being the same. This is good information to know.
  12. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    In my case, if I really want control, even with the olympus Fl 36, I set camera and flash on manual, and dial flash power up or down. Couple test shots usually gets it right. Not super fast to get the first shot, but it works great with total control of flash, ambient light balance. Want softer light, twist flash to shoot over the shoulder. I have to stay low-tech, for budget's sake.