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Working With What I Have... For Right Now... Insights Requested!

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by SCT, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. SCT

    SCT Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Mar 8, 2011
    Landover, MD, USA
    So, I have an EPL1. Every EPL1 owner knows that it poops out fine pictures when there's plenty of light not requiring a flash. But when it just that bit dark, the built-in flash is but so much.

    Money is an issue for right now at least, hopefully. Otherwise I would buy the FL50R or the Metz 50 in a heartbeat and have a heart attack.

    My dad used to be into cameras, not much anymore. So I have a 40 year old Vivitar 283 with the auto thyristor and the old Braun RL 515 flash. I can't use the Braun RL 515, the battery for that is the Eveready No.497 510V battery. I can find them, $140+.... 510V.... a few of those, I can make my 32" LCD flatscreen and Xbox 360 portable, maybe a fridge and a microwave too.

    I read online that the old Vivi 283 puts out up to 280V at the hot shoe which will fry the EPL1 or any digital camera for all that matters. You know, before I did this bit of research, I actually slid the 283 onto my EPL1 hot shoe and snapped 5 test shots... the flash did not fire, not sure why, it should've flashed since it was a hot shoe but maybe it did require the PC shutter cord or maybe a setting? Bad internal wiring? But fortunately, it didn't.

    So, 283 throws out a voltage a digital camera cannot take. Well, I found this little guy after further research:

    200329_emp.

    Wein PC Safe Hot Shoe to Hot Shoe with a PC shutter cord input whatever whatever. eBay, up to $50. They have a circuit within them that reduces the super voltages from ancient flashes to a small voltage that pussy, little [or big] digital cameras can handle.

    Before I go buying the Wein adapter and try using the Vivitar 283 again risking a camera-turned charcoal...

    Anyone use, or used, the Wein adapter?

    If this works, I have plans on using this flash off the camera. I can utilize the flash bracket from the Braun flash so I still have full use of the hot shoe on the camera so I can use my VF2 AND the 283 flash. I read some where that I can take two small wires, tape them to the appropriate hot shoe leads and slide the VF2 right over it.

    What the heck was Oly thinking putting the accessory port under the hot shoe. I'm quite surprised, although the accessory port is proprietary, that no one in China has made a cable for it. Then we'll all be able to use the VF2 five feet or whatever away from the camera.

    I hope I can get this 283 to work nicely with my EPL1.
     
  2. ill_dawg

    ill_dawg Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Aug 26, 2010
    If you want to use the flash off-camera and you want to use the vf-2 at the same time, why not try an optical slave trigger?

    Something like this seems like it would work. Not sure about this exact model, since it seems to have mixed reviews, but it's a lot cheaper what you were thinking about, and someone in the comments mentions using a similar flash.

    Not sure if it would work for the setup you have in mind, but it seems like it would offer more flexibility. Also, i have not tried this setup myself, so cannot comment from personal experience. Hope this helps.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Edgar_M

    Edgar_M New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 7, 2012
    Portugal
    Hi SCT
    I don't know about Wein adaptor, if I was you, I would put my money in for a wireless cactus trigger (v4 or v5) they are rated to work at maximus of 300v, and in the event of a malfunction your camera is safe because there is no direct conection between the camera and the flash.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I agree with the other posters - that adapter is $$$!

    Just try an optical slave trigger or the cheap radio triggers (I used CowboyStudio). I bought both and tried them on my dad's ancient (but pristine) Vivitar Thyristor 3700. Works and nothing blew up!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    The Wein PC Safe Hot Shoe is reliable and safe but won't allow the use of the VF2.

    As some have suggested, an optical trigger connected to the 283 will work. Set your camera's flash to manual at a very low power level. Set your exposure based on the 283. The more powerful 283 will overpower the low level of the built in flash.

    Fred
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Radio triggers have to be built for the voltage of the flash as well.

    The Wein Safe Adapter is not a bad long-term investment, as it will allow you to safely use many old flashes inexpensively once you've made that initial purchase. It is also a safer way to use any manual flash even if they are made for a digital voltage, as it will prevent feedback. I don't think it's too expensive at all. In fact, at my local camera stores I can't get a Safe Sync for less than $100, so $50 is a steal.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. SCT

    SCT Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Mar 8, 2011
    Landover, MD, USA
    Excellent! Thanks guys.

    I'm going to go ahead and buy an optical slave trigger since theyre less than $10. Hopefully I can get one within the week or so, so I can try it out and all before a party I want to take pictures of which will be sufficiently dark to require a flash.
     
  8. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    Be aware that a optical trigger will only work if the camera flash is set to manual. If ttl is on the pre flash will trigger the slave flash and by the time you actually take the photo, the slave is reloading! I had a flash that was TTL only making the slave flash useless.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Olympus cameras are the best for triggering optical slaves! Panasonic has a stupid built-in flash system which only allows you to choose Auto settings and no direct manual power. With an Olympus camera you can set your flash to different manual power settings such as 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, or 1/64th. Basically, you just want to choose the lowest setting (ie, starting from 1/64th power) you can that will still set off the slave sensor. There is NO pre-flash involved when you use these settings.

    The only real problem with optical slaves is if you're at an event or party and there are too many other people there taking pictures. They can set off your flash too. ;) For this you might want to consider PC Sync instead to a flash bracket (but that would require that Safe Sync adapter if your flash is old enough).

    I often use optical sensors for multiple light setups. It's very easy, affordable, and convenient, with little setup involved. As photography is my job, I am usually paid to be the one to shoot photos so interference from other photographers is not an issue. However, if I'm shooting and mingling at an event then I will often use a single flash on a bracket, attached via PC Sync. If I have off-camera flash set up in these situations, then I prefer radio trigger.

    Of course, when I do use optical triggers I trigger them from a single external flash on a flash bracket, not by the built-in flash. I might use the built-in flash if I want to use the VF-2 on a PEN camera at the same time that I trigger my slaves. :)
     
  10. SCT

    SCT Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Mar 8, 2011
    Landover, MD, USA
    I got the OST today before I left for work so I haven't got a chance to try it yet. But it's from CowboyStudios purchased from Amazon.com. $16 after shipping.

    It has a PC sync input. My Vivitar 283 uses the PC cord so that willbe connected. But even then, I hardly ever going to an event where there's no one else but me with a camera... friends parties and stuff. Everyone uses their cell phones.

    I have a bracket from the old Braun RL 515 flash which is pretty sturdy and stuff. Allows me to use my VF2 :)

    Hmmm...

    Ned, how many slaves have you used at one time? I'm think if I had 40 flashes with each having a optical slave trigger of it's own... Or maybe I'm a going a bit creatively crazy...
     
  11. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I'll be interested to hear how the OST works for you. I'm thinking of learning how to use off-camera flash and would prefer to pick up a dirt-cheap unit from the thrift store just to try things out at first.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think 40 is a little excessive. ;) I generally use about 5 or 6 at a time on an average shoot. I know other photographers who use about 15. With half a dozen speedlights I do often reach the limits of my lighting, so I could see that many as being beneficial... but I don't have the resources to support it (ie, light stands, light modifiers, speedrings, triggers, batteries, chargers, money for the speedlights themselves, etc.). 40 speedlights may be useful to light up an entire auditorium or wide angle scene. ;) You have to keep in mind that a large speedlight setup is more expensive than a studio strobe setup. Its advantage is in mobility and versatility, so you want to be careful about losing too much of that advantage by having too complex of a setup.

    Most of my lights don't require separate optical slaves because I have a lot of money invested in R-Series Olympus speedlights, all of which come with optical sensors. Many Nikon speedlights do as well. I just use a few optical eyes for those lights which don't include one of their own. I should probably check out your source though, because they cost me $30 locally, and that's for the cheap no-name ones. The brand-name Wein sensors cost $65! :eek: $16 each is such a steal... but then, same thing with radio triggers here as well. The cheapest no-name brand runs $100 for a transmitter and receiver, while a decent Yongnuo set online costs $35 for a transmitter and 4 receivers... xP

    Since your optical eye has a PC Sync port, that means you can also use it wired direct to your camera if you buy that Safe Sync hotshoe adapter. The PC Sync cables are male on both ends, which means that you need an adapter for both your flash foot as well as your hotshoe. So this will still be useful to you if you decide you don't like the optical sensor and want to go for wired sync instead. Although... I'm not sure I would want an optical eye on my flash foot adapter, as that would mean it could still be triggered by other photographers' lights.
     
  13. SCT

    SCT Mu-43 Regular

    141
    Mar 8, 2011
    Landover, MD, USA
    I got home and couldn't wait to try out the OST badboy. I'll tell you this, when I first plugged it up, it acted stupid. It would trigger the flash on its own without anything a few times and doesn't see the flash from my camera. Yep, I even tried full power of my EPL1's flash RIGHT INFRONT of the OST's eye, point blank. Didn't register. After a few more test shots, it started working :smile: The OST triggers the flash PERFECTLY. Sample photos as follows.

    EPL1 in Program mode, No Flash
    [​IMG]

    EPL1 in Program mode, Full Flash from EPL1
    [​IMG]

    EPL1 in Program mode, Full Flash from OST (flash bounced off the ceiling)
    [​IMG]

    And if you're wondering the OST is actually triggering the flash at the right point of shutter click... the flash with the OST in the lower right.
    [​IMG]

    I'll take some test shots in a room later. Oh, it lights the whole room.