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Thread: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

  1. #1
    wonderer
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    Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    I am a new member here so hello to all!

    I am considering getting an mFT camera for a light-weight single-lens setup. However I want a small flash for this setup which also does bounce. I know that FL-36 is an option but i think that it is still a bit too large and heavy for these cameras specially for GF1.

    So does anyone have a recommendation for a flash which is smaller/lighter and still resonably powerful?

    Ideally I want something like a Canon 270EX or Nikon SB-400. Both are very light, with very good recycle times and the power is not bad (Canon GN=27, Nikon GN=30m). Unfortunately they dont have manual controls, otherwise I would have been happy to use one of these on an mFT body in manual mode.

  2. #2
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by wonderer View Post
    I am a new member here so hello to all!

    I am considering getting an mFT camera for a light-weight single-lens setup. However I want a small flash for this setup which also does bounce. I know that FL-36 is an option but i think that it is still a bit too large and heavy for these cameras specially for GF1.

    So does anyone have a recommendation for a flash which is smaller/lighter and still resonably powerful?
    I haven't seen much that I like more than the FL36. It provides the full range of features and options, is reasonably powerful, and is not overly large or heavy. It's only deficiency is that with two batteries, it will slow down on recycles after a short bit of heavy use. I use it quite often with the G1 body for tabletop and portraiture in the field.

  3. #3
    kmanphoto
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I haven't seen much that I like more than the FL36. It provides the full range of features and options, is reasonably powerful, and is not overly large or heavy. It's only deficiency is that with two batteries, it will slow down on recycles after a short bit of heavy use. I use it quite often with the G1 body for tabletop and portraiture in the field.
    I agree - I have the ep-1 with the FL36 and it actually does a great job for its size. Also with the ep-1 the eTTL ( or whatever olympus calls it ) actually works fairly well

    kman

  4. #4
    wonderer
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Thanks for the encouragement on using FL-36. I should give that a try.

    A while ago I used a Canon 430EX flash with the canon G6 compact for a few months. While the results were great, the flash was larger and heavier than the camera (even though G6 was a relatively bulky compact). As a result the balance in my hand was pretty bad. I hope the G1/GF1 + FL-36 proves to be a better combo

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    Member Ron Evers's Avatar
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    One way to use a larger flash with the features you desire & not have the camera/flash top heavy is to mount the flash outboard. You will need a TTL flash cord @ 32C$ on e-bay. this also provides a nice grip for your left hand.


    Panasonic G1 & GF1 bodies, Panasonic 14-45, 45-200mm, various Minolta, Pentax, Canon FD, M39 & M42 mount lenses.

  6. #6
    doubledan
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    The FL-36 is great, but if you can live with less than full automation, it's hard to beat the tiny, lightweight, cheap (less than $50) Mecablitz 20C-2.

    It uses two AA batteries. It works great for bounce-flash (it's only the reflecter, not the entire head of the flash, that flips up to various angles; important to know this because some salesmen will take one look at the head and swear it doesn't bounce. I found this not once, but twice, at B&H).

    This little Metz can be used fully manual, but it also has two useful auto settings, at f2.8 and f5.6. With a little experimentation youl find the right apertures on your lens to get just the exposure you want. Generally, working at ISO 400 with either of my m43 cameras or my film ZI , I will set the flash at 2.8 and the lens at 5.6 or a bit higher. I use a homemade half-diffuser fashioned from a plastic milk bottle. It has become almost a no-brainer.

    As I use flash only rarely in any case, the Metz covers such needs as I have with a minimum of weight and fuss. If I used flash a lot I would probably carry two units, the FL-36 for the digital cameras and the Metz for the ZI.

    Good luck.

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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    My solution to the large flash guns was to purchase Phottix wireless trigger system. Before I did I was using a SB-800 ( too big ), SB-20 ( again too big ), and finally settled on the SB-15. The SB-15 is smallest of the three and can bounce in either landscape or portrait orientation. Shooting manual with the GF1 and auto setting on the SB-15 I was able to light up a small room using bounce flash. After purchasing the Phottix wireless kit much better. I can now use flash off the GF1 ( the transmitter is tiny ) and place it anywhere in a room and get acceptable results.

  8. #8
    wonderer
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Thanks for all the insights!

    @ron - that looks like an interesting idea to handle the balance issue. I already have a wireless trigger and can possibly use that here as well. However I am considering m4/3 mainly for things like casual get-together etc where I dont want to lug around a regular DSLR setup. whereas this is a very non-casual setup

    @doubledan - i prefer to use my flashes in manual mode anyway so thats not an issue. Thanks for the tip about Mecablitz 20 - looks like a pretty lightweight package! My worry would be whether it has enough power for bounce. But you have mentioned that bounce works well so definitely worth looking into

    @wjlapier - the SB-15 looks great! I had given up the hope that I can do portrait-mode bounce with a small flash. Though I dont understand why Nikon's flash model numebrs dont reflect their GN even though every other manufacturer follows this practice. I was almost going to pass on SB-15 thinking that it is a GN15 flash even though it turns out it is GN25 which should be decent.

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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    I've been using an Olympus FL-50 flash and off-camera cord mounted on a Custom Brackets Mini RC bracket via a Really Right Stuff cold shoe. The left hand is free to focus or zoom, and there is room on the right to change SD cards and operate the right hand controls or adjust the flash. It's also free-standing. Other than its imposing size, the biggest drawback is the camera must be removed to change the battery, although a quick release plate and clamp make it easier. (RRS plate and Kirk clamp)
    ______________
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    Senior Member bensonga's Avatar
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    That small Metz 20 C-2 appealed to me for a small fill flash, so I ordered one this afternoon. I'm also wondering if the Vivitar 285HC that I purchased a few years ago would work ok with the G1. I don't have alot of experience using flashes (ok, very little). I'd like to have it mounted on a side grip (not on the cameras hot shoe)....what are these cords I see (as in the photo above) and how do they differ, if at all, from a regular PC synch cord?

    Gary

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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Bounced SB-20 wireless on a tripod behind me.

  12. #12
    wonderer
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    @bowman - thanks for providing detailed information on this useful setup. I will definitely look into this for the times when I use the G1 for more formal stuff.

    @bensogna - please do let us know about your experience with the Metz, specially if you use it for bounce

  13. #13
    wonderer
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by wjlapier View Post
    Bounced SB-20 wireless on a tripod behind me.
    This is a pretty effective bounce. However I thought you wnet for SB-15 instead of SB-20. So is it from SB-15 or is it from the older days when you had SB-20?

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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by wonderer View Post
    This is a pretty effective bounce. However I thought you wnet for SB-15 instead of SB-20. So is it from SB-15 or is it from the older days when you had SB-20?
    I was setting up my lights for Christmas morning. My test subject happened to be nearby so I took a few shots. This was with only the SB20. Tomorrow I will be using both flash wirelessly. Yes, I do have both flash and if I were to use on on camera it would be the SB15 because I can bounce in portrait orientation.

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    Member DjordjeJ's Avatar
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    One more vote for Metz 20C-2. I had it before with E-510 and LX3. It worked very well, and it is very light. I think it is good alternative for something like SB-400 or EX-270. Here are some pictures of metz mounted on LX3. It was wasy to use that combo, so it would be easier with m43 camera. Sadly I sold it before I bought E-P1. I use FL-36R and it is great flash, but for everyday use something like Metz 20C-2 would be better. I might buy it again:


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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    I am working with the metz 28. This is a portable slave flash that is triggered by the internal flash. Since the flash does not have to be attached to the camera, you can bounce it place in any direction. I turn the internal flash down -2EV

  17. #17
    Super Duper
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Is the FL-36 still available new or only the FL-36r?

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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by mark1958 View Post
    I am working with the metz 28. This is a portable slave flash that is triggered by the internal flash. Since the flash does not have to be attached to the camera, you can bounce it place in any direction. I turn the internal flash down -2EV
    I use exactly the same combo.....and settings. An extremely versatile flash.

    R

  19. #19
    Member DjordjeJ's Avatar
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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    Quote Originally Posted by scho View Post
    Is the FL-36 still available new or only the FL-36r?
    I think that "R" version replaced older non-R version.

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    Re: Small bounce flash for G1/GF1

    KEH.com has the fl-36 (non-R) for a good price (109-119$) at the EX+ rating. I've had good luck with them over the years.

    JT

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