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Thread: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

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    Question Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Anyone aware of a reliable system flash that will work with manual focus lenses on m4/3rds cams?

    I am particularly looking for a ring/macro flash (no continuous lights but the types that will flash sync at 1/160s).

    TIA.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    metz autoflash?

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    That is an interesting flash!

    Anyone has first hand experience with that (with any system)?

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    I just realized that the Metz autoflash is only as good as the pop up flash on the cam.

    This means it is a no go with the Pana m4/3rds as it only works (exposes properly) ~1 in 10 shots or so.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I just realized that the Metz autoflash is only as good as the pop up flash on the cam.

    This means it is a no go with the Pana m4/3rds as it only works (exposes properly) ~1 in 10 shots or so.
    Vivek, that's not my experience at all. I have a Mecablitz 48 AF-1 (for Olympus/Panasonic cameras), which I use off-camera with an Olympus FL-CB05 Remote Cable. It has a TTL HSS mode that works flawlessly with both the Panasonic 20/1.7 (in M, A, and S exposure modes) and my MF lenses (in M and A exposure modes). The flash also has an M HSS mode that I haven't yet tried. In manual mode you can vary the power from full to 1/128.

    The 48 AF-1 is powerful, reliable, (relatively) inexpensive, and much better value than the corresponding Olympus and Panasonic flashes.

    According to these DPreview forum threads, Olympus and Canon flashes use the same pinout so you can use Canon cables if you need to extend the flash further. (I use Pocket Wizards if I need more extension.)

    Off The Camera Flash Sync Cord Set-Up

    Wired Flash Sync

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    I need a small flash for my new G1.

    I'm used to the Canon 220 flash which simply puts out one flash when you press the shutter release. I'd have thought that the Mecablitz 36 AF-4 was plently large enough for my needs. I see it has E-TTL for the G1.

    Does it have that, for me anyway, annoying pre-flash that the G1 uses with its pop-up flash? Seems slow and amateurish to me.

    Tony

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    the same here:
    Metz 58 AF-1 O used off-camera with Canon ETTL cable. All modes on E-P1 work flawlessy even the HSS modes. TTL HSS and M HSS without any problems.
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    Thumbs up Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Thanks Jonathon and kweide. I will look into the Metz flash.

    (I already have an Olympus flash extension chord.)

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Vivek,

    OK, you are interested in the 58 and I'm looking at the 36.

    I'm sure the 58 is too large to mount on a m43 hotshoe. Is the answer for on-camera flash to be thinking about a flash on a bar from the tripod bush? To move the weight on to the same plane as the camera - as we all had to do before hotshoes were invented.

    Tony

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Tony, I have a small (TTL only) aftermarket flash (takes 4 AAA batts, ~$40 from eBay, bounce is possible). It works well when the system lenses are used. But is unreliable (so is the pop up) when I use manual focus lenses.

    I am not entirely sure that there is any flash that is reliable (if the pop up does not work..).

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Vivek,

    My pop-up works. It is just that I need a guide number of at least 25 to give me some fill on what are otherwise available light group shots. I also hate that pre-flash that it gives as it makes me look like a P&S snapper - and it also creates a delay that my type of photography cannot live with.

    Tony

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Tony, I am quite mindful of the small power of the pop-up.

    My problem is not underexposure (with f/1.4 or faster lenses, for head shoulder portraits)!

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    V.

    "I have a small (TTL only) aftermarket flash (takes 4 AAA batts, ~$40 from eBay, bounce is possible)."

    Could you let me know the details please? Still hunting for something v small.

    Tony

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Tony, 2 AA batts (not 4 AAA). When I bought it, it was badged differently.

    GN22 (actually a tad higher).

    See: ebay #260575493431

    I bought from a different seller.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Anyone aware of a reliable system flash that will work with manual focus lenses on m4/3rds cams?

    I am particularly looking for a ring/macro flash (no continuous lights but the types that will flash sync at 1/160s).

    TIA.
    If you mean 'dedicated auto flash' with adapted manual lenses, I know of no TTL auto flash that is 100% reliable with adapted manual lenses. This is because adapted manual lenses transmit no aperture information to the camera body: the Panasonic (and Olympus, I believe) bodies rely upon the aperture information to make flash power and ambient exposure settings with the dedicated TTL flash units.

    Standard, non-dedicated auto-flash units work very well, but I don't know of any ringlight autoflash units that are not TTL-based.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Godfrey, When there is no stopping down- for example Olympus pen F 40/1.4 wide open, I don't understand why the flash does not function reliably.

    Nikon's i-TTL does (OEM or even third party).

    Given that the whole sensor (or a whole lot of the sensor) is available for metering measurements, I would think the CDAF systems have an advantage with the flash. I dream of some very unque possibilities. Unfortunately, I do not have resources to test the ideas out.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Anyone using radiopoppers or other transmitters to fire off non panasonic/olympus flashes? I have a couple Canon speedlights that I want to use, but need to figure out how to fire them. I used the Canon STE-2 to trigger flashes with my 1DsMKII, but that obviously does not work with a panasonic GF1. So I am curious if someone else has used a wireless trigger on canon or nikon flashes.

    Cliff

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Godfrey, When there is no stopping down- for example Olympus pen F 40/1.4 wide open, I don't understand why the flash does not function reliably.

    Nikon's i-TTL does (OEM or even third party).

    Given that the whole sensor (or a whole lot of the sensor) is available for metering measurements, I would think the CDAF systems have an advantage with the flash. I dream of some very unque possibilities. Unfortunately, I do not have resources to test the ideas out.
    SLRs use dedicated electronic flash light measuring sensors either in the mirror box aimed at the shutter blades/film plane or behind the pentaprism aimed at the focusing screen to do the flash metering. They're far more efficient at it than the imager sensor can be, and faster too. It has nothing to do with CDAF.

    That's not to say it's impossible to do, only that the current implementation in the Panasonic mFT cameras at least (and I think in the Olympus mFT cameras too) requires the lens information of maximum aperture and aperture setting control to work reliably. Adapted manual lenses do not provide this information so the system has difficulty operating with consistency.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by CPWarner View Post
    Anyone using radiopoppers or other transmitters to fire off non panasonic/olympus flashes? I have a couple Canon speedlights that I want to use, but need to figure out how to fire them. I used the Canon STE-2 to trigger flashes with my 1DsMKII, but that obviously does not work with a panasonic GF1. So I am curious if someone else has used a wireless trigger on canon or nikon flashes.
    I use an el cheapo Cactus V4 transmitter/receiver to fire flash units with my L1 and E-1 bodies. It unfortunately causes significant interference and image degradation with the G1 body (as well as with the Canon 5DII and some other cameras) so I can't use it with that. I'm planning to expand my lighting equipment with a set of the Impact transmitter/receivers that B&H Photo sells ... they are known to work with the G1 body well with no interference and are reasonably priced. A friend used Pocket Wizard units and another brand (name I forget) with his G1 and Nikon D200, they work well too. The PWs are somewhat pricey.

    The slaved flash units I use run a gamut from old, cheap junk to the Olympus FL50 (of course, in manual output mode). They'd work fine with the Canon flash units too. BUT, I've found the lesser model Canon flash units (like the EX420 (?) I had) really only work best triggered by Canon cameras and control units ... the 420 had no manual adjustability at all when I tried to use it as a slaved flash: it always fires at full, unmetered output, which meant it was mostly useless to me.

    If your Canon flash units have output power adjustability in manual mode, then they should work fine.

    A good kit of three to four Vivitar 285HV flash units and RF receivers coupled with one transmitter on camera, along with a couple of stands and clamps to hold them, and some light modifiers, constitutes a great lighting kit suitable for professional work at a very reasonable price.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    SLRs use dedicated electronic flash light measuring sensors either in the mirror box aimed at the shutter blades/film plane or behind the pentaprism aimed at the focusing screen to do the flash metering. They're far more efficient at it than the imager sensor can be, and faster too.
    I would disagree with that.

    I will check how Samsung's NX10 behaves. They also have very useful looking (and cute) external flashes unlike the m4/3rds.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I use an el cheapo Cactus V4 transmitter/receiver to fire flash units with my L1 and E-1 bodies. It unfortunately causes significant interference and image degradation with the G1 body (as well as with the Canon 5DII and some other cameras) so I can't use it with that. I'm planning to expand my lighting equipment with a set of the Impact transmitter/receivers that B&H Photo sells ... they are known to work with the G1 body well with no interference and are reasonably priced. A friend used Pocket Wizard units and another brand (name I forget) with his G1 and Nikon D200, they work well too. The PWs are somewhat pricey.

    The slaved flash units I use run a gamut from old, cheap junk to the Olympus FL50 (of course, in manual output mode). They'd work fine with the Canon flash units too. BUT, I've found the lesser model Canon flash units (like the EX420 (?) I had) really only work best triggered by Canon cameras and control units ... the 420 had no manual adjustability at all when I tried to use it as a slaved flash: it always fires at full, unmetered output, which meant it was mostly useless to me.

    If your Canon flash units have output power adjustability in manual mode, then they should work fine.

    A good kit of three to four Vivitar 285HV flash units and RF receivers coupled with one transmitter on camera, along with a couple of stands and clamps to hold them, and some light modifiers, constitutes a great lighting kit suitable for professional work at a very reasonable price.
    I have two Canon 580ex's (well, one is my wife's but she lets me use it ), so I have manual controls. I will look into the Impact transmitters that you mentioned. I have seen a couple of these, but did not realize there were interference issues. Thanks for that input!

    You might look at the radiopopper JrX. They are really close in price to the Impact ones from B&H and have a lot of nice controls, such as three biasing knobs for manual power control for three groups.
    Last edited by CPWarner; 17th April 2010 at 14:12.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    A good kit of three to four Vivitar 285HV flash units and RF receivers coupled with one transmitter on camera, along with a couple of stands and clamps to hold them, and some light modifiers, constitutes a great lighting kit suitable for professional work at a very reasonable price.
    That's pretty much my setup as well. I use PT-04 trigger/remotes I got cheaply off eBay (http://stores.ebay.com/lilyrst), and I have to say I haven't seen any degradation in my images from interference when I've used them. I might do some additional testing to see if I can find something wrong with the units I have, but so far so good. Works fine with my 285HV.
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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I would disagree with that. ...
    Why would you "disagree" with my statement? Is it incorrect? Do you have any evidence to support your "disagreement"?

    Doesn't seem to be as I look at my Pentax K10D, Nikon D200, and Olympus E-1 workshop manuals. Wish I could get the ones for the Panasonic L1 and G1, but they don't seem to be available.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by CPWarner View Post
    I have two Canon 580ex's (well, one is my wife's but she lets me use it ), so I have manual controls. I will look into the Impact transmitters that you mentioned. I have seen a couple of these, but did not realize there were interference issues. Thanks for that input!

    You might look at the radiopopper JrX. They are really close in price to the Impact ones from B&H and have a lot of nice controls, such as three biasing knobs for manual power control for three groups.
    Radiopopper JrX are sold under the Elinchrome name in the USA, I believe. Those controls only work with dedicated flash units (probably Canon and Nikon only as well), certainly not with the non-dedicated flash units I use.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    If you look to the end of this thread I started 'elsewhere' you'll see a recommendation for the Metz 28.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...hread=35059886

    I'm going to get one early next week as it seems to be a good answer to my needs. Looking at the manual it appears that Metz have gone into the problems of pre-flash and come up with a fairly sophisticated solution. And also a quick way of dealing with over and under exposure. Finally it is designed with the intention of fitting easily on to a small camera.

    It's own internal auto exposure will never be as good as TTL - but in my experience even TTL can get it wrong sometimes but usually the shot is either repeatable or recoverable.

    I'll report back when I have given it a try.

    Tony

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Why would you "disagree" with my statement? Is it incorrect? Do you have any evidence to support your "disagreement"?

    Doesn't seem to be as I look at my Pentax K10D, Nikon D200, and Olympus E-1 workshop manuals. Wish I could get the ones for the Panasonic L1 and G1, but they don't seem to be available.
    You were the one who made a counter claim so the onus is on you to show any support instead of quoting some manuals.

    If you look at any Nikon line cam specifications, for example, the sensor for metering is larger and gets more and more sophisticated when the price of the cam goes up.

    In contrast, what we are dealing with, when it comes to CDAF/Live view cams is the availability of of almost an entire sensor (in color) and metering of the actual images seen by it.

    In Nikon and others (using old fashioned, separate metering)where a separate light metering sensor is used, all sorts of information related to the lens are needed which in combination with the light registered (by the metering element) is put through a standard measure to get the camera value.

    It is possible that high end DSLRs use more processing space and power for metering the the m4/3rds because they may find that more important.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    You were the one who made a counter claim so the onus is on you to show any support instead of quoting some manuals.
    There's nothing more definitive than the manufacturers' workshop manuals when it comes to what parts there are in the camera, Vivek. But it's a waste of my time arguing with you. You asked a question, I provided an answer.

    Believe whatever you want to believe.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonygamble View Post
    If you look to the end of this thread I started 'elsewhere' you'll see a recommendation for the Metz 28.

    Tony
    Tony-

    I use the Metz 28 CS-2 extensively with my GF-1.....it's a great little slave flash. However, it needs the popup to trigger it, so it does not work on my E-P2, nor does it work with legacy MF lenses (which Vivek was originally inquiring about).

    I am sure you will enjoy yours when you get it.

    R

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    Godfrey, Appreciate your attempt. Thanks!

    Belief and all the chatting is one thing but the reality and actual usefulness is another.

    FWIW, and for only reasons that Pana would (perhaps they do not know either)know, the system TTL flash (pop-up or others) work like a charm for IR (on a modified G1) under every situation.

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    Re: Reliable flash for m4/3rds (manual focus lenses)

    I said I'd report back on the receipt of my Metz 28.

    I know it is not what the OP is looking for but it does the job I had and it is exceptionally neat when mounted alongside a G1.

    Tony

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