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Thread: Best flash for G1 & weddings?

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    Best flash for G1 & weddings?

    I have been using a basic flash with my G1 and have gotten decent results. I am looking for a more powerful, but still portable flash to shoot weddings with my G1. I would like a dedicated TTL flash. Any recommendations?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Best flash for G1 & weddings?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrobinson54 View Post
    I have been using a basic flash with my G1 and have gotten decent results. I am looking for a more powerful, but still portable flash to shoot weddings with my G1. I would like a dedicated TTL flash. Any recommendations?
    If you want dedicated TTL, you need an Olympus/Panasonic dedicated flash unit. Panasonic sells the FL360 and FL500, which are identical to the older Olympus FL36 and FL50 models. Current from Olympus are the FL36R and FL50R. The FL50(R) is what I'd recommend for wedding work, the FL36 is a little short on battery power for adequate time between battery swaps, and the FL50 can take an external power supply too.

    Other than that, I'd look at the Metz 48af. It's around the same price as the Oly FL36 but has four batteries and power closer to the FL50.

    To get any of the flashes off-camera and have TTL dedicated requires a dedicated cable connection: Panasonic does not support the Olympus dedicated wireless mode so far. Also be sure you're on the latest G1 body firmware, v1.5: the G1's TTL flash metering functionality is greatly improved.

    I've heard reports of issues with the other Olympus dedicated flashes on the market ... like the Vivitar and Promaster units. I guess they work all right most of the time but quality control is more variable. I tend to stick with manufacturer units when it comes to dedicated flash ... and the Panasonics are literally identical to the Olympus.

    For non-dedicated flash units, the Vivitar 285HV is my pick at present. $90, operate it manually, and use it with the Impact or other wireless RF triggers. Three of them, some stands, brackets, triggers and light modifiers will barely cost twice as much as one FL50R and be a complete lighting kit.

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    Re: Best flash for G1 & weddings?

    Does the Metz 48af work TTL with the G1? Does it balance OK on the small G1?

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    Re: Best flash for G1 & weddings?

    Is anyone using the Metz 48af with their Panasonic cameras? If so, how do you you like the Metz with your camera?

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    Re: Best flash for G1 & weddings?

    Quote Originally Posted by rrobinson54 View Post
    Does the Metz 48af work TTL with the G1? Does it balance OK on the small G1?
    Quote Originally Posted by rrobinson54 View Post
    Is anyone using the Metz 48af with their Panasonic cameras? If so, how do you you like the Metz with your camera?
    While I've been delighted with the performance of the dedicated Pana/Oly model Metz 48 AF-1 on the G1, I would never attempt to use it mounted to the camera hot shoe. Even though the flash is not huge, it wouldn't balance at all well on the camera. The Olympus FL-36 would balance better, although I doubt it would recycle fast enough for wedding shooting.

    I always use the Metz 48 AF-1 off-camera: either with a sync cord or radio triggers (PocketWizards, in my case). I originally bought the Olympus FL-CB05 extension cable and TTL works perfectly with it and the G1. But since the cord wasn't quite as long as I'd like, I supplemented it with a cheap Nicna clone (with a longer coiled cord) from eBay. That seems to work equally well but, to be honest, I haven't tried it much with TTL since 99% of the time I use MF lenses on my G1 cameras.

    If I need something portable and fluid, I hold the G1 in my right hand and the Metz 48 (fitted with a handle and a wrist strap) in my left. I zone focus and bounce the light from any available, appropriate surface. When I occasionally need to change the aperture or focus, I let the flash dangle from the strap and make the necessary adjustment. I learned about this technique from a Reid Reviews article and, with a bit of practice, it's incredibly easy and effective. Sean Reid uses it specifically for shooting weddings.

    For more elaborate lighting setups, I use the non-dedicated multi-flash approach that Godfrey described in his post. I happened to have some Nikon SB-800 flash units but the Vivitar 285HV that Godfrey mentions is much less expensive and works equally as well. This method -- three cheap manual flash units, light stands, brackets, radio triggers and light modifiers (umbrellas, snoots, gobos, etc) -- is often described as the Strobist approach (though I'd guess that Godfrey had figured it out long before it was explained and popularized by David Hobby).

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    Re: Best flash for G1 & weddings?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Delacour View Post
    While I've been delighted with the performance of the dedicated Pana/Oly model Metz 48 AF-1 on the G1, I would never attempt to use it mounted to the camera hot shoe. Even though the flash is not huge, it wouldn't balance at all well on the camera. The Olympus FL-36 would balance better, although I doubt it would recycle fast enough for wedding shooting. ...
    I own the FL-36 and have shot events with it. It's powerful enough for modest-sized rooms and if you keep a spare battery or two in your pocket, recycle times are fine.

    My friend owns the FL-50. While it feels a bit large when fitted to the G1, there's no problem doing so. It's got a lot more power and recycles faster, can be used with an external power pack too, so it's much more appropriate for a big wedding event. The Metz 48af is similar in size.

    Of course, NO flash should ever be put on top of a camera. It's the most horrible lighting possible. I usually put the flash on a stand with a diffuser and either run a 10' cable for dedicated TTL or optical/RF wireless for manual exposure. Works great. (Of course, in the RF/optical wireless case, you might as well have three Vivitar 285HVs rather than one FL50 ... ;-)

    Yes, I've been using solutions like this since the 1970s.

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