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Thread: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    Seems to be too high, especially when using a macro lens, the image is basically completely blown out. Any way to adjust the power?

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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    You can adjust the flash output down to -2 eV using flash adjust in the menu.

    It is of limited use since the flash does not fire with the same output every time for a given situation while using the same manual lens.

    Try updating your firmware to the latest. It is varies a bit lesser. In addition, if you are going to stop down, give the cam a second or so before firing and after stopping down.

    According to Hudson, the G2's flash works spot on (with spot metering). Quite an achievement for Pana given how pathetically the flash works on a G1.

    Since there are no cash backs from Pana, I don't think I would ever find that out for myself.

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    Senior Member RichA's Avatar
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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    You can adjust the flash output down to -2 eV using flash adjust in the menu.

    It is of limited use since the flash does not fire with the same output every time for a given situation while using the same manual lens.

    Try updating your firmware to the latest. It is varies a bit lesser. In addition, if you are going to stop down, give the cam a second or so before firing and after stopping down.

    According to Hudson, the G2's flash works spot on (with spot metering). Quite an achievement for Pana given how pathetically the flash works on a G1.

    Since there are no cash backs from Pana, I don't think I would ever find that out for myself.
    Thanks very much.
    Too bad they cheapened the G2 relative to the G1. My D300 pretty much nails the onboard flash no matter what lens is attached. My old Olympus DSLRs were pretty good as well. I've got an old Vivitar ring flash that I'll try out, you can adjust its output.

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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    I use a diffuser for macro work with the on-camera flash to solve the variable intensity issue. Changing the flash EV doesn't seem to make a difference on my GH1 in manual mode, so I just use it at full power through my diffuser. Works fine that way.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    Quote Originally Posted by RichA View Post
    Seems to be too high, especially when using a macro lens, the image is basically completely blown out. Any way to adjust the power?
    I've found that with body firmware v1.5, the G1's TTL flash metering when fitted with an adapted manual lens and used with the Olympus FL36 or FL50 is quite good. For example, with the Konica 40mm f/1.8 lens, I can get perfect exposures right down to the lens' minimum focus distance. (I need to set the flash unit to 17mm lens and adjust the flash power level to +EV 1.3 to do this as otherwise it is not going to cover the subject mounted in the flash shoe. It does fine if I take it off camera with an extension cable.)

    I never use the popup flash unit .. if that's what you're using, I bet the problem is that it lacks the ability to quench fast enough for macro-distance work. All flash units have their limitations in this regard. Using a diffuser would cut the output down to the right range that it could work correctly, I'm sure.

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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I've found that with body firmware v1.5, the G1's TTL flash metering when fitted with an adapted manual lens and used with the Olympus FL36 or FL50 is quite good. For example, with the Konica 40mm f/1.8 lens, I can get perfect exposures right down to the lens' minimum focus distance. (I need to set the flash unit to 17mm lens and adjust the flash power level to +EV 1.3 to do this as otherwise it is not going to cover the subject mounted in the flash shoe. It does fine if I take it off camera with an extension cable.)

    I never use the popup flash unit .. if that's what you're using, I bet the problem is that it lacks the ability to quench fast enough for macro-distance work. All flash units have their limitations in this regard. Using a diffuser would cut the output down to the right range that it could work correctly, I'm sure.
    Just shows how clued-out I am. I'm on 1.4 and thought it was the latest firmware. All I've been able to do to this point is set the macro lens at about f8.0 which ballparked a reasonable exposure.
    Thanks!

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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I never use the popup flash unit .. if that's what you're using, I bet the problem is that it lacks the ability to quench fast enough for macro-distance work. All flash units have their limitations in this regard. Using a diffuser would cut the output down to the right range that it could work correctly, I'm sure.
    In my experience, surprising as it has been, the on-camera flash works very well in macro situations as a fill flash. If I take photos of critters, most of them go slow enough to where I still get to catch them in focus at 1/160 speed even if they start moving. I need to try a small flash unit to compare (my 285 was too bulky to take with me), but I do like the portability of the on-camera flash when I'm out and about. It does eat up the battery quite fast, however, so I have to watch that or get a second battery.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Re: G1 flash power level when using manual lens

    Quote Originally Posted by photoSmart42 View Post
    In my experience, surprising as it has been, the on-camera flash works very well in macro situations as a fill flash. If I take photos of critters, most of them go slow enough to where I still get to catch them in focus at 1/160 speed even if they start moving. I need to try a small flash unit to compare (my 285 was too bulky to take with me), but I do like the portability of the on-camera flash when I'm out and about. It does eat up the battery quite fast, however, so I have to watch that or get a second battery.
    You piqued my interest so I fitted the Olympus (FourThirds SLR) ZD 35mm f/3.5 Macro to the G1, set it to 1:1 magnification, and used a piece of white paper as a bounce reflector for the popup flash. I set the camera to Manual exposure, ISO 100, 1/160 second and made exposures at f/3.5, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 and f/16. The exposures were near perfect in all cases ... the f/16 exposure was under the f/3.5 exposure by perhaps -0.3EV which says to me the flash might have been running short on power for that aperture. Excellent performance.

    I tried the same thing with both the Cosmicar 12.5mm f/1.4 TV and the Konica 40mm f/1.8, making exposures at one stop intervals from wide open to f/16-f/22 at a distance of 9". In both cases, the TTL flash metering produced overexposure until f/5.6, after which it produced even results and proper exposure for all subsequent exposures.

    I guess that the fact the ZD 35mm Macro provides information to the camera regards the aperture setting means that the camera is able to calculate the flash from the pre-flash pop more accurately ... ?? I'm trying to get my head around the algorithm for how you go from a "I have all the lens information" situation to a "Oh, there's no lens on the camera" situation which has to be taken into account with a pre-flash TTL flash metering system.

    In any event, the exposures with these two adapted manual lenses at more normal distances of 2 to 12 feet are pretty darn accurate with G1 body firmware v1.5, at all apertures. I know the results with the external flash unit are FAR more accurate, I assume the same is true for the popup.

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