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Thread: M4/3 and flash photography?

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    M4/3 and flash photography?

    Hi everyone,

    I am considering trying some flash portraiture/model photography with my gh1. I think it would help a lot with dynamic poses. From my limited understanding of everything in general, the gh1 isn't well suited with syncing with flashes is that correct?

    Just after some valuable forum input on the matter, is it worth it, what flash is recommended, and anything else i should take into consideration. What does everyone think of the Olympus FL-36 or FL-36R? Ideally I'd like to invest in a fairly futureproof flash if i decide to move on to another format, full frame maybe.

    Bottom line i guess is am i gonna be wasting my time and money with this new interest?

    Cheers.

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    Senior Member kevinparis's Avatar
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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    My first reccomendation would be to bookmark

    strobist.com

    in particular

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

    a lot of good background info there.

    K

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Thank you very much Kevin. Quite informative beginner video and definitely bookmarked.

    One thing to add is i come from a video hobbyist background so i have a number of led lights that i use to light up subjects. I think this method is called using hot lights where the light is constantly on? How normal is it within the industry for people to use hot lights instead of flashes for lighting models?

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    While the 36 and 36r are very nice flash units and will sync with both Olympus and Panasonic they are by no means universal and won't translate well to the world of full frame. The Strobist recommendation was a great one to get you started. Each manufacturer tends to use it's own dedicated units for TTL flash and if you move into the wonderful world of manual flash you can pretty much mix and match with greater control but a much steeper learning curve.

    Jim

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    From my limited understanding of everything in general, the gh1 isn't well suited with syncing with flashes is that correct?
    That depends on what you mean when you say it's not suited with syncing with flashes. I've used my GH1 with a variety of remote flash triggers (optical and wireless), with up to three off-camera flash units (that's all I have). I've also used it with corded off-camera flash units. Surely the flash sync speed of 1/160 isn't ideal, and I wish it would have been more like 1/250, but other than that I don't know what else the system could do to be suited to flash photography. Can you clarify your concern?
    -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: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    I am considering trying some flash portraiture/model photography with my gh1. I think it would help a lot with dynamic poses. From my limited understanding of everything in general, the gh1 isn't well suited with syncing with flashes is that correct?

    Just after some valuable forum input on the matter, is it worth it, what flash is recommended, and anything else i should take into consideration. What does everyone think of the Olympus FL-36 or FL-36R? Ideally I'd like to invest in a fairly futureproof flash if i decide to move on to another format, full frame maybe.
    A friend has been concentrating exclusively on model photography for the past year and some. His lighting kit is an Olympus FL50R, a couple of Vivitar 285s, a bevy of stands, scrims, gobos, diffusers, etc. He's been shooting exclusively with the Panasonic Lumix G cameras and turning out some superb work.

    I don't know what would be limiting about a GH1 other than the 1/160 second flash sync with non-dedicated flash units. Used with dedicated flash units in FP mode, even that limitation goes away.

    If you are dependent upon dedicated flash unit features, no matter what the brand, you'll need new ones if you change camera brands. If you base your flash techniques on manual control of the flash units, than all of them are future proof if they can be controlled on the flash. The Olympus FL36(R) and FL50(R) are fully dedicated for your Panasonic yet also have in-flash auto and manual settings controls.

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Godfrey- does he happen to have a site with his work on it?

    And thank you all for your inputs.

    I guess my main concern was using/syncing flash with shutter speeds higher than 1/160 in general especially for those dynamic shots like twirling/jumping/hopping in the air, hair flicks, interactions with foreign objects/accessories (eg.bag/water). Even shots outdoors where you want to light subjects that are standing in front of the sun with shallow DOF etc.

    I really don't know what dedicated flash features to look out for or need. As much control of light as possible is what I am after so I assume that means manual controls. What will i miss out on or gain if i don't get a panasonic dedicated flash(Vivitar 285)? I really do need to school myself in flashes =) By the looks of it, the Olympus FL's seems to be the go? Is it just a simple case that M4/3 is just not the right tool to use for dynamic flash shots but fine for normal shots?

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I don't know what would be limiting about a GH1 other than the 1/160 second flash sync with non-dedicated flash units. Used with dedicated flash units in FP mode, even that limitation goes away.

    If you are dependent upon dedicated flash unit features, no matter what the brand, you'll need new ones if you change camera brands. If you base your flash techniques on manual control of the flash units, than all of them are future proof if they can be controlled on the flash. The Olympus FL36(R) and FL50(R) are fully dedicated for your Panasonic yet also have in-flash auto and manual settings controls.
    After abit more reading, I now understand.

    So the FP modes on the Olympus's should work on the GH1, allowing me to sync with shutter speeds up to 1/4000th correct? I think I may just splurge and get the 50R knowing i can use it off camera now and in future if I ever decide to move away from m4/3. Is this a good choice for a first ever flash purchase?

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    After abit more reading, I now understand.

    So the FP modes on the Olympus's should work on the GH1, allowing me to sync with shutter speeds up to 1/4000th correct? I think I may just splurge and get the 50R knowing i can use it off camera now and in future if I ever decide to move away from m4/3. Is this a good choice for a first ever flash purchase?
    Last time I talked with my buddy, he said, "I really have to completely re-do my website. Everything there is too old and crappy, and I haven't posted any of the recent work... since 2009 ... !"

    I don't think he's posted new stuff yet, although he does have some on modelmayhem.com and flickr. can't find his account name ... !

    Nothing stops the Micro-FourThirds cameras from being as capable as any other camera when it comes to flash utilization. The only thing the Panasonic bodies are missing is wireless remote dedicated flash operation, and for most higher level use of flash, that's stuff is mostly useless anyway.

    The Olympus FL50R is a very good flash unit, with excellent dedicated features as well as in-flash auto, remote and manual controls. It's built like a tank like all of Olympus pro-grade equipment. That and a good, long remote cable for your GH1 should net the power you need and all the features you'd want to get the flash off the camera. (and stands, etc). The Metz units are also good, but I prefer the Olympus ... better built, better documentation in my experience.

    Note that Panasonic, Olympus and Canon dedicated flash cables share the same pinout. It's easier to find cables labeled for Canon than Olympus or Panasonic ... I've got one of these on order:

    http://ocfgear.com/ettl-cord-extra-long/

    Much more useful than the short coiled remote cords. For non-dedicated setups, there are a number of good RF flash triggers available at a range of pricing but then you lose the FP mode.

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Thanks Godfrey, really interested in seeing your mates work so if you remember his username please share.

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Nothing stops the Micro-FourThirds cameras from being as capable as any other camera when it comes to flash utilization. The only thing the Panasonic bodies are missing is wireless remote dedicated flash operation, and for most higher level use of flash, that's stuff is mostly useless anyway.
    Now that's what I want to hear.

    Much more useful than the short coiled remote cords. For non-dedicated setups, there are a number of good RF flash triggers available at a range of pricing but then you lose the FP mode.
    I'm glad you mentioned this, otherwise i probably would have started another thread asking why FP isn't working with the RF triggers(is this the case also for the higher end RF like the Pocket Wizards?).

    Let's say I wanted to use 2 flashes in FP mode how do i wire that up? Is there an adapter that lets me plug the cords in series, ie camera to flash1 to flash2?

    Edit: I found this informative pocket wizard clip for their solution to RF high sync on Canon and Nikons, unfortunately no signs for Olympus yet.
    http://www.pocketwizard.com/inspirat...roltl_optimiz/

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    I've used the G1 with a wireless from B&H with good results. The flash is a Photogenic with a 3x3 softbox.
    Last edited by peterb; 30th October 2012 at 16:17.
    Life is an infinite series of moments called..."now".
    My job is to capture them.

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    Re: M4/3 and flash photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    Thanks Godfrey, really interested in seeing your mates work so if you remember his username please share.
    Hopefully, I'll see him later this weekend.

    Quote Originally Posted by MRfanny View Post
    ... I'm glad you mentioned this, otherwise i probably would have started another thread asking why FP isn't working with the RF triggers(is this the case also for the higher end RF like the Pocket Wizards?).

    Let's say I wanted to use 2 flashes in FP mode how do i wire that up? Is there an adapter that lets me plug the cords in series, ie camera to flash1 to flash2?
    No one makes a RF dedicated setup for Olympus/Panasonic protocol at present, although a couple of folks have said they were considering it. If you were working with a Olympus body that supports the wireless protocol, you'd do multi-flash FP using the optical wireless capabilities.

    I think Olympus makes (or made) a flash cable that would allow you to hook two together, perhaps Canon does, but since most of these companies are going wireless on their flash systems the number of cable accessories has been cut back.

    I don't use FP very often, it cuts back power too much for most purposes. I just set up with a set of RF triggers and work with the 1/160 X sync limit. If I need to cut ISO, for daylight setups, I use a 6 or 8 stop ND filter.

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