Flash for E-520

Started 4 months ago | Questions
SteveRoberts
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Flash for E-520
4 months ago

Hi,

Looking at flashes for my 520. Is it worth getting an olympus branded one or are 3rd party ones ok?

I was looking at this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Yongnuo-Upgraded-Flash-Speedlite-YN-560-II-for-Nikon-Canon-Pentax-Olympus-Camera-/111289200320?pt=UK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_CameraFlashUnits_JN&hash=item19e95a6ec0

But not sure if the camera can control it. In the book it says that it can only control specially designed flashes

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Nikon Coolpix S3000 Olympus E-520 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6
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Olympus E-520
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SteveRoberts
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

I was also looking at this one which appears to be TTL which was mentioned in the manual.

http://dx.com/p/yongnuo-yn-460ii-universal-5600k-ttl-speedlite-flashgun-for-canon-nikon-pentax-olympus-4-x-aa-230973#.UxSwYfl_vTo

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Michael Meissner
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

SteveRoberts wrote:

I was also looking at this one which appears to be TTL which was mentioned in the manual.

http://dx.com/p/yongnuo-yn-460ii-universal-5600k-ttl-speedlite-flashgun-for-canon-nikon-pentax-olympus-4-x-aa-230973#.UxSwYfl_vTo

No, this flash is not TTL (and neither is the other one).  The line in the ebay ad about TTL preflash means the flash is a capable of being used as a simple slave with a camera that does multiple flashes as part of its TTL auto focusing.

In terms of flash, it depends on what you want.  If you want to put on a flash on the camera and not have to think about settings, you want a flash that fully supports the Olympus TTL flash protocol.

If you are doing portraits in a static setup where you can spend time tuning the camera and flash settings before doing the photos, and then after you do the setup, all photos are taken using the same settings, then you can use flashes that don't support TTL mode.

Some of the generic flashes (and Olympus flashes) have a mode called 'auto' where you set the camera to particular settings based on the flash (ISO and aperture), and the flash has a sensor where it will shut off the light when it gets reflection from the back wall of the flash, and judges that enough light has been emitted.  This is the flash automation of the 1980's, and it works indoors where the subjects are near walls, but it doesn't work in large halls or outdoors where the flash will not see the bounce back.

If you want to use the flash off the camera (without a cable) where the camera controls the settings, you want to use a flash that supports the Olympus RC protocol.  In this case, you are limited to flashes from Olympus, Metz, and Panasonic.

If you want to use the flash as a fill-in flash when it is very bright out and you want to use shutter speeds faster than 1/180 second, then you want to choose flashes from Olympus, Metz, and Panasonic that support FP-TTL mode (in Olympus/Panasonic speak) or High Speed Sync (in Metz speak).

I put together a list of the flashes that were compatibly with Olympus TTL 2 years ago.  Some of these flashes are no longer made, and there are new flashes that are not listed: http://www.the-meissners.org/olympus-flash2.html

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SteveRoberts
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to Michael Meissner, 4 months ago

Thanks, That list is just what I need. Thanks.

I want one the camera can control, with manual options later. For right now i am having enough trouble getting the camera settings right without adding more complexity by having to set the flash.

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Michael Meissner
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

SteveRoberts wrote:

Thanks, That list is just what I need. Thanks.

I want one the camera can control, with manual options later. For right now i am having enough trouble getting the camera settings right without adding more complexity by having to set the flash.

It depends on your budget, how much you want to light, how big of a flash you want. I would suggest thinking about a RC compatible flash, since that gives you the most options. The FL-36R flash is fairly small and is not as top heavy, and you can pick them up used in the $100-150 range (I picked one up recently for $85 by following the for sale posts in various 4/3rds and micro 4/3rds forums). The downside of the FL-36/FL-36R is that it doesn't have the power to light up large rooms, and it is slow at recycling (I tend to think of it as getting you out of papparazzi mode, and concentrating on waiting for the decsive moment). Keh has 2 under $150: http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-Digital/system-Olympus-Digital/category-Shoe-Mount-Flashes?s=1&bcode=DO&ccode=21&cc=3699&r=WG&f

Keh, also has some FL-50's that are slightly more, but don't have the remote capability (i.e. the flash has to be in the hot-shoe or connected via a flash cable).  The FL-50 is much more powerful than the FL-36R, but it is also heavier.

If you are willing to spend a bit more, consider the Metz 52 AF-1 (I have its predecessor, Metz 48 AF-1, that worked great until I dropped it, and now the flash won't zoom in/out) or the FL-600R. Note, on the E-520, you will not be able to use the FL-600R's video light for focusing (but on the other flashes you would -- the red focus assist light on the older flashes works on the classic 4/3rds cameras like the E-520 but not the Pens/OM-D's). The Metz does not have the auto mode, that the Olympus flashes still retain, but with the RC mode support, you probably don't need it as much these days.

If you do need to go papparazzi mode, the Metz flashes tend to recharge much faster than the Olympus flashes.  However, the Metz menu scheme is not as straight forward.

Some of the 3rd party flashes don't have support for manual modes, so if you think you want to go in that direction, you might want to read and think about specs.

If you need to go cheaper just for the automatic TTL flash (i.e. you may need to buy another flash further down the road if you do want to go into challenging situations, but many folk just want something that works), consider: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/914065-REG/bower_sfd7280_autofocus_dedicated_flash_for.html

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SteveRoberts
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to Michael Meissner, 4 months ago

To be honest the bowler is more in the price i am looking for at the moment. Getting it to start and getting a better one later.

I am having problems finding a uk seller for it though at the moment. It gives me a model to look for at least

Metz flashes also seem to be a rare thing over here as well, but are more commen than the Bowler one.

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Michael Meissner
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

SteveRoberts wrote:

To be honest the bowler is more in the price i am looking for at the moment. Getting it to start and getting a better one later.

I am having problems finding a uk seller for it though at the moment. It gives me a model to look for at least

Note, a lot of the Olympus compatible flashes (other than Olympus, Metz, Panasonic) are made by the same company, which I believe is Sakar Digital Concepts.  The name on the faceplate changes (Vivitar, Targus, Polaroid, etc.), but many of these flashes are the same inside.  I would suggest looking for a flash that supports both tilt and swivel.  If you can't find that does both, look for at least tilt.  In terms of flash power, you want to look at the guide number, which is given in meters or feet at a particular ISO (100 being the standard, but since the E-520 starts at ISO 200, you can just double the effective number).  A guide number of 25-30 meters (75-90 feet) at ISO 100, will give you reasonable power.

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SteveRoberts
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to Michael Meissner, 4 months ago

Thanks for the tip. I will take a look.

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Nikon Coolpix S3000 Olympus E-520 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6
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telpix
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

FWIW have never regretted using the Metz 48AF-1 on my E520.

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telpix

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SteveRoberts
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to telpix, 4 months ago
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Fox328
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to telpix, 4 months ago

telpix wrote:

FWIW have never regretted using the Metz 48AF-1 on my E520.

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telpix

I certainly can agree with that. I have the Metz 48 AF on my E620, since my Olympus FL36 was broken. The Olympus recycle time is very slow and the Metz 48 AF just right.

My advice: if you don't have the money right now, don't waste it on crappy flashes but save it for buying a good (Metz?) Flash later.

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declan79
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

You might want to consider metz af - 44/1,it works great with each series

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Peterd21
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to SteveRoberts, 4 months ago

Have you had a look at the second hand flashes on the London Camera Exchange website ?. They have an Olympus FL36 for £79 and a FL50 for £160. These might be top end of your budget but will be sure to work. I suppose it depends on how much flash work you do, I do very little and find the FL36 suits me (always put fresh batteries in for serious use)

You might also find one at CEX - they have the odd one and give a 12 month warranty. They had an FL50 for £52 which sold - no surprise at that price.

Best of luck

Peter

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SteveRoberts
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Re: Flash for E-520
In reply to Peterd21, 4 months ago

I never thought of checking at cex I'll check that one. At the moment I have not done any flash work, other than the little bit her tee and there. Just curious to get a check one and see how it goes. If it gets use I can upgrade later

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