Question re practical use of wireless (RC) flashes

Started Aug 20, 2014 | Discussions thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 30,141
Re: Question re practical use of wireless (RC) flashes

biggles266 wrote:

Thanks for such a detailed write-up, you know this stuff really well. I will take time to digest it carefully first.

I used an old garden light solar cell connected to the audio input of a notebook and "recorded" a few flash bursts, then used an audio edit program to isolate the RC signals to see what was happening. The RC signals are something like 1/64 power or less.

Two quick questions though, which I will add to the stuff I will think over, is can the flash handle shooting portraits with a strong backlit sun to the side of the subject, or is that one of the situations that interferes with the signal?

Absolutely a problem in outdoors and sunlight, see Geoff's woes here as well. All my fiddling has been in homes indoors and small halls and no problems.

Once you get outside then a reliable radio trigger makes more sense and then the slaves will be usually in manual or auto mode, no TTL. If the slave was to be near the camera then a side bar and TTL cable makes more sense to combat sunlight.

And secondly is there a 3rd party flash you would particularly recommend (Metz or that Nissan i40 one that got some press a while ago) instead of the 36R? I was thinking an Olympus brand might do the best at TTL metering and full RC compatibility.

Those mentioned all work for TTL and RC, check the specs. The Olympus flashes are reputedly made by Panasonic so if the Panasonic models are cheaper (depends on country) then that's a good way to go. But there's nothing "special" about using the same brand flash as the camera, as long as the foreign ones have been engineered properly.

The Nissin at least has both S1 and S2 slave modes as well as the more complex RC slave mode. S1 means that the first pulse seen triggers the slave, S2 means that the second pulse triggers the slave thus will work with a TTL master. The Olympus FL36R, FL-50R and FL-600R only have RC and S1 slave modes. Unknown what the Metz have but they seem to have a more reliable reputation than some of the cheaper Chinese newcomers.

Regards...... Guy

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