FZ50 flash question

Started Dec 25, 2006 | Discussions
Mike Goltsman Contributing Member • Posts: 580
FZ50 flash question

I am thinking of upgrading my FZ30 to FZ50, mostly for the TTL flash capability. I am using a Sunpak 383 with my FZ30 and it has a very generous amount of power and rather functional auto mode. I presume the dedicated Oly FL36 and FL50 will be much better in terms of exposure control, but I am curious how they will compare in terms of power - the Sunpak has the impressive rated GN of 120. With FL50 being rated less than half that at max zoom, I am worried that I would have to be a lot more careful and constrained with bounce flash usage. Would anyone who owns an FL50 and has had experience with a Sunpak 383 be able to comment regarding the comparative power of these units, specifically in bounce configuration?

And another flash question for FZ50 owners. I tend to use my FZ30 with flash in M mode, setting the shutter speed to something that would prevent motion blur - 1/200 or so, and control the exposure with the combination of aperture and exposure controls on the flash. That nearly always causes the screen to go black in when I half-press the shutter. This "preview", which usually is quite a handy feature, is my main gripe about flash photography with the FZ30. I read somewhere that the FZ50 does away with this quirk. Does anyone have any experience with using flash with FZ50 in manual exposure mode? I would like to know whether indeed the screen will not go entirely black when the exposure is manually set to something that would indeed produce a dark frame without the flash. Note that this may or may not be different from a P mode where the camera will usually stick to a rather low 1/30 shutter speed.

Roy NN7DX Senior Member • Posts: 1,089
Re: FZ50 flash question

Mike Goltsman wrote (excerpt):

I am using a Sunpak 383 with my FZ30 and it has a
very generous amount of power and rather functional auto mode. I
presume the dedicated Oly FL36 and FL50 will be much better in
terms of exposure control, but I am curious how they will compare
in terms of power - the Sunpak has the impressive rated GN of 120.
With FL50 being rated less than half that at max zoom,

Mike... That is apples and oranges...
Quote from B&H specs for the Sunpak 383: (Guide No. 120' 37 m at 35mm)
The Oly flashes are 36M (115+ feet) and 50M (160+ feet)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=details&Q=&is=REG&O=productlist&sku=52799

Me? I chose an FL36... The TTL works great with my FZ50...
--
OK, I admit it... I capture souls with my camera!
from the Oregon Coast,
Roy NN7DX
DSLR's and 12x super zooms...
Now the pixels are really hitting the fan...

OP Mike Goltsman Contributing Member • Posts: 580
Re: FZ50 flash question

Roy NN7DX wrote:

Quote from B&H specs for the Sunpak 383: (Guide No. 120' 37 m at 35mm)
The Oly flashes are 36M (115+ feet) and 50M (160+ feet)

Ah, that's a relief - I looked at the Oly page for the FL50 and they just quoted the GN50 at 85mm equiv. All I could remember about sunpak was the GN120 at a moderately wide focal width. A bit misleading that Olympus would qoute their GN in meters, and on a USA site of all places. Hard to fault them for using right proper metric system though Thanks for clarifying my confusion

I would probably grab the FL-50 myself, being the adherent of Tim Allen school of flash photography that I am. But that would definitely blow the upgrade budget. FL-36 makes it a lot more probable.

Edson2 Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: FZ50 flash question

Mike Goltsman wrote:

And another flash question for FZ50 owners. I tend to use my FZ30
with flash in M mode, setting the shutter speed to something that
would prevent motion blur - 1/200 or so, and control the exposure
with the combination of aperture and exposure controls on the
flash. That nearly always causes the screen to go black in when I
half-press the shutter. This "preview", which usually is quite a
handy feature, is my main gripe about flash photography with the
FZ30. I read somewhere that the FZ50 does away with this quirk.
Does anyone have any experience with using flash with FZ50 in
manual exposure mode? I would like to know whether indeed the
screen will not go entirely black when the exposure is manually set
to something that would indeed produce a dark frame without the
flash. Note that this may or may not be different from a P mode
where the camera will usually stick to a rather low 1/30 shutter
speed.

The FZ-50 does the same thing - the viewfinder goes dark in shutter priority mode, when indoors.

There is a convenient workaround.

In "P" mode, set the exposure compensation to -2. This forces the shutter speed to 1/125, the viewfinder stays visible, and the flash exposure is not affected (although "unflashed" background will be more underexposed.)

Boersenbalou Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: FZ50 flash question

Together with my new FZ50 Santa gave me an Oly FL-36
Santa must have read this forum a lot - it was such a good advise

Just added the flash, settings to TTL and no more thinking. Only told the cam to use 1/80 instead of 1/30 - and the portraits are wonderful. When I'm at home I will add some to my flickr so I can post some examples

Regards
Markus
http://www.flickr.com/photos/boersenbalou

Greg Gebhardt
Greg Gebhardt Forum Pro • Posts: 25,617
Love the FL50!

It works perfectly with full TTL. Lots of power for bounce/indirect flash. Good build quality and an excellent price.

-- hide signature --

Greg Gebhardt in
Jacksonville, Florida
D Two Xs
G Seven

 Greg Gebhardt's gear list:Greg Gebhardt's gear list
Canon G1 X III Leica Q2 Leica M9 Nikon D4 Sony a6600
dontfret
dontfret Senior Member • Posts: 2,325
Re: Love the FL50!

I love my FL50 + FZ50 combo as well for TTL. I went with the FL50 over the FL36 since I intend to use it outdoors for bird photography (to put the catch light in their eyes and fill flash) and the FL36 is too small to accept the Beam Buddy flash extender (talk about your Tim Allen school of flash photography - now you've got a Fresnel lens in front of the flash head to focus it beyond 100' - it doesn't recommend shorter than 300mm lenses!).

I've used the FL50 for indoor flash shots this past Xmas, and learned two things - 1. direct flash is very harsh on people, bouncing off the ceiling or upper part of side walls is much better. 2. A white index card placed behind the flash head when it it pointing up to the ceiling, peeking up just behind the flash head reflects just a touch of light under the chin and eyes to off set the ceiling bounce shadows.

Try it for yourself - if you like I can post some with/without pictures, but I didn't want to muddy your thread!

 dontfret's gear list:dontfret's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +12 more
Boersenbalou Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: FZ50 flash question

As I promised here are some examples from my new pair FZ50/FL-36

First my two girls
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/126/335426896_45ab06cb06_b.jpg

Then grandpa #1
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/141/335406149_19b306eb73_b.jpg

and grandpa #2 - my dad
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/131/335409944_1ac66c2623_b.jpg

Best regards
Markus

Eastern Shore Charlie
Eastern Shore Charlie New Member • Posts: 10
Re: FZ50 flash question

I usually just read and learn from these threads, but I just read this thread and I see it is OK to use the OLY FL36 with my FZ50? I am still paranoid to use non-Panasonic equipment so I am glad to see that there is another choice. Can you tell me more about this flash?

 Eastern Shore Charlie's gear list:Eastern Shore Charlie's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C +3 more
Eastern Shore Charlie
Eastern Shore Charlie New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Love the FL50!

Thank you....I'll check it out....

 Eastern Shore Charlie's gear list:Eastern Shore Charlie's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM Art Nikon AF-S Nikkor 20mm f/1.8G ED Sigma 150-600mm F5-6.3 | C +3 more
dontfret
dontfret Senior Member • Posts: 2,325
Re: FZ50 flash question

As far as I know, Oly 36 and 50 are identical units to Panasonic 360 and 500. They function just fine in fully automatic TTL mode. The only things they won't do on the Panny's (or most other non-Oly) cameras is 1. use the flash light for autofocus (but the FZ AF orange light stills works), 2. allow both FL and FZ on-board flash to both flash (a useful technique if you're bouncing the FL off the ceiling or walls and want the FZ light to brighten the eyes or under the chin), and burst modes (more important with focal plane shutters sync, which the FZ doesn't own). As far as I know they come off the same assembly line before being 'branded'. The same Oly hotshoe cable also works fine on my FZ50 (but costs 1/2 of the Panny cable).

 dontfret's gear list:dontfret's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +12 more
Edson2 Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: FZ50 flash question

Eastern Shore Charlie wrote:

I usually just read and learn from these threads, but I just read
this thread and I see it is OK to use the OLY FL36 with my FZ50? I
am still paranoid to use non-Panasonic equipment so I am glad to
see that there is another choice. Can you tell me more about this
flash?

The fl36 and its big brother the fl50 are both fully compatible with the FZ50, except:

1. The focus assist light does not work on the flash, however the camera focus assist light still works with the flash mounted.

2. I believe the FP mode does not work, but this does not apply to the FZ50 anyway, as it is not a focal plane camera.

OP Mike Goltsman Contributing Member • Posts: 580
Re: FZ50 flash question

dontfret wrote:

As far as I know, Oly 36 and 50 are identical units to Panasonic
360 and 500. They function just fine in fully automatic TTL mode.
The only things they won't do on the Panny's (or most other
non-Oly) cameras is 1. use the flash light for autofocus (but the
FZ AF orange light stills works), 2. allow both FL and FZ on-board
flash to both flash (a useful technique if you're bouncing the FL
off the ceiling or walls and want the FZ light to brighten the eyes
or under the chin), and burst modes (more important with focal
plane shutters sync, which the FZ doesn't own). As far as I know
they come off the same assembly line before being 'branded'. The
same Oly hotshoe cable also works fine on my FZ50 (but costs 1/2 of
the Panny cable).

Are you saying that the Panasonic branded flashes will work in tandem with the built-in flash? The manual seems to state that the built-in flash cannot be used together with an external flash, but perhaps they are just saying that because their metering algorithm does not accommodate such a situation or what not. Also, the manual did not mention the ability to use flash for AF assist...

Boersenbalou Regular Member • Posts: 350
Re: FZ50 flash question

I think they are a perfect pair - don't worry about AF flash.

And don't be paranoid about using non-Panny with the FZ50. I even use a Raynox macro lens on the Leica lens - huuuuhh ;-))

No doubt the Oly and the Panny flash are falling from the same line and I paid 169 for the Oly where the Panny would have been 249 Euro.

I'm not a good photographer and so I need TTL for flashing - and my first results are convincing me a lot.

Regards
Markus

http://www.flickr.com/photos/boersenbalou

Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,625
Non oly/panny flash

Mike Goltsman wrote:

I am thinking of upgrading my FZ30 to FZ50, mostly for the TTL
flash capability. I am using a Sunpak 383 with my FZ30

Has anybody managed to get a flash to work on the FZ50 that isn't an FL36 or FL50 type?

genece Forum Pro • Posts: 15,439
Re: Non oly/panny flash

Most any flash will work but not TTL dedicated.
--
------------------------------------------------------------
Gene
From Western PA.

Panasonic FZ 20 and FZ30
D50 and lenses.

http://imageevent.com/grc6

Just trying to learn and it's slow going!

 genece's gear list:genece's gear list
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Ramon T Valbuena New Member • Posts: 16
Re: Non oly/panny flash

if you can shoot manual/auto modes, you can use the old reliable
vivitar 285HV. the 285HV will synch with any speed you throw at it.

in controlled situations, i use it for my D70, D200 and now for my 4-day old FZ50......

this thread has answered my questions re: the FL50. now i'm getting it
or maybe just the FL36.

dontfret
dontfret Senior Member • Posts: 2,325
burst mode/panny flash

Just checked out that the FZ50 internal flash will not fire repeatedly in burst or repeat exposure mode - it disables the multiple modes when you pop up the flash.

On the other hand the Oly FL50 WILL work in burst mode if the camera is set for 'External Flash Burst Mode= ON', but the camera limits it to 3 frames (even if you're in 'unlimited' mode). Useful for indoor direct flash (ceiling bounce will drain most of the charge on the first flash) or outdoor fill flash.

 dontfret's gear list:dontfret's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS +12 more
Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,625
Re: Non oly/panny flash

genece wrote:

Most any flash will work but not TTL dedicated.

So have you actually tried one on an FZ50 ?

Big Ga Forum Pro • Posts: 18,625
Re: Non oly/panny flash

Ramon T Valbuena wrote:

if you can shoot manual/auto modes, you can use the old reliable
vivitar 285HV. the 285HV will synch with any speed you throw at it.
in controlled situations, i use it for my D70, D200 and now for my
4-day old FZ50......

Ramon - are you saying you have tried it and it works on the FZ50, or you have used it on your Nikon gear but intend to use it shortly on your Panny ?

TIA

gareth

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