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 Post subject: Flash Choices
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 2:54 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:44 am
Posts: 38
Location: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada
I plan to chose a flash from the following:
Olympus FL-50R TTL Shoe Mount Flash
Metz mecablitz 48 AF-1 TTL Shoe Mount Flash
Vivitar DF 383 Series 1 Digital TTL Shoe Mount Autofocus Flash for Olympus TTL
Bower SFD926O Digital Autofocus TTL Power Zoom Shoe Mount Flash

I know that the Olympus has a great reputation but what about the other three? Any experience with the rest of the brands? Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:53 am 
i have 2 olympus fl50r flashes and really like using them. they work great and the ease of use is a definite bonus.

a user from this forum, Atomic, uses the metz48 and is a big fan of it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:53 am 
My built in flash on my 520 turns all my pictures blue. Lucky thing I tend to stay away from the flash.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 5:59 am 
ambrose21 wrote:
My built in flash on my 520 turns all my pictures blue. Lucky thing I tend to stay away from the flash.


what are your white balance settings? if you're shooting jpeg you really need to make sure you have the right white balance when using flash (less of a problem with shooting in raw).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 6:39 am 
ambrose21 wrote:
My built in flash on my 520 turns all my pictures blue. Lucky thing I tend to stay away from the flash.


You forget that the white balance setting does not take into account flash, when using flash, set white balance to Auto.




And in response to the original and second posts, I chose the Metz 48, and yes I love it. Its nearly as powerful as the FL-50, offers all the same features [wireless flash synch as well] but at the price of the FL-36.

It also won the TIPA award for 2008's best photographic accessory.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:27 am
Posts: 528
Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Does anyone know anything about the Metz 36AF-4? The Olympus version is only $100, and the 48 is almost 3x more expensive.

I think the one Amazon reviewer hates his passionately.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2009 4:24 pm 
IMO, the recycle times of the FL36R is a little slow even when using fancy lithium ion batteries. However, it's much smaller than the other aforementioned flashes.


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 Post subject: flashes
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:59 am 
I use the FL-36R on an e520... The recycle times aren't great, but they aren't too bad either. One thing I can definitely recommend is using Sanyo eneloop batteries. They are rechargeable, and I get pretty good recycle times with them, better than advertised in fact. If I let the flash fully charge, I can get two rapidfire shots off. I haven't had the same performance with other AA batteries.


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 Post subject: Re: flashes
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2009 1:33 am 
2 rapid fire shots?

The Metz 48 can do quite a few and at 5fps of the E3? I dont mean to boast, but 2 frames is nothing to write home about.


edit: With fresh batteries, I did 9 at 5fps and it was still firing... I dont know how many it can do if I just kept my hand on my shutter, but I dont feel like draining the batteries down.


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 Post subject: Re: flashes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:28 am 
Doesn't that depend on the power drain of a single burst ?
If the flash is recharged completly and you use only 1/8th then you got 8 shot of juice before it needs to recharge again?
Right ?
If you use it on full power then you waste all that energy stored in a single burst and you need time in order to fill it all the way up.


Another question I have about flashes is concerning the wireless mode.

If I have 2 flashes FL36R and FL50 and one is in a hot shoe (FL50) and other one is in umbrella (FL36R), the one in a hot shoe will trigger the one in umbrella. Will FL50 only be a trigger without any impact on subject exposure, as a built in flash, or it will trigger in on burst and then expose in another burst ?
I can't wrap my mind around this concept at all. Before I bought my FL36R I thought that camera will command the flash over RF waves, but then I concluded that flash needs to see the trigger out of built in flash and that built in flash did not have any impact on exposure


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 Post subject: Re: flashes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:36 am 
Yes, its true that you cant fire continuously at full burst, but you're almost never using full burst. Point is, the 48 is more powerful and has a faster recycle, this is what swayed me to get it over the cheaper and lighter FL36.

As far as your other question... on my E3, I know I can shoot it such that the onboard flash acts as a trigger for my AF1, and the light from the E3's flash does not effect the image.

I think you CAN have it effect the image if its one of the grouped flashes, like if you make the FL50 Group A or something, and have the FL36r as group B. otherwise if only the FL36r is a group then it will only effect the image, I think.


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 Post subject: Metz 48 versus Oly FL-50
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:15 pm 
I'm interested in this subject too. I'm looking for a flash to bounce for indoor shots and either bounce or diffuse for some fill flash in my nature and travel photographs. The Metz 48 seems like the best option for me given that it's almost as powerful, has about the same feature set as the FL-50 and costs almost half as much as the Oly. However the Metz user interface and, to a lesser extent, the build quality are poorer than the Oly FL-36. There's some conflict in here about how poor the refresh is for the FL-36. From what I've read here and elsewhere, the Metz still wins out since the UI gripes aren't deal killers and the build quality is still good but not great like the Olympus flashes. I'm quite open to being swayed, but this is the gist of what i've read thus far.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7962
Location: Germany
I've used Metz in ye olde tymes and was never disappointed. But I have never used one of the new flashes.
Still the company Metz has a good name for me and I'd trust their products...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:43 am 
I've got an old and trusty Metz 44AF, sturdy as heck, good recycle time and all. It's not wireless, and it's very basic, but for the price, it's impressive.

I've heard good things about the 48 AF-1, but didn't go for it when I bought my second wireless flash, as it's, well, more expensive than the FL50R in Norway.

I must admit I see the point of going Olympus, though. You know there won't be any trouble, and if you want to sell it afterwards, I think it'll both be easier to sell, as it's a brand flash, but it'll also show up better in the lists of used gear, someone looking for a flash for Olympus might very well skip the Metz, as it's not name brand.

But if you get a good price for the Metz, and it's indeed noticeably cheaper than the FL-50R, I think you should go for it.

Just my .2

:)


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 Post subject: Today However...
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:39 pm 
Of course in the last 24 hours, I've read that recycle times on the FL-36 aren't bad for what I need. Supposedly the first flash recycle takes about 8 seconds, but most of the time you can squeeze off 3 shots or so in TTL-AUTO mode before you need to recycle. I don't know if that assumes direct flash, or whether this would include bouncing the flash. I suppose my three questions are:

1. Which flash is powerful enough for my needs, assuming I want to graduate to bouncing the flash at some point? I'm thinking of just family snapshots in my grandmother's dark house where she always keeps the blinds drawn and uses 40 watt incandescent bulbs in the lights.

2. Is the interface of the Metz flashes confusing or difficult enough for this beginner in the flash photography realm that the Olympus is worth the cost?

3. Is the FL-36 recycle time for the flash really bad enough to warrant going to the Metz or FL-50?

I appreciate the guidance. Actually, I think I can sum it up more succinctly: I think the Metz seems to provide the performance I'm looking for. It's just a question of whether its interface/operation is confusing or difficult enough to warrant looking at the Olympus flashes.


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