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craig
10-09-2005, 03:06 PM
Guide Number is 164 feet/50 meters at ISO 100.
Can use multiple power sources, AA, CR-3V, and HV-1 power source, and Quantum Turbo battery pack. It can be used in combonation with the FP-1 Power Flash Grip.
Olympus website (http://www.olympusamerica.com/e1/sys_acc_flash.asp)

For some tips on using the FL-50 see this article (http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=1322) by E B.

Other reviews on the Web:
Ozray's review (http://www.australianimage.com.au/reviews/fl-50.htm)

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craig
10-09-2005, 03:10 PM
Perhaps to come.... But let me give you a hint. This is a good flash!

craig
10-09-2005, 03:14 PM
manmachine wrote:

Pros: high power, good ergonomics, very flexible, FP mode, zoom head (12-42mm), wide angle panel built in
Cons: slow full recharge with 4xAA NiMH (5 sec.), main position of head (-7 deg.) isn\'t stable, moderate AF light
Price: used 80000HUF --&gt; 400USD
Other: Photos with FL-50 and E-1 in ISO400 sometimes overexposed. I think, this is not a problem of Flash unit.

First Light
10-15-2005, 11:52 PM
Pros:
The FL-50 is designed for Olympus cameras and is supported very well by the E-series models like the E-1, E-300, E-330 and E-500.

Powerful – This is Olympus' most powerful flash with a maximum guide number (GN) of 50. This means it can illuminate an object up to 50 meters (164 ft) away at ISO 100.

Zoom – The FL-50 includes a motorized zoom mechanism to focus the flash coverage. It can automatically adjust itself for the focal length of the lens when connected to a compatible camera and lens. For example, it will zoom out to a wide coverage angle for a short focal length and zoom in to a narrow coverage angle for a long focal length. The coverage can also be manually controlled.

Flash angle – The angle of the flash head can be adjusted up or down and rotated from side to side. Plus, the flash knows when you've angled the head and can automatically adjust its operation accordingly. For example, point the flash head upward and it assumes that you intend to use "bounce" lighting. Adjust it downward and it assumes that you are taking a macro shot.

Operating modes – The FL-50 offers a variety of versatile operating modes including:

TTL Auto – This is the standard mode that is used most of the time. The flash fires a quick pre-flash and receives meter information from the camera through the lens (TTL). Then the main flash is fires for the shot. Obviously, a compatible camera is required and all E-series cameras are.
Auto – Similar as above except the flash uses its own light sensor to measure and control the intensity of the flash instead of the camera's TTL meter.
Manual – The flash is manually controlled by setting a guide number (GN).
FP TTL Auto – A special version of the TTL Auto mode that enables the flash to sync with a fast shutter speed (faster than 1/180th second). This mode is used to shoot outdoors during the daytime. For example, it can be used for front fill of a backlit subject.
FP Manual – A special version of the Manual mode that enables the flash to sync with a fast shutter speed (faster than 1/180th second). This mode is also used to shoot outdoors during the daytime.
Power source – The FL-50 can use a variety of AA or CR-V3 batteries (both rechargeable and disposable). Plus, Olympus offers two optional external power supplies: the HV-1 high-voltage power pack with a rechargeable NiMH battery and the FP-1 power flash grip that uses C-size batteries. A third-party power supply is also available from Quantum.

Diffuser – A built-in diffuser is included (called a "wide panel") and the FL-50 automatically adjusts its operation when it is flipped into position.

Fast sync – Normally, the FL-50 syncs at 1/180th second. However, a special "FP" mode (described above) allows it to sync up to 1/4000th second so the FL-50 can be used as a fill flash.

Updateable firmware – Just like the camera body and ZD lenses, the FL-50 contains firmware that can be updated. To check for firmware updates, connect the FL-50 to your E-series camera and turn both on. Then use the firmware update procedure provided with your camera.


Cons:
Complexity – The FL-50 can be intimidating to novice photographers. This is exacerbated by a manual that is difficult to read (in some places it reads like an awkward translation). Plus the manual leaves a lot out and fails to offer step-by-step instructions for beginners.

Performance – The FL-50 is a very sophisticated flash and that seems to work against it at times. In the default TTL Auto mode with camera ESP metering I got consistently better exposures with an older FL-40 on an E-20n that I get with my FL-50 on my E-1 with a ZD 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 lens. The most frequent problem is overexposure of portrait shots against a dark background.

Recycle time – Overall, the recycle time of the FL-50 seems a bit long. It is definitely longer than the previous model (FL-40).

Overheating – With the optional HV-1 external power supply, the FL-50 can fire continuously. The rate varies from one flash every 0.2 to 1.0 second, depending on the intensity of each flash. However, you can only fire the flash continuously for 10 seconds before you must let it cool for 10 minutes!!! This may be too limiting for some professional photographers.

Battery consumption – The FL-50 "eats" rechargeable batteries. They don't seem to last very long. Some users claim that disposable Lithium CR-V3 are the best and this is supported by the battery specs in the FL-50 Instruction Manual.


Price Paid:
Purchased new on eBay for about US$365 from a camera dealer.


Other Info:
I have mixed feelings about the FL-50. When it works, it works very well. But getting consistently good results seems difficult—at least with the type of shooting that I do.

lkeeney
10-16-2005, 12:17 AM
First Light,

Very nice review of the FL-50.

When it is good, it is fantastic. When it is bad, well..........

I use the FL-50 for a lot of my shots lately. I would say that about 97% of my shots are well lighted and the other 3% are really bad.

The overheating problem really bothers me. I bought the HV-1 power supply hoping it would solve some of my problems, but in the end it seems to have created as many as it solved. The recycle time is much quicker, but it apparently adds to the overheating problem.

I have a lot to learn about this flash. In fact I shot many photos today under different conditions to learn more about how it operates.

Lawrence

unpro
02-23-2006, 09:01 AM
I just bought this flash secondhand and still learning.

Anyway would like to ask if anybody here experiencing warm colour casts with Stofen Omnibounce attached to the FL-50.

Thanks!

benherrmann
03-06-2006, 06:13 AM
The warm color casts that you are referring to may be caused by the colors of the walls and ceilings. First of all, I shoot with the FL-50 and Stofen Omnibounce exclusively (in bounce mode with the flash head tilted anywhere from 45 - 90 degrees). Having said that, I too (at times) have noticed this effect after I shoot in environments where the walls or ceilings may not have been an actual white in color. Remember, the omibounce tends to project light in a 360 degree arch (well, sort of) and as such, a good portion of your light is bounced. If your walls and ceilings are anything other than white (such as beige, or any of the light earth tone colors), this will have a tremendous effect on the warmth of the colors - actually bouncing a little bit of the same color. Most people won't think of this at all while shooting and as a result speculate that there may be something wrong with their flash units.

What I do is to put my DSLR on manual (usually ISO 400 to ensure a far enough reach). I then set my shutter speed to 1/125 and my aperture at f8. Now the FL-50 I put on TTL and dial in anywhere from +.7 to +1.0 of flash exposure compensation to offset some of the light loss (diffusion) from the Omibounce and the light being projected upwards. I find that I get around a 90-95% keeper rate, unless of course I managed to capture a horrible composition. Here are some examples using this method - with the E500, ISO 400, AWB, shot in RAW (converted with ACR) - notice some of the warmth you may have been referring to thanks to the colors on the walls:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/benherrmann/Olympus%20E-500%20Images/MicheleandPaula.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/benherrmann/Olympus%20E-500%20Images/Groupscene6.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/benherrmann/Olympus%20E-500%20Images/Groupscene1.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/benherrmann/Olympus%20E-500%20Images/Groupscene11.jpg

angelusnhc
05-24-2006, 08:35 AM
im a new-b and know nothing at all about photography. would this be the flash i need to get or should i get the fl-36?

timbertoes
05-26-2006, 11:08 AM
first of all, I personally dont believe in the idea of "starter/first camera/equipment" - so often those posts are found. just in case you are thinking along those lines :) - budget$ con$idered of cour$e.

the point being, that you either have the features, to learn the use of... or you dont.
Though I have yet to own either of these units, the 2 main differences to me, are the reach of the light/Fstop (guide number) and the ability of the FL50 to use the flash at any shutter speed.

the FL50 *might* be overall cost effective when it comes to building up your eventual "studio", but I am not the one to verify that.

red
04-26-2007, 08:47 AM
i just got the FL50 last week. i went to town with intention to get the FL36 because i'm going to shoot an event soon. after some thinking during lunch, i decided to go for the big bro. still learning but this is what i think:

pro: great firepower. nice light (color temp). pretty good recharge time (to me who's been using built-in for a year). can twist to many useful angle. now can use FP and get hight shutter speed.

cons: darn expensive. darn heavy- making my E500 not as light. min low angle only 7 degrees but still better than many other makes which is zero.

Atlaua
04-26-2007, 09:18 AM
Power source – The FL-50 can use a variety of AA or CR-V3 batteries (both rechargeable and disposable).


I also recently purchased this flash. I also purchased two rechargeable CR-V3's and a charger, only to find out (from Olympus tech support when it wouldn't work) that this unit does not support rechargable CR-V3's.

James

NeQo
06-30-2007, 05:10 PM
Got mine also very recently (on my birthday).

I thought about a quote from some pro:
If you need a flash, go for the power.
That is what you need in the long time.

So i got the FL-50 :naughty:

But i miss information on how to use the flash under various conditions.
Guess the manual misses alot of information.
Anyone got some nice tutorials that explain a lot about flashing?
How to use witch setting etc...:?

tspore
06-30-2007, 10:34 PM
Anyone got some nice tutorials that explain a lot about flashing?
How to use witch setting etc...:?
Sure see this article.
http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=1322

ak_traveler
09-12-2009, 06:38 PM
I have a FL-50 Flash unit on the way and wanted to read up on the beast before it gets here...but the link seems to be broken (at least for me). Anyone know what's up with this tutorial article?

lendur2
09-12-2009, 07:40 PM
I have a FL-50 Flash unit on the way and wanted to read up on the beast before it gets here...but the link seems to be broken (at least for me). Anyone know what's up with this tutorial article?

I suspect you mean this precious gift from English Bob: Thanks again, Bob. This has been a valuable assist to me.

ak_traveler
09-15-2009, 01:55 AM
I suspect you mean this precious gift from English Bob: Thanks again, Bob. This has been a valuable assist to me.
Actually lendur2, I have that Flash Setup page favorited. I thought the tutorial was something different. I also got a link to a lot of the downloadable manuals including the manual for the FL-50R. I just want to learn as much as I can about this unit before it arrives so I can put it right to use!

lendur2
09-15-2009, 02:22 AM
Actually lendur2, I have that Flash Setup page favorited. I thought the tutorial was something different. I also got a link to a lot of the downloadable manuals including the manual for the FL-50R. I just want to learn as much as I can about this unit before it arrives so I can put it right to use!

Strobist: Lighting 101 & 102 plus Lighting on Assignment.

ak_traveler
09-17-2009, 06:35 AM
Thanks lendur, I favorited the Strobist website so I can go through all the articles!