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Thread: Olympus E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

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    Default Olympus E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    The E-3 requires using the built-in flash to control remote ones. I'd like to order a second FL-50R and am wondering how I can use one as an on-camera fill flash and another remotely. I'm planning to order a flash bracket and TTL cable along with the FL-50R. Is it possible to use the built-in flash along with a FL-50R mounted on the bracket using a TTL cable? Or is there another way to go?

    Thanks,

    Andreas

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    My understanding is the Wireless System is a line of site system so I am not sure this will work or not. I would be interested in this setup as well if it does work...

    If know one has the kit to test it I can email the Oly Tech rep and see if he can make it work.

    I guess all you need to do is hold our FL50r over the E3 in the position where the flash bracket would hold it and do a test fire to see if the pop up with trigger the flash. If it does then it should work with several flashes and the one on top.

    Kelly

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    I do not know for sure. But looking at the clearance above the hotshoe with the built-in flash raised, I suspect you cannot use a FL-CB5 TTL cable for TTL control of your second FL-50R.

    If you are in a room, the built-in flash might just be able to control your second FL-50R even when placed next to the camera on a bracket (the RC control light bounces in the room). A possible DIY modifier is to route an optic fiber from the built-in flash to the RC sensor on the FL-50R.

    Are you looking for the catch-light effect in portraits? I found that although the built-in flash does not (according to the manual) add to the flash exposure in RC mode, it does add light nonetheless and actually gives a very nice and subtle catch-light in the subject's eyes. Try taking a picture of yourself in-front of the mirror with the camera setup in RC mode and you can clearly see the built-in flash and the remote flashes light up in the photo.
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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    Quote Originally Posted by travelfotografer View Post
    I do not know for sure. But looking at the clearance above the hotshoe with the built-in flash raised, I suspect you cannot use a FL-CB5 TTL cable for TTL control of your second FL-50R.
    It is indeed not possible to use the internal flash, with the FL-CB05 cable in the hot-shoe.

    I'm a polite person, so I can't find the right word to describe this stupidity. With the E-300/330 it was possible to use the internal flash and the FL-36 mounted in the hot-shoe. Looking at E-3, I realized it was not possible to do that (FL-36 in the hot shoe with the internal flash raised), but it never crossed my mind that it's not possible to mount the FL-CB05 cable either.

    Apparently Olympus regards the internal flash just as a communication link for the new 'R' series flashes. For this purpose, I think Nikon's radio link is much more convenient. It also means there is no way to mix the R series with the old 50/36 in TTL mode.

    Moshe

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    Cool Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubb View Post
    The E-3 requires using the built-in flash to control remote ones. I'd like to order a second FL-50R and am wondering how I can use one as an on-camera fill flash and another remotely. I'm planning to order a flash bracket and TTL cable along with the FL-50R. Is it possible to use the built-in flash along with a FL-50R mounted on the bracket using a TTL cable? Or is there another way to go?

    Thanks,

    Andreas
    If you are using the flash on the camera as fill rather than as a main flash, you can use the pc-sync connector on the E-3 and a pc-sync to hot-shoe adapter and fire the flash in manual or auto modes. It will take some fiddling to get the right ratio of power settings between your fill flash and your remote FL-50R's (you will likely need to dial in flash compensation for the FL-50R's being used in TTL mode since they have no idea that you are firing a separate fill flash). Given that the fill flash won't be used in TTL mode, you could save yourself some money by buying a generic flash (which might have a pc-sync connector). On the other hand, the FL-36/FL-50 have the nice feature that you can dial in the exact guide number that you want.

    Alternatively, if you are shooting in a smallish room, the flash on the bracket will likely see the bounce back from the pop-up and can be controlled from it.

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    Michael,

    Firing the on-camera flash via the PC-sync port is what I feared would happen. I've emailed Olympus tech support about this—it seems absurd that there's no easy way to do this.

    In many cases, I would be shooting in a small room and the on-camera flash would see the RC signal from the built-in one. Still, that's just ridiculous.

    Thanks,

    Andreas

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    I agree that this is the most incredibly stupid setup, have no idea why they couldnt set-up the fl-50r to fire additional ones like canons flashes, they win hands down on this one.

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    Here's the reply from Olympus tech support (kudos to them for replying within a few hours):
    It is not possible to use the setup you describe using the wireless flash control setup in the E-3. The built-in flash must be raised, since it is the wireless flash controller. An on-camera FL-50R is not possible because it can't be mounted in the flash shoe when the built-in flash is raised, and putting the FL-50R on a bracket mounted on the camera because the FL-50R would be outside of the line of site needed for wireless flash control.

    If you use a flash by connecting it to the PC sync port on the E-3, that flash will not have TTL functionality. Further, if the flash connected to the PC sync port is a thyristor flash, the exposure would have yet another factor to confuse the TTL metering of the wirelessly controlled flashes.
    Cheers,

    Andreas

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    Their response tells us what will not work. I am looking for what they recommend for a simple catchlight in the front and main light off to the side.

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    Default Re: E-3: how to do on-camera plus remote flash?

    Well, the built in flash can be used as both a commander and as a working fill light at the same time. You can't bounce it but if it's not your main you might be able to make that work.

    If you have two FL-50Rs you can just put the fill light slightly ahead of camera and say above camera left and then have your main light out where you want it and fire both the the wireless system - just turn the flash base so that the receiving "dot" sees the camera.

    Or you can just go the PW route, you can buy the appropriate hot shoe to PW thing-a-ma-bobs or you can have your FL-50 modified to have a mini-phone jack built in to fire wizards via a simple mini-PW cable.

    Wizards of course necessitate that you use Manual flash but it works great for portraiture where more control is usually better.

    Personally I tend to use the FL-50R's wireless system when I'm working in a hurry and just want a single off camera light (maybe two lights if I'm getting crazy...) and when I'm out for a full blown portrait session I just use PW's as they are very reliable even in bright light where the light pluse system tends to fail. Besides that I work in Manual nearly 100% of the time during a portrait session anyway.

    Best,

    Joe

    Quote Originally Posted by joeru View Post
    Their response tells us what will not work. I am looking for what they recommend for a simple catchlight in the front and main light off to the side.
    Joseph Ellis
    Joseph Mark Photography
    www.josephmark.com

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