Olympus wireless flash system

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Olympus wireless flash system

Postby harrym » Dec 18, 2009 1:22 am

So does anyone know anything about the Olympus radio-controlled wireless flash system?

The flashes such as the FL-36R and the FL-50R can be controlled from a digital SLR. Up to 3 flash units can be wirelessly controlled independently from the camera, including flash strength. Imagine being able to adjust the flash power of a remote slave right from the camera itself.

Sounds like this may be a great way to go. Opinions?

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http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/product.asp?product=1386&page=accessories
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby harrym » Jan 14, 2010 8:59 pm

Any comments at all?
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby NZcaver » Jan 15, 2010 5:09 am

This may not be much help, but I was caving with a guy a few months ago who was using Nikon's equivalent IR slave flash with his DSLR. It seemed to work pretty well, but it was mostly shorter range work using one remote flash. He also used a flashgun on the camera for some shots. Being able to dial the intensity up and down right from the camera seemed to bring him measurable joy. Plus we were in a very pretty cave.

At the same time I was using my old Olympus C-5050 with a combination of RF and optical triggered slaves, and relying on myself or my assistants to dial the intensity up and down. The centrally-controlled IR concept seems pretty slick, but it doesn't come cheap.
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby captnemo » Jan 15, 2010 1:32 pm

As far as I can tell it is not a radio flash system. Olympus avoids mentioning this by frequently calling it wireless and not saying how the flashes are synched but this page http://www.photographyblog.com/news/oly ... ess_flash/

mentions optical data transmission, so I'd guess Ir the same as the nikon system and canons.

This has advantages and disadvantages. I have a 580 flash for my canon setup that "wirelessly" transmit to my 420 flash, this is a quick, easy way to do a two flash setup using ttl settings. Overall I prefer the results, range and ability to position flashes out of line of site given by my cactus radio triggers though.
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby harrym » Jan 18, 2010 9:07 pm

Interesting article you quoted, it says that the radio controlled system transmits the data optically.

Hmmmm.......

The Nikon E-520 camera manual specifically states that the system is radio controlled.

captnemo wrote:As far as I can tell it is not a radio flash system. Olympus avoids mentioning this by frequently calling it wireless and not saying how the flashes are synched but this page http://www.photographyblog.com/news/oly ... ess_flash/

mentions optical data transmission, so I'd guess Ir the same as the nikon system and canons.

This has advantages and disadvantages. I have a 580 flash for my canon setup that "wirelessly" transmit to my 420 flash, this is a quick, easy way to do a two flash setup using ttl settings. Overall I prefer the results, range and ability to position flashes out of line of site given by my cactus radio triggers though.
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby captnemo » Jan 26, 2010 1:12 pm

harrym wrote:Interesting article you quoted, it says that the radio controlled system transmits the data optically.

Hmmmm.......

The Nikon E-520 camera manual specifically states that the system is radio controlled.


I presume you mean the olympus E-520? I don't see a mention of a 520 on the nikon site anywhere except for the coolpix s520.

The manual for the E-520 is viewable here:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/oim ... ual_EN.pdf

It does the same thing I mentioned earlier- calls it wireless (which it is) but does not ever refer to radio controlled. The diagram in fact shows that the remote flash has a sensor which must be in line of sight with the camera. This would indicate agreement with the previous review which said it was an optical connection (using most likely infra red)
Looks like we are not alone in wondering about this, here's some folks that were trying to figure out what method was used
http://fourthirds-user.com/forum/showth ... 659&page=2
The closest to an answer they got was:
The E-3 uses a near-infrared beam to transmit controlling signals to the flash units that comes out of a special port in the camera. The sensors on the flash units must be turned line-of-sight to the camera.

but olympus seems to be going out of their way to obscure info on this.
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby harrym » Jan 29, 2010 12:16 am

That's strange, because I read in the manual that the flashes are "radio controlled."
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby NZcaver » Jan 29, 2010 5:49 am

harrym wrote:That's strange, because I read in the manual that the flashes are "radio controlled."

Open the link for the E-520 instruction manual (see captnemo's post), and go to page 72 "Shooting with the Olympus wireless RC flash system." Perhaps you thought RC meant radio controlled, not remote controlled? There's no mention of radio, and the clue is where they advise you to "position the wireless flash so that the wireless sensor faces the camera."

(I was curious about this because a friend has an Olympus DSLR and we were discussing remote flashes recently.)
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby harrym » Jan 31, 2010 9:13 pm

NZcaver wrote:
harrym wrote:That's strange, because I read in the manual that the flashes are "radio controlled."

Open the link for the E-520 instruction manual (see captnemo's post), and go to page 72 "Shooting with the Olympus wireless RC flash system." Perhaps you thought RC meant radio controlled, not remote controlled? There's no mention of radio, and the clue is where they advise you to "position the wireless flash so that the wireless sensor faces the camera."

(I was curious about this because a friend has an Olympus DSLR and we were discussing remote flashes recently.)


Ah! You are correct!
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Re: Olympus wireless flash system

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Apr 27, 2010 11:14 am

Is there a list of which flashes will work with the Olympus "RF" wireless system? My Stylus Tough 8010 supports it, and it just occurred to me that I could probably throw a compatible flash into a clear drybox to circumvent "orb syndrome" in wet caves.
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