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jack55 Sep 25, 2008 11:21 AM

What would be the Best Aftermarket flash for the E-510?

What have you folks used?

I don't feel like paying the high price Olympus, (Nikon, Canon do also) charges for their flash. I won't be using it that much so I'm looking at the $75-$150 range.

I've also read that some of these Aftermarket flashes can hurt the camera due to higher voltage? Any truth to this?

boBBrennan Sep 25, 2008 12:09 PM

................hi there Jack,

I have a FL-36 that I like very much, mostly because of it physical size and that I usually only use it with my C-7070WZ. I do sometimes use it with my E-300 as well as the E-3, the FL-36 is quite a nice flash.

However, I do use the ProMaster 5750 with either of my DSLR cameras.. The PM 5750 is a relatively 'not expensive' flash that $$$ wise would fit within your budget statement at around 180$. The Olympus modules are TTL but the 5750 does not do auto zoom, rather it is a manual zoom. For me this has never been an issue in using the flash..... The 5750 is physically large in size and operates with 4-AA type batteries; I use a Stofen diffuser with it.

Here is the store I did buy my 5750 from and recommend it with no reservation

Also, Wrotniak had some positive remarks toward the 5750 in his review which led to my buying the flash about 3-years ago.

Note: the review Andrej mentions compatibility issues with the 5750 at the time of the review (he wrote the review in favor of the C5050WZ). I bought the flash for my C7070WZ then when I got the E-300 I needed a new module which had been introduced for the Olympus changes to flash parameters. The current Olympus module from ProMaster does match with all current Olympus DSLRs as well as retro to the 'C' series of Olympus cameras.

Here is his review

I hope this helps.

HarjTT Sep 25, 2008 12:19 PM

You might also want to take a look at Metz - they have a couple of 4/3 flashes inc. the 58L which is a very good flash. Price wise the model below the 58L might just been in your budget.



:O :?

jack55 Sep 25, 2008 1:06 PM

Thanks for the replies... I will check those out.

tkurkowski Sep 25, 2008 4:04 PM

jack55 wrote:

Thanks for the replies... I will check those out.
One thing to keep in mind is that direct flash isn't very good lighting so you do want an aftermarket flash where the flash headcan be tilted up vertical while the flash bodycan still control the camera's exposure,so that you can use a reflector card like the ones that have been discussed in this forum. I'm not familiar with the flash units described above;I assume they can do that but you do want to be sure before you buy one.

The Oly flashes are works of art in the direct flash mode (with their auto-zoom) but if I had found an aftermarket, less expensive flash that could tilt the head vertical while the sensor remained pointed forward, I'd have never spent that huge amount of money for the FL-50. Unfortunately I needed the flash when I got the E-500 right when it first came out and the aftermarket ones hadn't arrived for the E-500 at that time.


jack55 Sep 25, 2008 4:42 PM

Usually the aftermarket big guns like Sunpak, Metz, Quantaray have good dedicated bounce flashes... I haven't checked them yet. I was just asking what they were using here first before searching further. I think Sunpak owns Quantaray now too.

Mikefellh Sep 25, 2008 5:13 PM

Let's start from can use ANY flash you want that will fit into the hot shoe with regards to trigger voltage not being over 24v (a 2AA battery operated flash can have a trigger voltage over 200volts) and non-compatible TTL flashes (Canon, Nikon, older Olympus flashes for film cameras and older digital like the FL-40).

There are three types of flashes, manual, automatic, and TTL...with manual and automatic flashes you have to set a shutter speed under 1/180th and use the chart on the back of the flash to determine the aperture setting...IOW you have to use Manual mode on the camera and do all the setting yourself.

With TTL the flash and camera talk to each other...when you change a setting on the camera the flash will compensate, and vice-versa. Also with the FL-36/50 there's also automatic zooming of the flash when you zoom the lens, in the flashes' FP mode you can shoot faster than 1/180th (handy for fill flash use outside on a bright day) and also when focusing in lowlight the FL-36/50 will also emit a red glow to help the camera focus (rather than the strobing that's done by the internal flash). Just a note that other brands TTL (Canon & Nikon) are NOT compatible with Olympus digital TTL and can damage the camera and/or flash...also older Olympus TTL flashes like the FL-40 and those made for film cameras (like the G40, T20, T32, etc.) are also NOT compatible with today's digital cameras.

Personally I use the Olympus FL-36 for my
every day shooting.

If I'm doing studio portrait shooting I'll use special strobes called monolights (these are units that combine a strobe with a halogen light and requiring plugging into a wall outlet). They operate like manual flashes with an adjustable intensity control, so again I have to do all the setting myself when using those, and use a handheld light meter to check the intensity of the strobes.

dlpin Sep 25, 2008 11:20 PM

I have both an older flash which I have to use fully manual and the fl-36.
Now, the promasters are cheaper than what olympus has to offer, are more powerful and so on, while being full ttl (if I remember correctly the ones that are oly compatible are the 5250, 5750 and 7200, but i might be wrong). The main advantage of the fl-36, for me, is the size. Compact, easy to carry around, and if you keep an eye on the used market, you can probably get one for 100-130.

Michael Meissner has a nivc page for olympus and external flashes. It is a bit outdated (no fl-36, promaster 7xxx), but it is quite good otherwise

jack55 Sep 25, 2008 11:36 PM

dlpin wrote:

The main advantage of the fl-36, for me, is the size. Compact, easy to carry around, and if you keep an eye on the used market, you can probably get one for 100-130.
I like the looks of that FL-36

Greg Chappell Sep 25, 2008 11:54 PM

jack55 wrote:

dlpin wrote:

The main advantage of the fl-36, for me, is the size. Compact, easy to carry around, and if you keep an eye on the used market, you can probably get one for 100-130.
I like the looks of that FL-36
The FL36 does sound like just the model you need. Buy a set or two of the rechargeable nickel metal hydride cells and you'll get decent recycling performance, too.

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