Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 23, 2006, 4:27 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 253
Default

The Sakar (Digital Concepts) 736AF/OLY TTL bounce flash is advertised on numerous (and even respectable) online stores (as well as the Sakar website) as being compatible with the E1, E-500, E-330, E-300, etc., providing dedicated features such as TTL, AF assist light, flash charge status in the viewfinder, redeye reduction, etc., supposedly all integrated with (for my use) the E-500 system. The same model (736AF) is made in a Canon, Pentax, Nikon, Sony, etc., flavor, and I was able to find a couple of websites discussing using it on Nikon and Canon gear, but haven't found any mention of using it with any Oly camera.
Well, I found a "Sakar Authorized Reseller" selling the 736AF/OLY for only $69, which was too much of a deal to pass up. The problem is that now that I have it in hand, it's not playing nicely with my E-500. It will only fire once, and then I have to turn it off and then back on to get it to fire again. None of the above listed communication features are working with the E-500. I've tried all different modes -- Auto, P, M, A, S, etc., to no avail. It behaves the some incompatible way in all modes.

I read my E-500 manual to see if there's something I need to set in the menu system, but didn't find anything that looked relevant. The flash itself has nothing but an on/off button and then a "Ready" light and an "OK" light. The "OK" light has never been on, but the "Ready" light comes on after the flash is charged. This flash is obviously designed from the ground up to be completely controlled by the camera. It even automatically turns off when I turn off the E-500.

So am I missing something obvious with using external flashes on these systems? I'm hoping that I am, because otherwise this looks like a really nice flash for a really low price. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. Otherwise, I'll just have to return it. I really don't want the FL-36 because of it's slow recharge due to only two batteries. The FL-50 is obviously too rich for my blood. This 736AF/OLY flash uses 4 AA batteries and the recharge time is rather fast. I would love to get this thing working and hope it's just something simple being missed on my part.
EffZeeOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 29, 2006, 10:06 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,066
Default

Ive never heard of the thing myself
perhaps, firing once in any mode, means to marketing that it works TTL Auto etc etc
With TTL flash on an Oly, you get confirmation of the mode in the LCD window on the flash. How does it expose when it does fire, have you looked at that ?

The FL36, while having drawbacks like 2 cells and no sync chord plug, can be used with a different and specially available battery (maybe a nicad or nickel metal hydride) to reduce its disadvantage. And it will last about 60 frames on 1 set of cells anyway. I used hydrides and have found it very reliable, if a bit low powered on occasion.

Riley
Rriley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 29, 2006, 11:46 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 253
Default

Thanks for the reply, Riley. Yeah, it's not communicating with the camera at all. The exposure is whatever I set it at or when the camera is in an automatic mode the exposure is WAY too slow for the camera to have recognized it has an external flash installed.

Sakar International sent me a surprisingly quick response on 12/26, in which they emphatically claimed that the 736AF/OLY is compatible with the E-500 and all other Evolt cameras. They went on to just assume that the one I had was malfunctioning, but what they didn't seem to recall is that this was a brand new flash, purchased from an "official Sakar reseller", arriving in my hands in a sealed blister pack. That means this unit was malfunctioning from the manufacturer. Not a good sign, in my opinion, and not worth having another sent to me in exchange. Sakar wanted me to send the flash in for warranty service, but I told them that I would just return it to the vendor since they offered a 7-day return policy. I received a RMA from the vendor and sent it back, but I'm not entirely sure if they're exchanging it for another one or refunding my money. I suspect refund, because I don't think they want to risk the shipping cost of sending another one only to discover that I am correct and this flash is not compatible with the E-500.

It would've been great if it had worked. The fact that it has no manual settings on the back tells me that it's supposed to be an auto TTL flash for SOME type of camera. It could be that it just doesn't work with any E-series newer than the E-1.

I'll keep the thread updated.
EffZeeOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 29, 2006, 11:59 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 824
Default

Sorry, but an excellent case of "you get what you pay for." Bite the bullet and get an Oly FL-36 or FL-50. You'll feel much better in the long run.

Norm in Fujino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 29, 2006, 11:59 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,066
Default

just one thing first
make sure the flash is seated all the way forward in the hotshoe
with my FL36, it will not engage TTL mode, but manual mode in such a circumstance
that happens when i foolishly pick the camera up via the flash neck i think

troubles with equipment happen
what is important is that they are responding in a timely fashion
you might have chatted with the dealer first, he might have been tempted to replace it on the spot

Riley
Rriley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 29, 2006, 4:38 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 253
Default

Norm in Fujino wrote:
Quote:
Sorry, but an excellent case of "you get what you pay for." Bite the bullet and get an Oly FL-36 or FL-50. You'll feel much better in the long run.

Well, I can see that, but I also personally think that the FL-36 and especially the FL-50 are just absolutely ridiculously high priced and the FL-36 is extremely under-featured for such a high price. Also, this is not really a "cheap" flash -- I regularly see this flash at $120-130 range. If that makes me getting what I pay for, then what would I be getting if I paid just $30 more for the FL-36?


I mean, yeah, I was led astray with this flash supposedly being Olympus TTL compatible, but before I bought even just a FL-36, I would go buy, for example, a usedOlympus T-32 flash head, stroboframe grip, and an Olympusshoe to PC cable for it. No, it wouldn't be TTL/auto, but it would be much better bang for my buck as a basic flash than the FL-36, and would total at about 1/2 the price.

In the long run, I would personally feel ripped off if I bought a FL-36 or FL-50 at current prices. But that's me -- I'm a bit of a cheapo, because I can be because I'm not a pro, so if I can get by on cheaper equipment, I will.
EffZeeOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 29, 2006, 4:41 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 253
Default

Rriley wrote:
Quote:
just one thing first
make sure the flash is seated all the way forward in the hotshoe
with my FL36, it will not engage TTL mode, but manual mode in such a circumstance
that happens when i foolishly pick the camera up via the flash neck i think

troubles with equipment happen
what is important is that they are responding in a timely fashion
you might have chatted with the dealer first, he might have been tempted to replace it on the spot

Riley
Thanks for the suggestions. I did try repeated times to make sure it was seated correctly, wiggled it around, etc., and it did click into place. One of the pins of the flash unit drop down into the front-most pin socket of the flash shoe when you push a button on the mount. This holds it in place and lines things up nicely. It just flat out wouldn't work, no matter what I tried. Very disappointing.
EffZeeOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 29, 2006, 9:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

Does it have one pin, or multiple pins (in the Olympus arrangement) on the bottom of the flash's hotfoot?
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2006, 9:33 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 253
Default

It had multiple pins, identical to the Olympus socket configuration on the my E-500.
EffZeeOne is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:17 AM.