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Old Jul 10, 2008, 2:55 AM   #1
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I have a E-510 and need a flash to take night pics of race cars on the track what should i look for?
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 3:40 AM   #2
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Let's start from basics...you 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 flashes (recommended for novices) 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.

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Old Jul 10, 2008, 4:21 AM   #3
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dirtracer13x wrote:
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I have a E-510 and need a flash to take night pics of race cars on the track what should i look for?
I've decided to amend my answer after rereading your question (I missed the part about race cars)...if you're within say 30 feet (i.e. in the pits) than my above answer is valid.

HOWEVER if talking about being in the audience hundreds of feet away from the cars, there's no flash that can reach. Instead you will have to learn techniques in how to boost your ISO so that you can increase the shutter speed in order to freeze the action.

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Old Jul 10, 2008, 4:27 AM   #4
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Mikefellh wrote:
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if you're within say 30 feet (i.e. in the pits) than my above answer is valid.
I was thinking the same thing - unlikely any battery-powered flash would go much past 30 feet, which is pretty close to a race car at speed. The point being that if I were the driver and you fired a flash at me from less than 30 feet away, I'll be looking for you after the race to, um, discuss your actions.

But your original answer was a great summary of flash units in general!

Ted
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Old Jul 11, 2008, 4:48 PM   #5
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Thank you for your advice i will be taking the pics in the pits but not head on.
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