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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:01 AM   #1
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Default FL-36R Performance Disappointing

I just received my new FL-36R and I am really thinking about exchanging it for a Metz 48 AF-1. I have come to expect all manufacturers to inflate their GN ratings and this unit is no different. I loaded it up with some fresh 2450 mHa batteries and conducted some extensive tests using a freshly calibrated flash meter. The Olympus rating of 118 at 85mm is really about 82 which is over 1 full stop less. I expected more from Olympus. The recycle time even with these batteries is also way too long. Has anyone had any experience with the Metz units? The FP mode is a must for me.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:09 AM   #2
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I just received my new FL-36R and I am really thinking about exchanging it for a Metz 48 AF-1. I have come to expect all manufacturers to inflate their GN ratings and this unit is no different. I loaded it up with some fresh 2450 mHa batteries and conducted some extensive tests using a freshly calibrated flash meter. The Olympus rating of 118 at 85mm is really about 82 which is over 1 full stop less. I expected more from Olympus. The recycle time even with these batteries is also way too long. Has anyone had any experience with the Metz units? The FP mode is a must for me.
I've had pretty much the same experience with my FL36R. However, I normally shoot with ambient light. I only use the flash for where the ambient light is really low and for the wireless capabilities. Makes things pretty handy. I have a Sakar/Digital Concepts (used to be Vivitar) 952AF/OLY that works exceedingly well for me when/if I need some REAL light.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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You may want to run a search on the Olympus dslr forum at dpreview.com
for: fl-36r flash.

There have been a fair amount of recent discussions relative to the FL36R unit, refresh rates and your specific question as to the preferred Metz flash unit to use.

One thing I do remember from those discussions was that the general consensus was the Sanyo eneloop batteries had the fastest refresh rates.
http://www.dpreview.com/

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Old Jan 7, 2010, 12:17 PM   #4
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The newer NiZN batteries which put out 1.6 volts per cell versus the typical 1.2 volts from conventional rechargeable batteries also makes a big difference. I found them at Amazon and use the exclusively with my FL-36 and FL-50 flashes. The performance is much better.

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Old Jan 7, 2010, 12:23 PM   #5
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Gary,

Does the Sakar support the Olympus Super FP mode? I can't find much info on it.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 1:47 PM   #6
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Gary,

Does the Sakar support the Olympus Super FP mode? I can't find much info on it.
Here's the specs on it from Meissner's, Paul

http://www.the-meissners.org/olympus-flash2.html
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 1:58 PM   #7
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I got the Metz 48 one week ago and it works fine, even far more better then I expected. The Metz uses 4 batteries (2500 mHa) and refresh takes about 2-3 sec. With fresh batteries even as fast as 1 sec. The unit is quite a bit larger then FL-36R. The Metz feels solid, wireless and low light assist works OK. I can't think of anything better. If you want I can show you some sample photo's.
I just started DSLR with E620. The built in flash is not good, so I got this external as soon as possible.
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Old Jan 7, 2010, 5:33 PM   #8
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Olympus FL-36 isn't the worst flash on the market...the biggest issue is people using the flash/camera combination improperly, for instance using the camera at 100ISO so that the flash has to fire at full power and therefore the longer recharge.

I have heavier duty 4AA flashes like the Vivitar 285HV, but that unit takes 10 seconds for a full recharge (6 seconds when plugged into a wall outlet).

I also use plug in strobes that recharge almost instantly (but definitely aren't portable), but those units are meant for high duty cycle and they're fan cooled so they're meant for machine gunning (taking hundreds of pictures per hour).

But with all that I still use the FL-36 flash that I've used for FOUR years now, and don't have a complaint about it since I know it's a lighter duty flash that operates on only two AA batteries (and I'm happy about that with the weight reduction)...I use it properly, and use it the way it was designed to be used...most of the time just requiring a second or two to recharge because it's not firing at full power.

I have tried the FL-50, but the extra weight wasn't worth it.
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