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Olympus FL-50 Flash Flashes
Product DescriptionBuilt specifically for the E-1 SLR, the FL-50 Flash offers all the features a professional wants to produce professional-caliber results. Designed specifically for digital photography, the FL-50 has more even illumination with less corner fall-off than film flashes.
Submitted by atlantaMAXphoto a Professional
Date Reviewed: December 12, 2008
Strengths: Reliable, quick recharge (faster than most flash units I've used), ease of use, and integration with the E-series cameras.
Weaknesses: The NiMH batteries have a tendency to drain faster and I have to be several battery sets for any major assignment such as a wedding shoot.
A direct battery pack, allowing for extended usage and not have to rely upon the Olympus battery pack/bracket. I prefer to use over the lens brackets, even adjustable for both portrait and landscape.
Considering the automatic functions of this flash with the E-3, the price was well worth it, purchased used at KEH.
When shooting weddings, this flash produced good lighting along with ambient light. I added a LumiQuest bounce adapter. The flash is placed on a professionally designed bracket including the off-camera adapter. I'm very well pleased with the results.
The flash integrates with the E-3; one does not have to make any adjustments. This is important when having to be quick. The combined flash and camera makes wedding photography much less complicated.
Currently, I use a Vivitar 285 as a backup. I'm considering a second FL-50 as a new backup. The Metz 45CL-4 is side mounted and I have to shoot mostly bounce, because of the harsh shadows. Over the lens and bounce flash eliminates the harsh shadows associated with on-camera flashes, and gives a softer lighting.
The Olympus FL-50 meets or exceeds my expectations for a small flash unit, regardless of price.
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $245.00
Purchased At: KEH.com
Similar Products Used: Vivitar 285
Metz 45-CL-4 (higher GN)
Type of photography: People
Submitted by Ben a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: April 14, 2006
Strengths: More power and faster refresh times than your only alternative, the FL-36
Weaknesses: Expensive relative to N and C
Build quality lacking for price
Decent flash, but overpriced compared to Nikon's SB-800. Since the FL-50 is the only flash that will give you high speed shutter sync with an E-1, you really don't have much of a choice. That said, it performs quite well. Plenty of power for bounce and outdoor fill. With the 14-54f2.8-3.5, it zooms automatically at 14, 18, 25 and 35, but only when the flash is locked in the standard forward facing mode. Once you tilt it, it zooms all the way for max power. Refresh times are best with 2500 Nimhs-AAs (about 4-5 seconds at full power). I've heard that the optional power pack cuts that time in half. The flash is very large. It balances well on my E-1 with the grip attached. Without the grip, the Fl-50 makes the E-1 top-heavy. I think the smaller FL-36 would be better for E-1s without the grip (albeit with less power and slightly longer refresh times). At $400, this lens does not offer wireless capabilities nor quick release shoe mount and has a build quality that lags lower priced flashes from N and C. The previous FL-40 had much better build quality but is a poor match for the E-1 (no high speed sync). It's your only choice if you shoot Oly. Must make a lot of money for them.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $350.00
Purchased At: Online
Similar Products Used: Olympus FL-40
Nikon SB-800, SB600
Type of photography: People
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