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Hardwiring an OMD-EM5


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#1 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:08 PM

Hey gang,

I've been trying to hard-wire my OMD-EM5 to an INON Z240 via 5 pin Nikonos bulkhead and synch cord but with no success. Some setup worked fine on the Panasonic GX1, just not on the OMD. The flash symbol remains greyed out, the same if the little flash unit is lowered and turned off.

Has anyone successfully hard-wired one? Are there settings I need to be aware of or should I take my OMD back?

Thanks
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#2 meltdownman

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 02:58 PM

Maybe I am out in left field here but you may want to look at the thread I had with my 5D MII and Aquatica Housing:

http://wetpixel.com/...wtopic=45289=

UPDATE 7-8-12

The Sea and Sea 110 alpha strobes would not fire at all. I had it down in Cathy Church's photo shop in Grand Cayman for months. We thought perhaps it was the Sea and Sea TTL converter but we tested the circuits for continuity. We finally decided to go pin by pin to and map out the circuitry to see what would fire the strobes. With a lot of communication with Aquatica and encouraging words to the staff down there they finally figured out the electronic wiring that came with the housing had its circuit board wired wrong. We received a new wiring harness from Aquatica and installed it. It appears to be working fine now. Even in full TTL mode.


Thanks to Aquatica and Cathy Church for the great support in troubleshooting.

#3 Jock

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:32 AM

Hi,

I just tried to use my Heinrichs-Weikamp Olympus-TTL converter - which does work on my old Oly SP350 - with the EM5, but no success. The pin-layout on top of the cameras are the same; no idea if I can get it to work at all. Will give the guys at Heinrichs & Weikamp a call (not in a hurry since I do not have a housing for the EM5 yet).

Greetings
Jock

p.s.: The strobe I used was a Sea&Sea YS110 alpha. According to the Heinrichs-Weikamp info it should be working with new cameras like the Oly XZ1, EP L3 and similar.

Edited by Jock, 25 August 2012 - 08:43 AM.

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#4 Larry C

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 10:14 PM

In the past, Olympus didn't play nice with strobe mfg.'s and supply their signal info. I doubt that has changed. Hopefully H/W can supply a converter. Oly would like you to buy their strobe.

D300 MDX-D300, 2xYS-110, 1 YS-D1, Tokina 10-17, Nikon 60AF D, Nikon 35mm f2.0, L & M Sola 600

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#5 pmooney

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:10 AM

Why would you want to do this

Hey gang,

I've been trying to hard-wire my OMD-EM5 to an INON Z240 via 5 pin Nikonos bulkhead and synch cord but with no success. Some setup worked fine on the Panasonic GX1, just not on the OMD. The flash symbol remains greyed out, the same if the little flash unit is lowered and turned off.


Thanks



#6 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 10:55 PM

Much as i love fiber optics, camera flash recharge lag is still present in the EM5. I haven't worked out a way to significantly reduce the flash output to stop this as you can with most DSLRs.

We've worked out though that the canon hotshoe will work with the EM5.
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#7 Jock

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 01:16 PM

Some new info on hard-wiring a strobe with the EM5: I called the Heinrichs-Weikamp company - the Oly TTL-Converter will no longer be produced, they sell their stock and that's it. The guy at the phone was extremly unfriendly and unhelpful, he just murmured that the converter does not work with the latest Olympuis cameras. I asked why they say on their website that it DOES work with certain cameras, but got no answer except that he does not know. Great customer service!

On a website from Austria I saw that they offer the Nauticam housing WITH TTL-Converter. I exchanged some emails, and this is what Manfred Werner from "unterwasserkamera.at" told me: He uses the latest converter (there seem to be different firmware versions), and in his tests it worked with the S&S SY250 and YS DS-1, but NOT with the 110a (which is the strobe I own...)

Bad luck for me, because for macro I really would like to have a TTL-Converter, and I would have spent the additional EUR 175, but buying a new strobe also? No.

Greetings,
Jock

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#8 spencerjb22

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:14 AM

Much as i love fiber optics, camera flash recharge lag is still present in the EM5. I haven't worked out a way to significantly reduce the flash output to stop this as you can with most DSLRs.

We've worked out though that the canon hotshoe will work with the EM5.


that was one of the main issues I had with the EPL3. The lag was a bit of a pain and you'd often miss shots.

#9 Phil Rudin

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:06 AM

The recycle time is quite fast if you shoot in manual and set the power to 1/64th which is easily done in the super menu.

Phil Rudin

#10 Jock

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 10:36 AM

Phil,

you are right, at least for wide angle where you shoot manual strobe anyhow, but (at least in IMHO) not having hard-wired TTL in Macro is the one GIANT step-back from the days of slide film!

Jock

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#11 Phil Rudin

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:42 AM

I and many others would argue that using a fiber optic system to control TTL is as accurate and more reliable than hard-wired TTL. With the main downside being that you are stuck with the Max. sync speed of the on board strobe and that recycle times may can be higher. With my E-M5 the shot I just took appears in the EVF for about 1.5 seconds. By the time I have setup the next shot the flash has had more than enough time to refresh. I replaced and had far more problems in the filed with wired cords than I ever have with optic cords. If I ever have a projuct where I think having the strobes hard wired would assist greatly I am able to do that with my current Nauticam NA-EM5 housing but I would still shoot manual because adding the TTL conversion chip just adds another area where things can go wrong. I still keep a few 5-pin cords around but I can't remember when I last used them.

Phil

#12 Jock

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 01:24 PM

Imagine a situation like this - we are on a dive, and we find a frogfish that is just about to yawn. I have an old Nikonos RS and Ikelite strobes with virtually no recycle time, you have your OM-D plus strobes connected via fiber-optic: Who can take more photos? Me, of course - unless my film is finished :-))

Maybe I was lucky, but I had problems with a sync cord only once since I started taking uw-photos in the mid-90s. Seems I am just to old to accept new technology!? Just kidding. I decided I will make myself a nice Christmas present and buy the Nauticam housing. If I could have used my old converter and/or my YS110a it would have been a nice-to-have option.

Jock

Edited by Jock, 18 October 2012 - 01:26 PM.

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#13 spencerjb22

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:51 PM

Jock, that was my main issue with using the fibre optic cables, for behaviour/action shots you'd miss shots as the strobes would take around 3 seconds to recycle. I used to have to count 1, 2, 3 in my mind.
For WA/static subjects and other similar shots it wasn't such a problem, but there were times when it really pissed me off.
I use hard wired now, I get 10 out of 10 shots exposed with flash now in 10 ish seconds.

#14 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:54 PM

Or use continuous lighting and hammer out the OM-D at 9 frames a second!

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#15 guyharrisonphoto

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:22 AM

I am interested in this topic, but am I missing something? I thought if you wanted instant recycle times with fiber, you just set the camera flash to 1/64 (zero recycle time) and used your flashes on manual, and problem solved.

If you want TTL then maybe you have to wait a little longer but get the benefit of TTL when you need it. Last time I was out with my pl-2, a much slower camera than my new om-d, I was shooting 2-3 frames per second for short bursts (maybe 4 shots, but it was It was just as much the external flash recycle kicking in as it was the camera's) using TTL. I am just now getting the housing for the OM-D so haven't had a chance to use it u/w yet.

From what I read here, there is no way to hard-wire TTL exposure off the om-d, so you get manual only. But, you get the same thing with fiber so why use the hardwire? There seems to be no advantage.

#16 Phil Rudin

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:10 AM

Hi Jock,

What I would say to you regarding the Nikonos RS scenario is that in photography every thing is a trade-off. I own a Nikonos RS and a 50mm macro as well and it was you only U/W tool for over fifteen years. I can say without hesitation that in the time it would take for the RS to focus on the frogfish, being so slow the E-M5 would have recycled and been in focus on the fish. My point is that I don't think I am missing many more shots using fiber optics than I did using hard wired strobes. What I do miss is the ability to bump the shutter speed above the sync of the on-board flash. I also had two different converters for wired Inon Z-220 and Z-240 strobes along with an Athena ring-flash and the converter was without doubt the weakest link in the system.

Since the external strobes are what make the proper exposure the harder your SY-110a is working in TTL the longer the camera strobe has to stay on to conplete the exposure. Using more powerful and mulit strobes will also reduce the recycle times for the popup flash.

Phil Rudin

#17 Jock

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:59 AM

Phil,

thanks for your comments - that was EXACTLY what I need to know to overcome my doubts about fiber optics with the E-M5. You own both cameras, so you KNOW what you are talking about. Yes, yes, focus time with the RS - do/did you use the 2x converter? THAT thing makes the camera really slow... Once tried to take a photo of two mating nudibranchs. By the time the RS had found the focus I shot the puppies!

And of course you are right - the more powerful the external strobe, the quicker the recycle time of the internal strobe. Unfortunately, my trusty old Ikelite SS200 will not work with fiber optics (or is there a converter? If so, they might be useful for wide angle, where I shoot manual strobe anyhow.)

@ guyharrisonphoto:

For me the question was if there is a way to hard-wire the E-M5 for TTL shooting. If you decide to shoot manual, then i would definitively NOT hard-wire the strobe(s), because, as Phil stated, a TTL cable is one more option for failure...

Maybe Alex' suggestion is the way to go: A light cannon!

Jock

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#18 Phil Rudin

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 09:21 AM

Hi jock,

Yes, I had a tele converter for my RS 50 macro, the better of the two different ones that were on the market and yes it was plenty slow.
I also had the 18mm which was my go to W/A lens most of the time.

I look back at years of film images compared to the E-M5 images and in no way would I ever want to go back. My RS is with Reef Photo on consignment and while we here talk of the rebirth of an RS mount full frame camera adapter that will not be for me. I am happy with the image quality of the current system for what I do and will live without full frame. I also have access to a Hasselblad 60MP system on those rare occasions when I need files that size.

Phil Rudin

#19 Zavr

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:46 AM

Hi, Jock,

are you sure, that YS-110a does not work with HW TTL converter and EM5? A have just tried that setup in the store... Strobe surely fires :) A am not so sure about TTL(have no time to test it properly), but flash duration varied. On Panasonic G-5 flash also fires, but with no TTL surely.

#20 Jock

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 02:48 PM

Zavr,

there are (or were) two converters: An external one which is triggered by the internal strobe - this one works in TTL mode. And a hard-wired one (Nikonos V socket in the housing, the converter itself needs to be pushed into the hot shoe of the camera) - this one does NOT work with MY 110a and the EM5. But Sea&Sea had made an updated version of the 110a, maybe this is the one that does work???From their website: " *YS-110α strobe has been minor-upgraded from ones built in September 2010. The upgraded YS-110α is called YS-110α Ver. 1.1. Marking of Ver.1.1 is found on the side of the main body below the serial number."

I own the older version.
Jock

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