Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Olympus UFL-3 strobe - now with 4AA batteries

Olympus OM-D PEN Strobe UFL-3

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 Thormar

Thormar

    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 28 August 2014 - 01:52 AM

Along with the announcement of the Olympus E-PL7 and corresponding housing (PT-EP12),

Olympus also announced a new strobe, the UFL-3 http://www.olympus-g...140828epl7e.jsp

 

UFL-3.jpg

 

Where the previous strobes from Olympus only used 2xAA batteries, the new model uses 4xAA which is a welcomed change.

 

The first strobe from Olympus, the UFL-1, was basically a rebranded Sea & Sea YS-17 TTL.

UFL-1.jpg

 

Their second strobe, the UFL-2, was essentially an underwater version of their land flash FL-36R housed by Sea & Sea. While it retained the zoom function and wireless RC flash system, it was excessively bulky and low powered compared to the competiton, i.e. larger than an INON Z-240, but only packing 2xAA batteries instead of 4xAA.

UFL-2 Slave Flash.jpg

 

The new UFL-3 appears to be a Sea & Sea YS-01 with the addition of the Olympus Wireless RC flash system (to be used with fiber optic cables).

 

Compared to the UFL-2, it appears to be a lot better. While it does not have the zoom function, it is about 300g lighter without batteries, and carry 2 extra AA batteries which hopefully translates to more power and faster recycle time (the press release states GN22 and 2 second recyle), where the UFL-2 had a recycle time of 6-8 seconds at full power !

In addition it also appears to have the target light as the YS-01, which the UFL-1 and UFL-2 did not have.

 

Compared to other strobes, the Wireless RC flash system will allow flash sync speeds of 1/4000 or 1/8000 (FP modes) with most Olympus cameras instead of being limited to the 1/250 or 1/320 range. This could be usefull in some applications.

 

More interesting is that the FP-TTL mode will allow TTL underwater with (hopefully) less drain on the camera battery (and faster recycling) than when using conventional TTL. The reason being that the camera flash only needs to transmit light signals through the fiber optic cable instead of a stronger flash pulse.

 

Hopefully the UFL-3 also retain the TTL modes of a normal Sea & Sea YS-01 so that it can be used with other camera brands, but that we will know when it has been released.

 

Guide number of the UFL-3 is stated as GN22, while the Sea&Sea YS-01 states GN20. Possibly just a result of a minor upgrade from Sea & Sea to their strobe unit.


Edited by Thormar, 28 August 2014 - 07:54 AM.

Olympus OM-D EM-1, PT-EP11, Inon Z-240


#2 JackConnick

JackConnick

    Orca

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1251 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle, WA
  • Interests:Sailing, diving, women, cats

Posted 28 August 2014 - 02:26 PM

But. It's. Red...!? :pardon:


Jack Connick
Optical Ocean Sales.com Sea & Sea, Olympus, Ikelite, Athena, Zen, Fix, Nauticam, Aquatica, Seacam, Gates, 10Bar, Light & Motion, iTorch/I-DAS & Fantasea Line - Cameras, Housings, Strobes, Arms, Trays & Accessories
Blog & Gallery: Optical Ocean Sales Blog
Flickr Gallerys: Optical Ocean on Flickr


#3 Thormar

Thormar

    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 29 August 2014 - 12:35 AM

:-) yes... - not my fault. And does not appear the be the same red as the housings. Dive deep and you won't notice. Or find a permanent marker...


Olympus OM-D EM-1, PT-EP11, Inon Z-240


#4 ReallyMadRob

ReallyMadRob

    Sea Wasp

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 November 2014 - 11:33 AM

I may be the only person who ever loved the UFL-2, but then I did dive with the housed FL-36 after which it was a blessed relief ;-) Seriously a lot of the objections are paper based because the numbers of them in the wild are so small. It is great for macro and its problem isn't pure lack of power (on paper it has a GN of 36 when zoomed in) or that recharge time is too slow but that the capacity of 2 AAs to recover from a savage beating for wide angle dies off quite fast. It does all kinds of things other strobes can't and it really can do FP modes.

 

I'm really interested in the UFL-3 as it looks cheap, simple and like it will last for a long dive. My reading of the manual suggests it can't do FP modes. All it's control is optical and in RC A or B it'll follow your choices set on the camera, and the manual says it won't enjoy Auto or FP. In RC mode strobes are controlled by low power data bursts from the on board flash which is fairly economical. It doesn't do Mimic/Copy cat/S or DS TTL and so for non Olympus cameras you only appear have a manual slave mode - without preflash cancellation - which is a shame as shops hate carrying strobes which are dedicated. It looks quite useful, for Olympus people like me :-)

 

Rob

 

P.S. I'd add that the UFL-2 wasn't the simple YS clone I always assumed and proved, when I got hold of one, to be a very capable copy cat that has worked with everything I've tried with it without any configuration other than the power switch.



#5 Thormar

Thormar

    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 12 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Denmark

Posted 06 November 2014 - 06:43 AM

Yes, unfortunately looks like you are right. Super FP flash not possible with UFL-3, but only the UFL-2. Damn. So sync speed of 1/8000 is not possible...

 

And the flash is of little interest for other than Olympus owners, due to lack of TTL compatibility.

 

So the only advantage of the UFL-3 vs. other third party strobes is the RC mode which gives lower battery drain of the camera battery and potentially faster recycle of the internal flash. And exactly the same TLL as the camera.

 

So worth it if you are an Olympus user, don't plan to change brand, and need a strobe in this class/size.


Olympus OM-D EM-1, PT-EP11, Inon Z-240






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Olympus, OM-D, PEN, Strobe, UFL-3