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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-global.com/en/news/2014b/nr140828epl7e.jsp 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. 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. 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.
Hi All, I just came back from a trip to the Philippines (amazing btw) and I was upset that my setup E-PL3 + 2 x YS-01 was unable to shoot faster than 5 sec between shots. the main reason is that I'm using TTL, so the internal flash of the camera needs to recharge fully every time, so after thinking on many solutions, I manage to get a good working solution to shoot as fast as 1 sec between shots without loosing the TTL, on the way, I managed to save battery life of the camera, and some will say even reduce the chance of fogging since the internal flash is not heating the housing. So, how did I do it? simply, we all know that we don't really need the internal flash, just the external strobes, we need the internal flash to signal the TTL, that's all, so I just lowered the flash to 1/10 of its power. I'll give a small explanation to those who don't know how the flash works, if you do want and you just want to see the MOD jump ahead. Ok, so I'll try to simplify all the technical details so some of the things here will be not 100% correct, but just close enough. We have the flash bulb, to activate it we need power, the main problem is that to get to such a strong intensity we need strong power, and we only have a small battery in the camera, so we will use a simple device called capacitor, capacitors are devices that holds energy, so to "fill up" the capacitor with energy, takes time, the bigger the capacitor the longer the time it takes to fill it with energy, so all I had to do is replace the big capacitor with a small one, that's all. now my flash is very week (we had a 102uF capacitor, I used 10uF so 1/10 the strength [yeah yeah I know it is not linear but still you get the idea]). THE MOD, I'm using the E-PL3 that uses the same flash system as the OMD and other PEN units, but I believe it can be done to any flash. Full Flash before the mod: Full Flash after the mod: our flash is FL-LM1 or the FL-LM2. if you disconnect it from the camera, you will see there are two small bolts, when you open them up, you can see the whole flash system, there are two capacitors, one is the triggering (small one, can get to 4000v) and the second one, the one that we are interested in is the big one, 330v 102uf. THE FLASH: BEFORE YOU TOUCH IT! the capacitor is charged! that means it has 330v in it, be careful, you should discharge it first (how? if you don't know better not to do it ). so you can see all you need to do is take a new capacitor, solder it to the same wires with the same connectivity, and you are done, I've checked few capacitors before I ended up with this one - 350V 10uF, (No need to go higher - 10uF works 100% I get green light on my strobes every shot) I've tried also 1uF, it was too weak, you could see the flash firing, but couldn't get TTL to work 100%, so I guess you can find a better value between 10-1 but I'm happy with the 10uF. Old capacitor Vs New capacitor (smaller one is the new one) So now I bought a new flash on ebay, and I have one for "land" use (not modified) and one for underwater use. Total price of the mod, 0.5$ capacitor + 35$ used FL-LM1 total 35.5$! I can only give you one more tip, if you buy a new flash, buy in a different color (if you have silver camera, buy black and vice versa), so you could differentiate between them .
Hi has anyone tried the Olympus PEN E-PM1 in underwater photography ? i am planning to get this mirrorless small camera & housing as my first underwater kit along with sea&sea YS-01 strobe. do you have any practical feedback about it ?
Hey Everyone, I'm selling my full Olympus PEN E-PL1 underwater setup. This gets you everything you need to jump in the water and shoot away! Everything has been meticulously cared for and stored properly, used underwater on about 60 dives over the course of a year and a half. This camera takes great pictures! (here's a few examples - taken with this exact set up, plus 1 strobe) Bought New - ~$1600 My Price - $700 for everything below, includes shipping in the continental US! Olympus PEN E-PL1 Camera with 14-42mm Lens - this mirror-less camera is easy to use and has a great quality 12MP micro four-thirds sensor that is 8 times bigger than a compact camera sensor. Full manual controls and a variety of auto modes make it perfect for underwater use. Interchangeable lenses offer you full flexibility for great wide angle and macro shooting! My camera looks and functions like brand new, no cosmetic damage, no dead pixels on the LCD, everything is in perfect condition. The sensor is completely clean and there are no scratches on the lens glass. Olympus PT-EP01 Underwater Housing for the E-PL1 - This housing is specifically designed for the E-PL1 camera. My housing functions like new, all buttons are in good working order, the o-ring is in good condition. The glass port is clean with no scratches or damage. Includes the front port cover and lanyard to attach the cover to the housing as well as the rear LCD sunshade. Includes all accessories that came with the camera and housing (except one small rubber fiber optic plug). In addition I am including 1 spare battery ($60 value), and the 14-42mm zoom gear ($45 value) at no extra cost. Silicone grease, o-ring pick, lens and camera body caps, battery charger and original battery and both camera and housing manuals are included. Great Macro tools! Inon UCL-165 M67 Macro lens and Olympus Macro Adapter. This lens is in perfect condition, no scratches or damage on the glass. Retails for $178, I'm including it in this package for only $130 with the Olympus Macro adapter ($50) for free, including a handy lanyard you can clip to your BCD so you have an easy place to store the lens and adapter when not in use! This a fantastic set up for any beginner or even experienced underwater shooter. At a great price, don't miss your chance! I accept Paypal or cash if you are in the Los Angeles Area, free ground shipping to anywhere in the continental USA. Alaska/HI add $15 for shipping, International folks, PM me with your information and I'll calculate shipping/insurance costs.