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blondie1119

Olympus E-PL2 or E-PL3 and S&S or Ikelite strobes

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I'm looking to upgrade from my Olympus C-770UZ and have decided to go with either the E-PL2 or E-PL3. My hold out on the E-PL3 (besides price) is the fact that it doesn't have a built-in flash. I don't understand how the camera would work in an underwater housing without a built-in flash to set off the external strobe. And, outside of underwater diving, why would I want a camera without a flash. Seems strange that it doesn't exist on the E-PL3 but does on the older models. Am I completely missing something?

 

Also, I've historically had the Ikelite DS-50 and then DS-51. However, my Ikelite DS-51 just recently flooded and died. So, I'm also in the need for a new strobe. Everything I seem to find related to the Olympus E-PL2 or E-PL3 models have S&S strobes. I've read reviews on both Ike & S&S and don't think it makes much of a difference between the two of them. Not sure why I haven't found many E-PL2/3 systems mentioned with Ikelite strobes. Again, unless I'm missing something. I would like to move up to a dual strobe unit and am assuming I should be happy with two YS-01 strobes (since I've historically only had a single DS-50/1 strobe) should I choose S&S over Ikelite. Any thoughts on Ikelite vs S&S strobe for the E-PL2/3? Any thoughts on whether two YS-01 strobes would be similar to me upgrading to two DS-51 strobes, which is what I would have done before reading about the many S&S strobes w/ the E-PL2/3s.

 

The last piece I'm confused about is strobe triggering with the E-PL2/3 housings. I currently set the strobe in the TTL full-power setting and use an Ikelite EV controller (manual exposure controller) that is triggered by a slave sensor (I do not have or use a sync cord). Am I correct in my assumption that I would not be able to use the slave sensor feature on the PT-EP05L or PT-EP03 housings? And that if I switched to S&S, my Ikelite EV controller would no longer work? Does S&S even offer similar technology that would work on the set up that I'm suggesting? What are the pros/cons of leaving this EV controller out of my set-up as I've never shot w/o it before and don't really know what it does or doesn't do for me.

 

Monica

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Hi Monica.

 

Long time ikelite user and happy customer here too.

 

The reason there are not many folks using ikelite strobes and the oly pen systems, is that ikelite does not make housings for them, so built in wired TTL is not available.

 

The fiber optically fired strobes seem to work fine, and they allow both TTL or manual strobe power settings.

 

I've been using several high end compact cameras, including the epl2 in the oly housing, with an ikelite ds51 and the heinrichs digital optical slave, that gives great TTL exposure control with the EPL2.

 

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_p...products_id=900

 

The ike strobes and the adapter are more expensive, added up, than the little ys01 so it might make more sense to just to go straight for fiber optic triggered strobes. The ike strobes are higher powered than those tiny little guys.

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Re the flash: my understanding is that the E-PL3 has a clip-on flash (included). I can confirm this when mine arrives - hopefully tomorrow!

 

I am also looking at the Oly housing & maybe an S2000 strobe. I have also been using an Ikelite housing up to now for my Canon S90, but as you know they don't make them for micro four-thirds cameras generally.

 

Phil

Edited by philwat44@gmail.com

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I have the E-PL3 and always hear of people not being able to get their head around the no internal flash and seeing it as an issue. I just attach mine to the camera, and if i need to use it I flick it up with my finger and if I don't I pop it down. The camera is ultra portable and compact so has never been an issue to me at all.

The Oly housing is perfectly sized for the flash.

 

I was more intersted in the 'ultra fast' AF and I have been more than impressed with it so far.

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OK so you just leave the flash clipped on to the camera. What default settings do you use underwater?

 

Good to hear about the AF, since that is my main frustration with the S90. It is very slow & tends to 'hunt' for the correct focus. By the time it has locked on properly, the Great White or whatever has fled the scene.

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Am I completely missing something?

 

I would like to move up to a dual strobe unit and am assuming I should be happy with two YS-01 strobes

Monica

 

Yes, the E-PL3 comes with an attachable flash, it is no problem using it underwater. It works very well with 2 Ys-01 strobes, those are great strobes, very small and powerful, with a good angle of coverage. They are fired via the Sea & Sea fiber optic cable, which attaches to the E-PL3 housing. Hope this helps - Scott

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OK so you just leave the flash clipped on to the camera. What default settings do you use underwater?

 

Good to hear about the AF, since that is my main frustration with the S90. It is very slow & tends to 'hunt' for the correct focus. By the time it has locked on properly, the Great White or whatever has fled the scene.

 

 

 

I have both the s90 and Nikon d90 with internal flashes, I have never had an issue with the E-pl3 having a attachable flash as the compact size of the whole thing is still something that I can simply carry in my pocket. I've never seen it as an issue, and if you leave it attached you forget and it just feels like it's just 'part of the camera'.

I have just moved to this UW set up from an S90, I have loved the S90, however issues you mentioned have now simply gone away. The AF is superb and the IQ also really nice and way ahead of the s90. The part I really like though is how light and portable the whole set up is. The thing is bigger than say my S90, however i'd say it's still really manageable and flexible and feels really good to use.

 

I use modes from M to S to A to P depending on what i'm doing. I'd say for those who are used to Auto type modes, P is a great mode as it allows for some control yet won't overwhelm someone. This works really well also if you want to use TTL with the strobe as the whole thing is pretty much Automatic, yet still gives sound exposures.

 

 

I am due to use this solidly in the Maldives next week, so will be far better placed to provide my findings then, however so far i've been more than happy.

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Yes, the E-PL3 comes with an attachable flash, it is no problem using it underwater. It works very well with 2 Ys-01 strobes, those are great strobes, very small and powerful, with a good angle of coverage. They are fired via the Sea & Sea fiber optic cable, which attaches to the E-PL3 housing. Hope this helps - Scott

 

 

Thanks for the clarification on the flash. You'd think they'd be more clear about the fact that the camera comes with a flash. I didn't come across that in anything I read - not that I read everything, but I did read a bunch. I wonder why or how that was seen as an improvement or upgrade to not have the flash built in. Seems like stepping backwards in time wrt technology. Good to know that I don't have to purchase a flash separately.

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Hi Monica.

 

Long time ikelite user and happy customer here too.

 

The reason there are not many folks using ikelite strobes and the oly pen systems, is that ikelite does not make housings for them, so built in wired TTL is not available.

 

The fiber optically fired strobes seem to work fine, and they allow both TTL or manual strobe power settings.

 

I've been using several high end compact cameras, including the epl2 in the oly housing, with an ikelite ds51 and the heinrichs digital optical slave, that gives great TTL exposure control with the EPL2.

 

http://reefphoto.com/shop/index.php?main_p...products_id=900

 

The ike strobes and the adapter are more expensive, added up, than the little ys01 so it might make more sense to just to go straight for fiber optic triggered strobes. The ike strobes are higher powered than those tiny little guys.

 

I've only ever had an Olympus camera, Olympus housing, and Ikelite strobe with the slave EV controller, so I've never had or even thought about having wires or cables connecting my camera and strobes. What I had worked well, hence my hesitation to go to something I don't know - fiber optic cables. Thanks for your assurance that the fiber optics work fine, too. Since I'm planning to upgrade to 2 strobes instead of the 1 that I've ever had, I probably won't notice if a ys01 has less power as I would assume 2 ys01s would have more power than 1 ds51. I'm already going to have to re-learn how to adjust my strobes & picture-taking for having 2 instead of 1. Thanks!

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