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troporobo

Problem with Olympus FL-LM3 flash on EM-1 mk II?

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This flash, which I need to trigger my strobes, seems to have failed completely and without warning.  I know the hot shoe is working as expected because my above-water flash works fine.  I have searched various forums without finding information on failures, but perhaps my Google-fu is not up to scratch. I know a few of you have this camera so wondering if anyone has had problems with the flash? 

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I have EM1II (and former EM5II) and FL-ML3. So far no problems for about 3 years. I always have a spare flash with me, just in case (I read in several treads that the flash easily gets broken).

I also have the Nauticam flash trigger (came along with the used NA-EM1II housing I purchased), but I do not use it. I do not see the reason why: FLM3 used camera battery while the NA trigger uses a separate one that has to be replaced from time to time (I use the FL-ML3 always at 1/16th power, so recharging time is quite short and energy consumption is minimal).

Wolfgang

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I would first test the flash on another camera using fiber optic connection to a flash. If it works, there are various settings on the camera that would cause not strobe flash. If it does not, the flash could be bad. It is not uncommon, but does happen.

If you go down the "camera setting" path, that can be tricky and you may want your shop to give you a hand. The point being is there are a number of ways to force the camera to flash in a housing and another set of settings that control the flash through the camera.

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Mine stopped working as it was able to twist enough to lose contact withe the hot shoe connections - try twisting it either way gently to see if it comes to life.  I have a second flash without that problem which is my main flash to use in the housing.

 

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8 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

 

I also have the Nauticam flash trigger (came along with the used NA-EM1II housing I purchased), but I do not use it. I do not see the reason why: FLM3 used camera battery while the NA trigger uses a separate one that has to be replaced from time to time (I use the FL-ML3 always at 1/16th power, so recharging time is quite short and energy consumption is minimal).

Wolfgang

umh... with nauticam flash trigger you can increase the sync speed up to 1/400 and also to 1/500 with a little crop...  if the strobes are fast you can do Burst shooting... the button batteries of the trigger have a real long life... with that my camera battery  last 3 dives and more.... i use a lot the flm2 and tried the flm3, but now i use only the nauticam trigger.... ps:i have always 2 spare flm3... :-P 

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Thank you all.  I don't think it is a problem with the contacts as other flash units work fine and I am sure that it's not a setting issue, I have (painfully) become expert in the Olympus menu labyrinth.  I like the idea of the Nauticam trigger but it is 4x more expensive than a new flash and I don't really need the additional features.  It may just be bad luck, as failures are not discussed much on the various forums. 

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13 hours ago, boletus said:

umh... with nauticam flash trigger you can increase the sync speed up to 1/400 and also to 1/500 with a little crop... 

Hi Boletus,

Thank you for this interesting information. Maybe I give the Nauticam trigger a try...

Are you shure I could increase sync. on the EM1II up to 1/400 w/o crop?

=> In the menu I see no chance to increase shutter speed over 1/250 AND to have the flash. Flash just is not provided for speed faster than 1/250. How do you work around this?

 

Wolfgang

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4 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

Hi Boletus,

Thank you for this interesting information. Maybe I give the Nauticam trigger a try...

Are you shure I could increase sync. on the EM1II up to 1/400 w/o crop?

=> In the menu I see no chance to increase shutter speed over 1/250 AND to have the flash. Flash just is not provided for speed faster than 1/250. How do you work around this?

 

Wolfgang

Hi… yes, it's my second year with em1mk2 and the nauticam trigger…. the camera didnt know the trigger is there…. you can go also to 1/1000 but you have half of the photo black…. the camera didn't limit the shutter with the trigger…   in macro you can go to 1/400 easily… 500 with a very little crop on the top of the frame…. in wide angle with a lot of light(sun in the frame) and the oly fisheye you can reach 1/640 without cropping…. ;-) 

when the trigger is on the camera and you open the super control panel SCP(not menus)... the flash modes are marked grey because the camera think there isn't a flash installed… but you can navigate the modes and set also second curtain flash… but only manual modes… ;-) 

look at the photos in this gallery, many of them are at 1/400....  2 or 3 at 1/500.... 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/13930495@N06/albums/72157700564635032

 

ps:troporobo your FLM3 is dead…. it happens also with FLM2.... :-( 

 

Edited by boletus
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12 minutes ago, boletus said:

Hi… yes, it's my second year with em1mk2 and the nauticam trigger…. the camera didnt know the trigger is there…. you can go also to 1/1000 but you have half of the photo black…. the camera didn't limit the shutter with the trigger…   in macro you can go to 1/400 easily… 500 with a very little crop on the top of the frame…. in wide angle with a lot of light(sun in the frame) and the oly fisheye you can reach 1/640 without cropping…. ;-) 

when the trigger is on the camera and you open the super control panel SCP(not menus)... the flash modes are marked grey because the camera think there isn't a flash installed… but you can navigate the modes and set also second curtain flash… but only manual modes… ;-) 

look at the photos in this gallery, many of them are at 1/400....  2 or 3 at 1/500.... 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/13930495@N06/albums/72157700564635032

 

ps:troporobo your FLM3 is dead…. it happens also with FLM2.... :-( 

 

Whow!

1/640 with the fisheye and 1/400 with macro - this changes my opinion, I will install the trigger...

 

Wolfgang

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2 hours ago, Architeuthis said:

Whow!

1/640 with the fisheye and 1/400 with macro - this changes my opinion, I will install the trigger...

 

Wolfgang

ahahah…. mind me…. 1/640 only if there is a lot of light in the frame… ex:shooting CFWA with sunball close to the surface…  without light at 1/640 you get the curtain band… ;-) but 1/400 is perfect in every condition…. i shot only single or burst antishock mode…. ;-)  

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Hello, I had also Problem with my FL-LM3.
My FL-LM3 give up after two Years (needs long to charge, and do not fire). OK this happens.
What made myself uncertain, that the Spare Flash gave up after 1 Day with the Same mistake.
So I ask myself did I Have just bad luck with the Spar Flash or do I have a Problem with my M1II?
Is that the Standard Problem with the FL-LM3: needs long to charge, and do not fire?
 

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Hi, I'm picking up this thread where it left off.  I have two m1/ii bodies and seemingly countless (well, four) FL-LM3 flashes.  I also have an FL-600R flash.  The latter works fine with both bodies.  However, none of the mini-flashes work with one of the bodies.  On the dodgy one, the mini-flashes do not light up the flash indicator in the SCP.  No silent shutters, bodies basically set up the same, and both bodies work with o-Turtle trigger, which unfortunately is in for repairs (thus leading me to experiment with the mini-flashes).  I assume this is just a ghost in the nonconforming body, and expect to have the turtle back soon, but am curious whether anyone has resolved this problem without a professional repair. 

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I know this is basic, but have you cleaned the contacts?

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1 hour ago, rickmorgan said:

Hi, I'm picking up this thread where it left off.  I have two m1/ii bodies and seemingly countless (well, four) FL-LM3 flashes.  I also have an FL-600R flash.  The latter works fine with both bodies.  However, none of the mini-flashes work with one of the bodies.  On the dodgy one, the mini-flashes do not light up the flash indicator in the SCP.  No silent shutters, bodies basically set up the same, and both bodies work with o-Turtle trigger, which unfortunately is in for repairs (thus leading me to experiment with the mini-flashes).  I assume this is just a ghost in the nonconforming body, and expect to have the turtle back soon, but am curious whether anyone has resolved this problem without a professional repair. 

I have two mini flashes , both work but one is easy to knock out of alignment in the hotshoe and stops working.  I've marked it and use the other mini flash UW.  Have you tried wiggling the flashes at all to try and make contact.  The hot shoe frame may not be sitting quite right on the body that won't activate the little flashes. 

I notice that my 900R flash has a different contact arrangement to the mini flashes.  It uses the large foremost contact while the mini flashes do not.  It also has a metal shoe which probably locates better.  The 900R flash doesn't have a contact for the top left of the 4 small contacts in the hotshoe (looking from behind camera) .  Perhaps that contact is the one that supplies power to the min flash and is either not contacting or not working on the problem body?

Path of least resistance is probably to mark the good body for UW work using the mini flashes?

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1 hour ago, ChrisRoss said:

Path of least resistance is probably to mark the good body for UW work using the mini flashes?

Thanks, Chris.  I keep a plate on the dysfunctional one, which keeps it out of the housing.  Without the trigger, though, it’s not much good as a backup.

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27 minutes ago, rickmorgan said:

Thanks, Chris.  I keep a plate on the dysfunctional one, which keeps it out of the housing.  Without the trigger, though, it’s not much good as a backup.

Yes I guess so, If you can't get it to work by jiggling - i.e. some sort of contact problem then It comes down to something internal if they all work on the other body.  I suspect it may have something to do with supplying power to charge the flash - this function would not be used on the 600R flash.  Do you have any indication that the camera knows a flash is installed?  A full discharged flash would have the flash symbol flash until it charged if was recognised.  This could be difficult to test unless you knew how the mini flash was detected by the camera. 

In any case even if you could test somehow if you can't get it to to work playing with contacts somehow then the only way I can see of dealing with it is to put it in for repair.

 

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On 1/30/2022 at 3:08 AM, rickmorgan said:

Thanks, Chris.  I keep a plate on the dysfunctional one, which keeps it out of the housing.  Without the trigger, though, it’s not much good as a backup.

Indeed this sounds like a defective EM1II camera, however, not worth sending in for service. The service technician may find and repair the problem or not and the costs may be substantial. Not the fault of the miniflashes in this case...

I have to update my statement from 2019 about reliability of miniflashes (until 2019 I did not experience problems with miniflashes): On a diving vacation in Croatia in 2020, my wife and me had two failing FML3 flashes, out of three, within two days. Fortunately I had my Nauticam EM1II flash trigger with me that I use happily since then (we have together two Nauticam/Olympus UW-rigs). We acquired later another new FML3 flash, just to have a spare in case of another failure (I also find the miniflashes very versatile above the water)...

As stated already above, the advantages of the flash trigger are shorter flash sync. times (without problem I can now use 1/320 and probably I could use even 1/400) and repeated use of flash in serial mode (e.g. 3-4 frames/second, when big fish are approaching). I take now a blister with 6 fresh CR2450 batteries to every diving vacation (as spare for housings, TCs and flash trigger)...

 

Wolfgang

Edited by Architeuthis

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Wolfgang, I agree that it’s not wise to send the apparently-defective body for repair.  You’re certainly right that the trigger’s a better way to go.  I do own a trigger, but it’s being repaired, so I refamiliarized myself with the mini-flash situation.  We landed in Bonaire this afternoon, so I’ll just have to suck it up for a couple of weeks.  

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