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There are strobes that are sold only in Nikon and Canon TTL configurations.  I use an Olympus EM1ii.  Is there any way to trigger the strobes’ TTL functions with the Olympus?  I think not, but haven’t found any discussion.  Thanks!

Edited by rickmorgan

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It can be done optically - using the included mini flash to trigger with Retra, INON and Sea and Sea strobes among others, probably reasonably reliable for macro, less so for wide angle - this has nothing to do with the strobes, they just do what the camera tells them to do.  Different cameras are better and worse at doing TTL flash on UW scenes and often tend to underflash unless the flash is lighting all of the subject.   I always use manual flash these days on my EM-1 II with INON Z-240s.

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Thanks, Chris.  I use optical triggering on my Olympus also, both with the mini-flash and with a Turtle TTL trigger, and generally, but not always, use the flashes in manual.  I'm curious at the ONEUW strobes, which are available only for Nikon or Canon rigs (except in manual, I gather).  They are preprogrammed to one of those systems, and I'm curious whether there's any way to bridge the gap between that and Olympus TTL.

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With the ONEUW, an excellent strobe by the way you can buy the Canon version TTL and then have it converted to Nikon or vise versa but they don't allow for any other TTL protocol at this time. I used the strobes with fiber optics in manual with Sony cameras end they work. Like many I think TTL is highly overrated and leads to less keepers not more in both macro and wide angle, this includes with Olympus 43 and M43 cameras which I used for years. 

I think the mindset with ONEUW was to reach those photographers still using Canon and Nikon DLRS's.  

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Thanks, Phil.  I read your review of them in UwP124 (much appreciated), and also Don Silcock's on indopacificimages.com.  I'm not a devotee of TTL--just exploring the lights and curious about the various TTL systems.  To hijack my own thread, I don't see OM doing anything which will move the needle underwater.  I've thinking about jumping systems, and am mulling the Z7ii vs a midrange Sony (vs paying off the mortgage, but who's counting?). 

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4 hours ago, rickmorgan said:

Thanks, Chris.  I use optical triggering on my Olympus also, both with the mini-flash and with a Turtle TTL trigger, and generally, but not always, use the flashes in manual.  I'm curious at the ONEUW strobes, which are available only for Nikon or Canon rigs (except in manual, I gather).  They are preprogrammed to one of those systems, and I'm curious whether there's any way to bridge the gap between that and Olympus TTL.

They are probably overkill for a m43 system, if you are after better light you could consider the Retras which I believe will provide TTL with Olympus and other brands.

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Thanks again.  I use Z330s, which keep me happy with the Olympus.  But I don’t know why, hypothetically, more and better light would be overkill with a 4/3 kit?

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I agree that OM's future is a bit up in the air. The EM-1 III went a bit backwards compared to MK II and they are stuck in a 20MP rut with a small sensor. They also have one of the best lens lineups for underwater, as they did with the 43 series DSLR's. 

The Nikon Z7 II is twice the price point of EM-1 III but has improved in many ways since I first reviewed Z7. The AF is much better but still not on par with Canon and Sony full frame current generation cameras. Nikon Z has the most limited lens line for mirrorless and the cameras seem to be coming out slowly. 

I now have the new Sony A7 IV in house for review and the AF is on par with the A1. It is slower in the area of high speed about 6 frames a second mechanical in full RAW. This is not limiting for most UW work. For me the 33MP is a sweet spot between most of the 20-24MP range and the 45-60MP range cameras. 

The best bag for the buck in strobes is the Inon Z330 type II. Unlike the ONEUW the TTL is not built into the strobe but can be achieved with a TTL converter as an after market addition.

Video guys will not be happy with rolling shutter.

 

Edited by Phil Rudin
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50 minutes ago, rickmorgan said:

Thanks again.  I use Z330s, which keep me happy with the Olympus.  But I don’t know why, hypothetically, more and better light would be overkill with a 4/3 kit?

Generally m43 for wide angle you don't need to stop down as much, f8 is sufficient for most purposes so you don't need the flash power that a full frame rig does.  The OneUW strobes are excellent strobes and would certainly do a good job on m43 you'd just be turning them down a lot.  The main issue I would think is the size and weight they are 1480 gr each and quite large,two of them would weigh the same as your  EM-1 MkII rig.  The Retras have a reputation for great lighting and are more or less Z330 size and 820-860 gr each so arguably do the same job in a smaller package, which would possibly make light positioning easier if you need to get the strobes in close.

Changing topics what do you feel the EM-1 II is not doing for you?  Or is it a more general upgrade itch?  I do agree that m43 has the best most complete range of UW lenses plus it does has one reasonably unique possibility of true fisheye zoom if you adapt a Canon 8-15.  You can do that on a couple of APS-C cameras but they seem to be a bit of a neglected class of camera these days.

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Chris and Phil, I appreciate the thoughtful insights.  I have been happy with the M1ii and M1 before it, and have a satisfactory (arguablly obscene) assortment of lenses, using mostly (underwater) the 60, the 12-40, and occasionally the Panasonic 8.  I don't mind working around, e.g., the focus hunting on the 60(certainly better on the Mark 2) and the awkward (frankly, risky) kit assembly with the 12-40, and have become accustomed, or at least resigned, to the . . . eclectic? menu structure.  I could, and quite possibly will be, happy diving it forever (although it stinks that the 8-25 can't readily be used with the N85 ports--it's a nice lens).  

Phil's embrace of the Olympus cameras for underwater use almost a decade ago was relevant to my original decision, and I think he was right.  Likewise, I've noted his unequivocal endorsement of the image quality of the Sony bodies he now uses.  Covid and health willing, we have some big, for us, trips coming up in the next couple of years, and I simply want the resulting pictures to be as lovely as my skills can manage.  My preference would be to use an iPhone, but the technology's not there (yet) on the still side, anyway.  The TG-6 is terrific, and there is some real appeal to just using that, but I'm . . . well, just not inclined.  Since any new OM camera would require a housing change, moving away from my current kit would involve considerable expense anyway, so I think it's a good time to mull over the binary options: continue to love the E-M1, or change.  The cameras are tools, and I don't care about having the newest or fanciest, but I do care about having the prettiest, most pleasing pictures I can manage, balancing image quality, budget, learning curve, luggability, etc. 

Anyway, my original question was pretty much a thought experiment about TTL:  If I wanted to use this with that, could it be done?  If not, why not?  The answers are, as I figured,  "no," and "because," and I'm fine with that.

--Rick

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To answer your original question (if I understand it) you can TTL a number of different flashes with the EM-1 II using the Olympus on-board flash and with flash triggers like the one for Olympus from UWTechnics.com using fiber optics or in some cases with wired strobes.

For me the smallest and most cost effective entry level cameras are the TG-6 (or other TG) for consumer compact, The APC-C Canon Rebel line if you are stuck on DSLR's and the Sony A7C with the 28-60 kit lens if you want full frame. 

The TG has a cute little circular fisheye adapter that is fun to use.

The Canon can be setup with lenses like the Tokina 10-17mm and macro's.

With the Sony A7C and 28-60 kit lens you can go from 130 degrees with WWL-1 (B) to near life size or beyond with CMC-1 on the same dive. 

first two images with the TG-6, second two are with the Canon rebel with 10-17 and 100 macro and the third two are with the A7C with WWL-1 and at 60mm with CMC-1.

maxed out on attachment space, how do I delete old photos?

 

Edited by Phil Rudin
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46 minutes ago, Phil Rudin said:

maxed out on attachment space, how do I delete old photos?

 

Just checking, Phil

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On 1/16/2022 at 9:38 AM, rickmorgan said:

...

Anyway, my original question was pretty much a thought experiment about TTL:  If I wanted to use this with that, could it be done?  If not, why not?  The answers are, as I figured,  "no," and "because," and I'm fine with that.

--Rick

The "because" is actually fairly interesting?

Strobes that support specific camera manufacturers provide that support via a wired hot shoe connection that allows the camera computer to talk digitally to the strobe computer. Different camera manufacturers developed their own proprietary flash protocol: Canon protocol is called E-TTL, Nikon is called i-TTL, Olympus/Panasonic is called ???. They are all different and incompatible with each other. Firing the flash in this model is fairly simple:

- the camera instructs the strobe to preflash at a defined power setting

- the camera calculates how much power is needed based upon the light detected

- the camera tells the strobe how much power is required

- the camera then instructs the strobe to fire

Minus the manufacturer specific wired cable you must resort to using your strobe as an "optical remote" strobe. Firing the flash in this model is more of a "follow the leader" and hope for the best:

- the camera fires it's onboard flash (the preflash), hoping that the remote strobe will follow suit

- the camera calculate show much power is needed based upon the light detected

- the camera then fires it's onboard flash for the calculated duration, hoping that the remote strobe will closely follow suit

Cameras without an onboard flash require the use of a hot shoe optical trigger that takes the place of the onboard flash.

To further complicate the picture, some camera / flash combos support an optical (as opposed to electrical) trigger protocol. The Olympus RC mode is an example of this. The UFL-2 and UFL-3 strobes support Olympus optical RC mode.

  

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On 1/16/2022 at 3:29 PM, TimG said:

Just checking, Phil

Phil, there are no limits to uploading. There shouldn’t be a problem. 

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Thank you Tim, Adam has looked into it and I should be set now.

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3 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

Thank you Tim, Adam has looked into it and I should be set now.

:good:

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Thank you, KeithG.  There's a lot going on between actuation and illumination--and of course it would be different for every manufacturer, because--cameras.  Given the popularity of the Olympus cameras underwater, I've been mildly surprised that the o-Turtle is the only available TTL trigger for Olympus; however, it works quite well.  I've had issues with the mini-flashes failing. 

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5 hours ago, rickmorgan said:

Thank you, KeithG.  There's a lot going on between actuation and illumination--and of course it would be different for every manufacturer, because--cameras.  Given the popularity of the Olympus cameras underwater, I've been mildly surprised that the o-Turtle is the only available TTL trigger for Olympus; however, it works quite well.  I've had issues with the mini-flashes failing. 

UW technics also make a TTL converter and Nauticam sell a manual only trigger.

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