Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus OM Flash Photography - Part III

 
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The T32, clearly the nucleus of Olympus flash system with another smaller unit - the T20 will, other than supports TTL flash control with OM2(n) cameras, it also provides newer OM2n (OM2SP, OM3, OM4 etc.) with viewfinder flash ready light and auto sync with any T-series flash (Shoe 4 with OM2n); for newer Olympus models that do not support TTL flash such as OM1n, OM10, OM20, etc., it will also provide viewfinder flash ready light and correct exposure indication. The older M1 and OM1 can ONLY make use of Manual and normal AUTO flash feature.

Besides, to avoid such a state of confusion an make less mistakes for any OM users who might own both OM1(n) and OM2(n) bodies, the T32 in particular, has a very considerate cover at its back panel, it says: "full automatic control by OM-2."........ Which means, IF you are using an OM2(n) body, you need not have to do anything at the settings at its back (Well, IF yours are an older version of OM2, you will still need to change to Accessory Shoe 3 in order to use any of the T series flash models in TTL flash mode). <<-- You can close the cover at its back when decided to use with any of the TTL capable Olympus camera models but the panel reads: "Fully automatic control by OM2.OM4".

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Compact but marginally less powerful than their earlier Quick AUTO 310, the T32 has a respectable professional grade guide number of 32 and it is the center of a complete professional flash system that includes a two-way bounce grip with extra batteries and a trigger for more convenient motorized flash photography, AC adapter, extension cords, zoom and wide angle adapters, color filters, and an adapter for simultaneous flash with multiple flash units. <<< ---- A simple accessory such as light condensing device, zoom adapter would extend the guide number to 42 (m) other than can be used to supplement lenses of longer focal length (Click stops at 50, 75, 100 and 135mm with a corresponding guide number of 36, 38, 40 and 42).
Even on its own it is outstandingly versatile, from the remarkable built-in bounce mechanism to the exceptionally fast recycling time, and extremely wide angle giving virtually complete coverage of a 24mm super wide angle lens picture area.

Just how good is the design of T32 ? Believe me, it is a very good flash. It always made me think those guys at Nikon or Canon were having some mental block with their flash design. Olympus hits theirs with only one stroke and it remains in production for the last 20 over years, it will work with any Olympus SLR camera models either in Manual, normal AUTO or full TTL auto flash exposure control modes. It is definitely so much more cheaper to invest into an OM system if you work with flash very often. Comparatively, we take Nikon's flash system as a basis for comparison - they have made more than 21 types of non-AF flash units, with most of them having compatibility problems due to the varying nonstandard accessory shoes among all those camera models ! Eventually, Nikon did managed to introduce a pretty well TTL flash in SB-16 A/B back in 1982/3 which is the only non-AF flash Nikon still maintaining production. What about Canon ? Oh.. they don't believe so much in TTL flash technologies earlier and eventually surrendered to this mainstream flash method in 1986 with a very well-spec Canon Speedlite 300TL,it was the ONE and ONLY Canon Non-AF flash unit that offers TTL Auto flash exposure control for the ONE and ONLY manual focus Canon SLR camera model that equipped with TTL flash capability, Canon T90 - that was back in 1986 and it was almost a decade AFTER Olympus first introduced TTL flash system to the photographic community.

Oh, that was only referring to the segment on technology, on a practical note, the compactness and basic core features of T32 is still unrivaled in terms of functionality - in fact, I have bought a Metz 32CT2 for my Nikon just because it emulates a T32 has - where it always made me thought Olympus is just simply superior in this particular segment. Doubting of what I said ? Look at another evergreen Olympus TTL flash ready model, the T20. The T20, which is even smaller and lighter, provide a greater mobility and portability than T32, is intended mainly for general purpose photography, it can be attached directly to the camera hot shoe. Naturally, it is cheaper and lesser in its full capabilities as system flash, but remains immensely popular among OM users. Other than TTL auto flash, which is its main technical highlight, it also offers normal AUTO and Manual flash control. Both the smaller T20 and more sophisticated T32 also provide normal "Auto" mode for use with other cameras.

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Obviously, most were impressed by what the new Olympus F280 flash can offer, but as I said, IF you were to think the F280 will leapfrog your OM1n or OM2 into a mean machine, that will be a waste of money because the F280 will NOT offer any advantage over the T32 and T20.But if have both OM3Ti/OM4Ti; OM1(n)/OM4Ti; OM2n/OM3Ti and would like to keep only a sole unit flash that can both TTL auto flash and FP high speed sync, the F280 then will serve as a more logical choice.

Electronic Flash T45 Handle flash Earlier sections have completed the segment on various Olympus's clip-on flash units. But if RAW Power and lighting fast recycling time is what you are looking for, and even the moderately high guide number of 32 from T32 is not enough to satisfy your appetite for More power, then you may take a look at Olympus 's T45, a hammer head design flash unit. It is the most powerful flash Olympus (It is NOT exaggerating to quote this flash ROCKs, because it is also one of the rare few MOST powerful regular production commercial flash you can find in the market until the Sunpak and Metz introduced more powerful units during the '90 !

Naturally, its power comes with an unusually bulky size for general OM design, when comparing with the traditionally small dimension of of any OM SLRs. It is a powerful professional flash unit with a difference, because in moist cases, such high power output flash would require a heavy, bulky and annoying shoulder pack for power, but comparatively, T45 looks about the same size as other flashes with similar ratings, it is MORE functional because it fits the batteries inside the flash grip. Better yet, the special Ni-Cd batteries used give some 100 full flashes per charge, about twice what you get from most comparable units.

Those days, a friend of mine always jokingly quoting the T45 as "...the Mother of ALL flash units...", but no one denies the fact that this flash really ROCKS...sounded just like the WWF's Mr "Rock". Shown at right is a T45 with an OM4, with a TTL AUTO cord T2 0.15m---- >>>>

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The recycling time is around twice as fast with comparing brands - it takes just 0.2 to 2.2 seconds. Its TTL Auto Flash flash power can coupled with apertures as bright as F1.2 - which means some ten times the brightness of a regular F4 aperture found on regular hammer head flash you can find on the market ! Further, you can combine the T45 with up to nine other OM flash units in AUTO Flash exposure mode. As far as the T45 is concerned, you may not find another comparing handle flash with so much to offer and it is joke you think of matching your OM bodies with another brand. The T45 also has a very unique design in its camera bracket where it incorporates a reversible camera grip and thus, it is so flexilble that it can be attached either to the left or right-hand side of the camera especially when it is used in conjunction with a Motor Driven camera. You can even release the shutter via M. Grip Cord 2 from the flash unit. TTL Auto Flash capability provided in OM bodies such as OM-4(Ti), OM40 or earlier OM-2 series models should optimize the full potential of T45, it can be used at any aperture available on the taking lens. TTL Auto also means it helps to eliminate the need for unsure flash settings - everything is controlled by the camera's centralized computer system. The back panel of the flash is a similar design like those found on the T32, the panel in TTL mode is blank while the other side is equipped with an aperture calculator. Other basic features with appropriate OM bodies will, activate viewfinder ready light and correct flash exposure indication. The truth is, Olympus generously designed the T45 so it also can be used with any camera with a synchro socket, making it a hard proposition for any pro to resist other high performance handle flash such as Metz or Sunpak etc.. Naturally, the TTL function, in this case will not be possible - and you have to live with its full scale normal AUTO mode or variable manual flash exposure control. * More info/ techncial specification for most of the Olympus designed flash units are available at the Olympus T45 flash / OM flash section.

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T45 Ni-Cd Charger For those who uses flash very often, investing into a rechargeable may be a good alternative. Further, it should perform better in colder climate. This charger is to recharge the T45 Ni-Cd Pack 1 from regular household current. A full charge takes about eight hours. For indoor or studio use, it can also use regular house hold current by connecting directly to the main using an AC Adapter 2.

The revolutionary TTL auto flash exposure control has provided a new level of operational ease in macro flash photography. Olympus was very early to take advantage of the new capability and have since created a whole new standalone OM macro photo system. The early days was still confined to use the T32/T20 with an Auto Connector and Auto Cord.

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<<-- The T Power-Control I unit enables many other innovative accessories for Macrophotography with OM system.

The T10 Ring Flash I is specially designed for extreme close-up photography with units of the OM System Macro photo Group.It screws onto the front of the camera lens and is connected by a cord to the T Power-Control I unit, which fits in the camera hot shoe to insure maximum convenience and portability.

Specifications:

Type
: Energy-saving, series-circuit type Centralized Control (TTL Auto) flash unit with Manual capability.
Guide Number: 10m (ASA 100)
Coverage angle
: 80°.
Recycling time
: 0.2-10 sec. with AA Alkaline batteries on TTL Auto.
Flashes per set of AA Alkaline batteries
: 100~500 on TTL Auto.
Color temperature
: 5800°K.
Mounting on lens
: 49mm and 55mm filter thread mount provided. 
Electrical connection
Flash to T Power Control 1: the spiral cord of the flash has a connecting plug with bayonet mount that plugs into the T Power Control 1. T Power Control 1 to camera: 1) clip-on type with hot shoe and lock; 2) bracket type with Power Bounce Grip 2 and TTL Auto Cord T; 3) free type with TTL Auto Cord 2 and TTL Auto Connector. 
Calculator Panel
: Reversible plate type - blank side for TTL Auto mode on cameras that support TTL flash and calculator side for Manual modes. Available with scale in meters and in feet for 20mm/F2, 38mm/F2.8, 50mm/F3.5, 80mm/F4 and 135mm/F4.5 macro lenses.
TTL AUTO
: Aperture setting: continuous, accords with aperture ring setting of camera-linked lens.
Flash confirmation: flash ready and flash OK LED on the T Power Control 1. Viewfinder indication contact provided.
Manual flash guide numbers
: HI-10 (ASA 100, m) and LOW-4 (ASA 100, m).
Power Sources:
1) Four 1.5V AA 'penlight' batteries
Illuminators: Eight electric bulbs are built into the front of ring flash unit.
Power source: 6V Power Pack 2 or AC Adapter 3.
Dimensions and weight
: T10 Ring Flash main body: 86x18mm, 95g. T Power Control 1: 81x70x104mm, 320g (without batteries).


For dim light photography, the ring flash also has illuminator lamps powered by a separate battery pack. Other units, including an AC adapter-X-and a special polarizing filter, help make the ring flash ideal for medical, laboratory and outdoor macrophotography applications.

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The Macro flash group has spinned off an d evolved into a standalone system, many of the system accessories were truly original and innovative.It presents a greater fun to invest into an OM system and most often, very addictive because of the numerous possibilities it can offer.

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Shared Resources: Supplementary Articles:
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