Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus Quick AUTO 310 Electronic Flash

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In theory, flash should be as important for any photographer as a day is separate equally into day or night. At night, indoors, and in cases where quality or strength of natural light fals short of good utilization for a given photographic purpose, electronic flash will provide a control source high intensity light. Most photographer should have some experience one way or another dealing with either manual or electronic flash. Modern flash photography provides so much convenient and accuracy than those days; generally, when combining with improved electronic of cameras and greater tolerance of exposure latitude of modern films, it is indeed very difficult to cause anyone making mistakes. (Well, perhaps one of the reasons why we valued more with images of yesterday ? Huh ?).

Older days of flash photography was closely associated with the need of time-consuming adjustment and calculation of effective working of lens aperture.

<<<-- Olympus's innovative flash is best represented by this setup. A poratble clip-on flash can be converted into a professional handle flash with just a few accessories.

OlympusQuickAuto310Flash2.jpg OlympusQuickAuto310Flash1.jpg
<<< -- Credit: Images courtesy of Mr Eric Garant® <>. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

It was improved and was overcome by the automatic flash in later days, which provides an additional advantages of greater control over depth of field, higher degree of exposure accuracy and more importantly, less battery wastage because it measures light reflected back from subject and regulates the right amount of flash output. The advantages of automatic flash is evident and seemed almost like a perfect solution. But there are a few problems that remained, such as harshness and excessive glare common in pictures taken with the light source mounted on the camera and when you change lenses of varying focal length, reflectance and intensity of light varies. This was exeggerated wth the emergence and popularity of zoom lenses.

Olympus introduced a revolutionary new flash method of TTL OTF Centralized Control Flash control system whereby light sensors and electronic brain incorporated into the OM-2 body automatically control the light emission level of a flash. A dedicated TTL Flash, Quick Auto 310 which was designed exclusively for the early OM2 bodies provides fully automatic TTL OTF flash metering with additional features of bounce flash when used together with an innovative Bounce Grip and Remote Sensor mounted on the camera accessory shoe, or with the Auto Cord 0.6m in place of the Remote Sensor.

The flash system introduced adds a layer of speed, versatility and convenience of conventional flash photography. It permits a selection of any lens aperture, eliminating the need for film speed and aperture setting on the flash unit, reducing the minimum working distance, and allowing use in conjunction with bellows with the TTL OTF flash exposure control.

<<<<---- Added a zoom head and you can increase the intensity of the flash output power, ideal for telephoto or zoom lenses which gaining its popularity during those early days of TTL flash. It has proven to be very popular and a trend setting feature.

It also increases accuracy by measuring the flash emission level precisely over the field covered by the lens in use. The 310 is an energy-saving, series-circuit type, system electronic flash unit. TTL Auto (with OM-2 + Accessory Shoe 2), Normal Auto (3 apertures) and Manual (2-stage output) can be instantly selected. Some technical highlights of the QuickAuto 310 are: 1) ASA flm speed and aperture need not be set on the Quick Auto 310; 2) lens aperture is used continuously; 3) extensive working range 17cm~23m (F1.2 lens, ASA 100); 4) TTL OTF extends to macrophotography and photomicro flash photography; 5) flash-light acceptance angle coincides with lens picture angle. The respectable Guide Number of 34, which ranked the QA310 among some of the most powerful portable automatic flash you can find on the market during its time, the unit is good enough for constant professional use with greater control of depth of field in bounce or tilt application.

The units of this group can also play a valuable role in normal light conditions. Because its duration can be as little as 1/40,000 sec., flash light is ideal for arresting movement in action, nature and scientific photography. And when used on a manual setting, the Quick Auto 310 permits full control of light intensity for fill-in flash in daylight scenes although most OM SLR bodies are still fall short of perfect, safe high speed sync speed to perform this task.

<<< -- Credit: Image courtesy of Mr Eric Garant® <>. Image Copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

A quick reference guide on Olympus's TTL Electronic Flash Quick Auto 310

It was the world's first and only TTL Centralized Control Flash unit in existence during those early days of TTL OTF flash exposure control. Used specifically with OM-2(n), it is linked directly with the camera's light sensors and electronic brain via the Accessory Shoe 2. The flash is measured through the lens, and automatically cut off when the correct exposure has been made.

With the OM-1 and other cameras this compact and powerful unit functions as a conventional automatic flash. It has a guide number of 34 (ASA100, m.) or 55 (ASA25, ft.) at peak output, and features a flash angle wide enough to give even illumination virtually throughout the picture area of a 24mm super wide-angle lens - which is also unheard of during its era. There is a choice of three different f-stop settings on normal AUTO, and HI or LOW manual settings are also possible, with all information shown on a single dial. An auto check lamp makes sure the subject is within the proper exposure range, and confirms exposure accuracy after the shot is made.

The TTL Centralized Control Flash system may be used within a range of from 0.25m (10 in.) to 23m (75ft.) at F1.2, ASA 100. The normal auto range is from 0.5m (20in.) to 8.5m (28ft.).

<<-- A comparing back control panel of anOlympus Quick AUTO 300 electronic flash.

Used independently, the Quick Auto 310 works off four penlight (AA) batteries, employing a series-circuit system to minimize recycling time and eliminate power wastage. It measures 99 x 80 x 73mm (3 90x 3 15x 2.87in ) and weighs 330g (11.62 oz.) without batteries. Unfortunately, TTL flash was at its infancy with the early OM2/QA310 and there were rooms for improvement. Subsequently, Olympus introduced a smaller electronic flash, T20 and followed by the more popular T32. But th Quick AUTO series models have developed a mini flash system on its own. Some of which may have some compatibility problem when used with later OM2n bodies which may need some attention when you intend to use any of the combinations with either newer flash with older camera models or older flash with newer bodies. A good example is the removable accessory shoe of OM SLRs.

Accessory Shoe 2 Used to connect the Quick Auto 310 to those early OM-2 for TTL Centralized Control Flash. It has two in-line contacts, and allows manual, normal auto, and camera regulated flash with the Quick Auto 310 flash.
Accessory Shoe 1 Screws into the hot shoe socket on any OM body pentaprism housing. It has a single pin contact and provides direct cordless flash contact and can also be used to hold the Remote Sensor.

The Shoe came as standard accessory with those early M-1 and OM-1 bodies and only allows manual and normal (flash-controlled) auto. This unit is exclusively for use with the early OM-2 bodies. Accessory Shoe 3 Should be used for older OM-2 bodies if one wishes to use it with any T-series flash (But NOT with the older Quick Auto 310 flash featured here). It provides manual, normal auto, and TTL flash. The accessory shoe mentioned earlier and the original Bounce Grip model 1 may present some problem working with later OM2 bodies or other OM models that offer similar TTL OTF flash exposure control so it should not be simply used for your newer camera OM camera models without checking for proper compatibility.

Bounce Grip 1 A highly functional, quickly attached unit consisting of a grip and a bracket, the Bounce Grip, converts the Quick Auto 310 into a grip type electronic flash and provides an additional high output power source operating off four 1.5V "C" batteries which has a properties of increased number of flashes while reduring recycling time.



Bounce Grip 1 is NOT compatible
with T series flash models

It also functions as a bounce flash unit in conjunction with the Auto Cord 0.6m or the Remote Sensor.

The bounce angle is adjustable between 75° upwards and 15° downwards and ratched clicks at 15° increments. A Head Clamp locks the Bounce Head.

Auto bounce flash is possible in conjunction with either the Remote Sensor (for Normal Auto flash) or the TTL Auto Cord 0.6m (for TTL "OTF" Auto flash). The unit consists of a bracket and a removable grip for convenience in carrying and storing. The bracket with a built-in synch cord connects to the grip instantly. A built-in power switch can activate or deactivate the additional power of the internal "C" batteries. When the batteries are activated the recycling time is 0.2~8sec. and the number of flashes is increased to 250~over 1000 in auto operation (0.2-12sec recycling time and over 400 flashes when deactivated).

Remote Sensor Fitted into the Accessory Shoe (OM-1(n), OM-2(n)) or fixed Hot Shoe (other OM cameras) and linked with the Bounce Grip, this unit makes possible automatic bounce flash control. It also permits the Quick Auto 310 to be used automatically at a distance from the camera. The Remote Sensor is required for Normal Auto bounce flash. It offers the choice of three apertures (F4, F5.6 and F8 at 100 ASA) for Normal Auto, and full output flash for Manual mode allowing one-touch switching. When the Remote Sensor is plugged into the Quick Auto 310, the built-in sensor of the flash is automatically switched off and the Remote Sensor takes over. Always set the ASA speed on the Sensor by rotating the inner dial, and select one of the three Normal Auto apertures, or full Manual by rotating the outer dial before use.

: T-series flash cannot be used. TTL "OTF" Auto flash cannot be used with the Remote Sensor.

Auto Cord 0.6m/5m

Used to connect the Quick Auto 310 or remote sensorfor mconnection to the camera not provided with a hot shoe or to hot shoe for off an OM-2. The cord is available in two lengths: 0,6m and 5m. The 0.6m cord is a spiral type, extendable from 0.3m to 0.6m. It cannot be connected  to a T flash. It does not provide TTL "OTF" flash capabilities.

 315V Power Pack* Providing 500 flashes at full power, with a recycling time of just 0.5 -1.5 seconds, the 315V Power Pack comes complete with case and shoulder strap.

Synchro Cords Two synchro cords are available, a spiral type extendable from 0.3 to 0.6m, and a 5m type. They are used with cameras which do not have a hot shoe, or when the Quick Auto 310 is used away from the camera, to connect it to the camera synchro socket. The TTL Auto Cord 0.6m is required for TTL "OTF" Auto bounce flash with the OM-2 and Accessory Shoe 2.

F. AC Adapter (More info on other versions) For use of normal household current. Plugs into Bounce Grip socket or Quick Auto 310 socket.

* The high-voltage power pack containing an optional 315V layer battery is connected to the external power socket of the Quick Auto 310 flash or Bounce Grip. Provides extremely short recycling time (0.5~1.5 sec) and a large number of flashes (over 500 on full flash). A shoulder strap is used for portability. This unit cannot be used for electronic flash units other than the Quick Auto 310; the Power Bounce Grip 2 is also incompatible. Power source: commercially available 315V layer-built battery.

Basic Flash Combinations




combi5.jpg combi4.jpg
Some combinations of what you can do with your Quick Auto 310 when couples it with the few system accessories.


: Energy-saving, series-circuit type TTL automatic exposure.
Guide Number
: 34 (m, ASA 100)
Connection to camera: Mechanical: clip-on type (via accessory shoe) or grip type (via Bounce Grip). Electrical: Direct contact (hot shoe), or via Synchro Cord or TTL Auto Cord 0.6m.
Dial setting: TTL Auto / Normal Auto / Manual rotating dial.
Coverage angle: 50° vertical, 80° horizontal
TTL AUTO: Aperture setting: continuous, accords with aperture ring setting of camera-linked lens. Working range: 0.25m-23m (100 ASA, F1.2 lens). Bounce flash: Bounce Grip + TTL Auto Cord 0.6m.
NORMAL AUTO: Aperture setting: Choice of three apertures (F4, F5.6, F8 at 100 ASA). Working range: 0.5m-8.5m (100 ASA). Bounce flash: Bounce Grip + Remote Sensor (Sensor Acceptance angle: approx. 20°).
Flash duration: 1/40.000~1/1000 sec.
Recycling time: 0.2-12 sec. with AA Alkaline batteries.
Flashes per set of AA Alkaline batteries: 100~400 on Normal and TTL Auto modes.
Color temperature: 5800°K.
Manual flash guide numbers: HI-GN 34 (ASA 100, m); LOW-GN 17 (ASA 100, m).
Power Sources: 4x 1.5V AA batteries
*; 315V Power Pack
Dimensions: 99mm x 80mm x 73mm,
Weight: 330g excluding batteries.
* Ni-Cd cells NOT usable

NOTE: An external source of an Instruction Manual for the Olympus QUICK AUTO FLASH 310

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