Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Olympus T20 Flash

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Among the four standard Olympus flash units, the T20, T32, bracket T45 and the new F280, the T20 is the most compact and lightweight among the pack. Despite its smaller size, it possesses all the good basic features of any Olympus dedicated flash. It will works as its bigger brother, the T32 - perhaps may be minus some features and less powerful as compared.

With OM bodies such as OM2*, OM2SP, OM4, OM3Ti, OM4Ti and OM-40, the T20 will provide three modes of flash control in either TTL auto flash, Normal AUTO and manual flash control, whereas the OM1, OM3 and OM-10 the T20 only provide Auto flash and Manual flash mode.* With original OM2, use Accessory Shoe Type 3; for OM2n, correct shoe type is Type 4.

TTL OTF flash control - flash metering at the film plane TTL OTF (Through the lens, Off the Film Plane) flash exposure control was first introduced on the OM-2. The original flash that powered the OM2 with such capability was a Quick AUTO 310 flash which used an Accessory Shoe Type 2 but when subsequently, Olympus introduced the T-series with the T20 earlier than the more powerful T32, the original OM2 would require a new type of Accessory Shoe 3 in order to let those older OM2 bodies to retain full TTL flash function. However, the OM2n, essentially an upgrade with quite a few improvement made to the original camera eliminate such incompatibility with a new Shoe type which shared between OM1n and OM2n. IF you intend to use the T20 (Or for that matter, all the T-series flash units and including the F280) with your OM2n, you would have to use the Accessory Shoe Type 4 to retain all the possible options in OM flash photography.

The TTL flash metering is also generally regarded as a working aperture metering system because it works in a principle where regardless of which value the aperture of the lens is set to, light is measured as soon as it reaches the film plane.

What it means is, theoretically every lens aperture can be used, which allows you to adjust the depth-of-field to suit the subject, even for flash shots. However, there are some limitations because the power output of the flash will determine how far the reach of the flash and such working aperture. For an instance, you really cannot expect the T20 which has only a metric guide number of 20 (at ISO 100/210) to reach 50 feet with a working aperture of f/8.0 or if your priority is on PR photography and often require to work in bounce flash etc., it is always recommend to get a flash with a higher guide number such as the T32. But again, the T20 has its advantage in its price, compactness which provide great mobility. I would think it should be a good companion for those who travels often or casual shooters. The flash unit T20 is relatively small, light weight (I think it is the only dedicated TTL flash that will operates with just two standard alkaline 1.5V batteries) and provide a coverage corresponds to the angle of view of a 35mm wide-angle lens which made it a less attractive in terms of functionality. But In terms of flexibility, T20 can be attached to the camera with the TTL Auto Connector T20, or to the TTL Auto Cord socket, for bounce flash or indirect off-camera flash (can used with the OM Power Bounce Grip 2). With all those OM TTL auto flash capable bodies mentioned earlier, with the exception of few earlier ones, it will switch to the sync speed automatically and intelligently sensing if the shutter speed set in the AUTO mode is higher than the permissible sync speed, the T20 will not triggered. Further, it also provides a viewfinder flash ready light and correct flash exposure indicator which began with earlier OM1n & OM2n (With Shoe 4) or later models.

As with any other TTL flash units made by Olympus, the back of the flash has a panel where, when operates n TTL mode, you use the blank side. When switching to AUTO or Manual Flash, you turn to the other side of the panel where you will see the calculator panel with various settings for determining the correct computer flash aperture. There are only two apertures when operate the T20 in normal AUTO mode and you have to refer the calculator for calculation for manual exposure. An external power socket is used in conjunction with the F.AC Adapter 2.

System Accessories:

Electronic Flash Extender for T20 It is used for inserting into the camera's hot shoe and raise the height of T20 flash unit by 82mm and reducing the risk of redeye phenomenon May proved to be quite useful in dim light to avoid red eye effect or for multiple flash setup in combination with other flash such as T32. Its calculator panels calibrates in feet are also available.

It weighs only 65g, and is highly portable. It also supports TTL "OTF"Auto flash and viewfinder readylight with compatible OM models. This unit cannot be used with the Quick Auto 310. The Flash Extender can also be used in the Power Bounce Grip 2 when the rubber plug on the front of the Flash Extender is removed. This raises the flash even further, but the power from the batteries in the Grip is no longer available.

t20connect2.jpg t20connect1.jpg
TTL Auto Connector T20 A cheap but highly functional flash accessory that the electronic flash T20 with a TTL Auto Cord socket for off-camera use, hand-held or tripod mounted.

Having a tripod socket on the bottom, it can also offer stability for the T20 or T32 in off-camera flash operation. Flash units other than T-series can also be used. To mount the flash unit, slip it into the shoe with the flash surface facing forward and the TTL Auto Cord socket facing backward. It accepts all TTL Auto Cords T.


Type: Energy-saving, series-circuit type TTL Centralized Control (TTL AUTO) flash unit (with NORMAL AUTO and MANUAL capability).
Guide number:
20 (ISO 100, meters) or 66 (ISO 100, feet)
Coverage angle
: 40° vertical, 58° horizontal (35mm wideangle lens).
Flash duration:
1/40,000 - 1/1,000 sec.
Recycling time
. 0.2 - 10 sec. with AA alkaline batteries on TTL AUTO and NORMAL AUTO (varies depending on flash -to-subject distance).
Flashes per set of AA alkaline batteries
: 120 - 500 on TTL AUTO and NORMAL AUTO.
Color temperature:
5,800° K
Connection to camera: Mechanical: Clip-on type (via accessory shoe) or grip type (via Power Bounce Grip 2).: Electrical: Direct contact (hot shoe), or via Power Bounce Grip 2 or via TTL Auto Connector T20.
Calculator Panel: Reversible plate type - blank side for TTL Auto mode on cameras that support TTL flash and calculator side for Normal Auto and Manual modes. Available with scale either in meters or in feet.
Exposure calculator
: Reversible plate type reverses for NORMAL; AUTO/MANUAL flash.
Aperture setting
: Continuous, couples with aperture ring setting of
camera lens.

< TTL AUTO >: OM2 & OM4 series, OM40 and OM77AF.
Bounce flash: Power Bounce Grip 2 + TTL Auto Cord T 0.3 or 0.6m.
SBC Sensor Acceptance Angle: Matches view of camera lens.
TTL AUTO check:
Neon-flicker indication. Viewfinder indication contact provided.
Ready light check
: Charge lamp and viewfinder indication contact with compatible OM bodies.
Working range
for guidance only (ISO 100):
F/1.2: 3.3-16.7m (11.0- 55.7 ft.)
F/1.4: 2.8-14.1m (9.3- 47.0 ft.)
F/2.0: 2.0-10.0m (6.7- 33.3 ft.)
F/2.8: 1.4- 7.1m (4.7- 23.7 ft.)
F/4.0: 1.0 - 5.0rn (3.3-16.7 ft.)
F/5.6: 0.7 - 3.5m (2.3-11.7 ft.)
F/8.0: 0.5 - 2.5m (1.7- 8.3 ft.)
F/16: 0.25- 1.3m (0.8- 4.3 ft.)

Aperture setting
: 2 apertures (F4 and F8 at ISO 100).
Normal auto sensor acceptance angle:
Approx. 20°.
Bounce flash: Not possible
Working range:
1 - 5m (3.3 ft. - 16.7 ft.) at F4; 0.5 - 2.5m (1.7 ft. - 8.3 ft.) at F8. (ISO 100).
Auto check
: Neon-flicker indication. Viewfinder indication contact provided.
Ready light check
: Charge lamp and viewfinder indication contact.

Guide number
: 20 (ISO 100 m).
Test button for NORMAL AUTO Check & MANUAL flash:
Push-button type.
External power socket
: Plug-in type.
Power source
: (1) 1.5V 'AA' battery x 2 (incl. Ni-Cd) inside T20. (2) 1.5V 'C' battery x 4 (incl. Ni-Cd) inside Power Bounce Grip 2. (3) AC house current via Electronic Flash AC adapter 2, 3.
Dimensions and weight
: 77 X 68 X 57mm, 160g (less batteries) (3 X 2.7 X 2.2 in., 5.6 oz.)

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Shared Resources: Supplementary Articles:
TTL Metering, Depth of Field, Shutter Speed & Aperture
Motor Drive and Power Winder: Main Index Page (4 Parts)
Motor Drive 1 | Motor Drive 2 | Winder 1 | Winder 2
Flash Photography:
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T45 | T32 | T20 | F280 | S20 | Qucik AUTO 310 | QA300, 200, 200S
Main Index Page (3 Parts)
Manual for
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Credit: My old time buddy, Ahmad Ikram, Dr of Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Malaysia who shares the same passion with me and also lending his OM-1n, OM-4 and the Motor Drive 1 to me for preparing some images in this site; Mark Dapoz <>for reminding some broken links; Mr Poon of Foto Poon, Ipoh, Mr Richard, Ampang Park, Mr Lim and Miss Jenny of Foto Edar for their generosity for their OM1(n), OM2n camera and some Zuiko lenses. Mr Hans van Veluwen for mistakenly using some content earlier from his OM website; J Sorensen for providing some useful images to rectify some technical "flaws"; Mr Gen Holst for helping during the early stages of development of this OM site; Mr KKLow for some of his earlier images on the OM-1appeared in this website; Miss Wati and Mirza for helping me to convert this Operation Manual into a HTML format. Mr MCLau for rectifying some mistakes made on the earlier preview sites. Site created 'unfortunately' again with a PowerMac. A personal tribute to the creator of the OM system and also a site dedicated to all the fans of Olympuses and Zuiko Optics worldwide. Some of the content and images appeared in this site were scanned from OM official marketing leaflets, brochures and instruction manual(s) for educational purposes. Olympus is a registered tradename of Olympus Optical Inc., Japan.