Daily Inspiration #450 by Chris Reinhart

Hi Steve,

As always thanks for continuing to run an excellent photography website. I’m a bit jealous right now that you had some hands on time with the Olympus OM-D EM-1. The button placement and grip look a good deal nicer than the EM-5, but my EM-5 has to last me a long time so I’ll just have to settle with getting the battery grip for now.

So since I got my EM-5 about 9 months ago I’ve been using it pretty barebones with just the Olympus 45mm lens and no flash. I absolutely love the natural light shots that come out of this camera. However, when you have a 3 month old daughter at home it’s kind of nice to shoot with a higher shutter speed in doors and low ISO. I’ve gotten some great shots in doors without flash, but I just had to give the Olympus FL-600r a go.

My previous experience with flash photography was with my Olympus e-620 and FL-50r flash years ago. I never even used the flash much at all back then, so my knowledge of flash photography is quite limited. So far I’ve been very pleased with the results of the FL-600r. It’s the perfect size for the EM-5 and it surprisingly packs some serious power. Definitely a satisfied purchase. I still have a lot to learn about flash photography, but here’s a few samples:






  1. Great shots and great use of your flash unit!

    Are you bouncing light off of the walls and/or ceiling for these three photos?

    #2 looks like a ceiling bounce and #3 looks like a wall bounce to me.

    • Correct! Shots 1 and 2 are ceiling bounce with the flash at 60 or 75 degrees facing behind me. That’s the position I normally like for ceiling bounce. The 3rd shot was my first attempt at wall bounce. The flash was angled directly at a wall about 7-8 feet away. No diffuser or anything used over the flash.

  2. Beautiful photos and a beautiful baby. You have to try the Panasonic Leica Summilux 25 mm f1.4. It revitalized my interest in the OMD EM-5. I have always been happy with my Leica lenses on the OMD, but very disappointed in the Olympus zoom lenses that I own. This prime lens is a game changer.

    • Thanks for the comments about baby Adelaide. πŸ™‚

      Ya I use to own the 12-60mm Olympus zoom when I had the e-620 and I loved it, but since I got the OMD I’m all about primes now. I like being forced to move around to make the shot rather than zoom. But I do need to get a wide angle lens soon and was thinking of the Olympus 17mm f1.8 and maybe the 12mm at some point. Then again I also need the 60mm macro because I loved using the 50mm macro lens on my e-620. Man, so many lenses, so little budget… πŸ™‚

  3. Thanks for posting this Steve. Now my baby’s famous. lol

    – Dave, I haven’t even tried using it in RC mode yet. I always hear off camera flash is the way to go and I definitely see the benefit of that, but for now I’ve been loving it on camera. I always shoot the OMD in manual mode with the flash in TTL A with the Flash Compensation at +0.7 or +1 because it does tend to underexpose.

  4. Thanks Chris, I was thinking of getting this flash for a similar use. Looks like you have started to master it. Well done and thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks for sharing. I bought a cheap FL-600r on ebay (no box, no manual) without any experiences on using a flash. I mainly use it in RC mode and I think it is great because it works with the included flash (wish Sony’s pop up flash on the NEX can work with their 43M flashes). Still learning with Trial and Error but some settings like the zoom mode on the flash don’t make any sense to me. Can someone explain the 10mm, 14mm, etc, on the flash?

    There are way too many settings that I still have to try and learn but it is fun playing with it.

    • I don’t own one but it makes sense these nummers are refering to focal length of your lens in use. If your focal length increases , e.g. From 17,5 to 45mm, your angel of view becomes narrower. Then, you don’t need a very wide flash which illuminates a lot more than your 45mm covers. So you narrow your angle on the flash as well. Of course, if you narrow your flash beam, the light intesity increases, you Guide Number. Big advantage !

      • Ya I’m assuming the focal length setting on the flash applies more so when you use the flash on the camera. You simply want to set the focal length on the flash to whatever focal length lens you’re using. The FL-600r seems to only got to 42mm, so perhaps thats why it tends to underexpose a little on my 45mm lens and I have to compensate.

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