X-E1 and off camera Flash...

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Cameras' started by skeee, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. skeee

    skeee New to FujiXspot

    Apr 12, 2013
    I have an X-E1 and would like to have 2 or three off camera flashes triggered by a radio remote. I read that the X-E1 can only sync up to 180/sec and apparently that is a weak point... What does that mean ? Any limitations ?
    What about radio triggers? I read that sync does not become an issue anymore when using these.. could someone please explain ?
    Can any Brand of Flash be triggered by any brand of radio trigger or do they have to be compatible ?
    Last question, what are some suggestions of good bang for the buck flashes for home studio work, not too expensive, I'm looking to get a few, plus triggers and stands.
    Thank you
  2. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    For anyone looking into getting into off-camera flash, the best resource in my opinion is here:

    Strobist particularly the Lighting 101 section here Strobist: Lighting 101

    Regardless of using radio triggers or infrared slaves or a flash mounted directly on the camera, the flash sync of the camera is the limiting factor - in the case of the X-E1 its 1/180sec. That means that if you set your shutter speed higher than that - say 1/250sec you won't capture the entire flash and part of your frame may be darker than the rest (usually at the bottom). The higher the flash sync the better because it gives you more flexibility. Nikon cameras in the past have typically had their flash sync at 1/250sec where Canons were at 1/200sec and mirrorless cameras were typically 1/180sec or so. Some Leicas had maximum flash sync of 1/50sec so you can see that 1/180sec isn't the best (the X100/X100S with its leaf shutter for example can sync at speeds upwards of 1/1000sec), but it isn't the worst either.
  3. AlbertInFrance

    AlbertInFrance FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 11, 2013
    Morbihan, France
    I and a few others find that using the built-in flash you can get away with 1/250 for flash sync. However, this may be less feasible with slaving because of the tiny delays in the controllers.

    The only problem with relatively low sync speeds come from trying to use a mixture of flash and daylight. The classic fill-in flash technique is to find the right aperture for the flash, totally ignoring the daylight, and then stop down a bit. Then you set your daylight exposure by adjusting the shutter speed. If the required speed is faster than the max sync speed then you have a problem.

    With the little built-in flash the fill-in aperture at ISO200 and a distance of 2 metres (about 7 feet) would be about f:4 - f:5.6, from memory. In bright sunshine that would call for a shutter speed of something like 1/1000. Obviously with a more powerful flash you can use a smaller aperture at any given distance and hence a longer shutter speed.
  4. skeee

    skeee New to FujiXspot

    Apr 12, 2013
    Thks for the explanations :)
  5. cgw

    cgw New to FujiXspot

    Apr 14, 2013
    The 1/180 synch speed may be limiting for fill flash outdoors but for studio work? No. Older medium format cameras like the Pentax 67, due to its massive focal plane shutter, has a synch speed of 1/30 which posed no problem with strobes where aperture controls the exposure.
  6. cgw

    cgw New to FujiXspot

    Apr 14, 2013
    You really should check out the Strobist site and look into the Lighting 101 modules.
  7. CaptZoom

    CaptZoom FujiXspot Regular

    Mar 22, 2013
    To the OP
    Check out the Strobist website/blog. The links have been provided previously.

    The higher the sync speed if the camera, the less power is needed from the flashes which helps enormously in saving batteries. Plan on spending a fair amount on good batteries and chargers.

    Radio triggers use different frequencies than optical triggers. Optical triggers need to "see" the triggering signal, which generally translates into line of site and the trigger signal is usually the flash. In an apartment with typical ceiling and white walls, optical triggers will work well enough as the light will be bouncing all over the place. Outdoors is where the limits of the optical triggers become apparent. Radio triggers avoid the line of site issue. The thing to look for in radio triggers is consistency. Not all radio triggers are created equally, and you don't have to spend top dollar to get ones that meet your needs.

    The flash has to have a sync port. Not all speedlites have them.

    I'm waiting for Lumopro to release their new model. They are far cheaper than Canikon Sonysonic, etc. branded speedlites, but they're manual flashes. If you don't want or need TTL support on the flashes, than there are plenty of options. If you want TTL support, everything has to be compatible, the camera, flash, and triggers.

    Read the Stobists site. It's a valuable resource, and it's free. The questions you've asked cant be fully answered in a forum platform.
  8. OdzBodkinz

    OdzBodkinz FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 17, 2013
    Since I also use a Nikon system, I use RadioPopper JR's to trigger my Nikon speed lights. What is nice, is that the transmitter has a dial for each flash, so I can remotely dial the power up or down on my SB800's from my vantage point without having to touch the flashes. I even use the RP system when using my anion because I find it a lot more surfers than its CLS capabilities (built in optical wireless).