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I have an OM-1 MD with no hot shoe. I want to start shooting my son's judo competitions. I will need to stand about 20 feet away, and want to use 1/125 or 1/250 to stop the action. What flash and hot shoe should I look for? And where?
Thanks a lot!!
The flash sync is 1/60th on OM's, so open the aperture as you will not need a great deal of depth of field. There are several OM flash units that will meet the task. If you can't find one, try a METZ 54 MZ.
Thanks for the reply Gilbert. 1/60 is not fast enough for me - I understand that there is a setting (FP?) that will let you choose faster speeds. Any idea where I can find info on this, and if all flashes will support it?
> There are potential problems here. If you are going to use flash, the highest shutter speed you can use on the OM-1 for electronic flash sync is 1/60th. You need a Shoe 1 (or Shoe 2 / Shoe 3 with the ttl pin cut off) and almost any hot shoe mounted flash with a high guide number. Olympus T32 Flash guide number is 104 @ asa 100, and is an indication of how much light it puts out.
I have new in box Shoe 2 $36 (I can modify @ nc) Excellent condition T32 in box $90 (90 day warranty) Shipping within US $10.49
Another consideration is to use 400 or 800 speed film and shoot with available light, but to stop action you need shutter speeds of 1/500 - 1/1000 and there might not be enough light for that.
> FP is for flah bulbs. If used with elctronic flash, flash goes on and off before shutter even opens. When you're using el;ectronic flash, its the very short duration of the flash that stoips the action, not the shutter speed of the camera, unless you are worried about ghosting.
Interesting... I shot my first competition last week with ASA 1600 and available light, at 1/60 and f3.5. A bit of ghosting (but it was cool looking) but horrible grain. The biggest problem was that everything was out of focus - these judo players keep moving! I figure that between getting ASA 400 film and a better depth of field, I need about 5 stops more light. Maybe six if I want 1/125. How can I find out if a flash like the T32 will give me that much light at 20-25 feet away?
The formula you posted is very useful. Does this mean that at 400 ASA I can expect the T32 to let me use f16?
16 = 400/25 feet
(I assume that if I wanted f8 using ASA 400 the flash would simply put out less power?)
If your going to shoot this type of subject indoors with available light (even using ASA 1600 film) your going to have to get closer to the action, and as a minimum, use 50mm lens capable of good results at f 1.2.
Focusing will be critical as depth of field will be quite limiting this wide, but it could produce some stunning results without distracting the combatants with flashes.
Some venues will not allow flash photography simply for this reason.
Jeremy: since You shot at f/3.5 1/60th with ASA-1600,
the available ambient-light was LV6 only.
Well, to increase a low lighting, an other (equal) low
lighting level only, is needing/enough to double the
brightness and earning a LV (one stop);
getting 1/125th as possible already.
I would suggest, try on continuos lighting by finding a
video-light; battery powered one.
Several models get the hot-shoe (not-hot, indeed)
mount, able to go on the Camera directly.
You will simply have to turn it ON briefly, before of
taking the picture; so, heat is not a problem.
Some further doubling of the lighting, should be easily
achievable, then moving to ASA-800 and f/5.6
(still 1/125th); to do that, You should find a video-light
giving LV9 at 25 ft back.
Using continuos light, any shutter-speed is possible; even 1/250th, then.
Thank you all for your suggestions - this is a great forum! Gilbert - I downloaded an OM-1 manual and will be giving it a look.
Another twist on the story: It turns out I own a Vivitar 550FD flash (Guide number 80). It belonged to another camera that has been sitting in a box for about 15 years, forgotten. Any idea what hot shoe I would need for it? The instructions say shoe #3 for the OM-2, and #4 for the OM-2N. Nothing about my OM-1 MD.
> Shooting without flash can be done (I used to shoot high-school basketball on Super-XX (half the speed of Tri-X) with an f/3.5 lens and a shutter that went down only to 1/30 or 1/20.) But it takes trickery to get around the limitations imposed by wide apertures and slow shutter speeds. Wide apertures mean shallow depth of field; best to prefocus on a spot where action is likely to occur, and shoot when it gets there. (if your OMs had autofocus, I'd suggest switching it off.) For sports that involve leaping, such as basketball,time your shots for the peak of the leap--leapers slow down as gravity catches them and stop moving altogether for an instant before beginning to descend. Learn to pan with action, so the subject stays reasonably sharp and the background blurs.
> Normally the OM-1 uses Shoe 1. Since the OM system is discontinued and good shoes are hard to find, sometimes it's any port in a storm. As I mentioned previously, Shoe 2 and 3 can be used on a plain 1 if you cut the ttl pin off. Shoe 4 cannot be modified to fit your 1 as it screws on in the opposite direction from a Shoe 1, 2 or 3.