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Peter Wright

What is the best flash for the CL?

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Sorry if this has been asked before, but I couldn't find anything:

I have found that in using my M240, I needed to use a flash either on manual or auto-thrystor (where the flash determines the exposure without any input from the camera) as the camera with my SF24D used in TTL mode was very unpredictable.  My work-around was to use manual (my Godox Oly remote and AD200 flash work very well), or to use the auto-thrystor mode on my SF24D or Oly 600R flash guns.  I had hoped that the CL would solve this problem, and I would be able to use the SF24D in TTL mode.  Alas no.  In some circumstances I just can't get the results I am looking for, no matter what I do.  I have used flash systems for Canon, Nikon, and Olympus cameras, but Leica seems the most problematic.  Indoors in a standard room it is fine, anything more challenging and who knows what will happen.  Or is it just that I have the wrong flash gun?  If you have been getting good (by which I mean consistent and controllable) results using the CL and TTL flash outdoors, large rooms, etc., I would like to know what you are using.  I notice that the current Leica flash guns do not include an auto-thyristor mode, and I don't want to spend the asking price and find I am no further forward. Am I missing something, or do I simply need to stick with manual and auto-thyristor?  Inputs appreciated.

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I find the SF40 completely reliable on my CL. Possibly a bit limited for heavy professional work, but then, I am not a professional.

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TTL flash are broken with all digital Leica. 

A shame. Every über expensive Leica branded flash are not reliable in TTL. 

Just use any manual cheap flash system. Manual flash is not hard to use. And consistent. If you need to compensate, just change aperture. 

by the way, do not use on camera flash. Wireless triggers are awesome. 

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Looks like if I want up to date on-camera flash capability on my CL, I may have to just bite the bullet and get an SF40!  At least (from looking at in on B&H) the interface is very basic and easy to use – important for me 😄!

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2 hours ago, cirke said:

be careful with SF 26 , no HSS and no manual control at all

I know very little about flashes i use only randomly but the SF26 lets me choose manually any aperture and shutter speed up to 1/250s. Are there other manual controls i could need? Just curious.

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it works only with TTL  ,  even with TTL on advanced flash you change -3/+3 compensations

you dont get manual control

you cannot fire the flash up to 1/6000  , useful at full aperture a sunny day 

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5 minutes ago, cirke said:

it works only with TTL  ,  even with TTL on advanced flash you change -3/+3 compensations
you dont get manual control
you cannot fire the flash up to 1/6000  , useful at full aperture a sunny day

Well i don't try to defend this little flash but i don't need 1/6000s and -3/+3 comp. in TTL mode is more than enough for me. It's just what you said about manual controls i don't quite get sorry. Do you mean manual controls on the flash body per se? If so, what's the pupose of such controls if i have the same through the camera? Just curious again :cool:. 

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yes full manual control on the flash body

the purpose ?  with TTL (and no control -3/+3)  the flash makes what it want , the only thing you can do is change your aperture and ISO , and the speed up to 1/250, if it works for you then get the SF26 , the size is perfect for the CL

if you want to shoot someone in full sunny day with the 35 summilux  with a bright sky in the background  1/250 is not enough , you need HSS

if you want to shoot something very small as your main subject , normally TTL without any control does not work

Edited by cirke

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Just remember: TTL flash metering with any camera is not a panacea or the solution to all flash metering issues. In fact, it's mostly only useful for a few very specific flash metering situations ... again, with any camera

TTL flash metering is most useful when: 

  • shooting macro work with large lens extension which cause light falloff
  • shooting with longer than portrait tele focal lengths to restrict the metering field down to precisely what is needed
  • other situations where light absorption through the optical system of the camera can have a major influence on the flash as the main light exposure

Since flash exposure evaluation is basically nothing more than calculating how much power is output according to inverse square law and setting the aperture to accommodate that, reflective light meters reading the return from a flash exposure are thrown off by variables in scene reflectance more often than not. In my professional career as a photographer, I found the need for TTL flash metering came up for perhaps one setup in a few dozen. By far and away, the best tools for flash evaluation I've found are an incident flash meter, or a tri-tone chart coupled with a flash meter that has reflective spot metering capability. A tape measure and a flash calculator are right behind that. TTL flash metering has always been a distant last in these efforts. 

I would not presume that the SF24D flash unit works correctly with the CL. You need equipment made in the same design generation to get the best dedicated flash capabilities when you're talking about something as integrated as TTL flash metering and HSS have to be, unless the manufacturer is particularly good at keeping the hardware protocols consistent through generations of different equipment types. Few are. 

I haven't, to date, bought a dedicated flash unit for my CL; haven't seen any need, and my ancient manual and self-contained auto-flash units do a terrific job along with my Sekonic L358 or L478. However, I will buy one for those niche uses as above at some point, and probably the SF-40 since it seems it supports both HSS and TTL flash metering more than adequately, based upon the conversations we've been having about those things on this forum. :) 

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