Compatible Flash : The Eyes Have It

Compatible Flash: The Eyes Have It!

We got the call Thursday evening to turn this one around quickly…so we agreed to Friday after work. to shoot this Studio apartment.  No problem, I thought, I’ll just recharge the camera batteries, load up the camera bags, make sure we have the light stands, tripods, compatible flash, etc., load the car and head on up to Jersey City.  And off we went…

Getting there at 5:30, we immediately ran into a problem – the apartment was still being cleaned; the cleaning crew hadn’t finished up and needed at least another half hour.  OK, I needed to shoot the next door apartment living room, so I figured we’d do that and come back.  When I went to find the lights, there were none.  “Did we leave them in the car?”, I asked my wife.  “I don’t think so”, she replied.  Yikes!  We forgot the lights!   Argh!  Here we had our cameras, tripods and light stands, but our main lights (two Nikon SB700’s and an SB800) were Missing In Action.  Was this shoot jinxed or what?  

And that’s when I noticed the Eyes…a piercing gaze that penetrated the apartment from across the street.  Whoa!  Those Eyes were everywhere – peering, glaring, accusing…telling me, “YOU forgot the lights, Frank!” 

Fortunately, I always carry at least ONE speed light – an Olympus FL600-R.  OK, we had our Olympus EM1 and the PEN-F…that would work.  But our Nikons (a D750 and a D500) are NOT compatible with this flash, so we wouldn’t be able to use it…or so we thought.  We set up the EM1 to use the included FL-LM3 (a tiny flash included with the EM1) as the master on camera, and the FL600-R on a light stand setup as a slave – then we proceeded to shoot the living room in 2B.  We finished up and headed over to the Studio (2A). 

I took a few shots with the Olympus setup, but I really wanted to get a few shots with the Nikon D750.  I put the FL600-R aside and grabbed the D750, switched on the popup flash and clicked the shutter.  “Hey!”, my wife said, “You triggered the Olympus!”  Huh??!?  “You just THINK it went off…”, I told her, but she insisted.  OK, I thought, even though this is not a compatible flash system, I’ll take another shot and look at the FL600-R.  Well, whaddaya know!!…the Nikon DID trigger the FL600-R!  Oh, the possibilities! – WE HAVE A LIGHTING SYSTEM!!  The Eyes now seemed to warm up to me, as if to say, “That’s right, Frank…think outside the box!”

So we finished up the shoot with the Nikon D750…armed with a popup flash (in Commander Mode) and a foreign speed light (Olympus FL600-R) in slave mode.  Since this was a Studio apartment, we really didn’t need two off-camera flashes, so thankfully one sufficed.  

The real surprise this night, however, was the use of a completely unexpected lighting pair-up: a Nikon D750 popup flash with an Olympus FL600-R.  To be honest, I never expected this to work, but now that I know this is a “compatible flash” setup, it will be yet another imaginative tool in our ever expanding bag of tricks.  

By now the Eyes were smiling…and all I could think was “The Eyes have it!”