View Full Version : how do you use olympus rc with flash at 1/500?

09-24-2008, 04:20
Hey everyone,
i've got an oly rc and some no name flash and was interested in pairing them up together. i read that when you set the aperture ring to flash mode that the shutter speed should be set at 1/60 and the aperture is automatically selected depending on point of focus. What do you do though if you want to set the shutter speed at a different speed and still get correct exposure? I have no knowledge of flash photography so any help would be appreciated.

09-24-2008, 04:27
When you set the aperture ring to the flash symbol and set the GN dial to the GN of the flash you are using the RC stops down the aperture according to the distance you have focussed at.

If your flash has a metering cell, see what aperture you should be using from the back of the flash - it will tell you and then set that aperture, you can then set whatever speed you like on the speed dial.

The RC does look quite odd with a big Vivitar 285 on it :)

I sold my RC a while back, I can't remember whether I had to use a PC-sync cord or it had a hot-shoe...

09-24-2008, 04:33
Here's a Wikipedia writeup of the basic rules on the relationship among aperture, distance to the subject, and the power (guide number) of the flash unit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guide_number

The trick is knowing what the guide number is of the flash you have -- and that may prove difficult to figure out if it's a no-name flash. Is there any kind of exposure table on the flash itself? If so, I'd stick with the recommended flash coverage distances and apertures provided there.

As I'm sure you know, with a leaf shutter camera like the RC you should be able to shoot even at 1/500 and have flash synchronization.

09-24-2008, 04:38
thanks guys, i think i have a vivitar 283 i think is the model lying at home somewhere so i'll try that combo out with your suggestions. oh, and i wasn't aware that due to it being a leaf shutter it should sync at any speed, that is definitely good to know though for future reference.

09-24-2008, 05:44
One of the reasons leaf shutter lenses are popular in medium format systems (like Hasselblad and Mamiya 67) is that you can synch them with flash at any shutter speed. The drawback is that they only have a top shutter speed of 1/500, usually.

The RC should work the same way -- obviously you can test it with the back of the camera open and firing the flash at the higher shutter speeds to see if the flash coincides.

The Vivitar 283 is an excellent flash (hardly a "no name"), though I'd caution you that it'll overwhelm the little RC. There's plenty of information about it on the internet.

09-24-2008, 06:21
i do have a no name flash but i also have a vivitar 283, i just thought i'd find the vivitar 283 after it was mentioned that i could use a flash with a metering cell instead. when you say overpower does that mean it can potentially damage the rc or are you referring to the sheer size?


09-24-2008, 06:59

Here's a link to a site that includes pretty good details about flash usage with the RC, including fill-in flash.


09-24-2008, 07:11
Auto flash set the f stop and the shutter doesn't matter: indoors or dark. Outdoors or with sufficient ambient light indoor use manual flash. Find the f-stop for the film/distance and set it, then set the shutter to match your ambient light reading or one shutter speed faster. And yes the Olympus 35RC is synced at every shutter speeds. That is one of the beauties of this camera. BenHew or Benno on RFF is really good at this, because these aren't my images I'll give the posting site and you can look around for other Olympus 35RC flash images:


09-24-2008, 07:14
The RC does look quite odd with a big Vivitar 285 on it :)

I sold my RC a while back, I can't remember whether I had to use a PC-sync cord or it had a hot-shoe...

Use a side mount flash bracket with the 35RC when using a large flash unit. Vivitar made one with a nice pistol grip and cable release. It's still a bit odd, but you'll have better control of the camera / flash combo.

The "Flashmatic" feature is ok - but I mainly use a flash for daylight photos - where it can be helpful in setting up the camera to a manual shutter / aperture combo.