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Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

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  • HELP! Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

    I've used a GX7 for 18 months or so, and am about to buy a flash gun to use with my kit. Now, being an impecunious pensioner, this is very unlikely to be a Panasonic unit. I realise that I will probably have to use this manually, but that won't be a problem for me. What is proving troublesome is that I have several old flashguns, some of which were dedicated to Pentax (my old allegiance), some of which were purely manual - and I can't get any them to work with my GX7. I've tried to change the menu settings to manual flash, taken off wireless connections, read the print of my PDF manual, and can't seem to make them work. As I only want to use the unit occasionally, being a mainly landscape photographer, I don't want to fork out cash for a replacement flash (which won't be a gold-plated Panasonic unit) without ensuring that it'll work first!

    Has anyone got any suggestions as to how to make a GX7 work with a manual flash?

  • #2
    Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

    I would not try and use older electronic flash guns as they can provide a very high trigger voltage to the camera which will not do it any good at all. There is a list (long!) of flash guns and their trigger voltages, low voltage ones are usually ok. I think many Olympus and Panasonic cameras can only stand about 12 to 24 volts but don't quote me on that, it may be lower.
    You are much better off getting a flash dedicated for Oly/Pana, I have a Metz 48 but there are lots of other models available.
    Better to bite the bullet than fry your GX7 - it just ain't worth it.
    Last edited by Olypanfan; 21st April 2016, 06:58 PM. Reason: spelling error

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    • #3
      Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

      I take on board these comments regarding the voltage of flashguns - I was trying a 2 year old Metz 44 gun (admittedly Pentax fit, from a previous allegiance) which should still have fired when set to manual - it didn't. I was contemplating a Yongnuo YN560 gun, manual only, at 48 (enough to spent on what will probably be just insurance) as against a Panasonic DMW 360 at 230 (and only 2/3rds as powerful!) - a cost I could not justify for 'insurance' purposes, when it would probably never be used.

      Has anyone used a Yongnuo gun (or something similar) with a GX7 and got it to work in manual?

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      • #4
        Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

        I'm surprised that the Metz didn't work in manual mode. I would expect that any manual flash would work on the GX-7 (as long as it's within the trigger voltage limits, as already discussed), but I don't have many ideas or suggestions as to why one would not work, especially a recent model like yours. When I first got an Olympus E-410 years ago, it worked fine with an old Nikon flash in manual mode. It's possible that the Metz is so dedicated to Pentax that it doesn't support the older, standard triggering method (i.e. manual mode on the flash simply means that you can set the power level manually when used on a Pentax camera). This is just a wild guess, however, as I have no experience with either the Metz flash or the GX-7.

        - Hal -
        A Still Mind - Photography, Music, Meditation, Ministry - www.astillmind.net
        Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.

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        • #5
          Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

          GlynF - all flashguns should flash in manual mode using the standard connections on the flash shoe, all the other contacts are usually type specific i.e Pentax, Canon, Oly/Pan, Sony etc and just allow the camera to talk to the flashgun.
          It may be that the contacts on the flashgun are not making proper contact with those on the camera (usually the large central pad and the metal sides on the camera hot shoe).
          I would also double check your camera settings as certain functions/modes will disable normal flash, particularly RC flash mode (that one has caught me out more than once!). Do you see the flash symbol on your display when you connect/disconnect the flashgun?
          The flashgun only needs a short across the contacts for it to flash, if the camera is not doing this then something is preventing it - doubt if it is the flashgun provided it is seated correctly.
          I agree with you, 230 for the Panasonic flash is taking the p**s!
          You could try eBay for a s/hand Metz, just make sure it is for Oly/Pan, way to go!

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          • #6
            Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

            Curiouser & curiouser - a flash indicator does appear in the viewfinder when I connect the Metz, so it is being recognised by the camera, but still it does not flash! Guess I'll have to have another trawl through the menus to try & find what is stopping the XXXXXXX thing. It does make me nostalgic for the days of my first SLR, a Zenith E, when all that you has to worry about was the correct exposure and focus!

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            • #7
              Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

              More news! After struggling on trying to get the camera to work with the flashgun, I had a 'sod this' moment of inspiration and took it into my dealer ' considering the purchase of a 4/3rds flash'. Guess what - he couldn't get the XXXXing thing to flash either, so it has been returned to Panasonic for warranty repair. So, apologies, folks for wasteing you time on a faulty product, but thanks all the same!

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              • #8
                Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

                GlynF - it may be that you blew the camera when you tried older flashguns, some flashguns put 250 volts across the trigger contacts which will fry most modern cameras. Modern cameras will only stand 12 to 24 volts ( you can check with the camera manufacturer before assuming).
                There is a list (long) of flashguns that have been checked for voltage across sync contacts, I would look up your flashguns that you used and check the voltage the flash has across the sync contacts.

                Note for others who may read this post:-

                ***DO NOT USE ANY OLD FLASHGUN ON MODERN DIGITAL CAMERAS***

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                • #9
                  Re: Using a non-panasonic flashgun with a GX7

                  Had a similar experience with an Olympus Pen Mini. The hot shoe is dead on that camera (but it used to work before). Though I'm aware of the trigger voltage issue and I do meter it on my old flashes before allowing them to sit on my cameras so I'm still not sure what happened to my Pen. Unfortunately it's out of warranty by now and not worth a repair.

                  Sent from my thl 4000

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