Lumix GF1 and flash - is it TTL? What's a good cheap flash for macro work?

I’ve recently resurrected my old GF1, buying a 30mm macro lens (Lumix 30mm 1:2.8 ASPH Mega OIS). I’m surprised to find the camera works with the stabilisation of the lens, but the built in pop flash isn’t so hot if you’re really close.

I got the manual out to look up the flash hot shoe details, but it doesn’t really say anything about it. I know it’s got the centre contact, and it has three other smaller contacts. Is it TTL? Can it control amount of light sent, and so on? Have I understood what TTL means?

So can anyone recommend a cheap flash that might work better with macro photos - you have to get really close to get the 1:1 macro which the lens can do. I’ve put in a bid on ebay for an FL36 which seems to be recommended, but what about the cheap ring flashes like the Ring72? Any thoughts. Unfortunately, all my budget went on the lens.

Of topic, when I did macro stuff years ago, it was mostly stuff that didn’t move. My interest is now spiders and inverts, hence the flash interest. But getting really close is a problem too. If I add an extension tube, can I get 1:1 further away? Extensions tubes are really reasonably priced, compared to the Nikon ones I had years ago (sold all my film/DSLR kit years ago.)

Anyway, I’m sure these questions have been answered many times over the years, but finding it on the old DP Review site isn’t as easy as it could be, so thanks for your patience and any help you can give.


Look at the Godox TT350O.
It should work with your camera (always worth checking though) and will enable further expansion for the future. I use one in the way you suggested on an Olympus camera. My only reservation is that it can sometimes be a little slow to recharge so when I try bracketing I am limited to 3-5 shots or having a delay between shots.
The price is reasonable.
Ring flash give a certain look to insect/spider shots. I prefer a normal flash. You will need some kind of diffuser. I made one from a piece of packing material. Loads of ideas on the internet.

I think extension tubes enable you to get closer not further away. Hopefully others will confirm.
Good Luck and let us know how you get on.

Thanks. That does look like an ok flash, and the price isn’t too bad, although they seem difficult to find. There’s a few on ebay though. Interestingly, the listing on Amazon does specifically mention the GF1, which is the first time I’ve seen it mentioned. I guess it’s an old camera now, but it is what I have and it works for me.

I’ve used ring flashes before - I had a Nikon one back when I used Nikon kit, and it was ok. But it was a proper flash, not LED, and I’m not sure if the LED ones will be bright enough, from what I can see. I don’t know - I’ve forgotten a lot of stuff. I kept a lot of the books I bought at the time, so I’ll dip in to them about the extension tubes. Yes they make the ‘magnification’ increase a bit, but I thought if I stuck to the 1:1 maybe I could get further away? But I seem to remember using them and having to get really really close, which isn’t what you want with inverts - they’re hard enough to find and follow as it is. But it’s keeping me busy and interested, which is the main thing I guess.

I have the TT350o, too. I power it with Lithium rechargeables because they go all the way to 1.5V (not just 1.2 like the NiMH rechargeables), are durable and the recharge time of the TT350o between shots is fast enough.

The Panasonic 30mm macro lens is a lovely, sharp lens which I ended up also using as an allrounder. Very fond of it.


I have, for the time being, bought a cheap FL36 on ebay - it was only £35 and I’ll see how I get on. I’ve also watched a lot of videos about flashes over the last few days. People like the TT350o, except that sometimes it isn’t powerful enough or doesn’t charge up enough between flashes, and so they recommend the V350o which is also compatible with the GF1 (it’s the same flash - more expensive of course - but with a rechargable battery pack.)

If I can’t get the FL36 to work, then I’ll buy one of these two (I bid on ebay for a second hand TT350o but lost out at the last second, and they’re quite rare.) I think some of the problems come for people using bodies that can do automatic photo stacking - I don’t have that probelm.

I’m enjoying the lens too - I’ve bought some cheap extension tubes and the combination works quite well, except for the lack of flash. I’m getting some ok photos. I wish I had an eyepiece.

Back in the day, I did quite a bit of macro stuff with film cameras - 35mm and 6x6. It’s interesting that back then, a lot was put on depth of field and taking few photos to save film. It’s completely the opposite now. But one of the books suggests building a loop that you can attach one or more flashes too - I might have a go at building one so I can get the flash a bit closer. But no idea about cabling to move the flash off the camera - I guess there must be something out there. It has been fun though, getting back in to it. Hadn’t realised how much I missed it.

Anyway, thanks for the response - good to know.