Seems weird that I can't figure out how to use the wireless flash without also firing the popup flash. Even when it is set to OFF in the WIRELESS CONTROL, the remote flash only fires with the flash up, and the popup flash still does fire.

Anyone have any experience with this combo? Suggestions?


1 Answer 1


There is no way to completely turn off the light from the popup flash "Master" as the slave flash is only triggered by optical light. There is no radio transmitter or receiver.

Even when set to OFF the popup flash will still emit visible light in order to communicate with the slave. The amount of light emitted will be very low and should not be noticeable in the photo unless you are shooting a very reflective surface or very close to the subject.

One work around is block the popup flash with a small reflector, or even your hand, so that the light is reflected up or away but still able to reach the slave flash.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't speak specifically for Panasonic, but most brands that use an optical master to control an off camera slave in any TTL kind of system (as opposed to "dumb slaves") fire the command flash with the instructions for the slave immediately before the shutter opens. The system is designed with a specific timing sequence between the command flash and the subsequent opening of the shutter so that the off camera slave fires at the precise instant the shutter curtains are fully open. When the slave receives the instructions it "knows" exactly how long to wait before firing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jan 30, 2016 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark Most such systems casually claim that that's how it works but actually the control flash happens at least partially during the exposure. Definitely true for Nikon and Pentax — we have some questions on this. Nikon even sells an accessory that's IR transparent but opaque to visible light. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jan 30, 2016 at 23:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also true for Canon. This is easy to prove by taking a photo of a mirror with the "Master" popup flash set to OFF. You will see the flash in the mirror. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 31, 2016 at 1:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for all of this... I thought the "RC" stood for "Radio Controlled" but now I understand.. \$\endgroup\$
    – mschubb
    Feb 2, 2016 at 20:19

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