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  1. #1
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Some FLASH ideas ...

    SONY Wireless Flash Solutions ... beyond the norm.

    One of the unfortunate side effects of using a SONY HVL “wireless flash” solution is that the remote flash has to see the built-in (pop-up) flash on the camera. If you do not extend the pop-up flash or are using an α900 … you don’t get a flash.

    Now, with the recent advent of the HVL-F20AM Compact Flash (April 2009), the α900 now can offer control through its “wireless” option, but again, the remote flash has to “see” the pre-flash from the camera to operate properly. In other words, it is all optically controlled (so they have to see one another) and that can be tricky when positioning your flash or when outdoors.

    Question: What is another good solution to this “wireless” issue?

    SONY offers a “Sync Terminal Adaptor” for the camera’s hot shoe.
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    This part offers a “pc-sync” port to cameras that do not have one (α100, α200, α230, α300, α330, α350 & α380) so that you can add generic external flash control to the camera. This is an expensive part, if you consult the SONY Style store for it. An alternative is purchasing a third party “FS1100” (<- Click on this) Hot shoe adapter (The α700 & α900 already have the "pc-sync" port built into them, so there is no need for this part, unless you desire to mount the "standard" PocketWizard PLUS II's foot to the hot shoe. That eliminates the need for the PC1 pc-sync cable, too, although I would still get one for detached operation.)

    FS1100
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    This is one-tenth (1/10) the cost of the SONY part and, personally, it is the way to go … that is, unless you have nothing better to do with your cash.

    Now, wireless flash control can be offered through a number of devices, but my personal favorite is the “PocketWizard PLUS II” which is an “RF” solution and does not need any kind of optical or infrared pre-flash.

    Some FLASH ideas ...-pocketwizard.jpg

    Yes, it costs a little more, but what you get in return is true flexibility and RELIABILITY, which is the mainstay of most photography. You want flash NOW … not when it decides it wants to work.

    You will require two units, one connected to the camera and the other to the flash. The camera connection requires the PC1 Cable (pc-sync) to attach the camera's port to the PocketWizard.

    The HVL-series of flashes do not support the “pc-sync” port, which would be necessary for the PocketWizard to be connected to the flash. The solution is another small third-party adapter, the “FS1200” (<- Click on this), which attaches to the flashes’ hot shoe and immediately provides a “pc-sync” port to the flash unit.

    FS1200
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    HVL-F36AM, FS1200 Adapter, pc-sync cable (PC1) , and PocketWizard PLUS II
    Some FLASH ideas ...-pocketwizard-hvl-f36am.jpg

    Also, the “PocketWizard” can be use to trigger a “studio strobe” without having to drape a pc-sync cord a dozen or so feet away and take the chance of a ‘subject’, grip or even yourself tripping over it and taking down your expensive lamp. The main difference is that you will probably need a MM1 cable, instead of the PC1 cable (used in the above SONY HVL-connection)

    So, in effect, you have a wireless link between your camera and the flash (studio or electronic) that is reliable and channelized, so you can set off different units at different times, if you so wish. You would require additional “PocketWizards” for such ideas.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
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  2. #2
    Member DonSchap's Avatar
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    With SONY HVL flashes ... you have to be a bit more creative in triggering.

    The HVLs offer a number of options, as they are "wireless" ... but still, when you add the FS1200 to them ... or that SLAVE foot ... then they really get interesting.

    I have reduced the number of elex flashes I use to just two, for the most part. I also have the older (earlier) 2800 and two 4000s that use the "standard" hot shoe, so that's where the FS1100 can come into play.

    I also have a pair of standard SLAVE triggers to offer some synchronization to the set.

    Some FLASH ideas ...-motley-flash-crew-small.jpg
    This image equals 26 "AA" batteries. That's a box full ... plus. There are 10 alone between the CG-1000 "hand grip" + 4000AF flash.

    Multiple-FLASH shots do require some serious planning ... and I haven't done that for quite a while. Might be fun to return to doing a couple this winter.
    Don Schap
    If you can't afford the heavy-duty gear ... have no fear, they used to do this with a piece of charcoal and a dark tent
    There's no money in this ... it's just "love of the game."
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.

    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera, that gives you the most improvement in your photography. Refrain from "INTRO" lenses.
    My Gear List
    flickr®

  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    Another great post, Don! I need to check the Sony forum more often. And you need to share this knowledge on a larger platform. Maybe we can get you to write some pieces for our articles section?

    I am in the Sony forum looking for flash ideas. We have an A100 I bought for the office when it first came out. I did a pro review and then made it the company DSLR. I'm told the pop-up flash is broken and I think the solution is buying a good hot shoe flash. The A100 is mostly used to by our CarREVIEW.com manager to photograph cars, interiors and car shows and events. He used the flash mostly for car interiors. I'm thinking he would benefit from off-camera flash. I am recommending we buy a new flash and a cable. What do you think? Is there a particular flash you'd recommend?

    Thanks in advance for your advice
    Photo-John

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

  4. #4
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    1 - When using the camera (A350 and A700) to fire the flash(es), I have yet to find a situation where the built in wireless flash doesn't work - including non-line of sight and bright sun. Try it first before spending more money. The A850/900 would need the HVL-F20AM Compact Flash, of course, but should work even better.

    2 - The HVL-F42AM has a little quirk and will not work as described above. You need to mount the F42 on the camera hot shoe (need a body other than the A850/900), turn them both on and then remove the flash without turning it off. It will work fine until it is turned off or it goes to into 'power save'. You can turn off 'power save' in the flash custom settings.

    3 – The common eBay replacement for the FS1100 is the SC-5 and for the FS1200 it is the SC-6. Be careful using the SC-5 on the camera hot shoe with an older high voltage flash because it has no circuit protection. FlashZebra offers these Sony/Minolta-only flash parts.

    http://www.flashzebra.com/sonyflash/index.shtml

    4 – FlashZebra also makes this to take the place of the FS1200 and PC sync cord for Pocket Wizards and other radio receivers.

    http://www.flashzebra.com/products/0141/index.shtml

    I have found Lon at FlashZebra is very knowledgeable and willing to help with your off-camera problems (even though I have never bought anything from him).

    TF
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    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
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    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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    Sony/Minolta - way more gear than talent.

  5. #5
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    My friend asked me to help her burn AVCHD mts files to DVD for watching on TV. She sent me the AVCHD mts files from her 2009 model Sony handycam HDR-XR500V, but the Nero v10 on my computer does not recognize the format. Any help will be appreciated.
    Está surgindo na internet um novo site de webcams que promete revolucionar o mercado das webcams ao vivo.
    Na sala21.com as mulheres sao totalmente interactivas bem como o site mesmo. Podes comprar sexo privado e em grupo via Celular/SMS. Visita o site.

    ---------------
    vijay

  6. #6
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    Quote Originally Posted by vk415 View Post
    My friend asked me to help her burn AVCHD mts files to DVD for watching on TV. She sent me the AVCHD mts files from her 2009 model Sony handycam HDR-XR500V, but the Nero v10 on my computer does not recognize the format. Any help will be appreciated.
    Está surgindo na internet um novo site de webcams que promete revolucionar o mercado das webcams ao vivo.
    Na sala21.com as mulheres sao totalmente interactivas bem como o site mesmo. Podes comprar sexo privado e em grupo via Celular/SMS. Visita o site.

    ---------------
    vijay
    I think that you will get more response if you post this in the Digital Video forum. - Terry
    -----------------
    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
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    Feel free to edit my photos or do anything else that will help me learn.
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  7. #7
    Member PWhite214's Avatar
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    Quote Originally Posted by vk415 View Post
    My friend asked me to help her burn AVCHD mts files to DVD for watching on TV. She sent me the AVCHD mts files from her 2009 model Sony handycam HDR-XR500V, but the Nero v10 on my computer does not recognize the format. Any help will be appreciated.
    Está surgindo na internet um novo site de webcams que promete revolucionar o mercado das webcams ao vivo.
    Na sala21.com as mulheres sao totalmente interactivas bem como o site mesmo. Podes comprar sexo privado e em grupo via Celular/SMS. Visita o site.

    ---------------
    vijay
    While the Video Forum is the way to go, I will suggest you check "Convert X to DVD" ConvertXtoDVD - AVI to DVD Video Converter to burn on DVD. I use it for my DVD's.

    Phil

  8. #8
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    Re: Some FLASH ideas ...

    Very interesting post Don .
    I have just obtained 2 Minolta 4000 flash guns from guess where.One cost £8.50 not bad I thought but the second one get this 99 pence . Not bad for an old codger averaged £4.75 each . Now got to get the transmitter ect thanks for the tip

    Peter

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