HVL-F58AM flash gun

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gusm35
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HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby gusm35 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:22 pm

thinking of getting 2 of these for strobist work. good idea?

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:34 pm

No, you need three. One on the camera as a controller, two as remotes to do the real work. Your first 58 is wasted, in effect, as all it will do is act as a controller or provide direct/bounce flash from the camera. I have just ordered a 58 and I am not pleased - here they cost $550 equivalent and are the most expensive such flashgun on the market. They are beautifully made and come with a superb case (etc) but only the 58 can act as a full controller. With the A900, you need one or you get NO wireless flash! With any other model, you can at least trigger the 58s with the built-in flash but you can not access any of the ratio/power/grouping unless you use a 58 as controller. Even the 42 won't do the control work.

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:48 pm

Which flashes can the F58 control and to what degree? My understanding righ now is that it can control just the F42 or F58 flashes. Is my F56 locked in the past now?
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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:05 pm

It will fire the 56, 5600, 36, 3600 - but just in normal ratio (basic, like firing them from the pop up of the A700). I do not know yet whether you can control the power of the 42, if there are older flashes in the arrangement. In order to control powers, you have to assign a Group to each flash. If they are all in Group 1, that's one power. Presumably the 56 etc are all Group 1 and can not be changed, but until my 58 arrives, I won't know if you can then set the 42 to be Group 2 and adjust its power separate from the fixed power of the 56/36.

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby gusm35 » Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:12 pm

i have bought two with out really thinking about, ouch

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:16 pm

I'll let you know if older guns can be used in a Group. The obvious addition to a two HVL-F58AM set up, apart from a third HVL-F68AM, is the HVL-F42AM. On the other hand, it may be worth waiting to see whether Sony decide to make a Controller (a module with no flash in it apart from a signalling flash) like the Nikon system has. I would be much happier with a £150 controller, that was not a flash, than being forced to use something as fully featured as the 58 just as a trigger and commander.

Still, it may be that you can have the 58 doing serious full output bounce flash while controlling the remote/s. If so, this is a very useful standard set up. The bounce flash provides a level of ilumination which establishes a base exposure, and the remote flash adds the higher tone values as accents.

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby RubberDials » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:53 am

I have the Metz 58 AF-1 - the flash with a USB port for firmware updates, which I bought six months ago, when the 56AM was dead but the 58 hadn't been announced. It will be interesting if Metz produce a firmware update that allows the flash to be used with the group system.

There isn't anything offered as a download on their site yet, but they have updated slave flash firmware of the Nikon and Olympus models.

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Fri Oct 17, 2008 12:47 pm

I now have the flash, and the instructions are far from clear - but it seems that you can set a Ratio between remote 56/36 guns and the 58 controller, if you only use the older guns as remotes, and the controller 58 is on-camera. But it also looks as if you can not mix a 42 in with a 56/36etc and get a ratio between these; you can definitely get a ratio control with multiple 42 and 58s in any mix, but only with the 58 as controller (not with the A700 or other onboard flash doing the triggering).

All this only works with the A700 and A900. The A100-350 series and presumably the D5D/D7D (I will check up using my D7D) can not use the 58 as a flash controller, and therefore can not set ratios. But they can fire any number of flashes, of all these types, as one group at their standard relative outputs.

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby ianmiddy » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:03 pm

David - any chance of a summary of your eventual findings [for all the various cam/flash combos] as an article in Mag 2009#1 ?

[as a kind of update to the Spring07 one...]

Cheers

IDM

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Fri Oct 17, 2008 1:22 pm

It's necessary, I agree. I may do so in the edition I am working on now.

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby ianmiddy » Fri Oct 17, 2008 5:14 pm

David - know its extremely unlikely, but have you tried the 5600 as a wireless controller on the A900 ?

[I know it's not worked since film-cams with any of the DSLRs to date, but just wondering as presumably there's nothing in the camera firmware for onboard-flash-wireless-control, so maybe the restriction was removed (even by mistake)...but maybe it only recognises the F58???]

Cheers

IDM

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:12 pm

The 5600/56 works as a wireless controller on the D7D; the 58 will not; the 58 works as a controller on the A700 and A900; the 5600/56 will not. I can't make the 58 work either as a remote or a controller with the film Dynax 7, though it works as a camera top flash.

All built-in flashes, on every model, will trigger all the guns as long as they are set to Channel 1. No problem getting 5600, 3600, 42 and 58 all to fire at once for the D7D pop up. Setting up the 58 on the A900 to trigger a mixture of 5600/3600/42 works - and the ratio can be controlled between 'all the remotes' (no individual control possible) and the output of the 58, including zero output from the on-camera flash.

You can not do this from any cameras except the A700 and A900. Ratio control is not allowed by the A100-350 or the D7D and D5D, with the 58.

While it is fiddly to set up the 58 to control a bunch of older flashguns (it reverts to not doing so) it does work, and you can mix old and new guns in a simple X:X ratio mode. If you have all-new flashguns - only 42 and 58 models - you can get X:X:X ratio mode, including balancing the output of two off-camera guns and having zero flash from the on-camera controller.

David

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ianmiddy
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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby ianmiddy » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:22 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:The 5600/56 works as a wireless controller on the D7D...
... No problem getting 5600, 3600, 42 and 58 all to fire at once for the D7D pop up. Setting up the 58 on the A900 to trigger a mixture of 5600/3600/42 works - and the ratio can be controlled between 'all the remotes' (no individual control possible) and the output of the 58, including zero output from the on-camera flash.

Oh - didn't realise that [thought it went out with the DSLRs, but presumably I'm getting mixed-up with ratio]...

...and the second point is good to know for the future - I never get rid of anything, so the old stuff will hopefully still be useful in a few years time !

Thanks for taking the time to test all these variations...

IDM

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Re: HVL-F58AM flash gun

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:57 pm

Thank you David! Finally, a detailed and exhaustive explanation of new and old flash capabilities with all current Alpha bodies! I don't know if this is the only one on the internet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is (and Sonolta, if anybody, will supply links to any others). This has been very helpful!
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I'll be very interested,

Unread postby Yagil Henkin » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:36 am

when someone will provide a comparison of the Sony 58 and the Metz 58, Including W/L capability, of course.
The Metz has the additional promise of firmware updates, and the no-pre-flash mode which is a great plus for me (although, in effect, It's the same technology that my father has used with his vivitar 285 flash on Konica T3....). If the Metz will have a f/w update that will alow it to do grouping, that would be probably a killer app, given the price difference.

BTW, has anybody tried to connect the old Minolta flash controller to an A700/900 and see what happens?


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