I'm thinking of doing a portrait course at a local photographers studio to learn about strobe work etc - I have absolutely no experience of studio work so I thought this would be a good way to get some. However, I want to use my a55 and as most of you know, I'm going to run into a few issues , namely the fact its a minolta hotshoe, the lack of a PC sync port and the EVF 'blank screen in darkness' issue. I've explained the issue to the organiser and hope to get more details of his set up but in the mean time, I've been mooching around the internet looking for workarounds, specifically a way to fool the a55 into thinking the flash is up / on (whilst blacking out the flash so it doesn't contribute to the images) AND connecting a PC Sync adaptor at the same time. My current thoughts are as follows. I'm prepared to spend a bit of money for a robust solution but not 100s of pounds...
1) The off shoe flash extension cord solution
Flip up and blank off the in camera flash
Then slide on a Minolta fit off camera ttl flash extension cable like this one http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Off-Camera-Flash-Sync-Cable-Cord-TTL-SONY-Minolta-3-6M-/260524157036
Fit a minolta PC sync adaptor onto the cable (e.g. http://yongnuo.en.made-in-china.com/product/JokxMLYKZNVS/China-Yongnuo-Hot-Shoe-Adapter-for-Sony-Camera-YN-H3-.html
Connect to his strobes via a pc sync cable
2) The F58AM flash cable solution - not sure if this one will work
Fit my f58 flash and blank off the main flash (lets me keep the AF aid red light below)
Connect a cable to the F58 which I think is this one FA MC1AM http://www.devoncamera.co.uk/index.cfm/product/4069?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=pcn&utm_term=Sony_FA-MC1AM_Multi_Flash_Cable&utm_content=feed&utm_campaign=DevonCamera
Connect that to this off camera shoe Sony FA-CS1AM TTL Off-Camera Shoe http://www.jessops.com/online.store/products/74102/show.html
Connect a PC sync adaptor to the shoe
The final thing is that I'm a bit worried about is I've not factored in the need for a voltage regulated pc sync adaptor like the hugely expensive official sony one - will that be a big risk using relatively modern strobes (I'm assuming his kit is reasonably new but will check) - I've heard you can pc sync cables with a voltage regulator built in but haven't some across one yet - is this a big issue or am I overcomplicating things (further).
I'm really am working in the dark a bit here so if anyone has a more elegant solution / spotted a fatal flaw in my thinking (or choice of cables) please do let me know - I'm also wondering whether there might be a solution using radio triggers but most of the ones I've seen on the net are pretty bulky and would stop the internal pop up flash from popping up - if any a55 owners have found one that does work I'd like to see a picture / link.