wireless flash!

Cabled, wireless, studio - anything do with using flash
Bobert
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wireless flash!

Unread postby Bobert » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:22 pm

hey guys, i'm new to here so please be gentle.
I'm wanting a flashgun to play about with and i want to use it wireless. what is the most cost effective way of shooting wirelessly. i have a a230 and also an a77.
i dont want to scrimp on quality however money is major issue at the moment and advice is greatly appreciated.
bobert

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Greg Beetham
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:30 am

Hi bobert and welcome,
I have only two digital flashes (I have other non-digital ones), the KM3600HS(D) and the F56, same as the KM5600HS(D), I haven’t done a huge amount of WL but what I have done seems to work ok as long as communications are working ok. It is possible to get the flash to trigger from the camera popup but not get proper control signals exchanged occasionally so you can get wrong exposures when that happens but that seems rather rare from what I’ve experienced. The line of sight between the two has to be arranged reasonably carefully, although I’ve pushed my luck quite often and had no problems even when I expected too.
Sorry I can’t help much more specifically, I think mainly you have to stay within the bounds of the limitations of what is possible within a given situation regarding flash/ambient balance, distance, the chosen ISO, f-stop, shutter speed and angle of coverage. If you do then I think you won’t have much trouble with any of the flashguns that suit your model camera.
I see lately that Metz flashes are very popular because they can be updated via firmware upgrade from Metz whereas none of the Sony models can be, and important consideration nowadays as Sony are prone to shuffling the goalposts around a little, system wise that is, by accident or ineptitude no one knows, but in any case Metz seem to have found a way of re-gaining compatibility with newer models regardless.
Greg

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Dr. Harout
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:58 am

A big welcome from me too, Bobert.
The most cost effective approach in my opinion would be to purchase a cheap flashgun (really cheap) with a built-in slave unit. So whenever you trigger the on-camera flash the external flash will trigger too. You might find such flashes on eBay (Chinese). Of course there are some restrictions compared to a true wireless flash.
Second option would be to buy a decent flash with wireless capability, and as my friend Greg said, you might consider Metz or even Sony (but in the latter case I would suggest the F43AM).
Good luck in your quest and we (I assure you, all active members here) are ready to be of help.
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Bobert
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby Bobert » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:11 am

I've seen the Nissan di866. Are they wireless? I have an old sunpack which I have used with a slave attached but it's not giving me the results I want as the subject is too well lit from the front due to the camera flash. If i was to get a Metz which models would you recomend?

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Greg Beetham
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:51 am

I haven’t used the Nissin myself http://www.digitalrev.com/product/nissin-di866-mark-ii-flash/MTE4MTI_A but DK used one and said it wasn’t a bad flash (from memory), the review above sort of gives it a so so rating so I would be inclined to go for the best if you want a reliable unit. (Metz)
You can go to the Metz home page http://www.metz.de/en/lighting.html and browse through or give your camera model and make to the selection guide and have a look at the suggested model/s.
As far as using a slave trigger goes you will probably find that there are a couple of gotchas involved, one is preflash which can on non-compliant slaves trigger the main flash on the preflash and the main flash is recharging at the time of the actual flash/shutter sync.
When WL is working properly the onboard flash is only supposed to contribute about 25% of the total flash (or so I’ve been informed) so it’s contribution should be almost unnoticeable if WL is working properly, if you are getting exposure from the popup there is a gremlin in the works, bad comms or non compliant WL flash or slave etc.
Greg

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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby Javelin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:55 pm

Just to add in here. Welcome! But I found today while looking for a friend for a flash to use with his Panny FZ200 that the metz 50AF1 is being replaced with the 52AF1 and there is a $50.00 saving there from the retailers (at least in Canada) for one over the other. I think the touch screen might be the only diference between these 2 and they both seemed very solid.

Bobert
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby Bobert » Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:10 pm

thanks guys. ill go to my local camera shop this weekend and have a play around. just helps if i know what im looking for.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:35 pm

There are 2 things that put me off the Sony flashes.
- They are bulky in depth and body size that swivel design is neat but comes at a price
- If I am correct none of the Sony models supports an optical slave mode, this is a lot more useful than it sounds you can use flashes that have this with compacts, even entirely different cameras it's quick and easy to do. Major oversight IMO even the latest Sony model has no support for this

I was tempted with Nissin, but unsure about their firmware situation. Sigma the ones I have used have been fine, but again there is no facility to update firmware, Metz have this and have updated it so that's where I am now.

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KevinBarrett
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Re: wireless flash!

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:50 pm

I'm not a fan of Sony's "quick shift" flash heads for use in wireless setups. I have both an F43 (quick-shift) and an F56 (traditional), and the F56 is incredibly easy to position on a light stand with an umbrella holder, whereas the F43 has is axes of articulation completely backwards, and it is near-impossible to have its IR recievers "looking" at your camera while the flash head is aimed at a group with its spread oriented the right way. This more of a problem outdoors, but indoors you can rely on a little more bounce and scatter of your IR signal to aim the flash head however you like.
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