A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

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fastson
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A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby fastson » Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:02 pm

I've noticed a problem with the connection between the flash gun and the camera itself, this problem occurs on both my Alpha cameras, A100 and A700 and with two different flashes, the HVL-F36AM and the HVL-F42AM.

There is slight play between the flash itself and the camera when they are assembled. Since the flashes are quite heavy they wiggle around a bit and sometime lose the connection (the flash icon to the upper left on the camera display goes on and off). On my A100 it got so bad I had to force the flash in a certain direction in order for it to make a connection. So far it hasnt gotten that bad with my A700.

Is it really that smart to make these parts out of plastic considering there is some load on them when you tip the camera from horizontal mode to vertical, also when your changing the direction of the flash head you put some stress on the shoe. I dont know if this stress is the cause of it, from what I remember I've had the slight play since I got both cameras.

Is this something you all have experienced, if so have you done something to make it more reliable?

I am always careful with my equipment, I always use the little flash shoe cover and I havent stressed the flash-camera joint in any out of the ordinary way.
Flickr - Sony A100, Sony A700 - SAL50F14, SAL16105, SAL1870, Minolta 35-70 F4, Minolta 70-210 F4, Tamron 90 F2.8 Macro

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KevinBarrett
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:14 pm

I have noticed this too as my f56 will "wiggle" a bit on my a700, however, I have not lost connection between the two devices. I recently had the opportunity to snatch up another F56 at a good price on eBay, but I noticed the shoe mount looked slightly different from mine. Either the shoe was stressed or there was a variation in its manufacturing, because there appeared to be more space in that plastic shoe than there was in mine.
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fastson
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby fastson » Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:49 pm

Hey Kevin.
Could you try tilting the camera back and forth (horizontal/vertical and tilting the camera up and down), this is when my connection loss occurs. I see it by watching the flash icon on the cameras backside screen, it flicks off and on, or it flicks off till I tilt the camera in another way.

This is a pretty serious issue I think, and I've had it happen on both my cameras. Ugh.

What’s wrong with making it a tighter fit, Sony? :( And I would have preferred if the shoe itself was made out of metal.

I had my HVL-F36AM sent in before I got the A700, they changed the shoe but the issue was not solved, there is still play and loss of connection (on the A100 at least).

I think the issue is that the play is back and forth, so it moves just enough to make the spring loaded pins (on the flash) lose contact with the cameras little connection plates in the shoe.
Flickr - Sony A100, Sony A700 - SAL50F14, SAL16105, SAL1870, Minolta 35-70 F4, Minolta 70-210 F4, Tamron 90 F2.8 Macro

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KevinBarrett
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:00 am

I haven't had the issue of disconnection, but I tried the test as you described. Still no disconnection. I actually don't have any problem with the flash wobbling now, or else I don't notice it. I think it just fit more extraordinarily tightly on my Maxxum 5.
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby AndyG » Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:14 pm

I recently had an intermittent connection problem with a 4000AF fitted to an FS1100 on my A100 (using the flash on low power to trigger a pair of flash heads). At the time I wasn't sure if it was the old 4000AF having problems or just dirty contacts. I don't remember any problems with my 2500D flash but I did have with a Vivitar (can't remember the model no. - looked good on paper but cheap construction, unlike 'proper' Vivitar gear from the 80's!). Maybe it is, as suggested, a matter of how tight a particular flash fits, although a properly designed contact system should allow for such variations.

Cheers,

Andy

fastson
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby fastson » Wed Feb 18, 2009 10:10 pm

Thanks Kevin and Andy.

Hmm, some more testing. It seems to vary, 36 has problems on my A100 as well as the 42. But the 36 isnt having problems on the A700 (it wiggles but it stays in contact). 42 can have some issues on the A700 but right now its pretty rare (wiggles and sometimes loses connection). Still annoying.

I am considering sending my A100 in to have its shoe replaced. :(
Though right now as my A100 is my macro camera I mostly use wireless anyway. I got it around christmas 2006, so I guess its around 26 months old. Not sure if that is within the warranty period here in Sweden.

If anyone else is having problems please chime in, it would be interesting to read.
Flickr - Sony A100, Sony A700 - SAL50F14, SAL16105, SAL1870, Minolta 35-70 F4, Minolta 70-210 F4, Tamron 90 F2.8 Macro

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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby fastson » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:31 pm

Good news. The shop got back to me and they have been in contact with Sony. Sony has never heard of the issue before so they want me to send my A100 in together with the 36 flash and they will service it under warranty. I am a happy kitten! :mrgreen:
Flickr - Sony A100, Sony A700 - SAL50F14, SAL16105, SAL1870, Minolta 35-70 F4, Minolta 70-210 F4, Tamron 90 F2.8 Macro

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KevinBarrett
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:24 am

Great! Do keep us updated, it is a real curiosity.
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Dusty
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby Dusty » Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:07 am

fastson wrote: Sony has never heard of the issue before so .....


That reminds me of the old doctor joke: Faston's syndrome. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it Mr. Faston?

You NEVER want them to name a new disease/condition after you!

Dusty
An a700 and couple of a580s, plus even more lenses.

fastson
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby fastson » Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:52 pm

Dusty wrote:
fastson wrote: Sony has never heard of the issue before so .....


That reminds me of the old doctor joke: Faston's syndrome. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it Mr. Faston?

You NEVER want them to name a new disease/condition after you!

Dusty


Haha! :D Well it does not seem to be an epidemic since no one else here has responded with the same issue.

Well happy news for me today.. I received a note today that a package was waiting for me at the post office, I was suspecting it would be my returning camera, and it was! It took the service centre less than 1 week to send it back.

Anyway, I have tested the camera now and wow what a difference. There is no play at all this time, the fit is much much tighter. And the connection is no longer an issue.
The service note said they had just replaced the flash-shoe on the camera and done some basic functionality test.

Im very happy to have my old camera back again.

Here he is! :D
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Flickr - Sony A100, Sony A700 - SAL50F14, SAL16105, SAL1870, Minolta 35-70 F4, Minolta 70-210 F4, Tamron 90 F2.8 Macro

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Dusty
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Re: A100/A700 flash shoe connection problem?

Unread postby Dusty » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:37 am

I'm glad it worked out for you. Thanks for the update.

Dusty


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