A900 and standard portable flash

Cabled, wireless, studio - anything do with using flash
Thick as a Brick
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A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Thick as a Brick » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:32 am

Hi,

I upgraded my a700 to the a900 and now cant use my F42AM flash off camera. I also purchased a second hand flash stand kit, two stands, umbrellas, reflectors etc but can't use the flashes on them because they are standard flash mounts. I thought the easy way round this would be to buy a adaptor, standard to minolta flash mount, this adaptor has a flash lead plug, but I found the camera won't fire the flash via the lead. To get this set up working using Sony adaptors would cost a few pence short of £100. For that money, I could get a Sony HVL-F36AM and use that as a wireless slave - but would also need to mount onto the tripod stand to fire "through / at" the umbrellas.

Is there an easy way to do this? It all seems very confusing just for a simple setup. I'd like to have the flexability to use the flashes off camera using standard tripods. I also have the Elinchrome Brxi 500 lights but want the camera flash's for portability and conveince.

PS....loving the a900.

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Greg Beetham
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:57 am

I guess you could use the funny looking plastic foot that came with the F42, it's got a tripod thread underneath, then you could use an F36 in WL to fire the F42, or visa versa, but it sounds like you would then still be short one flash...if I'm reading it right.
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Thick as a Brick » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:32 pm

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Egg on face.....I never looked under the funny looking plastic foot :oops:
Yep, that solved that one...hopefully.

So that leaves me with just the flash "off camera" to sort. Can I trigger both from the A900 without mounting one on camera, or would I need to have 3 flashes, or one flash with a cable socket connected to camera that will trigger the other two? Do Sony make those?

many thanks

Adam

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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:37 pm

Thick as a Brick wrote:Hi,

I upgraded my a700 to the a900 and now cant use my F42AM flash off camera.I also purchased a second hand flash stand kit, two stands, umbrellas, reflectors etc but can't use the flashes on them because they are standard flash mounts. I thought the easy way round this would be to buy a adaptor, standard to minolta flash mount, this adaptor has a flash lead plug, but I found the camera won't fire the flash via the lead. To get this set up working using Sony adaptors would cost a few pence short of £100. For that money, I could get a Sony HVL-F36AM and use that as a wireless slave - but would also need to mount onto the tripod stand to fire "through / at" the umbrellas.

Is there an easy way to do this? It all seems very confusing just for a simple setup. I'd like to have the flexability to use the flashes off camera using standard tripods. I also have the Elinchrome Brxi 500 lights but want the camera flash's for portability and conveince.

PS....loving the a900.


Why don't you try one of those not-that-expensive- radio salves that swarm on ebay? they are mostly standard hotshoe, but you can get use the adapter you already bought (A-mount shoe to standard hotshoe) and use them for trigger your kit.

If the F36M does not works on Manual, it won't be a good help for you because a) it will fire too much light and b) the preflash will trigger your lights at the wrong moment.
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KevinBarrett
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:49 pm

To trigger your other flash guns off camera wirelessly, and preserve all the automatic functionality of the Alpha flash system, you'll need one of the newer flash guns on the camera itself to operate as a commander, that's the HVL-F20AM, HVL-F43AM, or HVL-F58AM.
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:24 pm

KevinBarrett wrote:To trigger your other flash guns off camera wirelessly, and preserve all the automatic functionality of the Alpha flash system, you'll need one of the newer flash guns on the camera itself to operate as a commander, that's the HVL-F20AM, HVL-F43AM, or HVL-F58AM.

Right about the F20M, but the OP need to trigger (wirelessly?) falshes that doesn't support the Minolta/Sony system.
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:58 am

Ah, you may be right, but that wasn't the way I read it.
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:40 am

Adam, what flashes do you have exactly, apart from the F42?
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Thick as a Brick » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:22 pm

hi, thanks for the replies.

I have 1 F42 and a Minolta 3500xi - but I've found out just recently that the 3500 won't work with the Sony flash system so that was a red herring. Just purchased from ebay another F42 and I think that will solve most of my problems although I would like to be able to control those wirelessly off camera but it would seem I'd need to get another flash. (I was thinking about using 1 flash through a Snoot, with 1 flash as a main light / fill in light).

Have to admit, I'm new to lighting and trying to get my head round all the various options. Am part way through a P.I course and would like to build a portable flash kit for location shots, without the hassle of a studio light rig requiring 240v mains access and wires everywhere, just a big bag for battery's!!!

Thanks

Adam

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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby pakodominguez » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:58 pm

Thick as a Brick wrote:hi, thanks for the replies.

I have 1 F42 and a Minolta 3500xi - but I've found out just recently that the 3500 won't work with the Sony flash system so that was a red herring. Just purchased from ebay another F42 and I think that will solve most of my problems although I would like to be able to control those wirelessly off camera but it would seem I'd need to get another flash. (I was thinking about using 1 flash through a Snoot, with 1 flash as a main light / fill in light).

Any of your flashes will work as a controller with the A900 -you'll need the HVL-F58AM; the new HVL-F43AM or the small HVL-F20AM (or the Metz 58-AF1/2) and the 3500xi won't get controlled anyway...
Thick as a Brick wrote:Have to admit, I'm new to lighting and trying to get my head round all the various options. Am part way through a P.I course and would like to build a portable flash kit for location shots, without the hassle of a studio light rig requiring 240v mains access and wires everywhere, just a big bag for battery's!!!

Thanks

Adam

Well, nowadays many system offers AC/DC strobes -I have the Photogenic StudioMax III (the new have a built in radio slave http://www.adorama.com/POSMAKC320BR.html) but never had to use it on location without an outlet in the 10 meters ratio... the battery that photogenic provides is not even expensive (https://www.adorama.com/POAKB1.html) but other accessories can be expensive, like softboxes and beauty dishes. Another advantage of this systems is that you can use the battery pack as an anchor for the stands -other than carrying weights with you: working on location demands a lot of production.

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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Thick as a Brick » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:10 pm

Thanks Pako,

just been looking around at the options available. I get the impression that Sony don't cater too well for its customers in this area, either stand mount adaptors are too flimsy, not deep enough, copies and as much use as a chocolate fireguard, adaptors have to be bought to work triggers and so on. Surely if Sony want to get into the proff market and compete with the big names they would make it easy for the photographer.....would'nt they? The A900 was the camera to do just that and yet the only way to run with flash lighting is either to take a risk and buy an import adaptor or have a skyport dangle from its cable on the body of the camera. It would be nice to be able to look at an online photography shop and make a purchase without worrying if it will work, connect, fit or get in the way. Oh well, this is what comes from buying a Minolta camera all those years ago :?

thanks again - still looking.....

Adam

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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby pakodominguez » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:21 pm

Thick as a Brick wrote:Thanks Pako,

just been looking around at the options available. I get the impression that Sony don't cater too well for its customers in this area, either stand mount adaptors are too flimsy, not deep enough, copies and as much use as a chocolate fireguard, adaptors have to be bought to work triggers and so on. Surely if Sony want to get into the proff market and compete with the big names they would make it easy for the photographer.....would'nt they? The A900 was the camera to do just that and yet the only way to run with flash lighting is either to take a risk and buy an import adaptor or have a skyport dangle from its cable on the body of the camera. It would be nice to be able to look at an online photography shop and make a purchase without worrying if it will work, connect, fit or get in the way. Oh well, this is what comes from buying a Minolta camera all those years ago :?

thanks again - still looking.....

Adam


Ping Bryan Smith... He, and Mathew Gordon Smith are enrolled on a Sony Artisans program, and work with external flashes, using PocketWizard and other accessories. If you need to be sure about your hotshoe adapter, get the one made by Sony (http://www.adorama.com/ISOHSA.html), if you can afford it... but the ones made in China are good enough

In other hand, Sony stated that the A900 was not a professional camera.
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby KevinBarrett » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:38 pm

Here's a discussion on Syncing Solutions for the Alpha system--lots of users chiming in on how they use studio lights. I've used the plain, cheap eBay radio triggers which are fine, and pretty well adaptable to anything with any hotshoe or a PC sync. Also, the flimsy mount adapters you mention can sometimes save your flash gun by absorbing the shock of a fall.
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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Thick as a Brick » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:51 pm

ok thanks for the links and will do.

As for
In other hand, Sony stated that the A900 was not a professional camera.
Well, the Canon 450 is also not a proff camera but everything fits and here am I fiddeling round with adaptors while my friend is ready and as quick as a flash...so to speak :shock:

Cheers

Adam

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Re: A900 and standard portable flash

Unread postby Thick as a Brick » Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:55 am

This is an interesting site: http://alphatracks.com/archives/category/a900

Seems to cover most of the issues around Sony cameras.


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