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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559

    Lightbulb Old Flash/Kind of New Flash

    I did some investigative testing on my old pair of Minolta AF 4000 flashes, which were the defacto standard for the Minolta Maxxum cameras, back around 1985-1995. These were top of the Minolta line, for the better part of that decade.

    I compared them against the SONY HVL-F56AM ... which was recently discontinued by SONY in favor of the new HVL-F58AM.

    If you do get one of these old Maxxum flashes (for a good price), you will need a "hot shoe" converter (FS-1100), because the older flashes were more like the standard hot shoe, not the proprietary one that Minolta converted to in 1995 (currently used by SONY).

    One of the neater initial aspects to the AF 4000 flash was that it would physically telescope its flash head would automatically MATCH the telephoto change between 28-70mm of the lens. Well, on the SONY that no longer works that way. If you are going to narrow the flash beam from 28 thru 70mm (28, 35, 50, 70), you will have to tell the flash to manually do it by selecting on the flash's back panel.

    Intensity: At full power, the AF 4000 is about a f-stop less that the HVL-F56AM or about the same as the HVL-F42AM. The advantage of the AF-4000 is that, unlike the limitation of the HVL-F42AM, you can swivel the head 90-degrees left and right from center.

    The recharge cycle is also significantly longer on the older flash than the newer ones.

    Obviously, there is no telling how many of these are still out there, but if you are strapped for cash, you can make them work for you.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    My new sony flash zooms..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559
    Internally it does and so do the HVL-F36AM & HVL-F56AM. The AF 4000 physical changes shape as it does so, "snorkeling out" the flash head. Anyway ... it's a trip to watch. I'll post some images later, depicting this.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    788
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Internally it does and so do the HVL-F36AM & HVL-F56AM. The AF 4000 physical changes shape as it does so, "snorkeling out" the flash head. Anyway ... it's a trip to watch. I'll post some images later, depicting this.
    How wierd! So as you zoom your lens out that bugger snorkels out too? Might be a good way to scare someone off, just thinking about it reminds me of the alien from the movie "Alien" with all the little heads coming out.
    Jason Hamilton
    Selective Frame

    EOS 5D - Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 35 f/2, EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II, EF 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro, Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 (with EOS adapter), 430EX, Canon S90
    Nikon FE - Nikkor 35mm f/2 AI'd, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 AI, Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI, F to EF adapter, 2xVivitar 285, other lighting stuff
    Mamiya C220 - 80mm f/2.8

    Gear List flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,559
    It was pretty revolutionary at the time. A lot more electronic decision-making going on, over any in the past. The "Mind of Minolta", you might say.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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