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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Flash recommendations for Alpha

    Okay, there have been several mentions in various posts about flash photography. And, I'll admit the next thing I purchase for my a900 will probably be a shoe mount flash. I don't do that much flash photography, preferring natural light, but let's face it there are times when you just need a flash.

    I would love to hear everyone's experience with different flash systems and any compatability problems they've experienced. Right now, I just can't see dumping close to $500 for the Sony HVL-F58AM Shoe Mount Flash. I'm leaning towards the Sigma EF-530 DG Super Shoe Mount Flash for Sony. I like the idea of wireless control of other off-camera flashes and that, if I wanted, I could get two for about the same price as the Sony F58AM.

    So, I would love to have everyone air their likes, dislikes, problems, etc. with flash models for the Alphas.

    And, BTW, if anyone wants to see a really cool flash photo do a search for Don Schap and deer in this forum and it should come up. As I remember it was for a photography class and Don used multiple wireless flashes to light the target deer and cross-bow hunter. The really cool detail is you can clearly make out the deer in the scope of the cross-bow.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    You'll become hooked on a flash in no time!

    I would get a HVL-F58AM, it's the best thing you can get for an A900 as the wireless commander unit. If it's really not in your budget right now, get the HVL-F42AM. You can use it as a wireless slave in the future with an HVL-F58AM and with these two, your guaranteed future compatibility for at least the foreseeable future.

    Here is that thread Darin is referring to.

    http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42050

    Elisha, what bike is that? I have that same frame-mounted pump, or at least one that looks the same!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    I'm no flash expert but I'm with dr4gon on this one.
    The unique swivel/tilt mechanism on the Sony 58AM is brilliant and I like the fast and silent recharge system.
    You can be certain that it will interface seamlessly with the Alpha system. For instance, the automatic zoom (24 to 105mm) automatically takes account of whether the camera body is APS-C or Full Frame.

    I'm not saying that the Sigma won't do the job for you; I haven't researched that system so can't say. Just that the Sony device will definitely do the job and a mistake now is more costly later on. You've already sprung for an A900 () so why not do it justice and save up a bit longer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Quote Originally Posted by dr4gon View Post

    Elisha, what bike is that? I have that same frame-mounted pump, or at least one that looks the same!
    it's a Iron Horse Axion.

    i have the Sigma, it is a nice flash and very consistent but i had a bad experience with my first unit and Sigma's turnaround time is horrible.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204

    hvl-f58am examples

    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    it's a Iron Horse Axion.

    i have the Sigma, it is a nice flash and very consistent but i had a bad experience with my first unit and Sigma's turnaround time is horrible.
    ah thanks, didn't know you had trouble with that flash initially.

    flash opens up a whole new world of photography, here's some of my hvl-f58am examples

    http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=hvl-...27107158%40N07
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    the first one failed the day of my sister's wedding. they replaced the trigger board and it failed again. And I finally got a replacement which has been working great.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    the first one failed the day of my sister's wedding. they replaced the trigger board and it failed again. And I finally got a replacement which has been working great.
    Wow, I would freak out if it happened at such a big event!
    flickr

    Canon 7D - 5D | 550EX - 430EX II - (2) PW FlexTT5 | 24-105 f4L | 70-200 f2.8L IS | 100 f2.8L IS | 50 f1.8 II

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    yeah I was not pleased. I had to shoot the whole thing with my prime.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    yeah I was not pleased. I had to shoot the whole thing with my prime.
    That's what I'm talking about when I say the next purchase will be a flash. I'm the paparazzi for the niece and nephew, and as it gets to the evening hours I'm reaching for the 50mm f/1.4 prime. Let's just say that f/1.4-f/2.8, slow shutter speed and higher ISO may be great for stationary objects, but kids are the anthesis of stationary. So, a flash it is.

    I'm interested in the idea of multiple wireless flashes to help provide fill light for some of the interior architectural shots I take ... to help highlight some of the background details.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    i use the HVL-F42AM on my 900..works fine for me..got it for 65 on ebay

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