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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Thumbs down

    Okay, is it just me, or are others wondering what Sony was thinking when they introduced this flash along with their new Hobbit sized x30's?

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    So they market it as compact supplement to the pop-up flash. $129 for a supplement? Seems awfully pricey for a supplement.
    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. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    This is no joke even if expensive.
    It's very light and small enough to stick in your pocket, GN20 as opposed to GN10 on camera and you get to use bounce flash.
    It's main attraction however is to A900 users. It's an ideal (and relatively inexpensive) trigger for wireless remote flash heads.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Quote Originally Posted by joenmell View Post
    Sigma EF-530 DG ST EO-ETTL II Flash for Sony. The claim is that it covers a focal length from 24mm to 105mm. And the Guide Number is 53/m(174/ft) ISO 100/m(with the zoom head at 105mm)?
    Inquiring minds want to know...
    not sure about the ST because it is a stripped down version of the Super and may not have any manual modes.
    The Super's zoom head works fine trough the ranges and you can actually hear it too.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr®
    FLUIDR

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    Too bad the F20 cannot do lighting ratios.... it's a mere popup flash really to trigger wireless.
    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

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool News Flash ...

    Well, from what I have been "TOLD", by various individuals over the past year, the HVL-F58AM & HVL-F42AM are the only recommended hot-shoe flash units for the α900, with the exception of the new HVL-F20AM compact flash.

    They were designed to be used in "flash groups", which is something the earlier models cannot do. Also, you should not mix the series/releases either. The SONY HVL-F56AM, SONY HVL-F36AM, Minolta 5600 "D", & Minolta 3600 "D" belong together.

    Also, SONY has discontinued the '56 and '36 ... so they are insistently steering away from using the earlier models.

    Personally, it has not been a big thing for me, because I've been using the '56 and '36 with the α700, but now we are thoroughly in a new generation of cameras. Even the formidable α700 is about to go through a growth spurt in the Fall and its replacement geared to using the new flash series, also.

    Looking at some independent design improvement aspects, the neat thing about the '42 over the '36, is that its flash head swivels, which you cannot do with the '36. It can only tilt all of 90°, forward and up. I cannot tell you how much that is an improvement when you are trying to get a decent bounce or directed flash (espically as a SLAVE unit). It really is something you need to experience. You get "the message" in short order and was one of the reasons people begrudgingly popped for the $300 difference between the '56 and the '36.

    I would say a "good flash load out" would be one '58 and (3x) '42s. Then you have about all the flexibility you would need for 95% of your flash shots. If you need more light, think about studio strobes.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-10-2009 at 08:06 AM.
    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

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    On the new HV-20, I can see the benefit of the compactness. Here's part of what Sony Style says about this new flash unit:

    "Extends flash range beyond camera’s built-in flash
    Though compact and lightweight, the HVL-F20AM has a maximum range twice that of the built-in flash units on α230, α330 and α380 cameras. This is represented as the guide number (GN) of 20 with a 50mm focal distance at ISO 100.

    Bounce flash enables shadowless indirect lighting
    When set to ‘indoor’ shooting mode, the flash points up to bounce light off the ceiling for shadowless illumination of your subject. When set to the ‘outdoor’ shooting mode, the flash directs light directly at your subject.

    Built-in diffuser for wide and telephoto shooting
    With the built-in diffuser the flash illumination covers an angle of view of 27mm at the default Standard Position setting. If users want to to shoot at a greater distance, they can rotate the dial on the side of the flash unit to the ‘Tele’ Position*. Although this reduces flash coverage to an angle of view of 50mm, it extends the range to illuminate more distant subjects.

    Easy intuitive operation
    Unlike most external flash units, the HVL-F20AM has no dedicated ON/OFF switch. Instead, power is automatically switched on simply by raising the flash unit into the shooting position. In addition, a switch on the side of the unit offers Indoor and Outdoor settings, making it easy to obtain flash illumination that suits the shooting situation. A charging lamp indicates when the flash is ready to fire."

    ...

    "Wireless flash trigger function (DSLR-A900 only)
    When teamed with the α900, the HVL-F20AM can also be used to trigger wireless flash setups. Please note, however, that this functionality is only available with DSLR-A900, and does not include luminosity ratio control."
    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???

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Okay, so I'm leaning towards waiting and saving up for the HVL-F58AM. I've been reading various reviews from those who have bought this unit and about the only complaint is that the mount is prone to breakage. However, I suspect the mount is probably the same on the similar Sony models and can't say if it's just that those who've experienced the problem are not careful with their equipment.

    It'll probably be a couple of months before I make the final decision and buy, buy, buy.
    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???

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
    Posts
    1,903
    Darin, bounce flash would make a whole world of difference.
    plus the it would look good on the a900 since the body itself is beefy.
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr®
    FLUIDR

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Darin, I had a look a the mount and although it doesn't look particularly flimsy it could be vulnerable if the flash got a good knock. I mean it stands quite tall on the mount so that means a high bending moment on the mount.
    However, if the worst happens, the "mount block" is held in place with 6 screws and should be easy to replace.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Have an extra one in your camera bag!

    That was not the case with the older Minolta Flash posts (before the proprietary post). Once that hot shoe mount snapped ... the flash (even though it might still work) had pretty much had it. (Yeah ... an experience I'd much rather forget.)

    Buy extra posts ... LOL
    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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