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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Don't FLASH me, Bro!

    SONY Wireless Flash Solutions ... beyond the norm.

    One of the unfortunate side effects of using a SONY HVL “wireless flash” solution is that the remote flash has to see the built-in (pop-up) flash on the camera. If you do not extend the pop-up flash or are using an α900 … you don’t get a flash.

    Now, with the recent advent of the HVL-F20AM Compact Flash (April 2009), the α900 now can offer control through its “wireless” option, but again, the remote flash has to “see” the pre-flash from the camera to operate properly. In other words, it is all optically controlled (so they have to see one another) and that can be tricky when positioning your flash or when outdoors.

    Question: What is another good solution to this “wireless” issue?

    SONY offers a “Sync Terminal Adaptor” for the camera’s hot shoe.

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    This part offers a “pc-sync” port to cameras that do not have one (α100, α200, α230, α300, α330, α350 & α380) so that you can add generic external flash control to the camera. This is an expensive part, if you consult the SONY Style store for it. An alternative is purchasing a third party “FS1100” (<- Click on this) Hot shoe adapter (The α700 & α900 already have the "pc-sync" port built into them, so there is no need for this part, unless you desire to mount the "standard" PocketWizard PLUS II's foot to the hot shoe. That eliminates the need for the PC1 pc-sync cable, too, although I would still get one for detached operation.)

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    This is one-tenth (1/10) the cost of the SONY part and, personally, it is the way to go … that is, unless you have nothing better to do with your cash.

    Now, wireless flash control can be offered through a number of devices, but my personal favorite is the “PocketWizard PLUS II” which is an “RF” solution and does not need any kind of optical or infrared pre-flash. Yes, it costs a little more, but what you get in return is true flexibility and RELIABILITY, which is the mainstay of most photography. You want flash NOW … not when it decides it wants to work.

    You will require two units, one connected to the camera and the other to the flash. The camera connection requires the PC1 Cable (pc-sync) to attach the camera's port to the PocketWizard.

    The HVL-series of flashes do not support the “pc-sync” port, which would be necessary for the PocketWizard to be connected to the flash. The solution is another small third-party adapter, the “FS1200” (<- Click on this), which attaches to the flashes’ hot shoe and immediately provides a “pc-sync” port to the flash unit.

    FS1200
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    HVL-F36AM, FS1200 Adapter, pc-sync cable (PC1) , and PocketWizard PLUS II
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    Also, the “PocketWizard” can be use to trigger a “studio strobe” without having to drape a pc-sync cord a dozen or so feet away and take the chance of a ‘subject’, grip or even yourself tripping over it and taking down your expensive lamp. The main difference is that you will probably need a MM1 cable, instead of the PC1 cable (used in the above SONY HVL-connection)

    So, in effect, you have a wireless link between your camera and the flash (studio or electronic) that is reliable and channelized, so you can set off different units at different times, if you so wish. You would require additional “PocketWizards” for such ideas.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-23-2009 at 11:42 PM.
    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 2006
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    i didnt know you had pocketwizards Don. you really DO have every gadget !!! lol
    there are also numerous other wireless radio solutions aswell of course.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    lol I didn't know he had PW too! lol
    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

  4. #4
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    Red face What's in your pocket?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rooz View Post
    i didnt know you had pocketwizards Don. you really DO have every gadget !!! lol
    there are also numerous other wireless radio solutions aswell of course.
    I bought these back when I was shooting with the Canon EOS 20D ... and simply migrated them to the SONY system. There were not that many alternatives, at the time, so this was what I went with.

    I had used them back and forth, with the Canon EOS 20D, because there is a pig-tail cable (CM-N3-P) that you can use to trigger the shutter release from the PocketWizard, eliminating that troublesome 16-foot cable. Unfortunately, SONY will not authorize their own version of this useful cable, so that aspect of utility is missed on the PWs.

    The α700 & α900 do have a wireless shutter release remote, but it requires that you be almost directly in front and in line with the lens view to use it. If you are off to the side or behind, it does not work. Again, sunshine can also mess with it. So, an "RF" solution would be good.

    Quote Originally Posted by dr4gon View Post
    lol I didn't know he had PW too! lol
    Guys, it is okay to peruse my GEAR LIST, there is no shame in taking a peek. I went to the trouble of trying to make it informative and complete. Ignorance, in this case, is ... no excuse.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-24-2009 at 07:41 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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,757
    is that a wizord in your pocket or are you happy to flash me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Guelph, Ontario
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    are the newer versions of PW smaller?
    i have me one of these: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=150342668007

    it's especially for the Sony hotshoe mount and works very well!
    Canon EOS 7D

    flickr
    FLUIDR

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    are the newer versions of PW smaller?
    i have me one of these: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...m=150342668007

    it's especially for the Sony hot shoe mount and works very well!

    But, only with non-SONY flashes, Elisha, from what I am reading. Look at the listing of compatible flashes ... NO SONY HVLs are listed! Those hot shoes on the receivers are only for "standard" hot shoe flashes. You would apparently need an additional FS1200 adapter for each receiver ... so you can tack on another (3x) $16, or $48 to that solution.

    The transmitter portion is just fine, but that is just half the story. The receivers need to be SONY Hot Shoe compatible, too.


    There is also the standard optical slave for the HVL-type flashes. This can be handy for mixed flash solutions.

    Slave Flash Trigger (<- click here)
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    Don't get me wrong ... nice idea ... unfortunately, it is only half done.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-24-2009 at 01:58 PM.
    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

  8. #8
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    Dec 2006
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    God's Country - Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisha82 View Post
    are the newer versions of PW smaller?
    yepp smaller and TTL compatible, (although not sure if that extends to sony ttl). but they are also getting panned for their lack of relaibility at the moment. radiopopper seems to have taken over the mantle for the preferred sysetmn of choice if you want TTL.
    D800e l V1 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l EP5 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
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  9. #9
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    Thumbs up More refined STUDIO STROBES -> wireless built in

    Calumet Photographic just released (back in March) a set of studio strobes that have the "wireless" receiver built into them. It's three years later, but that's cool.

    EDIT: To be more clear, the units are the Calumet Travelite 375R and 750R which have built in slots to accept the optional LiteLink and PocketWizard radio receiver cards, which allow you up to 300' around corners and through walls. They are multi-channeled, just like the PLUS IIs. (Click on the red links for more info)
    Last edited by DonSchap; 07-25-2009 at 10:42 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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
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    you need alot of room for studio strobes, i suppose if you got the room then they're ok but i'm not a fan. small flashes are way better imo.
    D800e l V1 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l EP5 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

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