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Thread: Sony flash help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad CA
    Posts
    523

    Sony flash help

    Im
    A) Poor and
    B) A noob
    I need a cheap flash setup for my sony a300 around 150-200 bucks.

    the Bower SFD926S has good reviews and fits in price range but I need to use it off camera also, Does anyone know if I can and if so what I need?
    sony A300
    tamron 17-50 2.8
    Sony SAL 11-18
    Sony 35 1.8

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    2,204
    HVL-F42AM is a good, fully-featured budget flash.
    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
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    The old maxuum minolta flashes work...just not full function...around 20-50 bucks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, SC
    Posts
    145
    yes, some of the old Maxxum Flashes work, but it would be nicer if you mentioned which ones work, and what functions you can loose. I don't know or I would post that info. Someone will, hopefully, jump in here with some educated info soon.
    Joe Holmes
    Sony α550
    Sony HVL-F42AM Flash
    Sony DT18-55 F3.5-5.6 (Kit Lens)
    Minolta Maxxum 50 1:1.7(22) Prime
    Minolta 35-70 F4 (Mini Beercan)
    Minolta 70-210 F4 (Beercan)
    Minolta 28-135 F4-4.5 (This beast is pretty heavy)
    Minolta Maxxum 100-200 F4.5
    Quantaray D28-90 1:3.5-5.6 Ver 5
    Tamron DiII 55-200 1:4.5-6

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    Ok Joe, muggins here will bite.

    In decending order of desirability..
    Minolta 5600HS(D) If you can find one of these, great. It is identical to the Sony HVL-F56AM
    Minolta 5400HS There is no ADI information (so TTL only + manual) and HSS is not available in wireless mode.
    Minolta 5400xi There is no ADI information and HSS is not available at all.

    These are powerful flashes with Guide Numbers of 54 and 56 (surprise, surprise)
    All three flashes have manual zoom heads (no auto), act as controllers and also work as remote flashes.
    Ratio control is not as sophisticated as the Sony 56AM but provides 1/3 from the controller 2/3 from rest of group.
    None of them pass WB information back to the camera.
    The latter two could be pretty old so make sure thay are fully working and don't pay much.

    Minolta 3600HS(D) Another good buy in a lower powered unit (GN 36). It is identical to the Sony HVL-F36AM.
    ADI inf, HSS in wireless mode as well, good on camera and as a remote flash but can't provide controller funcions.

    There's a lot more Minolta flashes out there but most won't act as remotes so have limited use.
    Of course you could use remote triggers in which case they make cheap manual alternatives.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad CA
    Posts
    523
    I would just be using it for some portraits is all.
    I want to tho be able to hold it off camera also. That part of the flash game im lost with
    sony A300
    tamron 17-50 2.8
    Sony SAL 11-18
    Sony 35 1.8

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    you can run a wire to it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    I've never found that cheap works in the long run and for every positive comment about Bower units you'll find a negative.
    What I know about units other than Minolta you can write on the back of a fag packet but I assume that you've done your homework and found the Bowens unit to be compatible and you're happy with the GN.
    The main questions are..
    Is there a full auto mode with TTL metering?
    Will it trigger from the pop up flash of your A300?
    Can you adjust the power levels in manual mode?

    TTL metering is pretty useful for a flash newbie and will give good results straight off especially when not in a studio.
    Minolta flashes also provide TTL in wireless remote mode where the camera can curtail the flash output as well as trigger it (hopefully so does the Bowens).
    I would forget about ADI flash as the A300 lacks AF/DMF and the flash needs to point straight ahead anyway.
    Better not to have the flash on camera unless you're bouncing the output.
    That requires a flash that swivels and it can be helpful to have a flash bracket.
    A300 also lacks PC sync so no cable unless you use a Sony FA-CS1AM ($39).

    Manual flash is another matter; there's steep learning curve but the results are more controllable in a Studio type environment.
    You can then use an inexpensive off camera flash units with Transmitter/Receivers like a Cactus V4.
    Or an Optical Slave triggered by your popup flash.

    Bounced flash is effectively a diffuser using the wall/ceiling/other reflector as a much larger light source.
    Bouncing requires a wider aperture and/or more power (remember the inverse square law).
    Direct flash requires a dedicated diffuser, umbrella, soft box ...whatever.

    This is a bit disjointed as I'm just jotting stuff down as I think of it.

    Suggest you have a bid on this
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-Program-...item35ad460744

    or this
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Minolta-Program-...item53e43fa774

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,760
    yup those work great...adjustable light full down to 1/32.....adjustable width per lens...swivel...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Carlsbad CA
    Posts
    523
    Will i need any adapters for the 5400HS?
    sony A300
    tamron 17-50 2.8
    Sony SAL 11-18
    Sony 35 1.8

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