Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?

Started Mar 17, 2010 | Discussions
KC Kennedy
Senior MemberPosts: 2,440
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Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?
Mar 17, 2010

I read that the macro light was not good so that was leaving me with the only option for mt24am which is pricey ($750), I tried looking for a minolta version and it seems to be absolutely not available anywhere. I've read some threads where people mention the minolta unit going for over $1000 which made me think that it was different from a current sony model. Is it different?

starlightmica
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Re: Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?
In reply to KC Kennedy, Mar 17, 2010

http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/twinflash.php

This flash was re-released by Sony in 2006, named “Sony Alpha Macro Twin Flash Kit HVL-MT24AM”. It is almost identical to the Minolta version, with one major difference: The controller does not have the socket for the ring flash . This means that you can not use the Sony controller and the flash tube unit of the old Minolta Ring Flash 1200AF together. This was only possible with the Minolta version, where the controller still had the ring flash socket. Sony also does not seem to offer a 72 mm adapter ring.

There is no other technical difference. And of course, the Sony version also works with Minolta's older film and digital cameras.

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KC Kennedy
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Re: Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?
In reply to starlightmica, Mar 17, 2010

Thank you. Good to know.

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WaltKnapp
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Re: Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?
In reply to KC Kennedy, Mar 17, 2010

KC Kennedy wrote:

I read that the macro light was not good so that was leaving me with the only option for mt24am which is pricey ($750), I tried looking for a minolta version and it seems to be absolutely not available anywhere. I've read some threads where people mention the minolta unit going for over $1000 which made me think that it was different from a current sony model. Is it different?

It's different.

Minolta, after bringing out the 2400 twin macro flash packaged and sold their macro flash as three units. First was the MFC-1000, macro flash controller. It had connections for either of the flash head setups. And is the only Minolta macro controller that works correctly with their or Sony's DSLRs (except for the Minolta RD-175, which worked with the older controllers as well as this one, and did OTF flash control) Minolta only produced this controller for the last few years so not that many were produced compared to the number of people that used to use the ringflash.

The 1200 macro ringflash was a ringflash that contained on the ring 4 flashtubes and 4 focus lights. The flashtubes have individual switches so you can choose the light pattern. This mounted on the end of the lens and the tubes are close to the lens. It works well with macro, including greater than 1:1 magnifications. All 1200 macro ringflash heads can connect to the MFC-1000 controller and work correctly. The 85 head from the MF days cannot due to the pin arrangement being different. So there are lots of 1200 heads around.

The 2400 macro twin flash was a set of attachments and two flash heads. It's ring attachment to the end of the lens was fairly large and placed the flash heads farther apart than the 1200 macro ringflash. This made it less desirable for macro, at short working distance the light comes from the side, but it works well for closeups. It works similar to the old DIY macro setups where we used a Y bracket to hold two small regular flashes. But it's a lot lighter and more delicate. As a result it tangles easily in brush, not a good field macro flash. The macro ringflash setup goes through brush much better and is relatively compact.

Sony reproduced the macro flash controller and 2400 twin macro heads in their twin macro setup, at first photos in Sony's catalog showed connections for both flash head sets and the only change was a Sony decal. But what people got was a controller containing only the connections for the 2400 twin macro heads. And eventually the catalog photo was changed to the true item. It cannot connect the 1200 macro ringflash heads. (Might be possible to DIY a mod to a 1200 ringflash head to plug it into the twin macro sockets, but far as I know it's not been tried)

The critically necessary MFC-1000 controller does still turn up on ebay and such sometimes. Usually with the 1200 ringflash but sometimes alone. Best prices is when it is bundled with a camera or lens and the title is about those rather than the flash.

The price of the twin macro from Sony is very similar to the Minolta price for the MFC-1000 and 2400. These macro flash have to have very fast reacting electronics to quench the flash with only extreme short durations so as to work as close as is required. The Minolta could get to as short as 1/56000th of a second, don't know on the Sony. Components to do that cost more, thus the high cost of a quality macro flash. They also sell in smaller numbers than the general purpose flashes which has an effect on price.

One of the advantages of the extreme short duration flash is that even micro vibrations are greatly suppressed. Macro shooters are finding that a lot of what they thought was diffusion blur turns out to be these vibrations. And the closer you can get the flash to the subject the shorter the duration of flash and the more vibration suppression. Use of flash in macro is replacing the old style tripod setups for a lot of work as folks learn their advantages. This is particularily true for field macro.

Walt

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RutgerO
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Re: Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?
In reply to starlightmica, Nov 7, 2011

starlightmica wrote:

There is no other technical difference. And of course, the Sony version also works with Minolta's older film and digital cameras.

Well, in fact there seem to be technical differnces: I tried the Minolta MFC-1000 and the Minolta Ring Flash on Sony SLT-A77. I was disappointed: The flash is not supported on A77 (it did not fire). They had the latest A77 firmware 1.03 installed. This version of the firmware is supposed to support the Sony Twin Flash (according to Sony's web page). My Minolta Ring Flash works fine on my KM 7D.

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steelhead3
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,934Gear list
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Re: Are Minolta 2400 and HVL-MT24AM macro twin flashes the same?
In reply to KC Kennedy, Nov 7, 2011

FYI, I tested my sigma 140 macro ring flash with my 77 and it seemed to work with the test shot. They go cheaply on amazon sometimes,; I got mine for a little more than $200.

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Sony a77 II
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