flash frustrations

Started Mar 10, 2013 | Discussions
bill vann
Senior MemberPosts: 1,164
Like?
flash frustrations
Mar 10, 2013

I almost feel trollish but bear with me, I'm not.  Have a77 and NEX7.  Was a working pro on and off forever, (flash bulbs)

I am flummoxed with the flash.  I'm handicapped, SCI, so trying to sort a system I can work with.  The NEX is great I can hold it, carry ir, struggle with the tiny contol dial, but manage it.

the glass is ho hum (kit) so got the 50 and the sigmas and YES, so may invest int he zeiss etc.

so the last thing is sorting the flash, I was/am a manual flash shooter and for Christmas was gifted with 2 58s and 1 43.  My own stuff is Lumedyne and sunpack 120s  and was Buff, always manual.

so I can put a 58 on the nex and control the others, but cannot seem to work anything off camera without a master on the camera?  am I missing something?

also, each shot does its own preflash, which I kinda get but to do the odd portrait wtf how annoying and mucho blinkers, am I missing something here?

at this point I'd get a 20 or for junk family stuff and do a manual setup with a wireless systme like quantums (still have a set)

But i feel like while we've take ten steps forward, we've gone 9 back.  read and reread but stymied.

If this is what it is, I doubt Canikon is any better so will adapt but feel like I must be missing something??

bill

Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A77
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
blue_skies
Senior MemberPosts: 7,051Gear list
Like?
Re: flash frustrations
In reply to bill vann, Mar 10, 2013

bill vann wrote:

I almost feel trollish but bear with me, I'm not. Have a77 and NEX7. Was a working pro on and off forever, (flash bulbs)

I am flummoxed with the flash. I'm handicapped, SCI, so trying to sort a system I can work with. The NEX is great I can hold it, carry ir, struggle with the tiny contol dial, but manage it.

the glass is ho hum (kit) so got the 50 and the sigmas and YES, so may invest int he zeiss etc.

so the last thing is sorting the flash, I was/am a manual flash shooter and for Christmas was gifted with 2 58s and 1 43. My own stuff is Lumedyne and sunpack 120s and was Buff, always manual.

so I can put a 58 on the nex and control the others, but cannot seem to work anything off camera without a master on the camera? am I missing something?

also, each shot does its own preflash, which I kinda get but to do the odd portrait wtf how annoying and mucho blinkers, am I missing something here?

at this point I'd get a 20 or for junk family stuff and do a manual setup with a wireless systme like quantums (still have a set)

But i feel like while we've take ten steps forward, we've gone 9 back. read and reread but stymied.

If this is what it is, I doubt Canikon is any better so will adapt but feel like I must be missing something??

bill

TTL flash sync is tricky, and still requires manual settings (flash compensation).

For fill-in flash, the popup flash will do.

For bounce flash, the native GN20 compact add on flashes will do. 20F, 20M, 20AM, dependent on socket type (5, 6 or 7).

For off camera flash, I use the CowboyStudio wireless flash trigger. It is fully manual, both on camera exposure and on flash level settings, but in my setup I can trigger 4 remote flash units.

Takes a moment to dial in, but then works great.

Only the Nex-7 can trigger one of the Sony flashes remotely, and use TTL. I have no need for this, I use the 20AM for simple stuff, and a non TTL 560 for stronger flash.

Even with TTL, the camera seldoms gets it right, and flash compensation adjustments are necessary.

In non TTL, and M mode operation, the AF still works. That is good enough for me. All other settings can be preset manually.

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony a6000 +30 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
GaryW
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,987Gear list
Like?
Re: flash frustrations
In reply to bill vann, Mar 11, 2013

bill vann wrote:...

so the last thing is sorting the flash, I was/am a manual flash shooter and for Christmas was gifted with 2 58s and 1 43. My own stuff is Lumedyne and sunpack 120s and was Buff, always manual.

so I can put a 58 on the nex and control the others, but cannot seem to work anything off camera without a master on the camera? am I missing something?

Henry did a good summary, but I'll add a few comments.  I think flash is a weak spot of the Nex, certainly for my Nex-5, but at least with the Nex-7 you can probably use the bigger flashes and get wireless flash to work?  My Sony A100 DSLR does wireless flash OK, but the Nex-5 will not.  If you have it working with the 58 on the camera, that sounds like a success story to me, but I dunno!  You could always turn down the power on the master (or block it, bounce it), to allow more light from the other flashes, if that's what you're after.

also, each shot does its own preflash, which I kinda get but to do the odd portrait wtf how annoying and mucho blinkers, am I missing something here?

TTL requires a  pre-flash so that the camera can measure the scene.  This is going to be the same with any system.

If you operate in a more manual mode, you can fine-tune the settings for your portrait setup.  I've been considering setting up a simple slave flash for such situations.  I do like the convenience of TTL, but it's not necessary.  I have a friend that just set his camera (Nikon) to manual, metered for the background, then uses flash with a gel.  He got the info from the Strobist site.

at this point I'd get a 20 or for junk family stuff and do a manual setup with a wireless systme like quantums (still have a set)

Given that the Nex does a good job at higher ISO, I think I'd be pretty happy with the 20.  I guess what bothers me, owning the Nex-5, is that I already own flashes, including a Sony, and it bugs me to have to buy another one.

But i feel like while we've take ten steps forward, we've gone 9 back. read and reread but stymied.

Since you started saying that you're a manual flash shooter, maybe you could try to get that to work?

If this is what it is, I doubt Canikon is any better so will adapt but feel like I must be missing something??

The DSLRs will work better, even Sony's, but it seems like you should be able to get something to work for  the Nex-7 -- certainly a lot easier than I can with my lowly Nex-5!

bill

-- hide signature --

Gary W.

 GaryW's gear list:GaryW's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 +12 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
seachicken2000
Senior MemberPosts: 2,682Gear list
Like?
Re: flash frustrations
In reply to bill vann, Mar 11, 2013

bill vann wrote:

so I can put a 58 on the nex and control the others, but cannot seem to work anything off camera without a master on the camera? am I missing something?

This is unfortunately the way it works with the NEX-7. You can't control slaves with the built-in flash.

  • Adding a small HVL-F20AM might be a good option, as this can act as a master.
  • Another option is the Pixel king wireless trigger. This works in TTL for me, but I have issues with HSS on my old Minolta flash. I remember reading that others have had more luck with other flashes.
  • Another option is a good old fashioned TTL cable.

also, each shot does its own preflash, which I kinda get but to do the odd portrait wtf how annoying and mucho blinkers, am I missing something here?

I agree, and I tend to just work with flash on manual power a lot of the time. TTL is cool, but manual flash isn't so hard to handle unless you are in a hurry.

I think the flash system needs an update. I'd like to see Sony do away with the optical control system, and replace it with an RF system like Canon's.

-- hide signature --

"The only thing that gets in the way of a really good photograph, is the camera"
Norman Parkinson

 seachicken2000's gear list:seachicken2000's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 Fujifilm FinePix S2 Pro Sony Alpha NEX-5 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha 7R +17 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads