remote flash options with NEX-6/7

Started Jun 16, 2013 | Discussions
wictred
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remote flash options with NEX-6/7
Jun 16, 2013

Hi

I'd like to replace my NEX-5N with a more versatile camera for flash photography. The HVL-F20S is not an option, as I'm considering a new hot shoe camera at some point in time anyway.

So I'd either get me a NEX-6 or a NEX-7 or - if it's really an improved version - even a NEX-7w ("whatever") and a Sony flash.

I would also like to be able to use remote flash triggers with the Sony flash (probably the HVL-F43AM) and get me additional flashes later on. Either third party or another Sony flash so I could use both as remote flashes via the trigger - or put one directly on the camera, without an additional trigger, and use the second one as slave.

After looking in various blogs, forums etc I still don't know if there are any triggers that really work properly.

Does anyone know which triggers really work, without any DIY modifications or syncing flashes with the camera body before you can use them etc etc.

Any recommendations?

Thanks

 wictred's gear list:wictred's gear list
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Frag01
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 16, 2013

I've been using some Cactus Series 5 triggers with my NEX-7 and HVL-43AM flash with appropriate adapters. Seems to be working quite well.

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skrichten
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 16, 2013

I tried the Cactus V4's on my Nex 6 but they didn't work properly... probably got a defective unit and I've seen other's complain of the same problem I had.

So I ended up getting this set...

'http://www.adorama.com/PHARWFTS.html

... and these are working very well so far.  Very handy that they use AA batteries but it does make them a bit bulky.

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CLKAMG
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 17, 2013

wictred wrote:

Hi

I'd like to replace my NEX-5N with a more versatile camera for flash photography. The HVL-F20S is not an option, as I'm considering a new hot shoe camera at some point in time anyway.

So I'd either get me a NEX-6 or a NEX-7 or - if it's really an improved version - even a NEX-7w ("whatever") and a Sony flash.

I would also like to be able to use remote flash triggers with the Sony flash (probably the HVL-F43AM) and get me additional flashes later on. Either third party or another Sony flash so I could use both as remote flashes via the trigger - or put one directly on the camera, without an additional trigger, and use the second one as slave.

After looking in various blogs, forums etc I still don't know if there are any triggers that really work properly.

Does anyone know which triggers really work, without any DIY modifications or syncing flashes with the camera body before you can use them etc etc.

Any recommendations?

Thanks

NEX 7 has older hot shoe not compatible with HVL F60M

NEX 6 is compatible with the new HVL F60M and you can use the $150 HVL F20M mini flash as a wireless trigger i believe.

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dannytang
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to CLKAMG, Jun 17, 2013

CLKAMG wrote:

wictred wrote:

Hi

I'd like to replace my NEX-5N with a more versatile camera for flash photography. The HVL-F20S is not an option, as I'm considering a new hot shoe camera at some point in time anyway.

So I'd either get me a NEX-6 or a NEX-7 or - if it's really an improved version - even a NEX-7w ("whatever") and a Sony flash.

I would also like to be able to use remote flash triggers with the Sony flash (probably the HVL-F43AM) and get me additional flashes later on. Either third party or another Sony flash so I could use both as remote flashes via the trigger - or put one directly on the camera, without an additional trigger, and use the second one as slave.

After looking in various blogs, forums etc I still don't know if there are any triggers that really work properly.

Does anyone know which triggers really work, without any DIY modifications or syncing flashes with the camera body before you can use them etc etc.

Any recommendations?

Thanks

NEX 7 has older hot shoe not compatible with HVL F60M

NEX 6 is compatible with the new HVL F60M and you can use the $150 HVL F20M mini flash as a wireless trigger i believe.

If's i'm not mistaken, the HVLF60M comes with an adapter so you can use it with the older hot shoe.

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wictred
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to CLKAMG, Jun 17, 2013

CLKAMG wrote:

NEX 6 is compatible with the new HVL F60M and you can use the $150 HVL F20M mini flash as a wireless trigger i believe.

The HVL-F20M would be an option, yes. But I'd also like to trigger 1 or 2 flases without a flash on camera (but not always).

So maybe an HVL-F20M + HVL-F43AM + a set of triggers would do it.

But for now I'll just wait for the NEX-7 successor announcement before buying anything. I wouldn't count on it, but if Sony should decide to put a wireless flash trigger into the body (like Oly with the OM-D) then there's no need for triggers and I'd just wait for the new camera to hit the shelves.

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dannytang
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 17, 2013

wictred wrote:

CLKAMG wrote:

NEX 6 is compatible with the new HVL F60M and you can use the $150 HVL F20M mini flash as a wireless trigger i believe.

The HVL-F20M would be an option, yes. But I'd also like to trigger 1 or 2 flases without a flash on camera (but not always).

So maybe an HVL-F20M + HVL-F43AM + a set of triggers would do it.

But for now I'll just wait for the NEX-7 successor announcement before buying anything. I wouldn't count on it, but if Sony should decide to put a wireless flash trigger into the body (like Oly with the OM-D) then there's no need for triggers and I'd just wait for the new camera to hit the shelves.

Don't get your hopes up, the flagship A99 doesn't even have a wireless controller built-in, I don't see why Sony would put one in an NEX when they've chosen to omit it on their full frame Alpha camera. IMO, Sony wants us all to buy the HVL-F20M as controllers and then HVL-F60M and whatever the replacement for the HVL-F43AM will be as remote flashes. I mean, why spend a few dollars putting in a feature when you can charge the customers who want to use it $150 for it.

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wictred
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to dannytang, Jun 17, 2013

dannytang wrote:

IMO, Sony wants us all to buy the HVL-F20M as controllers and then HVL-F60M and whatever the replacement for the HVL-F43AM will be as remote flashes. I mean, why spend a few dollars putting in a feature when you can charge the customers who want to use it $150 for it.

Actually it's not so bad, because you get an extra flash for the camera and won't need extra senders/receivers. It's infrared though and not radio...

Do you know if the HVL-F20M can be turned off but still be used as a trigger?

But anyway, apart from the hot shoe the NEX-6 is not really a big step forward, so I'm eyeing the NEX-7 or the successor, depending on how much the NEX-7 price will drop once the successor is released. I would prefer ISO hot shoe, but if I can get a Sony flash and some kind of trigger for the price difference between NEX-7 and NEX-7x, then I'll stick to the old one for now.

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Bart Hickman
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Metz 52 or 58
In reply to wictred, Jun 17, 2013

The Metz flashes have the ability to trigger off the camera's built-in flash using what they call servo mode.

With the 52 AF-1, you'll just get manual flash.  With the 58 AF-2, you'll get auto-flash (thyrister built into the flash head), but you'd have to manually tell the flash your camera settings of course.

If you're doing studio portrait work, you probably want manual flash anyway to avoid subjects blinking.

Bart

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santiclaws
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 17, 2013

wictred wrote:

Do you know if the HVL-F20M can be turned off but still be used as a trigger?

The F20AM cannot, so I would assume this would also be true of the M. As far as I know, no Sony flash has that capability in the Alpha line either.

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dannytang
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 17, 2013

wictred wrote:

dannytang wrote:

IMO, Sony wants us all to buy the HVL-F20M as controllers and then HVL-F60M and whatever the replacement for the HVL-F43AM will be as remote flashes. I mean, why spend a few dollars putting in a feature when you can charge the customers who want to use it $150 for it.

Do you know if the HVL-F20M can be turned off but still be used as a trigger?

If your intention is so that the HVL-F20M mounted on the camera doesn't affect the exposure, then this mod  for the HVL-F20AM by Gary Friedman may be worth looking into. I know it was designed for the HVL-F20AM, but I really doubt much, if any, of the internal design has changed between the two models; most likely Sony only changed the shoe on the flash and gave it a new model number.

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Bart Hickman
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to dannytang, Jun 18, 2013

dannytang wrote:

wictred wrote:

CLKAMG wrote:

NEX 6 is compatible with the new HVL F60M and you can use the $150 HVL F20M mini flash as a wireless trigger i believe.

The HVL-F20M would be an option, yes. But I'd also like to trigger 1 or 2 flases without a flash on camera (but not always).

So maybe an HVL-F20M + HVL-F43AM + a set of triggers would do it.

But for now I'll just wait for the NEX-7 successor announcement before buying anything. I wouldn't count on it, but if Sony should decide to put a wireless flash trigger into the body (like Oly with the OM-D) then there's no need for triggers and I'd just wait for the new camera to hit the shelves.

Don't get your hopes up, the flagship A99 doesn't even have a wireless controller built-in, I don't see why Sony would put one in an NEX when they've chosen to omit it on their full frame Alpha camera. IMO, Sony wants us all to buy the HVL-F20M as controllers and then HVL-F60M and whatever the replacement for the HVL-F43AM will be as remote flashes. I mean, why spend a few dollars putting in a feature when you can charge the customers who want to use it $150 for it.

Given that the Oly OMD and Pany GH3 have added built-in wireless control, I would consider this feature likely to appear in the near future on at least top-of-the-line NEX bodies if not the mid-range like the NEX-6 (or its successor).  
They would add it because it allows one to have a more compact system. In fact, if they want people to bother forking over the extra money for an NEX-7 successor, they need to add differentiating features like this IMO (they probably also need to add manual flash to the pop-up flash as well.)

FWIW, none of the Canon top-of-the-line DSLR's have built-in controller either (and I'm fairly sure the Nikon D4 lacks one as well.)

Bart

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JoeyCF3
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 18, 2013

Read my thread here for a nice setup:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3500264

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wictred
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to JoeyCF3, Jun 18, 2013

JoeyCF3 wrote:

Read my thread here for a nice setup:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3500264

Thanks, maybe I'll go for something like that for now.

Then Yongnuo 602 (and 603, I'll probably get that one) are advertised as "for Canon", "for Nikon" - is there any difference, or is it just the supplied release cable which is specific for the camera model (and which I won't need anyway)?

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JoeyCF3
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 18, 2013

wictred wrote:

JoeyCF3 wrote:

Read my thread here for a nice setup:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3500264

Thanks, maybe I'll go for something like that for now.

Then Yongnuo 602 (and 603, I'll probably get that one) are advertised as "for Canon", "for Nikon" - is there any difference, or is it just the supplied release cable which is specific for the camera model (and which I won't need anyway)?

I don't think it matters which brand it's compatible to since the JJC hot shoe adapters for Sony NEX only use the centre contact spot. At least, this is the case with my NEX-5R.

Note the center contact (X). It's used for triggering.

Now, with the setup that I plan to use for my NEX, I will only be able to use Manual mode in flash (no TTL). There may be a better solution for the NEX-6, if you truly need TTL.

As for the 602 vs the 603, I ended up ordering the 602 because I read that it was better in some aspect... not sure what that was.. but a trigger is a trigger

I'll be posting a review/demo as soon as I get all of my equipment from Hong Kong!

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wictred
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to JoeyCF3, Jun 18, 2013

JoeyCF3 wrote:

As for the 602 vs the 603, I ended up ordering the 602 because I read that it was better in some aspect... not sure what that was.. but a trigger is a trigger

Apparently the 603 does not work on Sony cameras. You have to modify it a bit with a resistor, there are vids on youtube.

I've ordered the Phottix Ares now, and will give it a try with the NEX-5N and a hotshoe adapter. I can still upgrade to a NEX-6 or 7 later on.

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seachicken2000
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 18, 2013

I use the Pixel king radio triggers. They don't fully support the NEX-7 (perhaps they never will), for example HSS doesn't work consistently, but TTL is working. They don't have the lag that triggering the flash optically will incur, and they also have a long range and don't get blocked by light modifiers etc.

I use them together with an old Minolta 5600HD D flash, this is fairly powerful, has lots of features, and can be found second hand for a lot less than the modern Sony flashes. On the flipside I guess it will be obsoleted more quickly.

I also use a longish TTL cable when I need HSS, or only need the flash a meter or two from the camera.

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JoeyCF3
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to wictred, Jun 18, 2013

wictred wrote:

JoeyCF3 wrote:

As for the 602 vs the 603, I ended up ordering the 602 because I read that it was better in some aspect... not sure what that was.. but a trigger is a trigger

Apparently the 603 does not work on Sony cameras. You have to modify it a bit with a resistor, there are vids on youtube.

I've ordered the Phottix Ares now, and will give it a try with the NEX-5N and a hotshoe adapter. I can still upgrade to a NEX-6 or 7 later on.

Maybe that's what I read? I'm sure that the Phottix will work fine. I plan on upgrading to the NEX-7 next. But I might wait to see if a new version of the NEX is released first.

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dannytang
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to JoeyCF3, Jun 18, 2013

JoeyCF3 wrote:

As for the 602 vs the 603, I ended up ordering the 602 because I read that it was better in some aspect... not sure what that was.. but a trigger is a trigger

I'm still deciding on which set to get, but here's my assessment.

I think the downside to the 603 is that it needs to be modded with a 120kohm resistor. However, the 603 units are transceivers so you can use them interchangeably (granted only the the modded unit will work as as a transmitter) and all the units use AAA batteries.

The 602 doesn't need to be modded, but the units are function specific, they're either receiver or transmitter. Perhaps the biggest downside to me is that the transmitter uses a CR2 battery which aren't rechargeable and would probably be more expensive and harder to find depending where you are.

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JoeyCF3
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Re: remote flash options with NEX-6/7
In reply to dannytang, Jun 18, 2013

dannytang wrote:

JoeyCF3 wrote:

As for the 602 vs the 603, I ended up ordering the 602 because I read that it was better in some aspect... not sure what that was.. but a trigger is a trigger

I'm still deciding on which set to get, but here's my assessment.

I think the downside to the 603 is that it needs to be modded with a 120kohm resistor. However, the 603 units are transceivers so you can use them interchangeably (granted only the the modded unit will work as as a transmitter) and all the units use AAA batteries.

The 602 doesn't need to be modded, but the units are function specific, they're either receiver or transmitter. Perhaps the biggest downside to me is that the transmitter uses a CR2 battery which aren't rechargeable and would probably be more expensive and harder to find depending where you are.

How about 5 CR2s for $5.90 and free shipping? I did my research (because I knew that CR2s were expensive) and I found a great deal at DX. I order from them all the time!

Here's the link: http://dx.com/p/panasonic-cr2-5-pack-904

Locally, these sell for 31.00 for a 2 pack (Duracell). Don't get ripped off!

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