How much light does CNTL flash "spill" into scene?

Started Jan 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
William Porter
OP William Porter Senior Member • Posts: 1,730
Sony control flash CAN be master as well

robert614 wrote:

Actually,I may have led you astray.I was just reading my F60 manual.It says that if you turn the ratio setting "off" completely, then the control flash will only emit a control flash signal and not contribute any light to the picture. If ratio is turned on,then you can adjust the amount of light the control flash and each remote flash will contribute to the final picture. I would imagine the f58 and the f43 would function the same.Sorry for the misinformation.


No need to apologize to me, especially after the confusion I've sewn in this thread! And your points sent me back to the ratio control feature to learn more about it, and I see it works reasonably well — better than I thought. If it weren't for the flash delay problem on the A99, I think it would be quite satisfactory, in fact.

And this was news to me: the Sony hot-shoe flash in wireless mode CAN be used as a "master" and not just as a controller. So I've learned even more than I hoped to in this thread.

I've said before in this forum — in my ignorance — that there was a difference between the Sony and Pentax systems in the fact that the Pentax hot-shoe flash in a wireless setup can be configured either as control (just a triggering flash) or "master" (triggering flash that then also contributes light to the picture), and I said Sony couldn't do that. I was wrong about that, too, and I wish I could find the places where I stated that error and fix 'em.

It's just that Sony doesn't do it in the obvious way that Pentax did. Now at least at the time I was using it about three years ago, the Pentax system didn't do ratio control. So in the Pentax system, you went into the camera menus — or maybe it was the flash unit menu, I can't recall — and you had a choice of master or controller and you made your choice. As I say, it was obvious that it could work in these two different ways.

Sony's top-level choice is: ratio control or no.  If you choose no ratio control (ratio control off — a setting on the control flash) then the control flash doesn't contribute to the lighting of the scene. But if you choose ratio control on, then you get a second level of options, where you can set the control flash to contribute, or not contribute, and if you set it to contribute, you can even set its relative power to 1, 2, 4 or 8. "Not contribute" is what I'm calling the "--" setting in the ratios.

I just did some quick tests here and it works great. I am going to work with it now. Who knows, I may start pulling away from using manual flash and step into the twenty-first century. Not next week, mind you, but sometime soon.


 William Porter's gear list:William Porter's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +10 more
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