How to shoot with manual lenses on the A7/r?

Started Jan 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
nspur Senior Member • Posts: 1,041
Re: How to shoot with manual lenses on the A7/r?

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Using Flash with MF lenses

If you use your (no-electronics) MF lens wide open, focusing and using a flash is quite straightforward. When a Sony flash (HVL-F20M, for example) is attached, even when exposure simulation is switched on (Live View Display Setting Effect ON), the A7 will not change the display brightness when the shutter speed or ISO is changed, which is very handy, and smart. With an MF lens and a flash you'd better manually control the ISO, since Auto ISO would ignore the extra light coming from the flash when the picture is actually taken. This is a severe limitation of using pure, old, legacy MF lenses: fully automated (TTL) flash exposure calculation is not applicable. Practically, the flash power (with flash compensation setting for Sony lenses) should be manually set. On a non-Sony flash (Yongnuo YN 560 III, for example) the light power is manually set to the full or a fraction of the full light power. For a Youngnuo even the focus length can be set on the flash body. With the simple HVL-F20M this is not possible. Definitely, "manual flash photography" requires quite an experimenting and practicing, which is anyway very handy for acquiring creative flash techniques.


I decided to get a little Metz 20 C-2. It's a manual flash with a GN of 20 at ISO 100, 28 at 200, 40 at 400. You can set automatic metering at apertures of f2.8 and f5.6. There's a handy table printed on the back of the flash. Automatic mode runs from maximum distance of 8 feet at ISO 50 and f5.6 to 46 feet at ISO 400 and f2.8. Use shutter-priority at 1/200, ISO to the required setting and set Live View Display to Setting Effect OFF. I find this works well. If you tilt the reflector up (for bounce perhaps) you will have to adjust the aperture. For an entirely manual flash I agree that the Yongnuo 560 is a good choice.

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Nick Spurrier

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