Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

Started Apr 7, 2010 | Discussions
John A Wake Regular Member • Posts: 379
Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

How much would you pay for one that was new in the box?

John

 John A Wake's gear list:John A Wake's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha a99 Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II +8 more
Robert Lynch Senior Member • Posts: 1,765
Re: Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

John A Wake wrote:

How much would you pay for one that was new in the box?

John

Well, I have two, so I suspect that I wouldn't pay much, but you should expect to get at least $700 for it on eBay probably $800-$900.

WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

John A Wake wrote:

How much would you pay for one that was new in the box?

I have three, two of which are still working perfectly, one that's gotten a little flaky. Recently on a ebay auction for another I stopped bidding at $700. Which, BTW, is a fair bit over their original list price.

Walt

sulhan Contributing Member • Posts: 654
Since you guys are at it....

I deeply and seriously need one....as I have the twin lights without the controller....cry cry... :o(...

If anyone of you willing to let it go at a reasonable price...do let me know..

rgds,
Sulhan

OldClicker Senior Member • Posts: 2,322
Re: Since you guys are at it....

sulhan wrote:

I deeply and seriously need one....as I have the twin lights without the controller....cry cry... :o(...

If anyone of you willing to let it go at a reasonable price...do let me know..

rgds,
Sulhan

Won't the current Sony controller work with the twin flash? I would think it would be cheaper - the whole twin flash kit is $750. - TF

OldClicker Senior Member • Posts: 2,322
Re: Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

I paid $605 shipped including the twin flash. A controller alone in a box went for just over $1000 a couple of weeks ago on ebay. - TF

Glenn Veteran Member • Posts: 7,894
Re: Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

My budjet for a working ringflash is only 500 bucks and i'll not go over that. I do have a ring that will work so I suppose i'd pay 500 for the controller alone. These are however going on e-bay for up to 1200 bucks
--
http://www.fotosource.com/downloads/flyer/eye_cancer_en_CA.pdf

Glenn Veteran Member • Posts: 7,894
Re: Since you guys are at it....

Boy I'd like to see you get one so you could review it on your site.

On a side note I certainly respect you a lot more than some others for not promoting your site on DPR and doiing all this attentions seeking stuff. so i'll do iit for you where I can.

http://www.alphastrobist.com/

Your learning site is a great resource too I sent a friend there just yesterday
--
http://www.fotosource.com/downloads/flyer/eye_cancer_en_CA.pdf

WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Since you guys are at it....

OldClicker wrote:

Won't the current Sony controller work with the twin flash? I would think it would be cheaper - the whole twin flash kit is $750. - TF

Twin macro flash, yes, Macro ringflash, no. Sony took the MFC-1000 and removed the connector for the 1200 series Macro ringflash from it with no other apparent changes. So instead of being part of a two flash system it became just for the Twin macro flash.

Here is the Minolta 1200 macro ringflash, Minolta MFC-1000 controller and Minolta 100mm D macro mounted on my a700. The two rubber plugs in the controller below the macro ringflash connector are the connectors for the 2400 twin macro heads. My most used macro setup (normally used handheld):

The Twin macro flash is made of lots of spindley pieces, a difficult flash for field use. The 1200 macro ringflash is essentially one piece so can be carted through really thick brush. Even in the middle of the night as I'm often doing.

The twin macro flash also has a large central adapter which limits how close to center the two flashes can be mounted. And that's a problem with close working distances like macro. You end up with the light coming from too far off to the side. The twin macro is better suited to the longer working distance of closeups than macro as a result.

Note that Pete Ganzel does make some modified central adapters that will mount the twin heads closer to center, which is a make do solution, though not the same thing as the 1200 macro ringflash. And, of course adds cost.

I have two sets of the 2400 twin macro heads, quite a few of the 1200 macro ringflash heads. And as mentioned, three of the Minolta MFC-1000 controllers that run either head set. I also have the 72mm adapters for each head for using them on the 200mm f4 Minolta G macro lens.

I have considered getting one of the Sony twin macro setups and taking apart the controller to see if it's posssible to add the connector back in. Or alternatively modifying a 1200 macro ringflash to the two connectors of the twin macro and seeing if that can be made to work with proper TTL exposure control. (that would require the connector/cables from the twin macro, but Sony does not sell those separately from the flash heads. It's a lot of money to spend on what's at this point just trying to help others as I have working flash.

And yes I do keep reminding Sony about this problem. Their LED ring light brought over from P&S is not a substitute for a proper macro ringflash. And as noted even though I have three controllers, one is beginning to fail, they won't last forever.

I also investigate about third party options. The Minolta ringflash is one of the best designs around and so far the third party stuff does not live up to that.

I'm also investigating fiber optic ring setups which would get their light from a standard external flash like the 58. So far nothing I've tried has worked well.

Walt

WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

Glenn wrote:

My budjet for a working ringflash is only 500 bucks and i'll not go over that. I do have a ring that will work so I suppose i'd pay 500 for the controller alone. These are however going on e-bay for up to 1200 bucks

Any one of the various 1200 series macro ringflash heads will work with the controller.

The Minolta macro ringflash was first brought out during the MF days, series 80. (note the 80 series ringflash head looks the same but the connector is different so incompatable) Once Minolta came out with AF they switched to the 1200 designator for it and changed the connector. And the controller went through a few changes like when Minolta changed flash shoes. All of these were designed for TTL OTF exposure control so were not suitable for digital except for the RD-175 DSLR which did TTL OTF with it's three CCDs.

Not a long way before they quit Minolta brought out the 2400 twin macroflash head kit. And the MFC-1000 controller to work with both head systems. Only one controller needed for both types of macro flash. choose either or both head systems. That controller can do TTL OTF with some Minolta film SLRs, but also does preflash TTL with the DSLRs. None of the earlier controllers can do preflash TTL.

Because the MFC-1000 only existed in the Minolta system for a few years there were not that many of them made. Minolta did not even get the parts pipeline filled for them before the end. So there are many, many 1200 ringflash heads in need of the controller. And lots and lots of macro shooters that want a functioning ringflash. Thus the climbing prices for the controller. And if Sony needed any indication of demand it's there.

Walt

OP John A Wake Regular Member • Posts: 379
Re: Minolta MFC-1000 macro controller

Just had the one I tracked down in Germany, delivered. Paid £284 for it. Will go nicely with the older 1200AF ring flash I got off Ebay.

I'm well chuffed at the price.

John

 John A Wake's gear list:John A Wake's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha a99 Sony 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM Canon Pixma Pro9500 Mark II +8 more
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