A7/A7R + Sunpak (sony compatible) flash + adapter--works in ttl, fails in auto

Started Feb 21, 2014 | Discussions
TekGuy22 New Member • Posts: 2
A7/A7R + Sunpak (sony compatible) flash + adapter--works in ttl, fails in auto

Anyone have experience with 3rd-party Sony/Minolta-compatible flashes (auto-lock shoe) used with the Multi-interface shoe adapter? I wanted something smaller than sony's 43M and chose a Sunpak PZ42X. Similar specs but lighter/smaller than the sony. It works as expected in TTL mode (which is great) but fails to fire when the flash is in manual mode. Very strange. I can see that the camera expects the flash to fire, because I can see the expected exposure on-screen--the display is dark when the flash is powered off and brightens to show the effect of flash when flash is powered on. This is consistent with the flash in either TTL or Manual mode, it simply fails to fire in manual mode no matter what setting the camera is on (M,A,P, etc). So I'm wondering--

Has anyone had success with other 3rd party flashes in this setup? Any issues with manual or TTL mode?

(FYI, I talked to a Sunpak rep in the US. They were unaware of issues, but also unaware that Sony had a new MI shoe (!). She did mention that Sunpak has some other Nikon flashes that have the same issue--work in TTL mode but not in manual. Strange... but I'm left to wonder-- is there something wrong with the camera? Something wrong with the flash? or is it working as expected?)

By the way, yes, I realize this solution may be less than optimal, and Sunpak may not make the greatest flash; but Sony has a limited range of flashes, and no 3rd party flashes for MI shoe as of yet.

Sony a7
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icycool123 Regular Member • Posts: 167
Re: A7/A7R + Sunpak (sony compatible) flash + adapter--works in ttl, fails in auto

I've experience with 3rd party flashes and the  new hotshoe. I use a metz 58 af-2 which i've purchased when i first received my nex 7. It works great both with my a99 and sony a7. No problems in manual mode. In ttl mode though, it requires  a flash compensation of +1.7 in order to expose properly. It also worked with my pixel king wireless trigger straight out of the box. Whereas for my sony hvl 60m, i needed to update the wireless triggers in order for the flash to work properly with it at all. With the new hotshoe though, my metz is now my spare flash as i prefer to work without using adapters and I use my flash on camera most of the time. If you only want to use manual mode, do try out metz or even yongnuo seems to have a good reputation with sony.

As for your issue with the sunpak flash, I suspect it has nothing to do with the compatibility of the adapter rather its more an issue with the flash itself. I say this as you mentioned that the person you talked to say that this is an issue with some nikons as well. As as alternative, why not try the sony hvl 43m. A little more pricy compared to 3rd party flashes. But you do gain a lot for the price you pay. No need for adapters. With a bounce card taped behind the flash, the bounce card will always be facing forward even in portrait mode due to the ability of the flash to swivel. This is great for on camera work.

OP TekGuy22 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: A7/A7R + Sunpak (sony compatible) flash + adapter--works in ttl, fails in auto

Thanks for the info. May end up exchanging this for something like the Metz that can operate in manual. I like the Sunpak, though, and it's working well ttl, which is definitely a plus.

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