Wireless Flash.....?

Chubster

Novice Member
I am wanting to get a flash for my Sony A500 but I am not prepared at this point to spend £300 + on one.

I have convinced myself that I need a wireless one, but do I?

I am wanting to use the flash so that I can be a bit more creative with indoor shots, but nothing complicated. I have to admit the more I read the more confused I seem to be getting. I would like the ability to be able to take the flash off the camera and for it still to fire but I could do this with a cable, no?
 
I'd spend the money on getting a proper decent quality one that you can also use on camera. It does wonders for your images and portraits etc. My nikon speedlight was a very good investment, used originally on my d70 and now also on the d7000 (although it lowlight performance is amazing so need it not as soon).

Once you got one decent one then you can get a few cheap slaves. Just my 2p
 

Chubster

Novice Member
I hear what your saying......but want (need) to explore my other options first. For instance you mention the word "slave".

Am I right in saying that I could get a "cheap slave" and use my inbuilt flash to trigger it :confused:
 

tcr4x4

Novice Member
Get something like the Nissin Di622 (not sure if they do a sony mount mind) You can use it as a slave fired from your internal flash or use on the hotshoe for a bounce flash.

I have 3 of them now, one of which is thr Mk11 and for the money they are excelent value. I dont know the sony system, but if they have an ITTL equivilent, it should also work with that.
 

Chubster

Novice Member
Oh ooh.....Cheers tcr. Quick search found this one which says its for the A700, I will ring them and see if it works with the A500

Having a quick scan of the info seems it will do everything the sony ones will at a fraction of the cost ?
 

tcr4x4

Novice Member
Having a quick scan of the info seems it will do everything the sony ones will at a fraction of the cost ?


Thats pretty much the sum of it yeah.

The Nikon equivilent is the SB600, which is double the price of one Nissin.

Two of mine are actually canon mount ones, but I only use them as off camera slaves. The Mk2 is a nikon fit which I either use on camera bounced or use it as a 3rd off camera flash fired using the commander mode on the D700 which then in turn fires the slaves.
 

Ibcus

Well-known Member
I have a Sony HVL-42AM and I love it, I was going to go for a cheaper version in my local camera shop but decided against it as it just didn't do what the Sony did.

I'm glad I went with the Sony.

You can get creative using it off camera in wireless mode.

I've often thought about getting another cheaper one to use but I've never been sure if they work with Sony's wireless mode.

One thing that always bugged me, the camera sends the flash info for exposure etc so why can't it trigger the flash that way?

There has been the odd time when I would have loved to have the flash behind a pillar or wall but couldn't because it has to see the trigger flash from the camera, it's always seemed a bit pointless to me.
 

Chubster

Novice Member
There has been the odd time when I would have loved to have the flash behind a pillar or wall but couldn't because it has to see the trigger flash from the camera, it's always seemed a bit pointless to me.

Have to admit its all very confusing....That said I am sure I have seen this done, so how would they be achieving it, Cable ?
 

tcr4x4

Novice Member
Radio triggers would be the answer for that. On the cheaper end RF602's on the expensive end, Pocket Wizards.
 

Chubster

Novice Member
Am I right in saying that if you use (say the Nissin, in this instance) off camera in wireless mode then it has to be set up manually ?
 

tcr4x4

Novice Member
Yes in some cases, but it really really simple. On the Mk1 is just 2 buttons. Set the power you want and thats it.
On the Mk2 its one button, again, set the power and off you go.

If I had a Nikon flash, then I could use wireless I-TTL and it would sort the exposure automaticly. I think the Nissin MK2 can do this also, but I havent tried it yet. Its just easier to set the camera up and then set the flash power to whatever you think is right, shoot, review and adjust if needed.
 

Chubster

Novice Member
OK.....so....let me see if I finally have got this. I could buy the nissin and attach to camera and it would work fully auto, like the way more expensive Sony ones.

If I then want to use it "off camera" but still in auto mode, I could use a "off camera cable"

Then if I want to use it somewhere the cable will not reach then I can use one of those RF602 triggers but will need to set the flash manually.

If all that is correct would the same apply to say the Jessops flash

Sorry for being such a dork :blush:
 

tcr4x4

Novice Member
As far as Im aware yes. Im pretty much a flash noob too, so I dont know all the ins and outs. Especially with Sony, as I have no experience of them at all. On higher end Nikons we have commander mode, which sends a barely visible ITTL pre flash to fire the remote flash but retain the auto settings. When you start adding third party flashes, this doesnt always work together.

The cheapest route to take would be a cheapish flash (Nissin, yongnuo etc) and a set of cheap radio triggers. This is where my knowledge starts to fail as I dont know if the triggers carry the ITTL (or equivilent data) to retain fully auto exposure.
If you want guarenteed auto on and off camera, then you might be better off buying a dedicated system flash. Ive found flash cords to be a pain in the backside, so try to avoid them if possible.
Another option is to dial down your own camera flash to minimum power and then set an of camera flash as a manual slave. The on camera flash will fire just enough to trigger the of camera, but not enough to affect the scene. Of course this way you need to set the OCF manually, but again, its really not hard. You have maybe 6 power settings from full on, to hardy anything. (cant remember the excat number off the top of my head) Start in the middle, take a shot, check your camera and adjust if needed.
 
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Chubster

Novice Member
You should get yourself a "proper" camera :D

Thanks for all your help, I think I am worrying about everything being auto too much, I realise that auto everything is a very nice thing to have but which also comes at a premium. :rolleyes:
 

tcr4x4

Novice Member
Yeah I was worried about auto to start with, but I found its so easy to set it up manually and get a more scultped and controlled look. Especially when you have two or more flashes on the go. Set them at different powers for different lighting effects instead of just everything being the same.

I'll look into these "proper" camera's, although I think Im happy with my peice of junk. :rotfl:
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
One thing that always bugged me, the camera sends the flash info for exposure etc so why can't it trigger the flash that way?

There has been the odd time when I would have loved to have the flash behind a pillar or wall but couldn't because it has to see the trigger flash from the camera, it's always seemed a bit pointless to me.

I'm perhaps misunderstanding you here or just not familiar with the Sony flash system but I'm not sure what you mean? On the Nikon and Olympus wireless flash system the camera sends a series of pulses through the onboard flash (or dedicated commander on the Nikon) to the wireless flash then triggers the flash in the same way.

John
 

Chubster

Novice Member
I'm perhaps misunderstanding you here or just not familiar with the Sony flash system but I'm not sure what you mean? On the Nikon and Olympus wireless flash system the camera sends a series of pulses through the onboard flash (or dedicated commander on the Nikon) to the wireless flash then triggers the flash in the same way.

John

I think what he means is if the slave - see im learning - is behind a pillar it cant see the pulses
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
I think what he means is if the slave - see im learning - is behind a pillar it cant see the pulses

But then it won't see the control pulses either, he's said he can't understand why the flash doesn't trigger the same way as the control information when on the wireless systems I've used, it does. Or maybe I'm reading it the wrong way?

John
 

Ibcus

Well-known Member
It's probably me that doesn't understand the wireless part.

I assumed the camera sent exposure info via wireless to the off camera flash and just triggered it with the flash pulse from the camera, and if so why need the flash pulse to fire the flash.
The flash has 2 wireless settings, CH1 and CH2
 

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
No it uses those pulses of light to both configure and activate the flash or more accurately it uses the infrared within those pulses of light to communicate with the flashes as on the Nikon system at least you can block the flash with an IR filter which stops the visible light but the flashes still work fine.

As to why they don't use a wireless radio system given the technology is widely available and cheap, the most convincing reason I've seen is that they'd have to certify the radios and it would mean they couldn't sell the equipment in countries that are more restrictive on frequency usage.

John
 

Ibcus

Well-known Member
Well, that clears that up then.

Thanks for the info, I can see the reason not to trigger by radio now.
 

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