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Old Dec 22, 2007, 3:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 9


Got it figured out. The flash needs to be in the M mode NOT TTL - DUH!!

Sony 56 Flash
2 old Spiralite Slaves (Model 600)
2 old Spiralite slavemates
1 silver umbrella
1 white umbrella

I'm playing around with this old ameteur studio stuff. I understand placement, angles, etc...The strobes are working.

If I set up an umbrella and 2 of the cheap slaves off to one side and shoot with the camera in 'fill-flash' mode aperature priority, I get a decent exposure.

BUT - If I set up the Sony 56 flash (wireless mode) with the other umbrella, off to the other side (one setup on each side) I get MAJOR underexposure!

If I place the flash and a couple of cheap slaves within the same umbrella (one setup), I get MAJOR underexposure!

Pulling my hair out. I'm attempting to rig an inexpensive setup with a couple of umbrellas, 4 cheap slaves and the new Sony 56 Flash.

What the heck am I doing wrong or missing?

Thanks for your patience - Ponz
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Old Dec 22, 2007, 5:16 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,367

It's probably a preflash causing your issues.

Unless you are using manual power settings, a preflash is used to determine the length of the main flash burst needed. This preflash occurs just before the mirror flips out of the way for the main flash.

The problem is that optical slaves are going to fire on this metering preflash and won't contribute anything to the actual exposure.

Using manual power settings is one way around it. Another way around it is to use slave triggers designed to ignore a preflash. Wein makes a "Digital Aware" slave trigger that is designed to ignore preflashs. They run $79.95 a 3 pack at B&H (or $34.95 each).

Wein Digital Peanut Slave Triggers

You could also use a radio trigger (either via a PC Sync Cord connection or via an FS-1100 Equivalent Adapter to give your camera an ISO standard shoe.

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Old Dec 22, 2007, 8:52 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 22

Well Jim, the 56 it manual mode seems to be doing the trick!

Let me see if I understand the peanut correctly. It seems to plug into a camera flash with an appropriate voltage (in order to fire it). If that's the case, won't the on-board camera flash still trigger any nearby slaves; even though the peanut is plugged into the 56 or similar flash gun?
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Old Dec 23, 2007, 9:19 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,367

If you wanted to use a mode that has a preflash, you'd need to use a separate digital aware trigger via PC Sync Cord on every slave, instead of their built in slave triggers (which would need to be disabled or covered).

An easier way would be to use manual power settings to eliminate the preflash
Radio Triggers are another way to go (use a transmitter in an FS-1100 adapter or via PC Sync Cord connection at the camera, with a radio receiver to trigger slaves).

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