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JimC Jun 10, 2008 7:12 AM

shmeldrick wrote:

so does that mean I use manual mode, Put in the aperture and iso settings on the camera and then on the flash to match. Then I put the maximum shutter speed (I think it's 1/1000) and the flash stays on for as long as it needs? (sorry for all the questions but I have never used an external flash, never mind one like this!)
Your shutter speed must be 1/180 second or *slower* (provided you have stablization turned off), or 1/125 or *slower* if stablization is turned on.

You can't use anything faster (if you tried to use 1/1000, you would not get any light from the flash at all (other than perhaps a thin band of light on the image), even though it's firing, because of the way shutter curtains work (never exposing the entire frame to the flash at the same time at shutter speeds faster than the camera's x-sync speed).

You'd probaby want to set the camera at around ISO 200, f/5.6 and 1/100 second for starters, using the same ISO speed and aperture settings on the flash. If you need more range, either up the ISO speed, or use a wider aperture (smaller f/stop number). The flash will tell you what distances you can shoot between for the settings selected via a scale on it.

JimC Jun 10, 2008 7:27 AM

It's not as hard as it sounds, as the flash is doing most of the work (thanks to the built in sensor that terminates the falsh output when it sees enough reflected light for the aperture and ISO speed settings).

Once you have a better idea of how it works, you can then experiment with settings to tune the look you want. For example, using a higher ISO speed and/or wider aperture setting and/or slower shutter speed so that more ambient light and less light from the flash contributes.

But, a non-dedicated solution does have a few drawbacks. You have to set both the camera and the flash to match yourself, and you do not have high speed sync which can limit it's usefulness in outdoors for fill (since you can't use shutter speeds faster than the camera's x-sync speed and in brighter light, you may need faster shutter speeds than you can use with this type of flash at wider aperture settings).

shmeldrick Jun 10, 2008 7:29 AM

Ok thanks for all your help!:cool:

JimC Jun 10, 2008 7:36 AM


The top (4 pin) adapter on this page has voltage protection built in now. I'd probably get that one. You don't need the voltage protection with that Sunpak. But, it could come in handy if you needed other flash types later. I'm using the older adapter (2nd one on the page without protection, because the one with protection wasn't available at the time I bought mine).

JimC Jun 10, 2008 7:45 AM

One more P.S.

Make sure to set your White Balance. The camera won't know you're using an external flash, and it will try to set the White Balance to match the ambient light if using Auto WB (which would make your photos look bluish in typical tungsten lighting). You'll want to set White Balance to match the flash (usually, around 5500K is a good setting). The temperature of the flash light is closer to daylight lighting.

shmeldrick Jun 10, 2008 8:05 AM

thanks, hadn't thought bout that, but would've noticed.

shmeldrick Jun 10, 2008 8:32 AM

oh and one more thing (sorry!) I read on amazon it has a bounce AND swivel head, but on reading a pdf of the manual for the sunpak 383 flash it only mentions bounce, is it too a swivel head?

JimC Jun 10, 2008 8:57 AM

The 383 Super has both tilt (bounce) and swivel. Ditto for my Sunpak 333 Auto (tilt and swivel).

Some of the smaller Sunpak flash models like my 222 Auto only have tilt (no swivel). The 383 Super has both.

JimC Jun 10, 2008 9:01 AM


Bounce: Vertical-Up 90°,Horizontal-Right 180°/Left 150°
It's a different model number in some of the other markets (this page shows a different model number, but it's the same flash). The horizontal movement is the swivel.

You'll also see that it has both bounce and swivel in the specs at B&H (see the specs tab):

smitbret Jun 11, 2008 4:46 PM

One other nice thing about using the Sunpak 383........ no more lazy eye. The way the A100 is set-up, there is too much delay in the metering pre-flash and about 20% of the people I would photograph start to blink before the main exposure. Since there is no pre-flash when using the 383, the problem is gone. On a side note, my flash seems to consistently underexpose by 2/3 to 1 1/3 stops. Has anyone else experienced this or do I just have a wacked out unit?

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