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Cybershot455 Jun 10, 2004 2:59 AM

Looking for a slave flash to suit my Sony P12 and P52. Want it to work OK with pre-flash but not too fussed about red-eye, happy to turn that off.

I've tried the Sony HVL-FSL1, that makes a huge difference to the images. Had to return it though as I'd ordered a HVL-FS1A which fits pretty well all the P-series and Cybershot point and shoot models...but received the HVL-FSL1 which was made for the older P5/P51 series cameras and wouldn't physically fit the P52 due to tripod mount position.

Had the Sony slave fitted both cameras I'd happily have kept it. It was really compact and stylish...but I did have one small issue. As it is made to automatically ignore pre-flash and red-eye it is quite insensitive in detecting the camera flash if the ambient light is high or the subject not very reflective.

In a way I'd prefer a slave where you could select a switch to ignore the pre-flash.

Anyone tried the compact Vivitar DF120, I've seen it at 7-day I think the DF200 would be a bit large and the need for it to "learn" every time it was turned on would annoy me.

Soligor alsolook to do a neat looking one, the DG-20 AS. Any experiences?


Mikefellh Jun 10, 2004 9:06 AM

I use the Metz 34-CS2 Digital slave flash. It can be used in preflash or single flash mode, or even in hotshoe mode (switch on front). It's small enough you can hold the flash in your hand, or get a generic flash bracket which screws into the tripod socket (good for avoiding the redeye issue).

Here's the flash on my camera with a generic flash bracket (note that this firing of the flash is simulated for effect):

And here's a picture of the flash on the counter in the store when I was testing if it would work with the preflash on my camera:

It's quite powerful for it's small size (a guide number of 34m/112' at 100ISO)...the only downside about the flash is it runs on two non-rechargeable lithium CR2s (not cheap).

Regarding your question, I don't understand though your comment about ignoring the pre-flash...if both your cameras were preflash cameras, you would need the flash to recognise the preflash, otherwise the flash would fire for the preflash and then be dark for the main flash firing.

And regarding the redeye mode on your cameras, you don't use it as having the flash off camera negates the redeye effect anyway (and depending on how many minifires the camera does in redeye mode (mine does around 5), the slave flash may not have enough power after to fire for the main flash firing).

Cybershot455 Jun 10, 2004 11:26 AM

Thanks for the info andimagelinks. That Metz looks neat, it's expensive though?? I'll look in a minute.

When I said about ignoring the pre-flash....

It seems the Sony slave flash made for Cybershot models works by having alow sensitivity such that it fails to detect the lower power pulses of the pre-flash or red-eye mode...and just fires on the main pulse.

I'm pretty sure it does this rather than counting the pulses.


Mikefellh Jun 10, 2004 11:58 AM

The Metz, at B&H Photo, is $160US. Yes, it isn't cheap, but it does work very well. In terms of guide numbers, the Metz is 34M, the Sony HVL-FSL1A is 14M, and the Vivitar is 12M. So yes, you are paying more, but you are getting more power too.

The Vivitar is a "learning" flash according to the info at B&H, which means you have to "teach" it how your camera flashes by taking a few pictures.

I admit if the Vivitar was available I would have opted for that, but a few months later I would be craving more power (I admit I wouldn't mind one of the Metz flashes with a guide number of 70M or higher).

It wouldn't hurt to try the Vivitar if you deal with a place that allows returns.

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