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Old Jul 23, 2009, 12:25 AM   #1
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Default How will this flash work with my A100

I know nothing about flash. I also know that this is probably just a cheap solution, but for the price I am hoping that it will be suitable for a beginner. If it's not any good could someone please tell me why it's not (just for informational purposes) Thanks.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...:WNAFP:US:1123
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 5:50 AM   #2
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Those flashes are non-dedicated models. IOW, they do not understand the camera settings you're using.

So, you'd need to use Manual Exposure on the camera, setting the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture.

That can work (for example, I often use non-dedicated Sunpak 333 Auto and 222 Auto flashes). But, it's harder to make changes quickly, since you have to change both the camera and flash if you want to change something like Aperture. For studio shooting, that can work. But, for use in a rapidly changing environment, or outdoors, your best bet would be a dedicated flash solution instead (where the flash and camera communicate settings information).

Also, you will be limited by the x-sync speed of the camera for the fastest shutter speed you could use with that type of flash (1/160 second if stabilization is turned off, or 1/120 second if stabilization is turned on with your A100). The camera won't know that you're using a flash with a non-dedicated system like that, so you could probably leave stabilization turned on and get away with 1/160 second. But, that will still limit it's usefulness for fill flash outdoors due to shutter speed limitations (and if you try to go much faster, you may start seeing dark bands in your photos from the shutter curtains blocking the light from the flash).

Your best bet spending that much money if it's for general purpose use would be to get a compatible dedicated flash that understands your camera settings and supports High Speed Sync so you could use one outdoors in brighter light for fill at wider apertures, eliminating the need to constantly change your camera and flash settings.

I'd go with something like a Sony HVL-F42AM instead of a non-dedicated model if I were going to spend that much on a flash, unless you're looking at using one for studio use only and don't mind using manual exposure and setting the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture each time you make a settings change.
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 9:08 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. I hope you don't mind if I just agree with you without understanding half of what you wrote. Any places to go to do some reading on this?
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 9:25 AM   #4
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Well... the forums are a good resource, as you'll find lots of posts on the subject.

The safe (and easier) bet is to use compatible flashes from the camera manufacturer. For your Sony, the HVL-F36AM (or Minolta 3600 HS D), HVL-F56AM (or Minolta 5600 HS D), HVL-F42AM, and HVL-F58AM are your best choices. These flash models are all able to communicate with the camera so that they understand the camera settings and commands issued by the camera to the flash. You should be able to buy the Sony HVL-F42AM for about the same price as that Ebay kit would cost you (although you'd only have one flash versus two and no flash bracket, etc.).

Those Sony models all have HSS (High Speed Sync) ability, too (which means you can use shutter speeds faster than the camera's x-sync speed, although at a reduced power output).

If you want to use a non-dedicated flash (like the models in that Ebay listing), you'll need an FS-1100 or compatible adapter to convert your hotshoe into an iso standard shoe (and the adapters were included in that kit). But, you lose High Speed Sync, and you lose the ability for the camera and flash to communicate settings information. That means you'd need to use manual exposure and set the camera and flash to match for aperture and iso speed, selecting a shutter speed that lets the desired amount of ambient light into the image.

You can do that, and you'll find some posts discussing it here. For example, this one discussing the use of a Sunpak (and the flashes you're looking at would work in a similar manner). I use two different non-dedicated Sunpaks with my KM Maxxum 5D and Sony A700. But, for a new camera owner, it's easier to stick with the manufacturers compatible flash models so you don't have to worry about the settings as much (and have more flexibility in more lighting conditions). For studio work, that kit you're looking at would probably work fine if you don't mind using manual exposure and setting the flashes for the desired effect.

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fl...non-430ex.html
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Old Jul 24, 2009, 9:51 AM   #5
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If you decide to go with a non-dedicated solution, here's a site that may help you:

http://strobist.blogspot.com/
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