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homi Feb 2, 2007 9:53 AM

Hello - can anyone tell me what third-party flash is suitable and safe for the R1?

yonu Mar 18, 2007 10:08 AM

I use a promaster DX flash with the module for the R1 does ok but under exposes alot I am getting ready to try a nissin or the actual sony flash for it and see how they do. I just don't like the results i get from the promaster.

Hope this helps some,

amazingthailand Mar 19, 2007 6:15 AM

Metz also make some models that take a sony interface. The newer sony flashes for the alpha series of cameras are also supposed to work (with an adapter available from sony).

JimC Mar 21, 2007 7:14 AM

amazingthailand wrote:

Metz also make some models that take a sony interface. The newer sony flashes for the alpha series of cameras are also supposed to work (with an adapter available from sony).
Just to make sure the OP doesn't misunderstand... The DSC-R1 and previous Sony models use a totally different flash system compared to the new Sony Alpha DSLR-A100.

The hotshoe design and flash system for the Alpha is based on the Minolta Maxxum system. Basically, the new Sony flashes that are compatible with the Sony Alpha DSLR (HVL-36AM, HVL-56AM, etc.) are rebranded Minolta strobes and will also work with KM DSLR models.

For example, the new Sony HVL-36AM is the same flash as the Minolta 3600HS(D), and the new Sony HVL-56AM is the same flash as the Minolta 5600HS (D). Ditto for the other compatible strobes. They're based on the Minolta strobes and were rebranded by Sony.

These strobes are not compatible with the Sony DSC-R1 (they won't even physically mount as the hotshoe design is different, much less work).

The foot (SCA3302) that Metz offers for their strobes like the Metz 54MZ4 that works with the KM DSLR models and new Sony Alpha DSLR is *not* compatible with the DSC-R1 either. It's designed to work with the Sony DSLR and Minolta DSLR models, not the DSC-R1 (which uses a flash system designed by Sony).

amazingthailand Mar 21, 2007 8:34 AM

JimC, I saw an adapter on the Sony site that will allow the new alpha (minolta) flashes to work on the R1. How much TTL they will provide I don't know, perhaps none. The info on the Sony site was very sparse.

JimC Mar 21, 2007 9:29 AM

I haven't seen that one.

But, Minolta made an adapter (FS-1200) that allowed their strobes to be used in an ISO standard shoe (the shoe is proprietary on Minolta Maxxum models, and is the same shoe used on the new Sony DLSR-A100).

I have seen a few sporadic reports of some of these types of Minolta accessories slowly being rebranded by Sony with Sony part numbers. So, that may be what you saw. It's probably taking them a while to sort it all out (what they need to continue manufacturing, rebranding as Sony and more).

This is the old Minolta adapter (still available from many vendors). It was originally designed to allow newer Minolta Maxxum strobes on the very first Maxxum models (because the first ones were still using an ISO standard shoe). But, some people also used it to adapt the newer Strobes to other camera models with an ISO standard shoe. It's got the Minolta proprietary shoe at the top of the adapter, with an ISO standard foot at the bottom.

Minolta FS-1200 Adapter at B&H

But, you wouldn't have any TTL type information being passed between a camera and one of the newer KM Strobes (or the same strobes rebranded by Sony that work with Sony and KM DSLR models). You could physically mount one and get it to fire. But, the camera or strobe wouldn't pass any information from pins other than the center pin to fire it. So, you'd need to go manual power only on the strobe (controlling power via settings on the strobe itself) and use manual exposure on the camera.

Without a similar adapter, you couldn't even physically mount a strobe designed for the Alpha on a DSC-R1, much less get communication between the camera and flash for settings, etc. The hotshoe design is very different. The Minolta Maxxum models (and now Sony DSLR-A100) use a pretty slick hotshoe design, whereas most other camera manufacturers stuck with an ISO Standard shoe and added a few proprietary pins to it (which is what Sony did with their models other than the Alpha)..

If Sony has a new adapter out that allows the strobes for the Alpha to work with the DSC-R1 in any other way (ability for the strobe and camera to communicate with settings information), I'm not aware of it. But, I don't see everything new. lol

julireid Apr 18, 2009 2:17 PM

As far as I can tell, there were only two flash units that Sony offered for the DSC-R1; the HVL1000 & the HVL-32FX. I would love to be able to get my hands on a compatable flash unit that would swivel in addition to bounce (TTL mode). Do you have any suggestions?

JimC Apr 18, 2009 2:52 PM


You could use a Metz 54MZ-3, 54MZ-4 or 54MZ-4i with the Metz SCA3602M4 foot. The foot is interchangeable so you can use the same flash on multiple camera brands, and the Metz SCA3602M4 foot is the one you'd need for your R1.

Most vendors sell this flash including the appropriate SCA module (the foot). But, it may be may be tough to find one with the foot needed by the R1 packaged that way (I didn't see any with a quick search of a couple of vendors). You see the flash sold without a foot, too (or with an iso standard foot). But, you'd still need to find someone that has that SCA3602M4 foot in stock and get it if you want a dedicated flash that's aware of your camera settings.

You could also use a non-dedicated auto thyristor flash with your camera (for example, a Sunpak 383 Super, or even a Metz with an iso standard foot). With that type of solution, you'd need to use manual exposure and set the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture. Then, the sensor in the flash would measure the reflected light during the exposure, terminating the flash output when it sees enough light for the aperture and iso speed you've set. IOW, the flash would not be aware of any camera settings (and vice-versa), and the only communication would be to fire the flash, letting the flash control the exposure via reflected light seen.

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