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Reconnecting with my A77 and need a good flash

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Rambler358 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rambler358 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Reconnecting with my A77 and need a good flash
    Posted: 17 January 2021 at 02:32
So after a few years away from my SLT-A77, I'm finally reconnecting with (and relearning) it. But one thing I never got around to getting was a decent flash unit for it. It seems like the HVL-43AM and HVL-58AM are the best Sony flashes for the camera, and although they're hard to find new, I've seen a few but they are expensive. eBay seems to have quite a few of both models used, and the prices seem reasonable. But are there any concerns about buying used flash units?

But I was wondering should I consider any non-Sony flash units for the A77, or stick with the Sony brand? And even after spending some time on the internet and YouTube trying to decide between the Sony 43 or 58 models, I can't seem to decide what would be the better option for me and my A77.

If it helps, I'll mainly be using the Sony 16-50 kit lens and the Sony 70-300 G lens. And for subject matter, it'll be indoor family stuff as well as some outdoor evening event stuff. Price really isn't a consideration, as both Sony models are in my range on eBay. And I also don't really know if any non-Sony flashes that work with full functionality on my A77 should also be a consideration?

So if anyone could provide some insight on which flash unit might be the best for me, It'd be greatly appreciated - thanks!
~Ron
Torrance, CA
 



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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 04:12
The HVL-F43AM is my preferred flash with the a77 on camera and the HVL-F58AM for off camera with umbrellas and soft boxes. The HVL-F56AM's are also good but I like the Quick Shift Bounce. The most common issue I've come across buying used is the battery compartment for leaked batteries and the battery door locks. If the compartment is clean, door locks and flash fires they last a long time but invest in good rechargeable batteries. I still have a few Sigma EF-500 DG Super (SO)-ADI Flash units, very inexpensive and work OK. The Sony HVL-42AM is a good basic unit, and usually half the price of the HVL-F43AM.
P.S. If you go off camera get a BOWENS S Mount and save the shoe.


Edited by LAbernethy - 17 January 2021 at 04:52
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Rambler358 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rambler358 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 05:29
I was primarily going to have the flash on-camera, though that could change in the future.

@LAbernethy - Why do you prefer the 43 on camera vs the 58, and would you also choose the 43 on camera for outdoor evening/night events?
~Ron
Torrance, CA
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2manycamera View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 2manycamera Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 05:34
KEH has an "excellent condition" HVL-43AM for $97.46, which is covered by an 180-day warranty. You can probably find a coupon to get at least 5% off that price, maybe better. I absolutely trust that KEH rates honestly, and when they're rarely incorrect, they will get it right. You can likely find it for less on ebay, but without any warranty or hassle free return.

Personally, I own the 58, which I use mostly off camera with Phottix radio controller, but it's a fine on camera unit.
7D a68 a99 a6600 a7Rii 16/2.8 24/2.8 28/2 35/2 50/1.4 100/2 200/2.8 24-70CZ 1.8/135 80-200/2.8 24-105 28-135 300/4 16-50DT 70-300G Tam 90/2.8, E55-210 E2/12 Sig E1.4/16,30 & 56, FE15/4.5V
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Tue Romanow View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tue Romanow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 08:37
I use Godox v860II flashes both on and off camera with my A77II. The system works flawlessly with Sony and provides a lot of bang for the buck.
There's no such thing as too many lenses.
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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 13:14
Originally posted by Rambler358 Rambler358 wrote:

I was primarily going to have the flash on-camera, though that could change in the future.

@LAbernethy - Why do you prefer the 43 on camera vs the 58, and would you also choose the 43 on camera for outdoor evening/night events?


The HVL-F43AM is just a little bit smaller and lighter and for most applications the small power and recycle handicap isn't noticeable. Outdoor evening/night events? Depends. How many frames? How quickly? At what distance? I've used it at events with a Lightsphere 1/4 power and no problems what so ever.
 



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Phil Wood View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 13:58
The Minolta 3600HS(D) & 5600HS(D) come up very cheaply on ebay these days - they are, essentially the Sony HVL F36AM & F56AM. I have bought both and am very happy with them on my A77.

They are not quite up to the capability of the later models, but you don't seem to be after anything that special. If you do find you need the little extra capability of the 43/58 at a later date you would still have a very capable second unit for multi-flash work.

Their downside, of course, is that I have since acquired an A99ii and developed an urge to get an HVL60M or RM.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 14:13
For on camera use without any adapters required

- Minolta 2500(D): No zoom (limited to 28mm (18mm on APS-C ?) No WL capacity. No HSS. Bounce only, no tilt head to allow bounce on the ceiling in portrait mode. Kind of difficult to find

- Minolta 3600 HS(D) or Sony HVL-F36AM: No manual settings. WL capacity. Bounce head but no tilt.

- Minolta 5600 HS(D) or Sony HVL-F56AM: WL capacity but limited to basic WL protocol. Bounce AND Tilt head. Can be powered by Minolta's EP-1 or EP-1 external battery packs. Can also use Minolta Bounce Reflector V but this is very very difficult to find.

- Sony HVL-F42AM: Bounce and Tilt . WL capacity. Can still work in Group 2 in more recent WL Control + protocol using HVL-F43AM or F58AM as controllers.

- Sony HVL-F43AM: Bounce and Tilt. WL capacity both as Controller and remote. As a controller in Control + mode, can control flashes in 3 different groups. This would be my preference as a 1st flash to use with A77

Sony HVL-F58AM: Same features as F43AM but adds capacity to use Minolta or Sony EP battery packs to allow faster recycling and more flashes without changing batteries. This one has a known tendency to overheat when used in intensive shooting situations.

Did not really try other brands extensively since every time i did, something either did not work or did not work as it should or was wobbly and occasionally lost contact with the body. I stuck to Sony and Minolta and everything just works together.
With the advent of the Control + protocol and the newer Sony Radio controlled system, more recent units (HVL-F45RM and F60RM) seem to have lost the capacity to operate properly with the older units in optical WL so counting on mixing old and new eventually may lead to incompatibilities that are unavoidable.

Edited by michelb - 17 January 2021 at 14:18
Michel B
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LAbernethy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 15:17
Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:



Their downside, of course, is that I have since acquired an A99ii and developed an urge to get an HVL60M or RM.


I Know what you mean. With my A77II and A99 I still like the HVL-F43M but am tempted by the HLV-F60RM for the High Speed Continuous Flash. Maybe when I start to remember to engage the lock I'll upgrade. That Auto Lock on the old shoe was excellent.

Edited by LAbernethy - 17 January 2021 at 15:29
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 15:19
Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:

The Minolta 3600HS(D) & 5600HS(D) come up very cheaply on ebay these days - they are, essentially the Sony HVL F36AM & F56AM. I have bought both and am very happy with them on my A77.


I always hated the battery door design of the Minolta 3600HS(D) & 5600HS(D) /Sony HVL-F36AM HVL-F56AM.

Edited by LAbernethy - 17 January 2021 at 16:43
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sybersitizen View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sybersitizen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 15:46
The Minolta 5600HS(D) or the equivalent Sony HVL-F56AM will cover just about anything you need to do and are readily available for under $100.
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Phil Wood View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phil Wood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 16:43
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:

The Minolta 3600HS(D) & 5600HS(D) come up very cheaply on ebay these days - they are, essentially the Sony HVL F36AM & F56AM. I have bought both and am very happy with them on my A77.


I always hated the battery door design.


It's not great.
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Rambler358 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rambler358 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 January 2021 at 22:02
Thanks everyone! I think I've narrowed it down to either the 43AM or 58AM. I'll let you know what I end up getting.
~Ron
Torrance, CA
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2021 at 14:45
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

Originally posted by Phil Wood Phil Wood wrote:



Their downside, of course, is that I have since acquired an A99ii and developed an urge to get an HVL60M or RM.


I Know what you mean. With my A77II and A99 I still like the HVL-F43M but am tempted by the HLV-F60RM for the High Speed Continuous Flash. Maybe when I start to remember to engage the lock I'll upgrade. That Auto Lock on the old shoe was excellent.

Not to imply that the HVL-F43AM or HVL-F43M doesn't have this feature. I know they do but the recommended shot numbers and power levels makes its application limited. I could be wrong but the HVL-F56AM is the best iteration of this feature in the Minolta hot shoe, with the HVL-F58AM the easiest and most precise to set up, IMO.

Edited by LAbernethy - 22 January 2021 at 14:50
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