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Wireless Flash using my A900

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carusoswi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Wireless Flash using my A900
    Posted: 19 October 2020 at 13:19

My A900 is running firmware version 2.00. I own both the HVL-F58AM and the HVL-F56AM flashes, and I want to take some wireless flash photos. Reading the manual (and from previous posts in this forum), I understand that I should use the F58 on camera to trigger the F56AM positioned off camera.

I have, so far, been unsuccessful using the following procedure:

Mount F56 on a stand (in my case, a small tripod), switch it on and select WL mode CH-1 (CH-1 is the default, I guess).

Turn on A900, press 'c' to bring up 'Flash Mode' menu, select WL, depress joystick selector to accept setting and exit 'Flash Mode' menu.

Switch on F58, depress 'mode' button until WL CH1 appears in the window. Mount F58 to A900.

To my understanding, having followed the above procedure, I should be able to trigger the F56AM by depressing the shutter of the A900. For testing purposes, I position the F58 in direct sight of my A900, so that, if the F56 fires as expected, the illuminated F56 should show in my captured shot. I also keep my left eye open as I fire each test shot to observe the F56 directly.

So far, I have not been able to get the F56 to fire.

Obviously, I am doing something wrong. The following step is listed in the A900 menu regarding wireless flash: '2 Set the HVL-F58AM as the wireless controller and attach it to the
camera.' There is, however, no direction on how to achieve this setting if it is different or in addition to the steps I outline above.

What am I missing?

Advice much appreciated as I am visiting my daughter and she has requested me (the family 'camera guy') to shoot the annual family photo of her and her husband/children. I know I can achieve an acceptable capture by bouncing either of these flash units mounted directly on the A900, or, if we shoot outdoors, by shooting them positioned with sun (if a sunny day) coming from behind them and me using either of these units to fill their faces (I detest shooting subjects with the sun streaming into their faces - makes for harsh lighting and squinting eyes). In either setting, off camera flash may improve my lighting setup.

I do have two old Vivitar 283 units fitted with Wein slave feet and infinitely variable power adjusters which I have used successfully with this camera and, before that, my trusty A700, both set to full manual, but would really like to take advantage of Sony's auto wireless flash capabilities.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

Caruso
A100/700//900/Sig50mmf2 .8DGMacro/Min 85_1.4/Min 35_1.4/Min 100_f2/Min 100-300/F56AM_F58AM/Viv283/Max9000/Minolta4000/Min24-105/Max9/Min100_2.8 D/Sony50m1.4//Min AF500F8
 



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michelb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2020 at 13:46
When using HVL-F56AM as a remote flash the HVL-F58AM needs to be placed into what is called Control 2 Mode: ( CTRL) should appear on the LCD of the 58 flash.

If CTRL+ (called CONTROL 1) in the custom function menu, appears on the LCD of your F58AM in WL Control, it will only work with the more recent units like another F58AM or F42AM and F43AM.

This setting can be changed in the Custom functions

To change:
- Press function for 3 seconds or more
- using the left/right arrows, navigate to C-03
- using the up/down arrows, select: Ctrl 2
- press the function button

Now when placing the flash in WL Control mode, ( CTRL) should appear on the rear LCD

Get the pdf of the instructions for your HVL-F58AM on the Sony site if you don't have it
Michel B
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carusoswi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2020 at 14:47
Your instructions worked a charm, thanks. I have downloaded manuals for the f58 and A900.
Did not find any instructions as detailed as yours. I may have missed them. If you can direct me to where the instructions you offered are located in the manual, I would review the printed version. There are other settings available in the menus with which I am unfamiliar and I would like to learn more about them.
Thanks again for your informative reply.
Caruso
A100/700//900/Sig50mmf2 .8DGMacro/Min 85_1.4/Min 35_1.4/Min 100_f2/Min 100-300/F56AM_F58AM/Viv283/Max9000/Minolta4000/Min24-105/Max9/Min100_2.8 D/Sony50m1.4//Min AF500F8
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2020 at 16:18
Section on WL flash on pages 54-68 but more specific on WL Control on pages 64-68
Custom settings on pages 74-80

To really understand this you really really need to read the whole book while toying with the different features to get yourself familiar with them plus maybe also a bit of this:
Flash compendium by M. Hohner
Michel B
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carusoswi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 October 2020 at 17:45
Will review all thoroughly.
Thanks again.
Caruso
A100/700//900/Sig50mmf2 .8DGMacro/Min 85_1.4/Min 35_1.4/Min 100_f2/Min 100-300/F56AM_F58AM/Viv283/Max9000/Minolta4000/Min24-105/Max9/Min100_2.8 D/Sony50m1.4//Min AF500F8
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 October 2020 at 04:08
I think using the the HVL-F58AM as a trigger is a bit excessive. I can recommend the HVL-F20AM as a simple trigger. It works quite well and simply on my a850 to trigger the HVL-F58AM and HVL-F56AM.
 



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carusoswi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote carusoswi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 October 2020 at 14:13
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

I think using the the HVL-F58AM as a trigger is a bit excessive. I can recommend the HVL-F20AM as a simple trigger. It works quite well and simply on my a850 to trigger the HVL-F58AM and HVL-F56AM.


I appreciate the suggestion, LAbernethy, however, I already own the the F58 and F56 units, and have used the F56 for years as both a direct (mostly bounce) flash and as a trigger for my Vivitar 283 units via Wein Slave Foot modules mounted on the 283s.

Having purchased the F58, I am free to use it on camera in lieu of the F56, and find it no bother at all to be able to fire the F56 wirelessly using the F58 on camera as a trigger. Best of all, there is no need for me to purchase yet another flash unit.

Thanks for your reply.

Caruso
A100/700//900/Sig50mmf2 .8DGMacro/Min 85_1.4/Min 35_1.4/Min 100_f2/Min 100-300/F56AM_F58AM/Viv283/Max9000/Minolta4000/Min24-105/Max9/Min100_2.8 D/Sony50m1.4//Min AF500F8
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michelb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 October 2020 at 16:09
I think the impression of overkill when using a flash like the F58AM as a trigger is the fact that by default, the F58AM in CTRL mode will not contribute much to the exposure since it will only provide the faint flashes for the triggering/stopping of the remote flash.

To get some lighting power out of the 58AM when used as a controller, it needs to be placed in WL Ratio mode where you can decide on the proportion of light the 58AM will contribute to the total exposure.

In Ratio mode where the first number is group 1 (the control flash) and the second number is group 2 (the WL remotes):
- 1/1 will mean both flashes will provide about the same level of power
- 1/2 will mean the WL remote will provide 2/3 rds of the ligth
- 2/1 will mean the F58AM will provide 2/3rds of the light

Try it and have fun since you may soon realize that with some settings, your WL flash position and selection of ratio may induce harsh unwanted shadows in some scenes but that is part of the challenge and reward when using multiple flashes.
Michel B
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 October 2020 at 23:53
I think the impression of overkill when using a flash like the F58AM as a trigger is cost / power and size / weight. It's too good a tool not to be off camera.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 October 2020 at 01:53
Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

I think the impression of overkill when using a flash like the F58AM as a trigger is cost / power and size / weight. It's too good a tool not to be off camera.


Unless you use it in Ratio Mode which then makes it collaborate to exposure in a controlled (by the user) way. It can be direct, bounced and/or softened by a light modifier and still control WL remotes while still providing good light.

Smaller models like HVL-F20AM can not work in Ratio mode so their influence on exposure is minimal.

For this kind of purpose, i will usually use a slightly smaller flash like the HVL-F43AM but that is sill not very compact but still provides Ratio possibility.
Michel B
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Post Options Post Options   Quote LAbernethy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 October 2020 at 03:15
Originally posted by michelb michelb wrote:

Originally posted by LAbernethy LAbernethy wrote:

I think the impression of overkill when using a flash like the F58AM as a trigger is cost / power and size / weight. It's too good a tool not to be off camera.


Unless you use it in Ratio Mode which then makes it collaborate to exposure in a controlled (by the user) way. It can be direct, bounced and/or softened by a light modifier and still control WL remotes while still providing good light.

Smaller models like HVL-F20AM can not work in Ratio mode so their influence on exposure is minimal.

For this kind of purpose, i will usually use a slightly smaller flash like the HVL-F43AM but that is sill not very compact but still provides Ratio possibility.

Yes. but that defeats the point of off camera flash.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rastapartaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 October 2020 at 06:41
Have a look at the godox system. I did the swap from my Sony's and never looked back. They can also be found branded as FlashPoint and Neewer for even cheaper.
I've bought 4 V860ii plus the Xpro-s for £400.
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