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Sony Alpha Flash on GF2?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by mrjoshua, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. mrjoshua

    mrjoshua Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Aug 18, 2011
    Hi All

    I know the hot shoe is very different on Sony/Minolta cameras, but does anyone know whether it's possible to adapt a Sony flash for use on a GF2?

    I have one, you see :)

    Cheers

    Josh
     
  2. mrjoshua

    mrjoshua Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Aug 18, 2011
    The flash in question is a Sony HVL-F42AM, if that helps?
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Maybe if you got two compatible radio trigger sets, and use the receiver for the Alpha shoe and the transmitter for the standard shoe (everybody but Sony/Minolta Alpha), that might work. It'll be a bit of extra expense though.

    Or how about just a dumb slave? An optical eye could be mounted on the flash, if it doesn't have an optical sensor built in.

    Or it could be done with PC Sync cables, by using a different flash shoe adapter (Alpha mount) to a different hotshoe adapter. The PC Sync ends will not change.

    The problem is finding the flash end in Alpha mount. It's not an easy type of flash shoe to find in the accessory market.
     
  4. mrjoshua

    mrjoshua Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Aug 18, 2011
    Hi Ned

    The Sony flash does have an optical receiver in it (as I used to use it as a slave to the pop-up flash on my A100), but I guess it would be dumb.

    Since posting this, I've found an adapter on eBay (PIXEL TF-324 Hot Shoe Adapter) which allows the flash to work on a standard ISO shoe, but only supports trigger, not any TTL info.

    How much of a problem is this in the real world? Would I just have to set the flash zoom and speed manually using the buttons on the back of the flash?

    Cheers

    Josh
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, that is all you have to do, and no it's not any problem at all. In fact, TTL is what I consider a PITA, and manual is a much less frustrating way to work if you have any kind of light modification or multiple light setup... and shooting flash without any kind of modifiers is rather silly if you ask me. ;)

    Just figure out how many EV stops you gain from your flash for whatever specified distance you're at (this of course works best with prime lenses!), and compensate your camera to match. For instance, if you're in a priority mode just use -1 EV Exposure Compensation for instance if you're gaining one EV from your flash. If you're in manual you can adjust any of the 3 exposure factors to compensate: shutter, aperture, or ISO by 1 stop for each EV gain of the flash. For instance, stop down the aperture from f/2.8 to f/4, raise the shutter speed from 1/60 to 1/125, or drop the ISO from 400 to 200 (if you don't know what 1 stop adjustments are in those values, you shouldn't be in all-manual mode anyways - then just use a priority mode like A or S, and Exposure Compensation).

    You'll know how much EV gain you get from your flash just by taking a couple test shots and looking at them. If you don't know from experience what one EV of over or under exposure looks like, then this will be a learning experience for you and will drastically improve your photography skills from now on. ;)
     
  6. mrjoshua

    mrjoshua Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Aug 18, 2011
    Ned, you're a star! Thank you for the clear explanation.

    By modifications, does a piece of cardboard cut from a cornflakes packet and bent/selotaped to the flash to bounce it class as a modification? ;)
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, it does. :) That will greatly affect the amount of light that actually gets to the front of the image, whereas the camera and flash are taking their reading as if you're using regular power pointed bare-bulb directly at the subject (disregarding the wide-angle diffuser, which the flash can compensate for itself). That will throw off TTL metering, but it won't throw off your own manual settings and judgement. ;)

    I mean, you can also compensate using TTL as well, but if you're going to do all that compensation why not just start from manual settings to start? Both systems work, but that's why I find manual to simply be "less frustrating".
     
  8. mrjoshua

    mrjoshua Mu-43 Regular

    81
    Aug 18, 2011
    Adapter ordered :)

    Also looking at wireless TX and RX units so I can use it off-camera too.

    Cheers

    Josh