Flash Help...

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by pmd5700, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. pmd5700

    pmd5700 TalkEmount Rookie

    Dec 9, 2014
    I have an a6000 and want to get a dedicated flash. I've read a lot of threads here and a lot of info online and I think I'm more confused. At this point, I just want something more powerful than the popup flash with the ability to bounce it off of walls/ceiling. I don't know if I can get or need TTL. I'm not sure if I need the ability to do remote flash. I'm looking for something pretty cheap. However, if there is something to get now that might help with upgrading in the future I'd be willing to spend more.

    I'm looking at something like these. I'm not sure if any of them will do TTL.

  2. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Real Name:
    Michel Brien
    All the flashes you showed were not dedicated, will not offer any TTL or other automation.
    Every camera brand has its own language to talk to its "dedicated" flashes.

    How familiar are you with flash control in manual mode ?
    Can you use the M Mode of your camera and set-up shutter speed and aperture that can be used by the flash you are using ?
    Can you set and use fixed ISO ?
    Can you get out of AWB and set- White balance for such an application ?
    Can you set your camera's live view to effects OFF ?

    If you say yes to all of these, you may be able to use some of the flashes you mention above. But you will definitely have a lot of adjustments and guessing to make on every set-up.

    My quick suggestion for today AND tomorrow would be the Sony HVL-F32M which has:
    - TTL
    - Manual with varying power levels
    - Auto zoom head
    - Bounce and swivel
    - Wireless TTL capable as BOTH a controller or remote flash in both TTL and manual modes. The built-in flash of all NEX/ILCE cameras Can Not be used as WL controller so this means you need 2 flashes to start with: one on camera as controller and one as remote and you can add as many remotes as long as they speak the same language, which is not the case with the flashes you mentioned.
    - Being the latest Sony it will most definitely sill be compatible with any Sony body upgrade you may do in the next couple of years. Should you go this route and want a simple fully automated TTL WL flash system, all you would need to add would be some used Minolta 3600HSD or Sony HVL-F36AM ( available used for about 100-125$ in some areas) and your F32M could control these.

    Its drawbacks are that even though it allows Wireless, some more advanced modes will not be available but are only for the very advanced user ( WL Channel selection, WL group and ratio control from one group to the other ).

    Can afford even a little more ?: HVL-F43M ( has all the bells and whistles missing above but has similar potential of the bigger HVL-F60M except auxiliary power supply and cabled TTL connectors)

    Any other brand may sound like a good deal but few have the MIS shoe as of now and their future compatibility with newer bodies may be compromised in the next generation of cameras. Talk to owners of some Sigma flashes to see how incompatible most of their flashes have become with newer bodies.

    Since i do as i say, this still allows me to use my Minolta flashes 3600HSD and 5600HSD (ancestors and cloned by Sony with HVL-F36AM and 56AM) that date back to year 2000 as wireless remotes with all of my Sony Alpha/NEX and ILCE cameras. Were they expensive ? Maybe yes but still compatible. As a matter of fact, with a simple Sony ADP-MAA adapter, i can also use them in TTL mode with bounce and auto zooming with my A7R (same shoe as your ILCE 6000) .
    I would not recommend this for intensive use but it is a possibility. So the little extra you invest now may become a great long term investment with immediate ease of use and maximum possibilities.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
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  3. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    I use several flashes for different purposes.

    YN-560 is great manual flash and mk. III and IV offer remote controllability build into flashes. Very nice for off camera use.

    Here are more choices:
    Nissin i40
    Tumax DSL-288 AF Sony Alpha (http://foto-tip.pl/en/tumax-dsl288af-sony.html?___SID=U)
    Different Metz models
    Sigma EF-610
    Meike MK-300 TTL Flash Speedlite Light USB for Sony (http://www.linkdelight.com/P0018333-Meike-MK-300-TTL-Flash-Speedlite-Light-USB-for-Sony.html)
    MEIKE MK320 Speedlite for SONY (http://www.linkdelight.com/P0019911-Professional-MEIKE-MK320-Speedlite-for-SONY.html)
    Sunpak PZ-42X
    Sunpak PF-30X

    I have the Tumax too and it works. I carry it in my shoulder bag always. A very good and cheap solution is a used Minolta 5600 HSD. Minolta 5400 doesn't work with TTL but is fine choice for manual use.
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  4. MizOre

    MizOre TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 18, 2014
    Nissin i40 -- won't work as a Sony system flash commander, but uses 4 batteries (faster recycling, more power) and can be used as a manual slave with the pop-up flash, which the Sony flashes won't do. Works as a TTL slave (buy a Sony flash for a commander if you decide you need that. Bounces off walls and ceilings, swivels and tilts. I'm happy with mine. If I were going to set up a fancier system, I'd go with Phottix and radio slaves.