Recommend a Flash for my NEX 5N

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Archer, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Archer

    Archer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 19, 2013
    London, England
    I have a Sony NEX 5N and a range of lenses and have the standard screw on Sony Flash that comes with the camera, I really need to get some kind of upgraded flash .

    I was never really interested in Flash Photography but the last two times I went to take photos was as a 2nd shooter at a Charity Fashion Show and at a Conference. In both cases the lighting was really bad and I had to resort to using my Sony's Flash.

    I'd say in both cases the flash saved the day and helped over come some horrible red stage lights, but the light from the little Sony isn't very flattering and it also left a pretty big shadow behind the models on the catwalk.

    What I'm looking for is to get the most flattering, natural skin tones and perhaps a flash I can bounce off the walls and ceilings. I'd also like something where you can vary the power of the flash, even it's it's manually.

    My go to lens I'll be looking to use it with the most is my Sigma 60mm F2.8

    Because I want to use it for Cat Walks when the lighting is very bad I'll need to shoot a lot in Portrait.I've seen some adaptor on eBay to allow a standard flash to be attached, are these any good, and are they safe to use? Will most flashes be too heavy for the NEX 5N in Portrait mode?

    My other thought is to mount the flash separately (off camera) and use some kind of remote trigger.

    Also how many times a second could I take a photo with flash off camera with the NEX 5N? When a model is coming right at you on the catwalk you only have about 2 seconds to get the perfect shot. With floodlights there's no issue with the NEX 5N's amazing burst mode but using the onboard flash that slows right down.

    What are my options? What flash would you recommend? Ideally not looking to spend more then £100 on a solution.
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    If you plan to use it off-camera anyway, just get ANY flash out there that supports optical triggering (which basically is any flash out there). Then, just fire the camera with the cheap flash that came with it and the light of that flash will trigger the other off-camera flash. If you want to get rid of the light which comes from your on-camera flash, there are filters which cut out the visible light from the flash, so just the infrared light remains to trigger the other flashes. IR light is not visible on photos due to the IR filter on digital sensors.

    For a cheap, high-quality flash with optical trigger options, look at the offerings from Yongnuo.
  3. Archer

    Archer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 19, 2013
    London, England
    I was looking at the Yongnuo Flashes, they look very good, but I read that the NEX 5N's own flash might use a Preflash that doesn't work with the Yongnuo Flash's optical Trigger?

    I know it has a preflash setting, but someone posted on some other forum that the timing wasn't quite right to work with the Sony NEX, but this might just have been one guy having problems.

    I've also read that the
    Yongnuo Flash can be triggered using any infra-red remote control - I have a remote for my NEX Camera, could I use that to both trigger the camera and a Yongnuo at the same time and not use the Sony's own flash at all? The main reason to not use the Sony's own Flash is it's recycle time is slow, too slow for the catwalk if I want more then 2 shots per model. I've read some of these Yongnuo Flashes can flash as many as 8 times in a second when you reduce the power.

    Ideally if I could take around 4 shots in a second with flash that would be awesome.

  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    About those potential issues with the NEX-5N - just ask the Yongnuo support. They're not the best service in the world, but they're very helpful and I'm sure they can answer your question.

    As for infrared - some Yognuos feature a built-in radio transmitter for Yongnuos own trigger system, but I'm not aware of any infrared option. Also, I can't imagine how the communication should work. The only possible way to get this to work is to learn the Yongnuo the IR signal from your remote somehow. Again, ask the Yongnuo support about such a functionality, but afaik, that's not possible with any flash.

    Also, if you want to shoot four shots a second, the power output from the Yongnuo will be VERY low, probably at 1/32 or 1/64 of the full power. Are you sure that's still enough power for your needs?

    If the recycle time of your built-in flash is still too long even if you dial it down to -3 stops, the only option you have is buying a radio trigger system. I don't know the brand, but I recently saw a radio trigger connected to a NEX-5N, so this option exists. Google is your best bet here.
  5. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Younnuo yn560 III has got rf-602 (and rf 603 but rf 603 trasceivers are not compatible with Sony cameras) receiver and you need adapter for iso shoe and rf-602 transmitter for your camera. I have Wansen rf-602 transmitter for my Nex 7 and use the receiver with Wansen ws-560 flashes. Works ok, don't have much time for photography now.
  6. Archer

    Archer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 19, 2013
    London, England
    I just managed to get a good deal on a new Younnuo yn560 III - for the same price as the Mark 2 but disappointed to read the RF 603 Transmitters won't work with Sony Cameras.

    I saw there is a video on YouTube on how to hack the RF-602 to work with Sony Cameras but don't want to get into any of that.
  7. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    RF-602 transmitter should work with Sony cameras. I have Wansen rf-602 and it works ok with my Nex 7 (via adapter). RF-603 need a hack and are slower. I think that yn560iii works with either 602 or 603.
  8. 13thfloorphotography

    13thfloorphotography New to TalkEmount

    Apr 28, 2014
    West Los Angeles
    I agree with Poki in that you are better off with an affordable manual flash, IF you plan on going off camera flash work.

    I however, am not a fan of any flash powered by AA batteries, as the recharge rate is slow. I am a huge fan of the Cheetah v850s (rebadged Godox Ving V850). They are powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery block. Super fast recharge time and relatively long battery life
  9. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue Subscribing Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    Realise you have bought one now but...

    I bought a Nikon SB700 just to do a wedding (which is now done) and it works great on my Nex-5! You are welcome to buy it off me in 'used twice' state. I'm in Dorset so not far to ship... PM me if you are interested. I did loads to research and settled on this being the best sensible priced good quality flash.

    Comes with;
    Speedlight Stand
    Nikon Diffusion Dome
    Incandescent Filter
    Fluorescent Filter
    Soft Case (with belt loop)

    As others have stated, it is of course manual, but if you just do 1 or 2 test shots all is good. I actually shot a lot with the EV at -2 or -3 and then with the flash at 1/8 or so and you end up with 'auto' exposure.

    It also works great in remote mode being triggered by the screw on one that comes with the Nex.

    For an adaptor, get this one (I would include mine but would like to keep it for occasional use of other flashes) -
    I bought another one first which doesn't have the switch to tell the Nex a flash is mounted, so you don't get the compensated screen (basically because you are shooting what the camera thinks is too dark the screen is dark due to the the 'Live View' feature not realising a flash is going to fire).
  10. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    I just wonder if are flashes also that are kind of smaller to fit in a small bag and to be easier carried around.
    Any ideas?
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    The Nissin i40 is the smallest powerful flash around.
  12. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    V850 is quite nice unit. I have several manual flashes and if enough of them dies I will get one. However I think that I will get this after summer:

    It seems to be in offer right now so I will probably order one today. V850 can connect a remote power controller so it is more versatile than these power packs.
  13. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    you always have an answer available :p
    I guess I need to push more next time :p
    Flash look small and sexy though
  14. Mathieu Decodts

    Mathieu Decodts TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 5, 2013
    you can get a 5n wireless trigger with a built in hot shoe.

    I have one (see link for idea). Basically it is awesome, but a little big. It will do exactly what you want, stick any old manual flash (i used Youngnuos) on the receiver and put the transmitter on the 5n. It has the correct 5n mount.

    Or you can get the pass through type adapter, its a lot smaller and use a wireless trigger and flash.

    (please make use the affiliate link though if buying.
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