Confused on Sony Alpha and Home Studio set-up

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JaffaB, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. JaffaB

    JaffaB Guest


    I recently purchased a Jessops external flash home studio system for
    use with my Sony Alpha. The master flash head connects via a sync
    cable, but the only connector that Jessops had was a "Minolta
    dynax" hotshoe adaptor. This should have worked, as the Dynax is
    compatible with the Sony Alpha.

    However, when I connect it all, the camera does not seem to recognise
    the flash unit.

    The flash heads (master and slave) fire, but the camera does not show a
    flash icon in the view finder. Also, it is not setting the exposure
    for the flash, which means that I am going to always have to manually
    set the exposure. If I don't do this, the exposure is trying to set
    (in auto mode) for a 6 second exposure so everything is very badly over

    Is this correct? I would have thought that it should recognise that
    the flash is charged, and therefore set the exposure automatically. Or
    am I asking too much. I am new to home studio/portrait so getting my
    feet wet.

    JaffaB, Dec 2, 2006
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  2. JaffaB

    J. Clarke Guest

    If the flash is not designed specifically to work with that brand of
    camera it's not going to work with through-the-lens flash metering, you
    need to set the aperture and shutter speed manually in accordance with the
    output of the flash. A flash meter will help a good deal in this, but you
    can do it without one using trial and error and the histogram.
    J. Clarke, Dec 2, 2006
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  3. JaffaB

    Skip Guest

    If you are talking about a set of strobes, there won't be a flash indicator
    in the viewfinder, nor will it automatically set the exposure. The camera
    will set the exposure for the ambient light, not the light the strobes put
    out. You need a flash meter to read the strobes, and set the exposure
    manually. The hotshoe adaptor only fires the strobes, it doesn't set the
    strobes. Your salesman at the store should have explained this, if you
    indicated to him your lack of experience.
    Skip, Dec 3, 2006
  4. Jaffa-

    This sounds like my using an old Minolta 5400xi flash with the Sony
    Alpha. It turns out that Minolta made a change in their TTL system,
    even before the digital bodies came out. If you were sold the Jessops
    specifically for TTL use with the Alpha, they may have sold you the
    wrong one.

    I learned about it the hard way, trying to use the old flash at a party.
    Later I purchased a Minolta flash that has the new TTL system, and it
    works perfectly with the Alpha. Apparently the Sony flash for the Alpha
    is a rebranded version of my new Minolta flash.

    If your Jessops has its own photocell, it can be used in an automatic
    mode by manually setting your Alpha for the necessary f/stop, making
    sure your shutter speed doesn't exceed the X-sync speed. Otherwise you
    may need to go all-manual with both flash and camera.

    Fred McKenzie, Dec 3, 2006
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