Sunpak PZ42X Flash Review - Photo Jottings

Sunpak PZ42X Flash Review

Sunpak PZ42X flash quick review

 

JUNE2011/sunpz42xbox.jpg
Box and contents
JUNE2011/sunpzxlcd.jpg
LCD lit up, showing manual mode settings

 

 

Specifications and general information.

 

Model
Price
About $145
Tested on
Sony A580
In the box
Flash and multi-language instruction manual, that’s it.
Build quality
Very good all around.
Hotshoe style
Sony proprietary type for this model, others available.
Guide number
42 (138′) ISO 100, @105mm zoom position, and 34 (112′) at 50mm zoom.
Guide number accuracy
Maximum output seems similar to other models with same rating.
LCD monitor
1.6″ X .8″ (40mm X 20mm).  No color.  Pushing the “light” button illuminates the screen in ruby red for about 10 seconds.  Displayed items include; flash range indicator, zoom position, TTL/Manual , Power ratio setting, exposure compensation ±1.5, digital (aps-c) or 35mm (full frame) mode, (WP) wide panel down indicator, and auto or manual zoom setting.
Lights and switches
On-off slider, test/charge button, lighted mode and select buttons.
Power source
4 AA, 1.5V
Recycle time
About 8-9 sec at 1/1, but will fire at reduced output in 3.5 seconds. 1/2 power recharge is almost instantaneous at reduced output, full output requires about 7 seconds.  1/4 power recharge almost instant at reduced output, full power requires about 5 seconds.  1/8 and lower is instantaneous at full output level.
Flash duration rating
Not rated.
Power saving function
Yes, after fifteen minutes it goes into sleep mode, but will never turn off completely; wakes up after pressing any button on flash, or the camera’s shutter button, but wait for flash to charge before using.
Adjustable power levels
Seven full levels only; 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 and 1/64.
Wide angle diffuser type
Built-in, pulls out and down, see first product shot, covers 20mm, (13mm APS-C) and shows on LCD when attached (WP).
Bounce card or reflector plate
Not included.
Bounce positions
45°, 60°, 75°, and 90°.
Swivel positions
Left, 180°- right, 120°.
Zoom positions
Full frame: 20mm with diffuser, 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm and 105mm.  APS-C: 13mm with diffuser, 16mm, 19mm, 24mm, 34mm, 48mm, 58mm, and 70mm.  Will show many in-between lengths not listed in auto mode.
Zoom type
Internal, and fully automatic in auto mode.
Auto format zoom
Yes, but you have to manually select “35mm” or “digital” mode; “digital” means APS-C.
AF assist beam
Yes, red, works properly.
Custom functions
None listed.
Connections
None.
White balance info
No.
Modeling flash
No.
Multi-flash emission
No.
High speed sync
No support.
Wireless ability
None with Sony.
Sony ADI support
Yes.
Red eye reduction
No, only works with other brands, not supported by Sony.
Dimensions
2.6″W x 6.5H x 2.2D   65mm x 165mm x 57mm   Maximum length 6.5″ (165mm) including shoe mount.  Length and depth measured with flash flat.
Weight
8.8oz (249g) without batteries, 12.5oz (354g) with batteries.
Operating temp
0°-40°C,  32°-104°F
Quirks
Will not work with Radiopoppers™ triggers with Sony cable adapter, and won’t work well at all with Sony live-view mode.
Notes
Doesn’t function correctly (and is not usable) in Sony’s live view mode; seems to default to full power blast for all shots.  Tested on Sony A580, but may work properly with other brands.  Recharge times are too long at higher power settings.  This flash is the same one Fuji sells for the X100 camera at a much higher cost, only the hotshoe style is different.
Good for
Fully automatic use with Sony optical viewfinder camera.
Not good for
People wanting to use it in Sony live-view mode, wireless optical use, Radiopoppers™ use, or HSS.
Recommended?
Not for Sony users.
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