December 10 2011 - Photo Jottings

December 10 2011


Sale items and Sony HVL-F58AM review.

The Sony HVL-F58AM marks the last Sony flash review I’ll be doing for a while, at least until they come up with a new one.  The F58AM is Sony’s top-of-the-line flash, with the most power, (but not power levels), and suitable for rapid use, and the studio because of the external battery pack adapter plug, and off-camera cable plug.  Like the F43AM, it has modeling flash and multi-flash emission, and it can be used as a controller for other flashes, however, this is not easy.

I thought I’d try something dumb, like controlling a combination of the discontinued F42AM, F56AM and the F43AM and F58AM.  The older flashes are compatible with this new control system, but they must be set differently than the new flashes.  This system really does work, but it’s pretty hard to figure out initially; I prefer simple off-camera radio flash triggers, they’re easier to set up, with a much longer range and are far more reliable.  However, if you’re using your flashes for product shots or in a small room etc, then the optical wireless system will work fine.  If you’re in the studio, you can buy real studio strobes for less money, and have much more power with quicker recycling times.  Small camera flashes are meant to be handy, but they have their limitations.

The flash I reviewed a couple weeks ago (Sony HVL-F43AM) is now on sale for $299, and the top-line Sony flash (HVL-F58AM) is $399, that’s $100 off the regular price.  For those interested in a fast telephoto zoom lens, the Sigma 70-200mm OS EX DG HSM is on sale through the weekend for $1250, that’s $150 off the regular price.

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