January 13 2011 - Photo Jottings

January 13 2011


 The first part of the flash page is up.  I’ve listed the flashes I have, and what is needed to use them with the radiopopper™ system.  It’s kind of a “getting started” guide using Sony and Minolta flashes, and is not intended to be a “how to” lighting guide, I’ll be covering that subject a little later.  The next part will be the gel, slave and accessory guide, on the same page, coming next week.  I’ve listed the important specifications for the flash units at the bottom of the page, like recycle time, zoom capability, power levels and what you’ll need to use it with the radiopopper™ system.

Many people don’t realize this but; you don’t need to use Sony or Minolta flashes at all for radio controlled flash use, and the camera won’t even know the flashes are firing in dumb mode, or simple manual on-off operation.  I use manual everything, exposure, flash settings and focusing.  When you use the same camera and accessories long enough, you know where the setting are supposed to be, or close to it, so automated operation is not really needed, and not wanted in most cases.

As I said, you don’t have to use Sony or Minolta flashes.  If I had to do it over again, I might go with Nikon flashes, as some people claim their wireless system is much more reliable than Sony or Canon.  You can use one or two receivers, and fire any number of flash units that are able to read the flash pulse.  In my experience, Sony is not very reliable once you get the flash out of sight or behind the camera.

I’m a cheapskate, and won’t pay retail for anything if I don’t have too.  All the flashes below cost me less than $1000 total.  If you want to use Sony or Minolta flashes, that’s fine.  Buy them on eBay where they’re cheap.  Most people buy a flash unit, use it a few times, then decide they don’t need it and sell it for a loss.  There are a lot of great deals out there for flashes, and I think the best deal is the Minolta Maxxum 4000 AF, you can find them for about $20-40 in good condition, and they’re perfectly capable of doing a great job at lighting a house interior.  You’ll have to buy a receiver ($80) and two adapters ($40) because it uses the old style Minolta foot, so you’ll have about $150 in the setup, but that’s still only half the price of the Sony HVL-F56AM, which is a good unit, but not totally necessary in my opinion, especially for a beginner.

One other item, when using the white email box in the contact page, make sure you put in the exact email address, if you don’t, I won’t be able to send a reply.

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