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Thread: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

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    Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Okay, my pea brain can't figure this out ... maybe someone with even just a walnut sized brain can help me out

    So, yesterday I was about to shoot hand-held shots with my S2 and CS lenses in the studio using strobes. The Profoto AIR radio wouldn't trigger the D4-2400R pack with AIR receiver plugged into the pack's PC jack.

    Thinking it may be the connection between the AIR transmitter and camera hot shoe, or the radio transmitter wasn't working ... I put it on the Sony A99 to check it. It wouldn't fire it either, and I subsequently realized if I turned on a Profoto D1-AIR mono, both cameras would trigger that strobe, so it is something to do with the D4 pack connection that I've yet to figure out ...

    But that's just the back story leading up to the weird thing that I discovered!

    With an EVF you see what you get ... so setting the camera to max focal plane sync speed on the A99, and stopping down to f/11 in a dark studio, results in a totally black viewfinder.

    I mean you can't see anything what-so-ever. You go totally blind. Any sort of "camera in-hand" spontaneous shooting of models, or portrait subjects with studio strobes is impossible.

    Tell me what a dunce I am, and show me the error of my ways ... please.

    Because if this is true, that is a MAJOR drawback of EVF for Pro work ...

    - Marc

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Marc, This has been pointed out to you, IIRC. Anyway, no worries. Make a little note and paste it onto your A99.


    Sony's menu offers (at least in the NEX. I hope that would be the case with the A99 as well.):

    Settings effect "ON or OFF"

    Turn it to OFF then you are in business with the stop down strobe work.

    Remember to turn it back ON while not using the strobes so that your WB settings and such can be seen as they would be recorded.
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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Thanks Vivek!

    Post it note stuck on A99 bag.

    I'll be back in a couple of months with the same question again

    - Marc

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Glad I could repay in a small way, Marc.

    The tongue in cheek remarks aside, how many of the A7/7r buyers would even think of flashes on these cameras, do you think?

    The new flash extension chord (pricey) announced along with the A7/7r has attracted very little attention.

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    I don't know about the A7 owners, but one of the first questions I saw on DPR with respect to the E-M1 was flash system compatibility. (It's 100% compatible with Olympus flash system.) why would this be different for A7 users?

    G

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    G, I am going to bypass that because I have no answer for the Q.

    I will use this thread to start an interesting and useful possibility with the upcoming A7/7R and flashes (hope Marc won't mind).

    The official specs say flash sync for A7 is 1/250s and for the A7R it is 1/160s
    Given that both the cams offer a fastest shutter of 1/8000s , it is more than likely that those shutter speeds come from an electronic shutter.

    For high speed synchronizations, a leaf shutter is presumed to offer more flexibility.

    However, an electronic shutter can out do that easily (depending on its implementation).

    A case in point is the old Nikon D70.

    When I get my A7R, this is the first thing I would be checking out.

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Godfrey, the Oly already has a small but growing following of wedding and event photographers looking to reduce the size of gear they have to lug around for 8 hours. Lighting is fairly important to them.

    Not only is that group of photographers sizable, they have a relatively high rate of gear turn-over.

    Right now, Canon has a leg up on everyone with their 600EX-RT radio based speed-light system.

    Nikon has a very good system also, and just needs to go radio to get back on top.

    IMO, Sony lags behind and needs to bring some e-innovation to lighting for their flagship cameras in order to really compete with the big two more effectively.

    I think Sony maintains a consumer centric mentality ... however, I think recent offerings like the A99, RX-1 and now this A7R, are moving in the right direction. The A99 used a conventional hot shoe and introduced speed-lights more compatible with Pro and advanced amateur's needs.

    - Marc

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    For power packs and moonlights there is simply no connection to the camera to tell it to open up for viewing whereas TTL style flashes and on camera a communication signal is sent to camera to open up for viewing and stop down for actual shooting. I remember this I believe in my Sony A 55 I had to tell the camera to open up for viewing to use my studio strobes.

    Basic problem is transmitters do not send a signal to the cam to open up. Compatible on camera flash setups do send that signal. This is the issue Marc ran into with his Profoto air, he has to manually say open aperture in the menu options.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Um, okay Vivek. Although I don't know why you don't just start a new thread with a more appropriate title if you want to talk about a different subject.

    My impression was that Nikon dropped the electronic shutter aspect of the D70 in later models due to too many imaging problem complaints. Judging by other cameras that now have electronic shutters, the technology is improving but still far from mature given all the constraints that appear as soon as you go to electronic shutter mode.

    G

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Godfrey, In part because these cameras are not available yet. Since Marc brings up an interesting feature (besides answering your question, I think. ) of the current Canon flash system, I wonder why Sony would offer NFC and WiFi in these cams but not radio flash sync?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

    My impression was that Nikon dropped the electronic shutter aspect of the D70 in later models due to too many imaging problem complaints. Judging by other cameras that now have electronic shutters, the technology is improving but still far from mature given all the constraints that appear as soon as you go to electronic shutter mode.

    G
    The major problem with that camera was BGLOD that Nikon denied existed emphatically (as long as they could) and lost many customers, including me.

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    I suspect my perceptions of "small but growing Oly users" is somewhat different from yours. I was pretty heavily involved in the Olympus pro photographers groups for a long while. There seem to be quite a number of pros who have been using Olympus equipment since the E-10/E-20, and have used E-system for a wide variety of things all the way through since 2003.

    Few have done as much gear turnover as I see as the average on this forum. They bought their E-x, four or five lenses, a flash kit, and just keep using them.

    Most of the questions about flash I saw weren't from any of them, they were briefed by Olympus if they were a member of professional services. Most of the questions I saw were from hobbyists and amateurs who had FT SLR kits and existing flash kit. They wanted to be sure their FL36, FL50, etc, were compatible.

    It would be nice to see more embedded RF triggers in the flash system from all the makers. Canon's jumped there first, but others will follow.

    Sony's always been retarded with regard to flash. I remember from the F707 and onwards. Then the acceptance/adoption of the strange Minolta flash coupling. Now a new and seemingly yet again incompatible flash system. They just haven't gotten it yet.

    Personally, I don't use much in way of flash automation. I've not seen the point with a digital camera. It was important when I was shooting film as I couldn't know how the results would look, but it's so easy to pop a test with digital and see whether you're exposure is right ... why bother with all the complexity? I use a set of simple RF triggers and it works great.

    Regards the EVF mode, well, here I think Panasonic and Olympus have done it right since 2008. The defaults have always been to keep the viewfinder bright and serviceable for focusing and framing, with an option to provide a WYSIWYG view for pre-visualization. To me, if you're going to use exposure automation and such, keeping the viewfinder bright for framing and focusing is the priority. Click on the histogram to get a notion of the exposure, or check a test pop in review if you're using flash.

    But that's just my way of working, which reflects my thoughts. I'm sure there are other ways of working and reasons that support them.

    My question, btw, was really "Why would Sony users not be interested in flash compatibility and functionality?" which I think you and Vivek didn't quite get.

    G

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    ...I wonder why Sony would offer NFC and WiFi in these cams but not radio flash sync?

    The major problem with that camera was BGLOD that Nikon denied existed emphatically (as long as they could) and lost many customers, including me.
    Never heard of BGLOD. I did hear many complaints of imaging problems due to the failure of the electronic shutter to prevent over-saturation by insuffiently effective exposure cutoff.

    I do agree: don't see why bodies and flash units with RF triggering built in have not taken off. It's easier than WiFi streaming.

    G

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I suspect my perceptions of "small but growing Oly users" is somewhat different from yours. I was pretty heavily involved in the Olympus pro photographers groups for a long while. There seem to be quite a number of pros who have been using Olympus equipment since the E-10/E-20, and have used E-system for a wide variety of things all the way through since 2003.

    Few have done as much gear turnover as I see as the average on this forum. They bought their E-x, four or five lenses, a flash kit, and just keep using them.

    Most of the questions about flash I saw weren't from any of them, they were briefed by Olympus if they were a member of professional services. Most of the questions I saw were from hobbyists and amateurs who had FT SLR kits and existing flash kit. They wanted to be sure their FL36, FL50, etc, were compatible.

    It would be nice to see more embedded RF triggers in the flash system from all the makers. Canon's jumped there first, but others will follow.

    Sony's always been retarded with regard to flash. I remember from the F707 and onwards. Then the acceptance/adoption of the strange Minolta flash coupling. Now a new and seemingly yet again incompatible flash system. They just haven't gotten it yet.

    Personally, I don't use much in way of flash automation. I've not seen the point with a digital camera. It was important when I was shooting film as I couldn't know how the results would look, but it's so easy to pop a test with digital and see whether you're exposure is right ... why bother with all the complexity? I use a set of simple RF triggers and it works great.

    Regards the EVF mode, well, here I think Panasonic and Olympus have done it right since 2008. The defaults have always been to keep the viewfinder bright and serviceable for focusing and framing, with an option to provide a WYSIWYG view for pre-visualization. To me, if you're going to use exposure automation and such, keeping the viewfinder bright for framing and focusing is the priority. Click on the histogram to get a notion of the exposure, or check a test pop in review if you're using flash.

    But that's just my way of working, which reflects my thoughts. I'm sure there are other ways of working and reasons that support them.

    My question, btw, was really "Why would Sony users not be interested in flash compatibility and functionality?" which I think you and Vivek didn't quite get.

    G
    Godfrey, my POV regarding "small but growing" interest in Oly was industry specific: the large wedding and event group which is overwhelmingly dominated by Canon and Nikon. Your POV is brand specific, thus would cross over a number of pro categories. The interest in the emerging smaller systems solutions amongst wedding/event shooters started increasing as the IQ started closing in on that of the bigger, heavier, more exhausting 35mm DSLRs. Gear turn over in that industry is pretty aggressive compared to other Pro categories which, in my experience, tend to hold on much longer, whether 35mm or even Medium Format digital.

    As I just re-descovered , the A99 and other Sony EVF cameras can be set for normal max aperture bright viewing, with the option to set it for WYSIWYG. Same as Oly.

    Now, as to your question as to why Oly amateurs seem more interested in aux lighting than Sony users ... I did mention that IMO, Sony has had more of a consumer mentality regarding photography as opposed to catering to the advanced amateur or pro ... a skew that longer lived brands tended to collect over time. I think that may now be changing for Sony.

    Sony inherited the proprietary flash system from the 'Demented Mind of Minolta" , and probably continued it to retain the sizable group of legacy Minolta owners while they forged ahead into new territory. They put out a zillion consumer oriented DSLRs under the Alpha name to obviously make money. With that base established, it seems they are now moving up into a more advanced target audience.

    I'm not sure what you mean regarding the "seemingly incompatible" new flash system from Sony. I have an A99 with its' standard hot-shoe, that takes any standard radio transmitter, and the new flash has all the features found on Canon or Nikon speed-lights and then some. The only missing element is a master controller like the Canon STE-2/ST-E3-RT or Nikon SU-800 Commander transmitters ... for which I have little interest anyway. While I may sometimes use an off-camera remote triggered speed-light, off-camera TTL speed-lights have never been my thing. Actually, I think speed-lights are just to wimpy, and offer less modifier solutions.

    Another issue with Sony flash isn't specifically of their making ... third party radio systems are slow to offer products for Sony applications. Partly due to the odd older flash mount, and partly because the market is smaller. Canon and Nikon get all the attention for obvious reasons. I finally was able to get a TTL pass through type transmitter for my A900 early last year, but am now waiting for that to be offered for the A99, etc..

    My most used method of using lighting is strobe as key, with on-camera TTL for fill ... mostly because I am often shooting in highly mobile situations. An assistant with the key modified strobe light on a boom-arm painter's pole, and the TTL speed-light controlled by me. Super simple.

    - Marc

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    I have an A99 and I find fill flash to be the best of any camera I've owned. I have dedicated a button to FEL. I press the FEL button and get a pre-flash. After that, I can shoot away and get consistent correct exposures. If I want to take my flash off of the camera, my 20 flash acts as a commander to wirelessly trigger my 60 and 43 flashes.
    I would like some third party radio triggers. Maybe we will get those now that the A7 and A7r are generating a bigger Sony base.

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    I guess I really don't care much about the "industry specific" Nikon-Canon hegemony. Since I don't use their equipment, what they are doing isn't all that important or visible to me.

    Your response to "why wouldn't Sony users be interested in flash compatibility?" seems to be "Sony is consumer oriented." which doesn't really make sense to me. But such it is.

    When I had Minolta equipment with the weird flash shoe, I bought the adapter to fit a standard RF trigger. Solution done.

    Since I almost always use manual flash and you seem to want to discuss automation systems, and the EVF issue is solved, I'll exit the discussion here.

    G

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    Re: Help me out here RE: EVF and Strobes

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I guess I really don't care much about the "industry specific" Nikon-Canon hegemony. Since I don't use their equipment, what they are doing isn't all that important or visible to me.

    Your response to "why wouldn't Sony users be interested in flash compatibility?" seems to be "Sony is consumer oriented." which doesn't really make sense to me. But such it is.

    When I had Minolta equipment with the weird flash shoe, I bought the adapter to fit a standard RF trigger. Solution done.

    Since I almost always use manual flash and you seem to want to discuss automation systems, and the EVF issue is solved, I'll exit the discussion here.

    G
    Must be a language disconnect here.

    What's not to understand? Sony they bought Minolta, then went after the general consumer first ... and they tend to use pop-up flash or fully automated speed-lights in the hot-shoe with the camera on P. So, development of more compatible Sony flash systems you bitched about as being "retarded" was slow coming for those who work differently ... like with off-camera, or multiple speed-lights ... whether you use them or not. I just answered your question with my opinion. Couldn't care less how you work ... the question wasn't about you.

    Everyone with the proprietary Monolta/Sony hot-shoe HAD to use an adapter for RF triggers with off-camera lights ... no special news or special insight there. Duh.

    Nothing special about working with pack strobes manually either, since none of them are automated. I don't particularly want to discuss automated systems since I don't use it much ... except TTL on-camera fill when working mobile, fast and at rapidly changing distances ... with a manual strobe moved by an assistant as key directional. Manually setting the speed-light in this rapidly changing circumstance is to slow. Hell, I even use AF sometimes

    Whatever.

    - Marc

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