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Thread: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

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    Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Nissin i40 speed-light arrived yesterday afternoon.

    First impression was this box is so small

    True to that promise, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the flash, and how well proportioned it is to my tiny A7R.

    Here are the PROS:

    Comes with all the accessories like a padded belt mount soft case with a QR bag clip, and table stand/light stand mount that I personally just leave in the box before storing it. It does not come with a little cap for the multi-function mount which eventually just gets lost anyway.

    Has a W/A diffuser that pulls out from the bottom of the head. Also comes with a clip-on diffuser which is well designed with the diffusion area deep enough to actually scatter light to the sides as well as straight forward. More importantly, it is deep enough that when tilted up to the full 90 you can still use the slide out bounce card inside the diffuser to throw more light forward because it is cleverly accessible from outside the diffuser so you can use it, or not use it, without removing the diffuser.

    Analog controls are no-brainer to use. The printed instructions are meager and sparse Nissin assumes you know the basics of speed-light use. If Sony wrote them they'd be a phone book

    Full 90 bounce, with swivel 180 to left and right. Clear crisp click indents that promise no flopping forward (although that remains to be seen when other heavier modifiers are used like a Lumiquest bounce).

    A key difference with this Mighty Mouse flash is that unlike the new smaller Sony flash, it takes 4 AAs in the main body. Even with 4 batteries, it is a feather weight, and causes no feel of unbalance. 4AA will help with the piss-ant video light .

    The AF assist light is really strong an amber color which burns out part of the viewfinder view when the camera is set to "Setting Effect Off" for using strobes or flash. That may be either a Pro or Con. We'll see.

    The mount is simple slip it in and the flash firmly clicks into place with no wobble or play, press the rear release button and remove it.

    A, M or TTL/HSS is user controlled by pressing the green test button for three seconds and then a mode light flashes to tell you HSS is set. It does NOT retain that setting if you turn off the flash! You have to re-set HSS each time you power-up the i40.

    I did a few quick shots using TTL and bounce and it exposed perfectly what remains to be seen is how well it does for daylight fill, and whether it has enough juice to work in larger spaces and/or low light although I tend to use the "drag the shutter technique" in lower light, so it'll probably be fine. I have an upcoming wedding where I'll find out all the answers quick enough.

    That's the good news here are the cons:

    The shoe mount is not metal. I advise taking care not to constantly pick up the camera/flash using the flash in any way.

    The plastic swivel mechanism is less than robust and promises to self-destruct if handled roughly in haste, or more likely takes a side hit when in upright bounce position. I'd advise NOT carrying the kit with the head in bounce position.

    The analog TTL compensation dial offers +/- two stops either way. Minus 2 is probably okay, but plus 2 often doesn't always cut it in strongly back-lit ambient. Probably the most they could manage in a unit this small.

    Compared to LCD digital flash communications, the little dial indicator lights on the back are quite bright in dark conditions, making it very difficult to see the printed analog dial settings because you are looking at those bright lights. It'll be fine outdoors, but indoors or any darker ambient conditions will have you wishing for a flash-light.

    Worst aspect of the i40 is the battery door. It pops open and is held open by a spring mechanism, which requires a degree from MIT to then close. I practiced it many times and it was still difficult to quickly close and requires use of both hands to do it. There are no special instructions regarding the insertion of batteries with the unit. Maybe there is a secret to it, and when anyone finds it they should make a video of it As for now, it is NOT conducive to quickly changing batteries on the fly (like at a wedding or event shoot). I predict this door will get broken in droves. Bring some Gaffers tape in your bag or you may be SOL if it breaks.

    More to come after I get a chance to give it a work-out.

    - Marc

    I can't upload images here due to exceeding some quota which I haven't a clue how to correct so here is a link to photos of the i40 on my A7R, with close-ups of some discussion areas like the swivel mechanism and battery door spring hinge.

    i40 flash on A7R - fotografz

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Nissin i40 speed-light arrived yesterday afternoon.

    First impression was this box is so small



    More to come after I get a chance to give it a work-out.

    - Marc

    I can't upload images here due to exceeding some quota which I haven't a clue how to correct so here is a link to photos of the i40 on my A7R, with close-ups of some discussion areas like the swivel mechanism and battery door spring hinge.

    i40 flash on A7R - fotografz



    Marc:
    Thanks for your report. At some point I'll probably be augmenting the huge a-mount flash I currently have.

    Regards,
    John

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Nice initial report and sounds like a good unit overall. Thanks.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Nissin i40 speed-light arrived yesterday afternoon.

    First impression was this box is so small

    True to that promise, I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the flash, and how well proportioned it is to my tiny A7R.

    Here are the PROS:

    Comes with all the accessories like a padded belt mount soft case with a QR bag clip, and table stand/light stand mount that I personally just leave in the box before storing it. It does not come with a little cap for the multi-function mount which eventually just gets lost anyway.

    Has a W/A diffuser that pulls out from the bottom of the head. Also comes with a clip-on diffuser which is well designed with the diffusion area deep enough to actually scatter light to the sides as well as straight forward. More importantly, it is deep enough that when tilted up to the full 90 you can still use the slide out bounce card inside the diffuser to throw more light forward because it is cleverly accessible from outside the diffuser so you can use it, or not use it, without removing the diffuser.

    Analog controls are no-brainer to use. The printed instructions are meager and sparse Nissin assumes you know the basics of speed-light use. If Sony wrote them they'd be a phone book

    Full 90 bounce, with swivel 180 to left and right. Clear crisp click indents that promise no flopping forward (although that remains to be seen when other heavier modifiers are used like a Lumiquest bounce).

    A key difference with this Mighty Mouse flash is that unlike the new smaller Sony flash, it takes 4 AAs in the main body. Even with 4 batteries, it is a feather weight, and causes no feel of unbalance. 4AA will help with the piss-ant video light .

    The AF assist light is really strong an amber color which burns out part of the viewfinder view when the camera is set to "Setting Effect Off" for using strobes or flash. That may be either a Pro or Con. We'll see.

    The mount is simple slip it in and the flash firmly clicks into place with no wobble or play, press the rear release button and remove it.

    A, M or TTL/HSS is user controlled by pressing the green test button for three seconds and then a mode light flashes to tell you HSS is set. It does NOT retain that setting if you turn off the flash! You have to re-set HSS each time you power-up the i40.

    I did a few quick shots using TTL and bounce and it exposed perfectly what remains to be seen is how well it does for daylight fill, and whether it has enough juice to work in larger spaces and/or low light although I tend to use the "drag the shutter technique" in lower light, so it'll probably be fine. I have an upcoming wedding where I'll find out all the answers quick enough.

    That's the good news here are the cons:

    The shoe mount is not metal. I advise taking care not to constantly pick up the camera/flash using the flash in any way.

    The plastic swivel mechanism is less than robust and promises to self-destruct if handled roughly in haste, or more likely takes a side hit when in upright bounce position. I'd advise NOT carrying the kit with the head in bounce position.

    The analog TTL compensation dial offers +/- two stops either way. Minus 2 is probably okay, but plus 2 often doesn't always cut it in strongly back-lit ambient. Probably the most they could manage in a unit this small.

    Compared to LCD digital flash communications, the little dial indicator lights on the back are quite bright in dark conditions, making it very difficult to see the printed analog dial settings because you are looking at those bright lights. It'll be fine outdoors, but indoors or any darker ambient conditions will have you wishing for a flash-light.

    Worst aspect of the i40 is the battery door. It pops open and is held open by a spring mechanism, which requires a degree from MIT to then close. I practiced it many times and it was still difficult to quickly close and requires use of both hands to do it. There are no special instructions regarding the insertion of batteries with the unit. Maybe there is a secret to it, and when anyone finds it they should make a video of it As for now, it is NOT conducive to quickly changing batteries on the fly (like at a wedding or event shoot). I predict this door will get broken in droves. Bring some Gaffers tape in your bag or you may be SOL if it breaks.

    More to come after I get a chance to give it a work-out.

    - Marc

    I can't upload images here due to exceeding some quota which I haven't a clue how to correct so here is a link to photos of the i40 on my A7R, with close-ups of some discussion areas like the swivel mechanism and battery door spring hinge.

    i40 flash on A7R - fotografz

    Marc send Bob or Jack a PM tell them to bump up to subscriber member. Tell them it came from me. Typed on a IPhone 6 which has active predictive typing. My posts may never be the same now. Cool feature
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Marc send Bob or Jack tell them to bump up to subscriber member. Tell them it came from me. Typed on a IPhone 6 which has active predictive typing. My posts may never be the same now. Cool feature
    That's a feature of iOS 8. My iPhone 5 has it too now. It took Apple long enough to bring that feature over from Android.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Very slick feature
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Would you post a picture of the hotshoe that is not metal?

    On Nissian's website clearly states that it is in fact a metal hotshoe.

    Quote:
    Metal hotshoe - Quick release button
    Durable metal hotshot design with quick release button, easy to install and reduce the chance of damage caused by installation.

    EDIT: Googled and the hotshoe looks just like the 60M
    Last edited by SamSS; 24th September 2014 at 11:50. Reason: Addition

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by SamSS View Post
    Would you post a picture of the hotshoe that is not metal?

    On Nissian's website clearly states that it is in fact a metal hotshoe.

    Quote:
    Metal hotshoe - Quick release button
    Durable metal hotshot design with quick release button, easy to install and reduce the chance of damage caused by installation.

    EDIT: Googled and the hotshoe looks just like the 60M
    The flange part that is gripped by the camera's hot shoe is plastic. That is the vulnerable part of a flash mount subject to breakage when torqued during use.

    Where, for example, the flange part of the Canon 430EXII mount that is gripped by the hot-shoe is metal. Canon flash mounts were once notorious for breaking, but they addressed it with all metal flanges.

    Canon 430EX II Speedlite TTL Shoe-Mount Flash 2805B002 B&H Photo

    However, perhaps Nissin's use of metal in the center is designed to reinforce the outer plastic flanges. We'll see.

    - Marc

    Addendum:

    The other savings grace of the Nissin is that it is so small and light weight, so the shoe mount flanges may not have as much fulcrum torque as a larger speed-light.

    However, this sort of issue may be less relevant to casual users, but is very important to those who depend on their flash, like wedding and event shooters for example (including me).

    Use of added modifiers that add weight to the upper part of a flash, or use on the end of a painter's pole can place fulcrum stress on the small mount area or movement through crowds of dancing people, etc. all add peril to an appendage hanging off a camera.
    Last edited by fotografz; 25th September 2014 at 00:30.

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Thanks.
    I love Sony's quick-shift-bounce feature on their flashes, BUT (a big BUT) I also hate how they are overheated so quickly. Every time picking up a Sony flash to use, "overheat" always come to mind.
    I just got rid of 2x 43AM but still keep a 60M as a single flash for TTL/HSS when needed.
    I bought 4x Yongnuo 560m3 + 560-TX commander and never look back. It works out well for me without TTL/HSS

    Though, there is an interesting product from Nissin that I like a lot but unavailble for Sony. It's the MG8000 Extreme

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    Quote Originally Posted by SamSS View Post
    Thanks.
    I love Sony's quick-shift-bounce feature on their flashes, BUT (a big BUT) I also hate how they are overheated so quickly. Every time picking up a Sony flash to use, "overheat" always come to mind.
    I just got rid of 2x 43AM but still keep a 60M as a single flash for TTL/HSS when needed.
    I bought 4x Yongnuo 560m3 + 560-TX commander and never look back. It works out well for me without TTL/HSS

    Though, there is an interesting product from Nissin that I like a lot but unavailble for Sony. It's the MG8000 Extreme
    Those Nissin folks are smart cookies.

    They see an issue (over-heating Canon/Nikon speed-lights) and they address it pronto!

    Be cool if they do it for Sony soon.

    My speed-light wish is that SOMEONE would wake up and produce a self-contained bare-bulb that is small and powerful. Seems like current technology would allow it. Then we could have better quality of light using a parabolic reflector.

    - Marc

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    This i40 flash has caught my eye. It looks potentially ideal for use with my Leica M bodies. Up until now, I've been using the large SF58 for events that need flash and it is a very ungainly and unbalanced combination that, after a few hours of intensive use, leaves me with temporary RSI in my fingers. I always use the 58 in manual mode (usually dialled down to 1/128 or so output) so the i40 isn't disadvantaged not having TTL support for Leica. Having simple analogue control over flash output would be a huge advantage for me compared with fiddling with the buttons on the SF58 and the smaller size is an added bonus. Has anyone tried the i40 on a Leica? My assumption is that it would work in manual and auto modes but there may be a gotcha that I'm missing? I would probably buy the Nikon version so that I could also use it occasionally with my Nikon DSLR but my primary interest is to use it with my Monochrom and M9P bodies.

    Incidentally, I've owned the SF24 and didn't like it much. The weight is nice but the lack of swivel head and the inability to dial down the output to the same kind of low output I can get with the Sf58 makes it pretty useless for me. I'm hoping that the i40 is what the SF24 should have been as a flash for M bodies (albeit without TTL).

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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    did you just get the Sony-fit version? Cheers.
    Keep It Simple.
    XQ2 / A7r / 15mm / 25mm / 28-35-50mm
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    Re: Report: i40 flash on A7 Cameras

    B&H received an order of these last week I don't know if they still have them but I received mine on Thursday. I'd keep an eye out for it though as I'm sure they're ramping up production before Christmas.

    Nissin i40 Compact Flash for Sony Cameras ND40-S B&H Photo Video
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