Sony A350 flash question

Discussion in 'Sony' started by Focus, May 28, 2008.

  1. Focus

    Focus Guest

    I got the HVL 42 flash yesterday. Works great, but I don't understand: I
    can't use or change red eye reduction. It's ghosted and reads off.
    With the built in flash I can choose.
    What's the story here?
    Focus, May 28, 2008
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  2. Focus

    ASAAR Guest

    Maybe it's not an option because you shouldn't *need* red eye
    reduction when you use an external flash. The red eye is caused by
    having the flash tube too close to the camera's lens. The built-in
    flash probably is close enough to the lens to occasionally produce
    some redeye, especially when the subject's eyes are near the center
    of the frame, but it won't produce nearly as much as small P&S
    cameras. Those are the ones that need anti-redeye features the
    most. Nowadays, most small cameras are tending to use in-camera
    processing after the shot is made to eliminate redeye. If it works,
    it's a much better solution than trying to reduce (not eliminate)
    red eye by using the flash to blind the people in your photos just
    before the shot is taken.
    ASAAR, May 28, 2008
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  3. Focus

    Alan Browne Guest

    1. as ASAAR points out, the flash is above the lens axis, so less
    red-eye (you can still get it when people are further away, dark room
    (dilated pupils), longer lens, wide aperture).

    2. The flash attachment does not have (I presume) the function to pop a
    few zaps at the victim to force his pupils to close a little). My
    Minolta flashes (which the FL42 is based on) do not.

    As there is little as unflattering as direct flash, using the flash head
    angled up, with a sto-fen, lumi-quest or other similar device [or
    ceiling bounced] pretty much eliminates redeye altogether.

    Alan Browne, May 29, 2008
  4. Read The Fine Manual (for the camera) which says:

    "The red-eye reduction is available only when the built-in flash is

    If you need further hand-holding, you could go here:

    and then go to p80, and finally look towards the bottom.
    mark.thomas.7, May 29, 2008
  5. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Thank you all, but the problem is not the red eyes.
    I get people with *closed* eyes every time!
    I thought it would help if a pre flash was fired, so they close their eyes
    for that and open them for the real flash. Maybe wishful thinking, but there
    must be some solution, I hope?
    I got to shoot a wedding soon and I don't think the people are going to be
    very happy with all eyes closed in all photos...
    Focus, May 29, 2008
  6. Focus

    Mark Thomas Guest

    It might be your shooting style - you may be giving signals to your
    subjects and they are flinching as they see the subtle signs leading up
    to - or as - your finger presses down, so they can accurately guess when
    the flash will come.. (Or I guess it might be a bad anti red-eye system
    that fires the 'real' flash too late...)

    For shooting wedding groups, take two of each shot (and if they are
    important ones, check the results before you let them dissipate, or take
    more than two), and (see above) slightly vary the delay between whatever
    it is you do/say to get their attention, and the moment of firing - so
    they are caught by surprise. If your flash can stand it, try shooting
    the second image almost instantly after the first. Shots taken in
    daylight with fill-flash should not be much of a problem as the flash
    isn't so annoying to the subjects. Keep one eye open as you shoot, and
    you should be able to tell if any of the main subjects (eg bride and
    groom!) might have blinked. You can ask if anyone didn't see the
    flash.. but that method is very fallible!

    And if you can, consider using available light (eg if it is a bright
    overcast day).. but there are obvious cautions in regard to white
    balance, potential for motion blur, quality issues at high isos's,
    unflattering shadows in bright sunlight, etc..

    You might want to practice all this beforehand to get the hang of it.
    In other words, you need to be confident and know your equipment and
    techniques *backwards* when about to shoot important events... but we'll
    assume you are not the main photographer..?
    Mark Thomas, May 29, 2008
  7. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Thanks a lot Mark!
    No, I'm not the main photographer, but it is a big wedding with some
    international crowd.
    I sure will try out your tips.
    Also I thought maybe to use rear curtain flash. Who knows, it might help.
    Anyway, I got a lot of time to practice, so I'm not in total chaos and
    Focus, May 29, 2008

  8. A flash? Probably the only light in the house.
    van de Meppelink, May 29, 2008
  9. It's only because they don't want to see you.
    van de Meppelink, May 29, 2008
  10. Of course you must be dissapointed as a 'professional' photographer.
    van de Meppelink, May 29, 2008
  11. Focus

    Focus Guest

    OK, I already found the problem: in both ADI and TTL the flash sends out a
    pre flash. Great, because they have the time to close their eyes.
    So, unless you flash manual, there is no work around that. I don't recall
    having this problem with Nikon, but I'm not sure.
    OTOH: I must say, I'm amazed by the quality of the flash pictures: except
    for a little shadow, it's hard to tell a flash was used...
    Focus, May 29, 2008
  12. The A350 is a little slow on this. The delay is slightly reduced with
    the A700, which produces less cases of blinking. I never have had this
    problem at all - just seems I don't get blinking, even with groups.

    I know some people who get it all the time and blame the Alpha pre-flash
    system. If so, how can I shoot fifty or more pictures at an event and
    get not a single case of blinking? Maybe it's alcohol, they have always
    had a bottle of wine or two over dinner before the pictures, and perhaps
    they no longer react to the light.


    Icon Publications Ltd, Maxwell Place, Maxwell Lane, Kelso TD5 7BB
    Company Registered in England No 2122711. Registered Office 12 Exchange
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    David Kilpatrick, May 29, 2008
  13. Focus

    Focus Guest

    Great solution David!
    I'll just feed everybody a shipload of booze and start shooting after they
    are loaded, LOL!

    But serious, I understood that a Metz 54 flash doesn't use the camera's pre
    flash. I read it uses it's own electronics to measure the light. Do you
    happen to know about that?
    Focus, May 29, 2008
  14. So.... RTFM!

    out of Focus
    van de Meppelink, May 29, 2008
  15. Yes, if you set it to work that way. It can use either the pre-flash, or
    an A setting. It also has a secondary fill-in flash for use with the
    bounce, adding eye catchlights.

    I have tested it and found the exposure slightly generous, but the
    quality of light is excellent.


    Icon Publications Ltd, Maxwell Place, Maxwell Lane, Kelso TD5 7BB
    Company Registered in England No 2122711. Registered Office 12 Exchange
    St, Retford, Notts DN22 6BL
    VAT Reg No GB458101463
    Trading as Icon Publications Ltd, Photoworld Club and - - - -
    Tel +44 1573 226032
    David Kilpatrick, May 29, 2008
  16. Focus

    ASAAR Guest

    You may still have problems with that solution solution. It may
    eliminate blinking, but sagging eyelids may need toothpicks or
    gaffer's tape to keep the subject's eyes open!

    "Yep. The ones in the group photo with redeye were the designated
    ASAAR, May 29, 2008
  17. Focus

    Alan Browne Guest

    I find the pre-flash on my Minolta 5600HS perfectly timed to induce
    closed eye shots! The timing is likely identical on your Sony flash as
    they have the same DNA.

    Although I did use it at a party a few months ago and I did not get any
    closed eye shots. Maybe the level of ambient lighting has something to
    do with the eye physiology and reaction to the pre-flash.

    An option would be to shoot manual power levels, but you will need to
    either shoot constant distance/aperture (like many ole pros did) or be
    quick at evaluating the display and histo and adjusting aperture and
    manual flash power on the fly. This sucks as an option.

    IAC, you will need to be quick with flash compensation, esp. if there is
    a lot of the old black-tux/white-dress mixes.

    Alan Browne, May 30, 2008
  18. Focus

    Focus Guest

    After some searching I'm going to return the Sony flash and get a Metz 58.
    It has a shipload more of extras and it seems to work great with Sony. It
    has a TTL option at which it doesn't pre flash, but measures the light with
    it's own "eye".
    Now I'm waiting for it to come available...
    Focus, May 30, 2008
  19. Focus

    Alan Browne Guest

    I would be tempted as well, but you should also consider the higher end
    Sony flash [ 56 ] which has more options as well. At least compare the
    features of the existing 56 to the Metz.

    I almost bought a Metz flash some years ago for Minolta, but it did not
    integrate as smoothly as the 5400HS and 5600HS. The Minolta flash was
    more expensive, but I've had no regrets.

    And by the way, using a pair of flashes, one on camera for fill and one
    off camera for key makes for very good portraits.

    Alan Browne, May 31, 2008
  20. Focus

    Focus Guest

    I already considered the Sony 56, but it's more expensive and has less
    features. The Metz also has a USB port and can be upgraded.
    The Metz can also be used for wireless flash.
    But thanks anyway for your suggestions!
    Focus, May 31, 2008
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