Sony HVL-56AM and Minolta 3500xi Flash...Will they work together?

Discussion in 'Sony' started by LooksLikeRain, Aug 10, 2007.

  1. Hello,

    I am new to digital SLR photography (photography in general really),
    and I just purchased the Sony HVL-56AM flash for my a-100 dSLR. I am
    trying to use it as a
    crude main/key light while using my old Minolta 3500xi flash as a fill

    Is this possible?

    Both flash units have wireless capability (I believe through infra-
    red). However, I can't
    seem to get them both to fire at the same time. In fact, I can't get
    the 3500xi to fire wirelessly at all using the a-100. It seems odd to
    me that it won't work with my a-100 when it worked wirelessly with my
    old HTSi Minolta 35mm. The HVL-56AM flash works fine with the a-100
    either wireless or not (I would expect that though since it was made
    for the a-100).

    Anyway, back to my main question. Is there anyway I can use the
    HVL-56AM as the key light and the 3500xi as the fill (both

    I think it would be much easier to throw 2 flashes in my pack instead
    of lugging around soft boxes/umbrellas (which I have yet to buy
    because I don't know much about brands or quality, and am trying to
    figure out which set would be good for indoor portrait photography for
    less than $500. Is there such a thing?)

    I know I kind of have two separate questions going here, but I am
    really tyring to figure out if I can use the 3500xi flash at all with
    my a-100. If not, I have a paperweight pretty much. :-(

    Thanks for helping.
    LooksLikeRain, Aug 10, 2007
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  2. You can't. The 3500xi is two generations older than the Sony HVL-56AM,
    and the wireless protocols are different. They had to change the way the
    auto flash worked when digital cameras were first introduced (Vectis
    RD-3000 and Dimage 5, 2000-2002) because TTL off the film was not
    possible. The new Sony gun will work with any Minolta/KM flashgun with
    wireless facility and (D) after its name - 3600 HS (D) or 5600 HS (D) -
    and any later model compatible such as the Sigma EF 500 Super DG (though
    some independents need rechipping, or firmware upgrades - Metz adaptors
    must be firmware M7 for example).

    The 3500xi can be triggered by a slave cell, using a hot shoe adaptor
    and a tripod stand base, but this doesn't help you use wireless for
    other flash units, as their signal flashes will trigger the slave too early.

    I just had to sell my older Minolta flashguns along with older film
    cameras, and buy new Minolta (D) for my Min/Sony digital system.

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 10, 2007
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  3. Mr. Rain-

    It is possible to use the flash mounted on the camera, but only in a
    manual mode. Perhaps the flash has its own' light sensor and can be
    used in an automatic mode with the camera set manually. I don't think
    that is what you are looking for, and it would probably not work with
    the second flash.

    Consider purchasing a second Sony flash. I have the Minolta 5600 HS-D,
    which appears to be identical to the HVL-56AM except for the label.
    Either of these should work.

    Fred McKenzie, Aug 10, 2007
  4. Thanks. It looks like I am going to have to purchase a new flash unit.
    I appreciate the help.
    LooksLikeRain, Aug 11, 2007
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