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Wireless Flash

Practice

Practice Movie

Using Wireless Flash with 2 groups

By using an external off-camera flash placed behind the subject, simulating light shining through a window, you can create a much more interesting image than with the direct flash on the camera.

Changing the ratio between the CTRL flash and RMT flashes

The ratio between the CTRL flash and RMT flashes has been changed from 1:16 to 1:4, 1:2, and 1:1 in this series to obtain the best balance between back and fill light.

Example of lighting
CTRL:RMT (Fill : Main)

1:16

1:4

1:2

1:1

You can try out different lighting ratios to easily check which one suits the subject best. In this case the 1:4 ratio provides the desired result, simulating bright window lighting while still providing the necessary amount of fill light to brighten up the front of the black typewriter.

Using Wireless Flash with 3 groups and accessories

Using Wireless Ratio Flash with 3 groups offers you multiple options for creative lighting. By adding studio accessories such as reflector umbrellas or soft boxes, you can use the Sony flash system as a portable flash solution in any location.

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Special Tips

How do I eliminate reflections when taking a photo through glass using Wireless Flash?

The controller (CTRL) communicates with the off-camera (remote) flashes (RMT) via pulsed light. The amount of light used to control the external flashes is usually insignificant and won't be perceived as fill light even under dim shooting conditions. However, when photographing a strongly reflective subject, or when the subject is behind glass (e.g. a glass cabinet), the CTRL light may be reflected directly onto the lens and will appear in the final image as a bright spot. High Speed Synchronization (HSS mode) is an effective way to avoid this. In this mode, instead of a single flash burst, the flash emits a constant light pulse and the trigger and control signals are timed differently. So, in practice, just set the camera to S or M mode and select a shutter speed faster than the standard flash sync speed (usually 1/160 to 1/250, depending on the camera model). Make sure that HSS mode is enabled for the external flashes as well.

Here are two examples showing the effect:

1. A glass carafe with a glass sphere on top
2. A figurine inside a glass cabinet

1/250 sec. (Standard flash sync speed)

1/320 sec. (High Speed Synchronization)

In the image to the left, the standard flash sync speed was used and the reflection from the CTRL flash appears as a bright spotlight. Furthermore, since automatic flash metering is used, the spotlight may make metering less precise.

Creative choice  - flash coverage tele position

You can use the manual zoom control to alter the coverage of the flash beam. For example you can switch from wide to spot illumination as needed. This gives you an additional option for more creative lighting. For example, set the zoom of the flash to a short focal length (wide setting) to evenly light a larger subject or room, or set it to tele in order to emphasize certain parts of the subject. The closer the flash is placed to the subject, the stronger the effect will be. Please note that when you use the auto zoom control, the flash coverage will switch to the wide setting automatically when it is detached from the camera, independent of the focal length of the lens.

Another effect of changing the flash coverage setting is an extended flash range when a longer focal length (tele) is set. As the same amount of energy is distributed over a smaller angle with the tele setting, the guide number (range) will increase, so you can light more distant subjects.

Tips:

  • Set the Live View Display Setting Effect to OFF to ensure that the Live View image is sufficiently bright even if the aperture is stepped down and a fast shutter speed is set in M mode when using a conventional studio flash. When the Setting Effect is set to ON, the Live View image will give a preview of the exposure settings for the ambient lighting.
  • Use a manual flash setting (not TTL auto flash metering) such as MANUAL RATIO when you are shooting highlight-biased ("High-Key") or shadow-biased ("Low Key") scenes, which can cause the Auto flash metering to be less precise, or when you want to have exactly the same amount of flash exposure in each consecutive shot even when the composition or ambient lighting changes. If the manual flash is selected, the RMT/RTM2 flashes will fire according to the lighting ratio setting, but the CTRL flash will fire according to both the lighting ratio setting and the level set manually with LEVEL.
  • Use the AEL button to test communications between the CTRL and RMT flashes.
  • Set the AEL button to "Hold" in the custom menu so that the exposure is not locked while testing the Wireless Flash communications.
  • Use the mini-stand to place the off-camera flash in the scene or mount it on a tripod. The mini-stand features a standard 1/4" tripod thread.
  • Make sure that the RMT flash receiver is not blocked.
  • The HVL-F60M features an audio setting (Beep) signaling that it has been fired, which can be enabled in the flash's menu.
  • In silent shooting mode (available on some cameras), flash photography is not available.
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