Welcome to Alphastrobist

Using Flash & Strobes with Alpha Mount DLSR
Our Portable Light source

Welcome to alphastrobist. Its about time that we gather all the information out there on how to use and utilize external flashes and strobes for our photographic needs. Be it the dedicated alpha flash strobes or third party flashes and flash aids, we hope that our experiences with these tools could be shared.

This site is created as a portal for all fellow alpha-mount camera users to use it as a reference point to share techniques, experiences present and past in using external flashes. The resources in this site is suited mainly for the Alpha Mount Digital SLR Users.

We’ll get all new information that is relevant and useful in relation to the Alpha-Strobes and include it here in this site. Once again, welcome and hope you will find something useful.

We have finally secure a unit of the HVL-F20AM.  Do check back for our in-depth user review!!

  1. November 18, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    It looks pretty cute, like a travel size electric shaver.

    • alphastrobist
      November 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

      Hahah you are right Sam, it does look like a Braun shaver. Its been really a handy flash with the right amount of power for indoor use in home indoor events. Couple with the use of slow sync, its just nice.


  2. richard cooper
    February 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    How can I do this? A850 with Sony 20AM flash. I want to trigger a Nikon speedlight SB23.

    Is there an optical receiver that will trigger the Nikon speedlight SB23 and work with the Sony 20AM?

    • alphastrobist
      June 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Richard,
      If you are going to use the Sony HVL-F20AM on the 850, and want to trigger a Nikon flash, you may be able to treat the scenario just like as if you are firing a studio lights in Manual Mode. In TTL mode, that would not be possible as there is a double flashing (pre-flash and then actual flash)
      I believe there are third party triggers that may be able to trigger other brand flashes by treating them just like any other slave flashes – but it does not support TTL. You have to control all lighting manually – which really depend on your level of knowledge and experience. All I can say is if you are really keen in learning about flash photography, working with manual power control and manual camera controls is the way to go. A bit hard, but really worth the effort. Then you can have a good feel on areas such as the effect of light poser, distance, bounce distances etc.

      I’ll post a follow up not in this tread If I do find any of such device that suits your needs – based on your description. Stay tuned.


  3. pat bresnihan
    April 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Hi I have a sonay alpha 100 and the hvl58am flash. I took a flash class last night and a little fustrated because the instructer was familar with Canon and Nikon. I need some hands on training to fully understand both the flash and camera. I love sony but find that I am limited to finding instructers that teach Sony products.

    Do you know of anyone in the Brookly?ny area that tutors for sony products.


    • alphastrobist
      June 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Pat,

      Sorry to hear that the classes were geared towards the Canon and Nikon users. I guess if the instructor or course is geared towards the strobe as a tool – I guess whatever brands you use wouldn’t matter much. Looks like the course might have been brand specific. I’m located here in Melbourne Australia and do not have any information on where you could get course in Brooklyn that caters for Sony users.

      Well, feel free to drop me some questions and I may be able to come up with specific short instructional videos to meet your needs and at the same time share it with the rest of the Sony strobe users.
      Hope to hear from you soon.


  4. Ian
    November 24, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Hi there,

    I dropped my HVL-F42AM, and it needs a new tube. Sony and all the other repair centers I called say they don’t repair these flash units, and Sony’s UK parts supplier doesn’t have parts for the unit listed.

    Does anyone know where I can purchase a new flash tube so I can repair it myself?

    • alphastrobist
      November 30, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      Hi Ian,
      Sorry to hear that you have damaged a tube. Well too bad Sony does not provide individual parts service. Based on my past experiences, the Sony/Minolta series flashes should last you some good years. However, there will surely be times where it fails – just like your case. I personally had a shattered tube on my HVL-F56AM a couple of years back and this was purely due to the zoom mechanism on the flash head that had some mechanical problems and resulted in the tube being stressed and broke. I had to change the whole internal mechanism on the flash head. As for your case, I would suggest you to check out sources that sells Perkin Elmer flash tubes. Perkin Elmer makes may of the flash tubes out there. Maybe you can even try t write to them. I used to work on digital camera design(electronics) and had worked with then before on strobes and thats how I got to know that they manufacture flash tubes.

      Hope you get to fix the flash soon. Do pop by and update.

  5. March 28, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I have a question for you more experienced sony flash users: When I set up my A55 and HVL F58AM for manual shooting the flash defaults back to TTL when ever the camera goes into standby mode. Is this normal or is there another setting I am missing. In a laot of the work I do manual is the way to go but having it default to TTL can be a problem when the action starts after a short break.
    Thanks for any help you can give me
    gene wild

  6. Zergs808
    May 5, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Great little flash/trigger. I use it on my A900 and NEX 7. Pretty cool that it can trigger the Nex-7 wireless flash as well.

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