HVL-F58AM Wireless III Demo

Wireless Flash with the HVL-F58AM using A-700/A-900

2- Wireless Ratio Control of older HVL-F56AM Flash using HVL-F58AM as the Controller

Finally, after the busy past months, we finally got a chance to document the test of using the HVL-F58AM as the controller to control the HVL-F56AM flash together with the newer HVL-F42AM in a [Controller : Remote] ratio configuration. The Alpha A700 body coupled with the HVL-F58AM does not support the CTRL (CTRL 2) ratio mode, but only the CTRL[+] ratio (see below).

There are two Ratio Flash modes available in the Wireless flash controller setup offered by the HVL-F58AM. The two Ratio controller modes depends on which camera that you mount it on, as such:

Available with the HVL-F58AM mounted on A700 & A900:
1) CTRL 1 – Accessible via: Fn|CTRL|CH_03 – CTRL 1
Noted on the Display as:
CTRL [+]
Supports the following Flashes:

Ratio Configuration as shown on Flash Display:
CTRL : RMT : RMT2 = Controller : Remote1 : Remote2

Available with only the HVL-F58AM mounted on A900:
2) CTRL 2 – Accessible via: Fn|CTRL|CH_03 – CTRL 2
Noted on the Display as:
Supports the following Flashes :

Ratio Configuration as shown on Flash Display:
CTRL : RMT = Controller : Remote

Therefore, in order for one to utilize all the older flashes like the HVL-F56AM and the HVL-F36AM in a ratio setup such as [Controller : Remote] , the CTRL 2 mode needs to be used – i.e only on A900. Do check the reference chart. Below is the video showing how the HVL-F58AM is setup and configured to fire the HVL-F56AM in a two group Ratio setup.

Photo taken on a Sony Alpha 900 in a CTRL 2 Setting –  in two groups The ratio flash modes summary chart is shown in the next page.

Next: HVL-F58AM Wireless IV

  1. February 13, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Hi Sulhan thanks for the helpful video! A question … what thing you have on the viewfinder (Sony Alpha 900)?

    bless from Iceland, Raymó 😉

    • alphastrobist
      February 23, 2010 at 4:24 am

      Hi Raymo,

      Glad you liked it and hope it is useful to get you going to try out the wireless flash. Actually the piece of hardware on the view finder is an eye-cup that was for the older Minolta SLR line. I did some modification to it to allow eye start switch. You could look around old stocks on Ebay. It does pop up once in awhile.


  2. Jose Luis Cordova
    August 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Excellent howto video. I just got two HVL-F58AM and I had not managed to make them fire together. Thank you very much!

    • alphastrobist
      August 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      Hi Jose,

      Could you provide more information of your setup –
      1- Camera Model
      2- Flashes you have
      3- Some info on the setup that you are trying – e.g HVLxxAm on Axxx Body , 02 x HVLFxxAM on wireless……

      This will help me out figuring whats the best step forward. Hear from you soon.


  3. Meir Bar
    October 14, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I have the sony 900 and one F-58AM flash – Can I use the flash in wireless mode with out the hot shoe FA-HS1AM? I tried to use the flash in wireless with no success… Please advice.

    • alphastrobist
      October 14, 2010 at 1:44 pm

      Hi Meir bar,

      Unfortunately, the HVL-F58AM can’t be used wirelessly unless with the following approach:
      1 – Wirelessly controlled with a HVL-F58Am as a controller.
      2 – Wirelessly controlled with a HVL-F20m as a controller.
      3 – Using a third party solution for Alpha wireless flash – radio triggers.

      You can check the wireless triggers from the third party on Ebay – comes usually with a TX/RX pair. Requires you to use the FA-HS1AM if it comes with the standard ISO shoe.


  4. October 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Hello, I have the Sony a900 and the F-58AM. There are two set-ups that I want to do for weddings. For the ceremony/formal shots, F-42AM as controller/fill, F-58AM as main, F-42AM for backlighting as needed. For the reception, I want the F-58AM as controller, F-42AMs for fill. Can this be done? and how?

    • alphastrobist
      October 19, 2011 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Kerry,

      Thank you for visiting Alphastrobist. I’ve looked at you requirements and here are my inputs.

      Your application needs: (2 scenarios)
      Scenario 1: Ceremony/ Formal Shots
      – F-42AM as controller/fill,
      – F-58AM as main,
      – F-42AM for backlighting as needed

      Scenario 2: Reception
      – F-58AM as controller,
      – F-42AMs for fill

      Looking at your intended setup for Scenario 1, the “F-42AM as controller/fill” would not be possible as on the A900, only the following flashes could be triggers HVL-F20AM, HVL-F43AM and the HVL-F58AM.
      If you have HVL-F58Am and the HVL-F4AM, the best way for Master + Slave(Remote) setup would usually be the HVL-F58AM be the controller and the rest of extra HVL-F58AM or the HVL-F42 AM you have would be setup as slave.

      I have personally use a single flash (HVL-F58AM) setup and a multi flash Master + Slave(remote) setup with the A900 and for events such as wedding (or other similar type of events), there are some points to consider – from which you will decide setup to go with. Here are some of the points to consider:
      – Space of Event – long distance placment of flash to be used in remote may result in mis-fires
      – Existing event space lighting
      – Your intended composition (framing – photo story, journalistic etc)
      – Physical premise characteristics – high/low ceiling, colour of ceiling/walls – need to observe and look out things that might prevent you form doing things like – bouncing the light, keeping colour right etc.
      – Work space and event flow – influence your need for different , extra or specific flash setup (where required)
      – Remote flashes Power – If the remote flashes do not have battery packs on, then you might run into flash without batteries during event.

      A visit to the location is good pre-event to have a good idea of the lighting setup you need. There may be times where a photographer may be excited or enthusiastic about an event and wanted to have the whole gear out for the sake of perfect lighting. Then again, through my personal experience, shooting with a single flash on board (either off shoe via off shoe cable ) or even just using simple bouncing or diffusing lighting with one light can bring wonderful results. Coupling a single light with SLOW SYNC does wonders.

      Both the events that you have mentioned would presumably be held at a function hall or room, which I believe would have good enough ambient light. Usually single flash and SLOW SYNC can help in bringing the areas out of the subject main areas to be brighter without having additional fill light.

      If space permits and you have room at the corner of the function hall/room to place a remote flash with diffusers on, then you may use the flash in Master + Slave(remote) setup. One point to note that there may be cases where your remote flash may come out as “sudden bright spots” behind the main subject area which make the photos unnatural – especially so if you shoot at wide angle. Using Master+Slave(remote) setup may at time impedes your composition flexibility if your lighting position is not placed properly.

      Weddiing photos usually look better naturally lit – so utilising things like bouncing, SLOW SYNC, diffusers and fast lens (if available) would be the way to go. Therefore as a summary, yup, you can use a multi-flash setup but at the end of the day it might not give you that much of an extra edge. However, if you do have a good apace that allows proper planning for lighing position and composiition, then its no harm trying the setup.

      I hope these inputs are useful for you. Have a great day!!!

      Sulhan @ Alphastobist

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