Sony HVL-F42AM, erm, an external flash

Despite one helluva uninspiring name, that is my external flash. I like it :-). I haven’t used it enough :’(.

It’s got everything I could want/need in a flash.

  • The head rotates to more angles than you think you’ll ever need (point the flash backwards? how daft is that! – then you start to shoot downwards and you think you may need to bounce off the ceiling… not so daft after all!).
  • It’s nice and powerful (the 42 in its name actually means a guide number of 42, which the WikiGod tells me means that it can illuminate a subject up to 7.5 m (at ISO100, 105mm – I suppose that’s 70mm with the 1.5x crop factor – and aperture 5.6. That ain’t bad, especially because my camera never goes below ISO 200. I’ve used my previous flash (a second-hand Minolta 3600 that wouldn’t listen to to my new camera, and anyway lots of its buttons didn’t work anymore) with a GN of, you guessed it, 36, to ping away at objects at least 12 m away… so this should be sweet, especially if I set the ISO of the camera at 1600+ :-)
  • One of the cleverestest bits of the Minolta/Sony legacy is that wireless flash comes free and pre-installed with every camera and flash unit. Endless options for hassle-free changing of angles and seamless combining with the internal flash.
  • It replaces the camera’s AF-assist light with a more powerful version, just in case you need it.
  • Test button means not just testing but you can do fill-in flash in otherwise dark photos – room for creativity!
  • Manually adjust the flash power from 1/1 (full) to 1/32 power, which I think mostly I would do in-camera but it will work well with the above manual firing.

Hmm I should really go out and use this thing!