Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Macro Photography Tips and Digital Photography Reviews

Meta’s Macro Photography Tips is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Start Your Free 30 Day Trial of Amazon Prime!

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Sony Camera Flashes and Ring Lights

The Best Sony Flashes and Ring Lights

Macro Photography requires Extra Light to obtain the Widest Depth of Field. For the Sony Alpha 77 II, there are only two Sony Flashes that Meta recommends – The Sony HVL-F43M Flash or the Sony HVL-F60M Flash. Both of these Sony Flashes have similar features, but the Sony HVL-F60M Flash is larger, heavier, more powerful (GN=60 vs. GN=43) and costs more, than the smaller Sony HVL-F43M Flash.

Support Meta’s Macro Photography Tips!

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Sony Camera Flashes

Sony Flash Models

The smaller Sony HVL-F43M Flash (GN=43) and the larger Sony HVL-F60M Flash (GN=60) Flash work perfectly on the top of the Sony Alpha 77 II, using Sony’s new Multi Interface Shoe. These two Sony Flashes can be used to trigger other Sony Remote Wireless Flashes, and can Control Power Ratios or Flash Groups.

For Macro Photography and Close-up Photography, these Sony Flashes can be Tilted Down 8°, plus contain a powerful and adjustable, LED Video Light, which is very helpful to increase the Depth of Field.

Buy Now

Note: If you have an older Sony Camera, like the Sony Alpha 65, you’ll need to use the older Sony HVL-F43AM Flash.

When Meta is out on the remote mountain hiking trails, she carries the smaller and lighter Sony HVL-F43M Flash. Fits perfectly into her Little Stuffit Strobe Stuff Pouch, and attaches to the back of her Digital Holster 50 Camera Bag.

HVL-F43M Operating Manual


HVL-F60M Operating Manual


Meta uses Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-EW Flash Diffusers on all of her Sony HVL-F43M Flashes, which fit perfectly.

Buy Now

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Sony Flash Adapters

Sony Flash Adaptors – Old Sony Flashes to New Sony Cameras

The Sony ADP-MAA Multi-Interface Shoe Adaptor mounts older Sony Flashes, Ring Lights and Minolta Flashes to newer Sony Cameras, such as the Sony Alpha 77 II.






Buy Now

Sony Flash Adaptors – New Sony Flashes to Old Sony Cameras

The Sony ADP-AMA Shoe Adaptor mounts newer Sony Flashes (Sony HVL-F43M Flash and Sony HVL-F60M Flash) and newer Ring Lights to older Sony Cameras and Minolta Cameras, such as the Sony Alpha 65.





Buy Now
Sony Wireless Flash Setup

Sony Flash Operations

Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Reset Flash to Factory Defaults
Reset Flash to Factory Defaults

Reset the Sony HVL-F43M Flash

Before using the Sony HVL-F43M Flash, reset the Flash to Factory Defaults. Resetting the Flash can prevent a lot of headaches in the field, especially if you use more than one Sony Camera. After resetting the flash, you’ll need to Sync Each Wireless Flash back to your Sony Camera.

How to Reset Flash to Factory Defaults

Press and Hold both the MODE and TTL/M buttons down for more than 3 seconds. The Flash will make a slight noise when reset.

Sony HVL-F43M Operating Manual

How To Add Dramatic Effects with Flash to Simulate Nighttime in Daylight


Special Equipment Required

• Two Sony HVL-F43M Flashes. One Primary Flash and One Remote Rear Flash.
Sekonic L-308S Light Meter.

Multiple Flash Setup

1) Set the Primary Flash close to and on the side of your Subject.

2) Set the Remote Rear Flash behind and directly across from the Primary Flash.

Procedure

1) Take a test shot of your subject in ambient light in Manual Mode at f/4 and ISO 100. Note the required Shutter Speed from the Camera’s Light Meter in Manual Mode. Lets say it’s 1/20th of a second.

2) Bump your Shutter Speed up to underexpose the background by 3 f/stops. Your new shutter speed will be 1/160th of a second (3 Stops Underexposed). Remember that doubling the shutter speed cuts your light in half or reduces 1/stop of light. The background should now look dark and dramatic, but not completely black.

3) Now your Primary Flash needs to compensate for the 3 f/stops of light lost by underexposing your subject. Set your Sekonic L-308S Light Meter to ISO 100 and 1/160th of a Second. Take a test flash with your Light Meter next to the subject. Adjust the Power of the Primary Flash Power so that your Light Meter reads f/4. If you don’t have a light meter, you can adjust the Flash Power up and down until you get the desired effects.

4) Repeat Step 3 for your Remote Rear Flash.

5) Take the final shot using both the Primary Flash and the Remote Rear Flash together. If the Remote Rear Flash is too bright, reduce its power down slightly.
Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Photographing Hummingbirds with Four Remote Flashes
Photographing Hummingbirds with Four Flashes

Sync Wireless Remote Flashes to Sony Camera

Meta uses the Internal Popup Flash on the Sony Alpha 77 II as her main Flash Controller, plus Four Sony HVL-F43M Flashes as Wireless Remote Flashes (Illustration: Left).

Sony Camera Flash Sync Procedure

If you are using the Internal Popup Flash as a Controller, Set the Sony Alpha 77 II’s Power Ratio to 1/16.

MENU –> Camera 3 –> Power ratio –> 1/16

This sets the Power Level of the Internal Popup Flash only, and has no effect on any other Sony Flashes.

1) Put the Sony Alpha 77 II into (WL) Wireless Mode. Turn the Sony Alpha 77 II ON. Set the Sony Alpha 77 II’s Flash Mode to WL (Wireless).

MENU –> Camera 2 –> Flash Mode–> WL (Wireless)

2) Mount the 1st Sony HVL-F43M Flash on top of the Sony Alpha 77 II. Turn the Flash ON. Wait two seconds.

3) The 1st Sony HVL-F43M Flash will automatically go into“WL” Mode, and the Red LED will start blinking. Remove the Flash.

4) Mount the next Sony HVL-F43M Flash on top of the Sony Alpha 77 II. Turn the Flash ON. Wait two seconds.

5) The Sony HVL-F43M Flash will automatically go into “WL” Mode and the Red LED will start blinking. Remove the Flash. Repeat as needed.

6) Popup the Internal Flash on the Sony Alpha 77 II. Test Fire the Camera. All of Sony Wireless Remote Flashes should fire at the same time.

7) You are now ready to position your Programmed Remote Flashes anywhere around your subject.

Sony HVL-F43M Operating Manual

Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - How to Reduce Power Level For a Faster Flash
How to Reduce Power Level For a Faster Flash

Reduce Flash to 1/16 Power Level

When Photographing Hummingbirds, Meta sets the Power Level of all of the Flashes to 1/16 Power Level, which fires the Flash at 1/15,000th of a second.

1) Set the Camera to Manual (M) Mode, or Remove the Flash from the Camera.

2) Press the MODE button once to get to “ WL ” Remote.

3) Press the TTL/M button once to get to MANUAL.

4) Adjust the Power Level of the Flash by pressing the Bottom Arrow until it reaches 1/16 Power Level.

MANUAL Mode on the Flash can only be selected when the Camera set to Manual (M) Mode or the Flash is Removed from the Camera. When the Camera set to any other Mode, TTL measuring is automatically selected by the Flash.

Sony HVL-F43M Operating Manual

Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - How to Use High Speed Sync (HSS)
How to Disable High Speed Sync (HSS)

Disable High Speed Sync (HSS)

High Speed Sync (HSS)

HSS is Defaulted ON in the Sony Flashes, when the Sony Flash is pointing Forward or Tilted Downward 8°. High Speed Sync is automatically Disabled if the flash is tilted into any of the bounce positions.

HSS

can be disabled in the Custom Settings Mode below (Set C 01 to OFF). Disabling HSS is recommended for Shooting Hummingbirds in the Low Power Mode.

Sony HVL-F43M Operating Manual

Meta's Macro Photography Tips for Beginners - Enter the Custom Settings Mode
Enter the Custom Settings Mode

Custom Flash Settings Modes (C 01 to C 09)

There are 9 Custom Flash Settings that you can change.

Enter Custom Settings Mode

1) Press and Hold the Fn button for more than 3 seconds. This will put you into the Custom Settings Mode.

2) Select the Setting Item to be changed by pressing the Left Arrow or Right Arrow.

3) Change the Setting by pressing the Up Arrow or Down Arrow.

4) Press Fn to Lock in the setting and Return to the MAIN MENU.

Note: The Selected Custom Settings are maintained in the Flash, even if the Flash is Turned Off, the Battery is Removed, or the Flash is Reset to Factory Defaults, so be careful of what you are doing in here.

Custom Settings You Can Change

C 01: High Speed Sync (HSS) – On | Off
C 02: Wireless Channel Setting – CH 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
C 03: Wireless Controller Mode – Ctrl1 | Ctrl2 *
C 04: Recording Mode – M | PAS M *
C 05: Test Flash – 1 | 3 | Manual
C 06: Time to Power Save on Camera – 0.5 Minutes | 3 minutes | 30 minutes | None * (I set mine to 30 minutes)
C 07: Time to Power Save with Wireless Flash – 60 minutes | None *
C 08: Flash Range Units – M | Ft
C 09: Power Level Interval – 0.3 EV | 0.5 EV.

* When a Custom Setting, other than the Default Setting is selected in C 03, C 04, C 06 or C 07, a “C” is displayed on the LCD panel (Bottom Right above the Battery Indicator). Refer to the Flash Manual for more details on each Custom Setting.

Sony HVL-F43M Operating Manual

Sony Wireless Flash System with 3 Flash Groups

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Sony Flashes

Sony HVL-F43M High Power Flash – Fits Sony A77 II

The Sony HVL-F43M Flash delivers flexible lighting control for photographers. The “Quick Shift Bounce” system allows the flash to pivot 90 degrees left and right, and Wireless Ratio Control. High Speed Sync (HSS). Fits perfectly into the Little Stuffit Strobe Stuff Pouch.
GN: 43. Size: (W x H x D) 3” x 5-5/8” x 3-1/2”. 4 AA Batteries.

HVL-F43 Operating Manual


Buy Now

Sony HVL-F60M High Power Flash – Fits Sony A77 II

The Sony HVL-F60M Flash is a superior lighting solution for working photographers and videographers. The “Quick Shift Bounce” system allows the flash to pivot 90 degrees left and right and Wireless Ratio Control. High Speed Sync (HSS). Features new built-in 3 LED video light. Fits perfectly into the Little Stuffit Strobe Stuff Pouch.
GN: 60. Size: (W x H x D) 3-1/4” x 6” x 4-1/8”. 4 AA Batteries.

HVL-F60 Operating Manual


Buy Now

Gary Fong Collapsible Speed Mount Light Sphere Diffusere

Meta recommends the new Gary Fong Light Sphere Collapsible Speed Mount speed light flash modifier with the added convenience of a new, patented Speed Mount. Provides photographers with the ability to achieve studio style lighting effects, anywhere at any time. Collapsing down to a mere 1-1/2” thickness. This new addition to the Gary Fong line-up will make traveling with large lighting set-ups a thing of the past.



Buy Now

Sto-Fen Flash Diffusers

Meta uses Sto-Fen Diffusers on her Sony HVL-F43M Flash for softer shadows.

For the Sony HVL-F43M Flash, use the Sto-Fen Diffuser OM-WE.

Buy Now

For the Sony HVL-F60M Flash, use the Sto-Fen Diffuser OM-EZ.

Buy Now

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Sony Ring Lights

Polaroid LED Ring Lights for Beginner Macro Photography – Fits Sony A77 II

Polaroid Super Bright Macro SMD LED Ring Flash and LED Ring Light features 18 Super Bright SMD LED Bead. It attaches macro capable lenses with mounting ring diameters between 49–77mm. 8 Ring Adapters are included. Power pack attaches to the Standard Sony Hot Shoe for Total Flash Control. This is a must have accessory for any serious Macro Photography. Battery Life is about 20 Minutes, so carry extra AA Batteries. Fits perfectly into the Think Tank Photo App House 8 Tablet Case.
GN: 21. Size: (W x H x D) 3.2” x 10.8” x 5.7”. 4 AA Batteries.

Buy Now

Meta’s Digital Photography Reviews of the Best Sony Camera Books

Sony's Alpha 77 II SLT Cameras

The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 77 II (PDF)

– Gary L. Friedman

This very easy-to-understand yet thorough guide provides a complete Alpha 77 II instruction manual which explains each setting in plain English and provides hundreds of visual examples as well. There is no better way to learn about and get the most out of the Sony Alpha 77 II camera. Includes Valuable Printable Reference Cards. This Detailed Book is Highly Recommended!

Download Color PDF Version (599 Pages $26.45).

Black and White Paperback Edition

Buy Now

Digital Photography Reviews

The Best Sony Flashes

Meta hopes that you found her Reviews of The Best Sony Flashes Beginner Macro Photography and Close-up Photography interesting and an insight into Meta’s Magical and Miniature World of Macro Photography and Close-up Photography.

If you have any Macro Photography Tips for Beginners or New Digital Photography Products that you would like to see Reviewed on Meta’s website, please Contact Meta.

If you found Meta’s Reiews Helpful, consider Sending Meta a Donation!

“Oh Lord, won’t you Fund Me, a Sony Zeiss Lens?
My friends all use Nikons, I must make amends!”

~ Meta

Photos By Meta

The top Macro Photographs featured on Meta’s Macro Photography Tips are available at Photos By Meta. Framed Prints available in Blowing Rock, NC at Rustic.
Find us on Facebook
North Carolina Web Design