Beginner Help with flash options

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#1
OK, I've just got hold of a new (to me) flash. A minolta 5600hs - and it has way more options than my current Metz AF-1 flash.

I'm used to shooting in manual and ttl modes, but haven't really used wireless and I'm not sure what ratios are about. I'm guessing ratios only work when you have 2 flashes on the go and, for example - you're wanting one to be twice the brightness of the other. And if this is the case how come I can still set this when the flash isn't in wireless mode? Will it make any difference?

How do ratios differ from levels? Does wireless still respect ttl, or is it all manual at that point?

Finally both the Metz and the Minolta have wireless options. The metz doesn't have ratios - will they play nicely together?

Thanks

Mike.
 
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Name
Jonathan
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#2
If your camera's pop-up flash can act as flash commander then you should have TTL with your 5600HS, otherwise you need to pop a flash into the flash shoe. Sony's mirrorless, bridge & compact cameras don't have this facility so an HVL-F20M (or similar) is needed to trigger the remotes. I don't know if your A-series cameras can do this.
I don't think Sony/Minolta flashes support changing the power locally when in wireless mode.

There are quite a few different version of the Metz AF-1, all with slightly different specs, so it's hard to say if it supports Sony wireless TTL without knowing exactly which it is.
 
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mjmountain
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#3
If your camera's pop-up flash can act as flash commander then you should have TTL with your 5600HS, otherwise you need to pop a flash into the flash shoe. Sony's mirrorless, bridge & compact cameras don't have this facility so an HVL-F20M (or similar) is needed to trigger the remotes. I don't know if your A-series cameras can do this.
I don't think Sony/Minolta flashes support changing the power locally when in wireless mode.

There are quite a few different version of the Metz AF-1, all with slightly different specs, so it's hard to say if it supports Sony wireless TTL without knowing exactly which it is.
Wireless works for me with the popup flash - but I couldn't tell if it was respecting ttl or not. It's the Metz AF-1 44. Can one of the two flashes also act as the flash commander. And does the popup flash add light to the scene or does it fire it's instructions prior to the shutter?
 
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Jonathan
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#4
If you get the correct exposure from the flash without having to think about it then it must be using TTL. According to this page on the Metz web site, under Remote flash features, the AF-1 44 can only act as a slave. I'm not sure about the capabilites of your cameras to use external flashes as commanders but you should be able to enter the details here to find out. This page may also be useful.
I found my F20M was causing a shadow so it must have been acting as a flash as well as a controller. I got round this by bouncing it off the ceiling but that's not as easy with a pop-up flash.
 
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mjmountain
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#5
If you get the correct exposure from the flash without having to think about it then it must be using TTL. According to this page on the Metz
web site, under Remote flash features, the AF-1 44 can only act as a slave. I'm not sure about the capabilites of your cameras to use external flashes as commanders but you should be able to enter the details here to find out. This page may also be useful.
I found my F20M was causing a shadow so it must have been acting as a flash as well as a controller. I got round this by bouncing it off the ceiling but that's not as easy with a pop-up flash.
I had a quick play last night - I can't seem to control the brightness of the 5600hs when wireless, even if I try and dial it right down in manual it's very bright. The Metz is way easier to use. The level gradings don't seem to match up across the two - although I'm probably doing something wrong.
 
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Ben
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#6
I had a quick play last night - I can't seem to control the brightness of the 5600hs when wireless, even if I try and dial it right down in manual it's very bright. The Metz is way easier to use. The level gradings don't seem to match up across the two - although I'm probably doing something wrong.
What are the guide numbers? If they are different, one flash will need to be further/closer to the subject to give the same illumination.
 
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Jonathan
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#7
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