Technical Tuesday: Mounting Pocket Wisards on your SONY Alpha

Matthew Jordan Smith member of Sony Artisan of Imagery shooting with his SONY Alpha a900 and his Pocket Wizard Plus II

So, you have visited the web sites or blogs of the more known SONY professional photographers like Matthew Jordan Smith and noticed that hay, he is using Pocket Wizards on his SONY Alpha.    Well how observant, but now where do I get a Pocket Wizard with the SONY Flash Mount?   You can’t, or at least not until LPA Design, Inc. (The Maker of the Pocket Wizard) produces a Pocket Wizard with the SONY Alpha Flash Mount.  Until that happens, you can do what a lot of other fine studio photographer have done and mount a SONY Alpha to Standard Flash adapter to your Pocket Wizard or other Radio Slaves for that matter.   Will you get the ETTL functionality of the flash as say Nikon or Canon?   No, the special Radio Systems that LPA Design, Inc, have been developed by mean of reverse engineering of the current flash systems from both Canon and Nikon.   A lot of guesswork, bench testing and field testing has lead the engineers at LPA Design to be able to produce the latest and greatest versions of the Pocket Wizards, but only for Canon and Nikon.   But that should not stop you from using the Pocket Wizard.

Pocket Wizards Plus II

So back to the original question, how do I get a Packet Wizard to work on my SONY Alpha a700 or my Alpha a900?   The answer is simple, but will require a modest investment in an adapter from SONY or a company that I like “Flash Zebra”.

SONY FA-HS1AM Hot Shoe Adapter

Flash Zebra SONY Alpha Hot Shoe Adaptor

You start by attaching the SONY FA-HA1AM Hot Shoe Adapter to the proprietary flash mount on the top of your SONY Alpha camera.   As you should notice, the top of the adapter has the more common flash hot shoe adapter.  This is where you will mount the Pocket Wizard.   With the Pocket Wizard attached, you should be able to achieve flash syncs up to 1/200th of a second with your studio lighting gear.

With the second Pocket Wizard attached to your primary studio light with the proper sync cable.  Your camera is now ready to use your studios lighting gear.   You now have the freedom to move freely during your studio session and with the highly reliable Pocket Wizard, you can be assured of consistent images from your session.

Of the two adapters that I mentioned above, I most highly recommend using the SONY FA-HS1AM Hot Shoe Adapter.   The reasons are clear; first the SONY FA-HS1AM provides additional voltage protection that other adapters do not offer.   SONY’s own proprietary circuitry insures that both your SONY Alpha camera and the attached device are protected from damage due to high voltages from an attached device like a flash or radio slave.  The SONY FA-HS1AM Hot Shoe Adapter features include a supplied battery, built-in sync voltage protection for the camera and a battery check LED.

From this point on, you are now free to be creative with your lighting.   What kind of lights should I use is not a question for this posting, but if there are questions or even requests for future articles on studio lighting, I will make certain that newer postings will cover differing topics of studio lighting techniques.

Have a safe photo session, and please share your comments.

Contributors to this posting include:  Matthew Jordan Smith Sony Artisan of Imagery, SONY,  LPA Design, Inc., Flash Zebra

Visit Matthew Jordan Smith member of Sony Artisan of Imagery at his Blog


~ by pthomaslambert on April 13, 2010.

6 Responses to “Technical Tuesday: Mounting Pocket Wisards on your SONY Alpha”

  1. Excellent post… I have been looking for a solid how-to on this very subject.

  2. Great post, maybe you can go futher with other lighting post, for example how to use pocket wizzard o wireless flash trigher with sony flashes.

  3. a bit late on this, but what a really wanted to know if I can do high speed flash sync with these? (I know it also depends on the flash)
    but if Im using a 580EX can I managa to do it with a Sony and the PW?

  4. just acquired the a99…i have the sony 58am flash and would like to use it wirelessly with pocket wizard iii (pwii) … are there any adapters out there that will enable me to connect the receiver pwiii to my flash?

    • Hi there Pamela,
      Yes you can use the SONY 58am flash but you will need Flash Zebra SONY Alpha Hot Shoe Adapter Item #0133 Sony ⁄ Minolta Flash Hotshoe Adapter. On the side of the shoe adapter is a PC sync that will allow you to connect your Pocket Wizard III to the flash. But you will not have ETTL capabilities with either the flash or camera. Also you Alpha a99 should have come with the flash adapter to allow you to user the 58am flash on you SONY Alpha 99.
      I hope that helps

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