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endof2011/sonyboxf43.jpg
Contents of box, including stand, case, manual and flash unit.
endof2011/sonyf43back.jpg
LCD lit up, showing some available settings
endof2011/Sonyhvlf43amlcd.jpg
Display items possible on LCD

 

 

Specifications and general information.

 

Model

Sony HVL-F43AM  announced in February, 2011.

Owner's manual

Sony eSupport HVL-F43AM page    Go here and click 'manuals, specs & warranty' tab.

Price

Original Sony MSRP; $349.99

Tested on

Sony A580, Sony A900.

In the box

Flash, stand, vinyl pouch and instructions.

Build quality

Very good all around.

Weather sealing?

Sony claims it's dust and moisture resistant.

Hotshoe style

Sony proprietary type 

Guide number

43 meters, 141' (ISO 100, @105mm zoom position), and 30 meters, 98' (ISO 100 @50mm zoom).  Specs are for full frame sensors and 35mm film.

Guide number accuracy

Maximum output seems similar to other models with same rating.

Stated color temperature

Not stated.  New version states approx. 5500k.

LCD monitor

LCD.  1.65" x .95" (42mm x 24mm).  Has low battery indicator, overheat, zoom length with wide panel down indicator, power levels, HSS, quick shift bounce, wireless channels, and many other items, see image above.

Lights and switches

Test/Flash charge light, display light, TTL/M, zoom, function button inside four way controller, and the on-off switch. 

Power source

4 AA, 1.5V

Recycle time

Less than 3 sec at 1/1.  Half-power (1/2) is instantaneous for 2-3 pops, then it slows down slightly.  Rechargeable nickel-metal hydride batteries used.

Flash duration rating

No info.

Power saving function

Yes, none, 30sec, 3min, and 30min.  Wireless flash mode power save can be set to 60min or none.

Adjustable power levels

Eight full levels; Auto, 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128, and third or half stop intervals, user selectable for a total of 22 levels.  Power levels will not continue on after reaching highest or lowest setting, you must manually press the up or down buttons and go back.

Wide angle diffuser type

Built-in, pulls out and down, covers 15mm, (10mm APS-C) and shows on display when attached (Wide).

Bounce card or reflector plate

White bounce card built in over diffuser, pulls out.

Bounce positions

150°, 120°, 90°, 75°, 60°, 45°, 30°, 0° and -8° (down).

Swivel positions

Right, 0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 90°, - Left, 0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 90°.

Zoom positions

Auto, wide (15mm), 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 105mm.

Zoom type

Internal, and fully automatic in auto mode.

Auto format zoom

Yes, the flash knows what focal length the lens is at, either full frame or APS-C format, except on the Sony A100.

AF assist beam

Yes, red, works properly.

Custom functions

The following settings may be customized.  (Wireless CH1-4).  (HSS, on or off). (Wireless contoller mode setting, 1 or 2).  (Power level intervals, .03/.05). (Time to power save-30sec, 3min, 30min, none).  (Time to power save when using wireless flash; 60min/none).  (Recording modes in which manual flash or multiple flash may be set, M mode only or all modes).  (Feet or meters on LCD).  (Test flash setting, once, 3 times, 4 seconds).

Connections

None.

White balance info

Yes.

Modeling flash

Yes.

Multi-flash emission

Yes, highly customizable.

High speed sync

Yes, to the cameras highest shutter speed.

Wireless ability

Yes, and can be used as a control flash for a total of three groups.

Sony ADI support

Yes.

Red eye reduction

Not supported by Sony.

Dimensions

2.9"W x 6.9H x 2.75D   73mm x 164mm x 68mm   Maximum length 6.9" (164mm) including shoe mount.  Length and depth measured with flash flat.

Weight

12.0oz (340g) without batteries.

Operating temp

0°-40°C,  32°-104°F

Quirks

Modeling flash option uses a custom 'test' button setting, so you have to change back and forth unless you want the modeling flash to go off every time you test fire the flash.

Flash will fire even if it isn't charged sufficiently, so check the charge indicator before shooting, otherwise you may wind up with the wrong exposure.  It does this so you won't miss a shot waiting for the flash to fully charge.
 
Bounce indicator shows only on downward bounce (8°), but not in any 'up' position.  It will show when the flash is swiveled.

Notes

Can be custom set for full manual use in all recording modes, even "auto."  Flash is automatically turned off when camera power is turned off, then back on if flash is still switched on.
 
Fully compatible out of the box with Radiopoppers™ flash triggers.

Good for

Almost everything. 

Not good for

A minor negative: Intense studio use, as there is no external battery pack input or cable connection like the F56AM or F58AM.

Recommended?

Highly recommended.  Replaced HVL-F42AM in early 2011.