Thursday, May 31, 2012

NEX Hotshoe Adapter - NEX-3, -5, -5N only

The "Schadow" NEX Hotshoe Adapter arrived three weeks after ordering (U.S.A. - E.U. - Customs - me).
Cover: plastic, mounting screw does not fit - does not permit to turn enough revolutions, it gives resistance and stops with the shoe still loose. The design of this construction is such, that you cannot hold the screw with two fingers when turning. This is a hassle even after the thread of the screw had been reworked. It seems to me, this hotshoe adapter has never ever seen a NEX in its short live before.
Rework: Can be opened very easy by loosening four screws. Rework the thread and make a slot in the head.
And now some pictures with remarks giving additional information. Click on the picture to see an enlarged view.

01 Mounting Screw - a standard M2.5mm Nut stops at this position

02 A standard M2.5 screw with square nut

03 Fits

04 A collection of M2.5 screws

05 With this design it is very difficult to tighten the screw, even when the thread is finally O.K. A slot in the head makes this an awful lot easier - but also the possibility to overtighten the screw: the thread in the bracket inside the camera has a thickness of about 1mm.


07 The label on the bottom is required to compensate for the missing quality-feeling. But the shoe is being delivered within a professional box made from cartoon, black finish, hard cushion inside - designed for safe transportation.


09 The Euro one cent coin should provide some comparison for size

10 Here shown are the pins being used, pin 5 syns (red wire), logic ground is on pin 4 (not being used) and 12 (black wire). The remaining 12 pins are connected to 12 pads on top, waiting for some hacker to be used, also providing room for improvements, expansions, additions. More details about the functions of these pins see within this blog, and also the links here provided.

11 The whole electronic within this shoe. Click on the picture

12 Pin 5 and 12 going here through the print to solder pads.

And finally two pictures taken with flash, the first one at 1/250s, second at 1/320s. (Standard for the NEX is 1/160s.)
NEX-5/V04, ISO 400, WB Flash.
Lens: 1:2.8 24mm ø55mm MINOLTA MD W. ROKKOR, F11, random distance.
Flash: Philips P532 Thyristor Computer, direkt, Wide, f 11, Automatic, 46V on its contacts to ignite the flash - but for a very limited period of time only.

Pictures have been taken late in the evening, sufficient light for the human eye but very low light for taking pictures. The LCD panel stayed black, nothing could be seen with the lens at F11. Nor is it possible to focus (old manual lens).

A lot of discussion can be read and participated here:
after 150 entries, this thread has been reopened at:

More testing and experience is needed with this hotshoe adapter.
Older "High-voltage" Flash units are not supported, how they can be reworked to make them fit is shown by this sample:
Flash 280V -› 6V

Another interesting project ist discussed here.
Yongnuo RF-603c transmitter merged onto/with the HVL-F7S:
See also two entries further within this blog.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

18mm flange focal distance ? A matter of gambling ?

Several User Guides for different models of Sony NEX Cameras mention the flange focal distance with "ca." or "about" 18mm. When given in inch, this measurement differs by 0,25mm. When adapting old lenses onto the NEX, very often we see reports about incorrect position on the scale of the lens versus actual distance of the object, maybe leading the producer of the adapter to make it a tiny bit shorter, to be able to guarantee correct focus all over and up to infinity distance. Not only does this worsen the closest position one can focus on, it also makes the scale on the lens useless, and furthermore prevents to adjust the focus of the lens when taking pictures of the moon, stars, etc. Now what is actually the cause of such problem, the camera, the adapter, or more unlikely the lens itself ?
For that reason, I wanted to know - what is the correct and exact flange distance for the NEX camera:
March 11th, 2012 - Asking Sony by using a form on their web site - asking for the exact flange distance of NEX-5N
all following correspondence by eMail:
March 14th - Sony: asking "what model of NEX ?" (method of delaying ?)
March 15th - my reply   (in German and English, as the Sony EU HQ is in U.K.)
March 20th - Sony: internal inquiry needed   (only dummies in Germany Support ?)
May 7th - me, asking for an answer     (yes, I'm still alive, my asking was serious)
May 16th - Sony: your question has been forwarded again to the appropriate department (it's not me, it's them)
May 19th - Sony:
We are sorry to tell you, that we do not have information about the exact flange focal distance.

("Wir bedauern Ihnen mitteilen zu müssen, dass uns das gewünsche genaue Auflagemaß nicht vorliegt.")
After more then two months, they cannot provide such simple und single detail ? Cannot ? Or more likely - do not want to - do not want to admit - the precision is limited by the tooling used, no final adjustments like shimming taking place, not on the camera, nor on the lenses? The correct operation is guaranteed and compensated for by means of electronic control as long as appropriate Sony devices and components are being used....?
Sony - is it sooo complicated to explain that, or what is the problem ? Would it help me learning Japanese ? And what about you - do you know more about this?
My conclusion: The flange focal distance of the NEX' is circa/about 18mm, precision a matter of good luck.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DIY PC Flash Connector for NEX modifiying HVL-F7S

Update May 25th:
Yongnuo RF-603c transmitter merged onto/with the HVL-F7S

PC Port output on HVL-F7S (Sony NEX) without PREFLASH!!!  Started by fabianbono at
THANK YOU fabianbono for sharing !
Read also page 5 and on:
continued (because closing after 150 entries) with

Rework of Sony Flash HVL-F7S
Howto dismantle:  - he refers to Pate Ganzel, and here he says:
      "After some advice from Pete Ganzel (thanks allot) i started to take away the sides from the flash body. I don’t take any responsibilities if other doing the same. This modification will ruin the grantee of the Flash  and maybe also the Camera."
      - furthermore showing step by step how to dismantle the tiny Sony flash HVL-F7S. At describing his rework into a macro flash.  also showing this details.
Go to and enter the address

"the use of an opto-isolator would be safer for the camera. (eg MOC3030 + a resistance for LED)" Thanks j13l !

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The light can't be seen yet

The answer on my two questions in my mail was for a third I didn't ask at all. No mention on what we like to know. Hence my new reply, dated May 8th, 2012, as follows:
Hi J...
Your answer did not cover any one of my two questions.
#1 -   You are right, I also would not recommend the direct mounting of a heavy flash unit directly onto the hot shoe for mechanical reason. Now, think of it as mounted on a bracket and connected by a PC-cable. And based on that, the technical question:
What is the maximum trigger voltage of a flash unit connected to the adapter ?
For reference, to better understand this question, I provide two links:
#2 -   About logistic
how long is the delivery time for this product ?  How long will it last, when I put your product in the cart, payment immediately, until you are putting it into the mail ?
Is my english so bad ? Or shouldn't a six year old kid understand what I'm asking for ?
Or - he simply doesn't know !! And the product itself is just in the stage of some planning.
Stay tuned, I'll keep you updated on that immediately when any information arrives. Up to now - just silence.
Still silentium. May 24th: still silence on this bothersome mail.
Asking through different channel provided an answer for the delivery time, shipping just starts. For the order of one, shipping details have been provided.
See my entry above, May 31st 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

We see light in the tunnel ??

There might be a product available sometime in the future, which will solve the problem of the missing flash connection. An adapter, to be mounted on the feature connector on top of the camera, providing a hot shoe and a PC connector. I'm going to supply additional information, as soon as I get an answer on my questions concerning maximum trigger voltage, and the delivery time for this product. There has been a specific internet shop established, which is quite impressive for the first look, but in reality this adapter is the only product of the shop, and it leaves some questions in the open. Once this shop and their product has been proven to be serious, I'm also publishing its address.
Later on I like to report here also any experience gained when using this adapter.
The pricing is somewhat on the high side plus shipping costs, there is a second shop address available (for "Asia-Customer"?) promising no shipping costs.
As said, some questions are still open.
At this point of time, there is just pre-ordering (and pre payment) taking place. Hoping the planning is not also in the state of "pre".

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sony, listen!

Your are providing such delicious cameras! And then this: Only tiny mini flashes, tied to the camera like a swimwear preventing to wear the winter coat.
What can YOU do ?
Very easy - provide one additional item within the menu system, to enable the choice between the current modes versus elimination of the "E-TTL" preflash. The most obvious place would be to extend the current flash selections for this function.
In addition, to combine this with lowering the flash output would be nice, but no prerquisite.
Aim: Permit hassle-free use of master-slave flash arrangements with NEX-3, -5, and 5N.
Don't be shy! You are certainly reading forums. You know, that this is an item coming up again and again! Just a tiny update to the firmware. Come on!

Friday, January 6, 2012


The Main Capacitor in any Flash bears high voltage of a few hundred volts, even when disconnected already for a while !  An even higher voltage will be present inside the flash, when the flash gets ignited. If you do not know, how to discharge the main capacitor correctly, please do NOT open up a photo flash !

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Lack of flash for - Macro, Studio, wireless, distance, natural lighting, experimental...

We can find an awful lot of forums within the internet, dealing with photos and cameras. When it comes to the Sony NEX camera, for all models but the NEX-7, we find in every forum, and in each several entries, again and again complaints about the restrictions of the flash, caused by purpose in its design. Such a great camera, with such a poor design! Maybe Mr. Braun can put an end to this misfortune, by following his own sample, as shown here. Mr. Braun, listen, please.

Please read also the next entry "Purpose".


The language.
As you can read, my native language is not English. Sorry for the English natives, but your language is the only other one I know a bit, and it is understood all over the world. Hopefully.
The aim
is to bring people and information to one place, together we are very strong and can solve any problem. I have tried this on a forum, but there you have always at least one person destroying any effort.
Your support.
Please use the comment button and tell me what you know (in English or German), what link you know about either English or German pages. Actually it is not a button, but the written word "comments" at the end of each entry. Alternately, if you prefer you can send me an eMail, use the address given on this page, up and to the right.

My role.
Trying to document and coordinate.
What kind of people - some know technical details, some know practical use, some know howto....
One solution, two marketing methods:
The solution can look similar to the "Polaroid with Braun-Flash" as shown here, the (marketing-)method can be either standard route by manufacturing/dealer or by DIY not excluding the kitchen table, or a combination of both.
Possible scenario.
You are taking pictures with your NEX at a marriage, you need to use the flash, and you are not the only person taking photos. That's just to prevent you from telling some of the many workarounds which are flooding the net, and are of no help in this case. One possible workaround is to encapsulate the existing flash with a slave sensor, this works on an experimental level, the reliability too low.

Status of knowledge to me:
I'm willing to learn that I'm wrong, when I get corrected. The following is not my invention but what I read on the internet.
The firmware has not been disassembled till now, there are no third party firmware modifications available.
Every solution needs to be based purely on hardware.
Beside the offerings from NEX, there is no third party solution available.
Currently there are two versions of a flash available for the NEX cameras:
HVL-F7S   Standard with the NEX
HVL-F20S  Additional Option
The guidenumbers are a bit misleading, but this is not my subject here. Both need to be mounted directly to the camera, fastened by a thumb screw with a thread of standard M2.5 (x 0.45, or 3-56 ISO), contact is made by a proprietary tiny 14pin connector. Logical ground is on pin 4 and 12, pin 5 is the "SYNC" signal, coming directly from the CPU, and needs to be amplified before representing F1.
Sony uses Rohm 2SC4505T100 (400V, 0.1A), SYNC>R10k>Base, Base>R47k>LGND, Emitter>LGND and Collector>F1.
Processor: Toshiba TMP19A44FDAXBG. According to Toshiba:
The TX19 is a family of Toshiba-original 32-bit RISC processors featuring the speed of MIPS32ISA with the added advantage of a significantly reduced code size of the MIPS16eISA.
Source Code: Sony Global - Source Code Distribution Service

My idea is to modify the little HVL-F7S to change its behavier (controllable by a switch if possible) to
   emitting no light
   Faster repeat cycle
   providing a PC-output connector
   good luck!


Information, discussion
  Inside NEX-5
  Inside HVL-F7S
  Hotshoe 1
How stuff works
  Sample Wirings
more links

Technical data
  from (
    Pin layout


  How to use remote flash with Sony NEX-5 (& 5n and 3 and c3)


This pages are purely for private use and hobby, there are no commercial intentions. Most information found here is just copied or provided through a link, that means I have no rights for it, and is provided for private use only. My own ideas may be used freely by anybody, within any further documentation this statement must be attached clearly readable.
When providing a link I take care not to harm or to hurt anybody by any means, but cannot guarantee that content to stay unchanged or to overlook another part at this site, hence I declare that I do not support contents which does not conform to my ethical conscience not to harm or hurt anybody.