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08-17-2017, 11:21 AM   #1
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Amazon branded Flash

I hope I am not posting something everyone but me knows about - I did a search and didn't see anything.

I just saw this in my new issue of Photography Week - a flash from Amazon.

Here is a quote from the magazine:
QuoteQuote:
AMAZON IS NOW SELLING ITS OWN DIRT-CHEAP FLASHGUN

Is this the best-value flashgun you can buy?
THE WEEK’S TOP HEADLINES IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Flashguns are an essential accessory for all kinds of photography, but decent ones don’t come cheap – a good entry-level flashgun from Canon or Nikon will set you back upwards of $200/£150. But now Amazon is looking to undercut the big brands by selling its own dirt-cheap flashgun for under $28/£27.

It may not boast all the sophisticated features you see on pricier models, but the AmazonBasics Electronic Flash for DSLRs offers you a pretty risk-free way of dabbling in flash photography.

There’s no TTL (through-the-lens) metering, which is hardly surprising for a flashgun this cheap, but you do get three flash modes (Manual mode, Slave mode 1, and Slave mode 2) and a standard PC sync port, as well as a builtin sensor that enables you to trigger the flash from a distance using another flashgun or your camera’s pop-up flash.

The head can be tilted upwards 90 degrees and rotated 270 degrees for bouncing flash off ceilings and walls, while it sports a respectable guide number of 33 (ISO 100/1M). Guide number is a measurement of flash power, usually quoted in metres at ISO 100. You can choose from eight levels of brightness, and there’s an automatic save function that enables you to retain the current flash settings. A hotshoe stand and bag are included. All in all, not bad for £26/$28.
I looked on Amazon and it is currently priced at $23.26. That close to a one-use throwaway price.

08-17-2017, 12:38 PM   #2
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That may well be useful for field macro stuff, too. Manual is all you really need, and you can mount a couple of them. At that price, a bit of workshop bodgery would be fun.
08-17-2017, 02:30 PM   #3
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The amazon basics stuff is all rebranded budget brands. I'd bet this is a Yongnuo or some such underneath...
08-17-2017, 03:31 PM   #4
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
That may well be useful for field macro stuff, too. Manual is all you really need, and you can mount a couple of them. At that price, a bit of workshop bodgery would be fun.
Yes, I was also thinking about macro.

---------- Post added 08-17-17 at 05:32 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
The amazon basics stuff is all rebranded budget brands. I'd bet this is a Yongnuo or some such underneath...
I am sure you are correct in that it is a re-branded item. However, the price is pretty great - even for a budget item.

08-17-2017, 05:54 PM   #5
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With a guide number of 33, I'll just buy used Vivitar 285HVs. It might be good for macro though.
08-17-2017, 07:32 PM   #6
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I went ahead and took the plunge for one. Looks pretty useful as an off-camera slave unit, if nothing else. I'm sure I can have some fun with it for that price.
08-17-2017, 07:40 PM   #7
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Looks like it's the same thing as a Godox VT560. It even says VT560 on the back...But the Amazon unit is $40 cheaper.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA86V31M9052
08-17-2017, 08:10 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Looks like it's the same thing as a Godox VT560. It even says VT560 on the back...But the Amazon unit is $40 cheaper.

Universal Godox VT560 Flash Electronic On-camera Speedlite for Canon Nikon DSLR-Newegg.com
Comparing the images and specs of the two, I do believe you're correct. And at a third the price of the Godox, the Amazon unit would seem to be quite the bargain. Mine should arrive Saturday. I'll let you know what I think of it when I've had a chance to play with it some.

08-17-2017, 08:14 PM   #9
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This is interesting for two reasons. The first is that there is a market for Pentaxians and others to have inexpensive flashes/speed lights, for macro, product (photo tents), rim lights or whatever. The second reason shows what Amazon is going to do to specialty brick and mortar.
08-17-2017, 08:19 PM   #10
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Now I'm going to wait and see what kind of review our members give it. I could see this working in conjunction with my AF540, as a fill light or as stated above, as a macro light.
08-19-2017, 01:59 PM   #11
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The flash just arrived a few minutes ago and so far I have done little other than unbox it, stick some batteries in it and test its functionality. My initial assessment is that all systems appear to be working as advertised and with a fresh set of Energizer Lithium batteries, the recharge interval appears almost instantaneous. The unit seems to be quite well made. One especially nice touch is the hinged battery compartment cover that stays attached to the flash and thus won't get lost. I also like its metal shoe and the attached diffuser panel and bounce card that retract into the flash head. All nice touches. I'm looking forward to putting this unit through its paces and will post a full review when I've had a chance to assess it further. For now, my initial impression is that it's a really nice unit and a bargain at Amazon's price. FWIW, this flash seems to have two model numbers. It carries the same VT-560 model number on the back panel as its apparent Godox sibling but the owner's manual shows the model number as DF500, go figure...

UPDATE: I used the flash to shoot some items that I'll be putting up on eBay tomorrow. I shot the items in my studio box with two small halogen lights and this flash with the built-in diffuser in place and the built-in bounce card extended. I got great results with the flash two or three clicks up from minimum power. It was great to be able to manually adjust the flash with the touch of a button and get things dialed in. I'm very pleased so far.

Last edited by E-man; 08-19-2017 at 10:12 PM.
08-19-2017, 11:42 PM   #12
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That's good to hear. So far so cheap and so far so good! Someone mentioned earlier wanting to pair it with an AF-540FGZ .... just wondering, does this Amazon flash have an Optical Slave mode? If not then 'pairing' is presumably going to have to be with the Pentax flash in SL2 mode, or perhaps by radio control.
08-20-2017, 03:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
just wondering, does this Amazon flash have an Optical Slave mode?
Yes, two of them.

One (S1) for simple "main flash" triggering, the other (S2) for ignoring pre-flashes. Presumably, it is a smart approach that avoids any number of optical events before the main flash occurs.

The flash does not seem to have a zoom head, though. That is a bit odd and somewhat limits applicability. Having full power level adjustments only is also a bit limiting. However, not so long ago many flashes only offered full power stop adjustments and who wants to seriously argue about shortcomings at that price?
08-21-2017, 07:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
does this Amazon flash have an Optical Slave mode?
QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Yes, two of them.
The question might be how well the slave mode works. Some online reviews indicate that the sensitivity of the optical detector might be rather poor. Amazon is being slow on shipping mine, but I too will craft a full review once I have it in hand.


Steve
08-21-2017, 07:44 PM   #15
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I have just added the Amazon flash to the reviews section.

Steve, sorry you're having trouble getting yours. Mine came in two days with free Prime shipping. Ordered it Thursday and it arrived on Saturday.

Last edited by E-man; 08-21-2017 at 08:20 PM.
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