Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N

I want to report recent upgrade with Wansen hotshoe that I got from eBay. It has helped quite a bit to my Sony NEX 5N in strobing. I am not a strobist but I find the flash is quite lacking in the 5N with the proprietary hot shoe. The wansen hot-shoe adapter allows me to use my Cactus v5 through a PC sync cable and I can also have a wired setup like the following that makes use of the center pin in the standard hot shoe to do the external flash triggering through wire.

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
Wansen Hot Shoe Adapter, wired with external flash Nikon SB25

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
My Wansen hot shoe can't trigger the Cactus v5 transmitter when mounted directly on top. There may be a loose connection between the Cactus transmitter and the central pin in the hot shoe of the Wansen.  I can't figure out after several failed attempts. 

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
An added sync cord solves my wireless trigger problem. Picture above shows an added synch cord that connects the Wansen and the Cactus v5 transmitter

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
Sync at 1/160 sec

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
Sync at 1/200 sec

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
black strip at 1/250 sec

I can use my Pentax flash in manual/auto modes. I have tried mostly in manual mode from 1/4 to 1/64 power setting in Nikon SB25 and I do have some good shots with auto mode on the Nikon SB 25 and my Pentax flashes. 

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N

The Wansen does have a version with the trigger built-in. I prefer to get one without so that I can re-use the Cactus v5 and sometimes I prefer to use a simple wired setup through the standard hot shoe. And I am currently sharing the setup between my Pentax digital and Sony NEX bodies with Cactus v5. The cactus is pretty reliable in triggering but a wired setup can't be beaten as I sometime ran into mistakes in draining batteries in the Cactus transmitter/receiver or have mis-matched channels. It is too-easy to bump the channel setting in the Cactus to mis-match between receiver and transmitter and forget about switching the terminals to off after usage. Hence, I also have a wired setup.

Initial Impressions upon arrival
My copy arrived and I find it quite easy to mount on my NEX 5N body. The big screw takes away the need for the smaller screw driver of the JJC alternative for most cases. With a bigger flash, a small screw driver may be needed but I manage to use it with Nikon SB 25 just using the screw thumb. The build quality of the Wansen is better than my expectation. I have not run through the adapter with 3rd party dSLR lens adapter but it works fine with my Sigma 30 in terms of spacing and I assume it works well with the kit lens and 16 prime.
  • Mounting a flash directly on top fires consistently. When I get unresponsive firing but it is usually a loose connection between the hot shoe and the flash. So I will encourage others who have a problem to ensure proper connection between the Wansen's hot shoe and the flash base
  • Mounting my cactus v5 on top of the wansen fails to fire an external flash mounted away from the Wansen hot shoe. It is either a bad connection between the wansen hot shoe and my Cactus v5 transmitter base or that the trigger from the Wansen hotshoe is not powerful enough to kick off the Cactus v5 transmitter. However, if I connect the Wansen and the Cactus transmitter with a short PC sync cable, the firing of the external flash works consistently through the wireless trigger.
  • With the Cactus v5 and Wansen, I manage to sync at < 1/160 secs and a few times in 1/200 sec with my NEX 5N and it all works as expected. When I try 1/250 and 1/320 sec a portion of the shot is wiped out in black.
  • The only requirement on my part is to change the setting in Menu -> Setting -> LCD Display Effect --> change from ON to OFF.

Field Usage

In my recent travel to visit family in Macau and Hong Kong, I bring my smaller camera with Sony NEX 5N with 16, 30, 50, Kit zoom, UWA converter, Wansen hot shoe along with Nikon SB25.   I used the kit zoom for family gathering and the external flash helps a great deal.

Wansen Hotshoe Adapter for Sony NEX 5N
Sony NEX 5N, Kit Zoom, Wansen hot shoe, external flash with Nikon SB25 in manual mode

5N in manual mode with 1/100 sec, f/5.6, 42mm, iso 400, manual flash in 1/8th power setting and flash head is in bounce reclining position



Unknown said...

Thanks for the post

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