An embargo has been lifted, so I am honored to present to you shots of an unshootable object!
Yes, it’s the Sony HVL-F58AM, nicknamed the Cobra Head, for its amazing, revolutionary flash swivel system!
It comes with a new hotshoe foot that can carry the weight of it even when it’s turned sideways and back.
The pouch is extra big, with a bigger head for its bulky body. That means the flash head has to enter the pouch first. Note the straps which are crossed – you can hook it to your belt in landscape or portrait orientation! Very, very cool.
Note that the flash hiding in the pouch, in the picture, is a F56, not the F58.
I love transforming things and this is no exception – it folds neatly in half to fit into the pouch. When it folds, it makes a loud crocodile-like snap!
If the F58 is the Cobra Head, then its hotshoe foot is the Bat Clapper.
I only had a brief hands-on experience with a pre-production F58, without the manual. This is not representative of the final product.
So, can it be triggered by our pop-up flash?
Do you need to press a button to unlock the swivel mechanisms?
No, full freedom left and right, and forward and back.
Is it heavy?
Strangely, it feels lighter than the F56.
Is there a sync port and a port for an external battery pack?
Yes to both, exactly the same ones as on the F56.
Can the F58 trigger the F42 in Commander mode, while mounted on the body?
Yes, but I don’t know how to change the F42 from RMT1 to RMT2.
Can the F58 trigger the F56 in Commander mode, while mounted on the body?
I could not figure out how to, but this does not mean that it cannot. However, there might be a provision to this, as the F58 was not a production copy.
Is there a strobe mode?
Can the F42, F56 and F58 be triggered at the same time, using the pop-up flash?
Yes. If the final version of the F58 cannot trigger the F56 in Commander mode, then those who want to use a F56 and F58 at the same time, will have to trigger both wirelessly.