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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 26 Jan 2007 (Friday) 20:36
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Review: The new Metz 58 AF-1C ETTL compatible flash

 
PacAce
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Jan 26, 2007 20:36 |  #1

Just the other day, I saw on the B&H website a new Metz flash that just came out sometime this month, the Metz 58 AF-1. I read the specs for it at www.bogenphoto.com (external link) and liked what I read so I hopped on to the Metz site (www.metz.de (external link)) and downloaded the manual. The Metz 58 AF-1 really looked impressive. It had all the functionalities and the flash output power of the Canon Speedlite 580EX plus a few extra things like Auto mode. And, on top of that, the firmware is field upgradeable via a USB cable and firmware which, when available, can be downloaded from the Metz website. I was very impressed. So much so that I went back to the B&H website and ordered me one Metz 58 AF-1C (C for Canon, N for Nikon).

My Metz 58 AF-1 arrived this afternoon, a day after I ordered it online. I spent a couple of hours trying it out and here are my first impressions of it.


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Build quality
---------------
Since I had heard so many good things about the Metz flashes and how well they are engineered, I was expecting this unit to be solid and well-built. I wasn’t disappointed but I wasn’t overly impressed by it either. Build-wise, I’d say the Metz 58 AF-1 is comparable to the Speedlite 580EX but personally, I like the design and the ergonomics of the 580EX much better.

A lot of people complain about the way the battery door of the Speedlite flashes was designed. Yes, it’s hard to open until you get the hang of it but it seems to be built to take a lot of abuse.

The battery door on the Metz flash is very easy to open because it is hinged on two plastic cylindrical rods on the sides of the door at the top that stick into the body of the flash. Looking at it, the hinge doesn’t seem to be as robust as that of the Speedlite flash. But because the door does opens so easily it is unlikely that you would end up applying too much force to break the Metz hinge off except by a freak accident.


Physical comparison of Metz 58 AF-1, in center, to Speedlite 580EX (left) and 550EX (right)


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LCD and Controls
---------------
At the back of the 58 AF-1 is the LCD screen, four control buttons and an On/Off switch. The four control buttons are used to control all the functions and settings of the flash via menu options displayed on the LCD. If you didn’t like the way the settings were selected on the Speedlite 550EX, you are going to absolutely hate the way the Metz 58 AF-1 does it. Here’s an example of how you would switch the flash from ETTL mode to Manual mode.

1. Press the Mode button twice. Pressing it once only turns on the LCD light.
2. Press the Down Arrow button until “M” appears. From the ETTL mode, that’ll be 3 presses of the button. If you go passed the “M”, use the Up Arrow to go back.
3. Once you have your option selected, either press the Set button or wait 5 seconds for the flash to automatically save the option and exit out.

Since changing from ETTL mode to Manual mode is one of the easier tasks to perform on this flash, you can imagine what you would be up against if you wanted to do something a little more complicated like, say, setting the ratios of the slave flashes in ETTL wireless remote mode. :shock:

BTW, the functions the different buttons are used for can change depending on what mode you are in so the buttons are not externally labeled. The button functions are displayed in real time on the part of the LCD screen directly above the buttons. This saves you from having to memorize what the different buttons do for any particular mode or option.

The two buttons on the right are translucent and also serve as status indicator lights for Flash Ready and Exposure OK.


ETTL Wireless Remote Operation
---------------
Before I got my 580EX to use with my 550EX and 420EX in a wireless remote configuration, I bought the Sigma EF 500 DG Super because it was more affordable than the 580EX. However, as good as it was in stand-alone mode, the EF 500 Super had failed miserably in a wireless remote configuration test with the 550EX and the 420EX. So it was with abated expectation that I put the Metz 58 AF-1 through a similar test. Surprisingly, the Metz 58 AF-1 passed the ETTL wireless remote configuration test with flying colors and then some!!!! :D

So here’s the scoop. With the 580/550EX flash as the master, you can have a slaves in Group A, Group B or Group C. The Master flash is always part of Group A.

With the Metz 58 AF-1 as the master, a slave can also be in Group A, Group B or Group C. BUT the master flash is in it’s own group, the Master group. You can turn the master flash on and off, just like you can when using the 580/550EX as the master. But you can control the intensity of the master output independently of the slaves in Group A. So that, in effect, gives you 4 groups versus 3 groups when using the 580/550EX (or two using the ST-E2).

There is a difference in the way flash ratios are set on the Metz. On the Speedlite, ratios of slaves are set relative to the Group A or, in the case of Group C, relative to Groups A and B, i.e. A:B or (A:B):C.

On the Metz, ratios of the slaves (and the master) as set relative to what would be the proper exposure for the shot. For example, if you set the master (Group M) to -2 (fill light), Group A to 0 (main light), Group B to +1 (hair light) and Group C to +2 (background light), Group A will fire for normal exposure. The output of the other groups will be adjusted, according to the FEC set for those groups relative to the what would be required for a proper exposure.

In the end, both methods will yield similar results as far as flash ratios is concerned, (except that the Metz also allows the master flash ratio to be set independent of the other flashes in Group A). However, because the flash ratios are sets individually on the Metz, it’s more tedious and time consuming to set ratios on the Metz 58 AF-1 compared to setting them on the 580EX.

I did encounter a glitch of sort but it’s not really something that I would be concerned about. When all the slaves units are turned off so that only the master is firing, the output set for the flash does not coincide with the actual output setting. For example, when the master output is set to +2 or +3, the master will not fire. When set to -3, it fires as if set to 0. But, like I said, this only happens when all the slaves are turned off which should never be the case when you’re in a wireless remote configuration.

In the wireless remote master mode, the overall total flash output is controlled via the FEC on the camera because there is no way to set that on the flash with it in wireless remote mode. Not really a big deal unless you happen to have a 300D which doesn’t have an on-camera FEC control.

The Metz also plays nicely as a slave with the Speedlite flashes, too.

I also tested the Metz as a master and a slave in the manual wireless remote mode and it again passed without a hiccup.


Standard ETTL Operation
---------------
Since the camera controls the exposure setting of the flash in ETTL mode, I wasn’t expecting the Metz to behave any differently than the 580EX. But I soon discovered that was not exactly the case. To my surprise the ETTL exposures with the Metz were better than those of the 580EX by about 2/3 stop. Curious, I tried the 550EX and the 420EX and they faired bettered than the 580EX but not as well as the Metz, with the 420EX being closest to the Metz. Since the flashes were within 2/3 stop of each other, I think we can attribute the difference to tolerance variations in the manufacture of the flashes.


Auto Mode Operation
---------------
With the Metz in Auto mode, the exposures came out much brighter (about a stop or more) than when set to ETTL mode. Since the same thing happens with my old Sunpak Auto Zoom 333, the results were in line with what I was expecting. I personally think the exposure in Auto mode leans too much in the overexposure side and gives the picture that “shot with a flash” look that I don’t really care for. I much prefer the pictures shot in ETTL mode which have a more natural look to them. But that’s just me. :)

My Sunpak 333 has three auto mode settings (yellow, green and red) and the aperture used for these settings depend on the ISO used. With the Metz, Auto mode can be used with any aperture set on the camera as long as it does not cause over or under exposure. The aperture is automatically communicated to the flash by the camera so there’s nothing you really need to set other than putting the flash into Auto mode.

According the manual, the flash has a smart auto fill mode wherein the flash will automatically reduce the flash output for fill in Auto mode when it determines that the flash is being used for fill. I haven’t tested this but that sure is an interesting feature if it really works are described in the manual.


Secondary Flash head
---------------

Another feature incorporated into the 58 AF-1 is the secondary flash head which many of the Metz flashes are known for. The secondary flash can be turned on and off via menu settings. The output power can also be adjusted from 1/1 to ¼.


Conclusion
--------------
The features found in the Metz 58 AF-1 are what I think Canon should have built into the Speedlite 580EX in the first place. With the Metz 58 AF-1 listing at B&H Photo for $359.95 versus $379.95 for the Canon Speedlite 580EX, the Metz 58 AF-1 is a very attractive alternative to the Canon 580EX, assuming one can look passed the Metz’s quirky control ergonomics. Now, the Metz 58 AF-1 with the controls of the 580EX would be a really awesome flash unit!

...Leo

  
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Curtis ­ N
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Jan 26, 2007 23:10 |  #2

Very nice review, Leo. It looks like you really put the Metz through its paces. It could be a nice alternative to the 580EX if you can tolerate the interface. But as King Measurebator, I feel compelled to point out that you missed a few things. ;)

1) What is the guide number of the Metz? (Features are nice, but there's no substitute for power.)
2) Did you test the maximum output vs. the 580EX with a flash meter?
3) Is the zoom range similar to the 580EX? Does it have a similar pull-out wide-angle panel?
3b) Will the autozoom compensate for the camera's crop factor like the 580EX?
4) The idiot-proof auto mode is nice, but is there a way to override the automatic aperture setting? What if you want a little more or a little less juice?
5) Can you use it in auto mode off-camera? Does it have a sync socket of any sort for off-camera use (we strobists want to know).
6) I assume it has variable manual power. How low can it go? Can you adjust in 1/3 stop increments?
7) Does Gary Fong make a Lightsphere to fit it? (Just kidding)

As for the secondary flash unit, my Promaster 7500 has one of those and I found it tended to produce redeye. The secondary head on the Metz is a bit higher than the Promaster so it may not be as much of an issue. I'll be interested to know how it works for you.

I'll give you fifty bucks for your 580EX since you won't be needing it anymore.


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PacAce
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Jan 27, 2007 01:57 |  #3

Curtis N wrote in post #2607143 (external link)
Very nice review, Leo. It looks like you really put the Metz through its paces. It could be a nice alternative to the 580EX if you can tolerate the interface. But as King Measurebator, I feel compelled to point out that you missed a few things. ;)

1) What is the guide number of the Metz? (Features are nice, but there's no substitute for power.)
2) Did you test the maximum output vs. the 580EX with a flash meter?
3) Is the zoom range similar to the 580EX? Does it have a similar pull-out wide-angle panel?
3b) Will the autozoom compensate for the camera's crop factor like the 580EX?
4) The idiot-proof auto mode is nice, but is there a way to override the automatic aperture setting? What if you want a little more or a little less juice?
5) Can you use it in auto mode off-camera? Does it have a sync socket of any sort for off-camera use (we strobists want to know).
6) I assume it has variable manual power. How low can it go? Can you adjust in 1/3 stop increments?
7) Does Gary Fong make a Lightsphere to fit it? (Just kidding)

As for the secondary flash unit, my Promaster 7500 has one of those and I found it tended to produce redeye. The secondary head on the Metz is a bit higher than the Promaster so it may not be as much of an issue. I'll be interested to know how it works for you.

I'll give you fifty bucks for your 580EX since you won't be needing it anymore.

Curtis, the Metz 58 AF-1 pretty much matches, and in a few cases exceeds, all the functions and specs of the 580EX, which is what I was trying to imply in the first paragraph of my review:

It had all the functionalities and the flash output power of the Canon Speedlite 580EX plus a few extra things like Auto mode.

So that answers questions 1, 3, 3b, and part of 6. The answer to the other part of 6 is, the lowest power output is 1/256 vs 1/128 for the 580EX. And, yes, it is variable in 1/3 stop increments.

2) Yes I did. They are exactly the same. I measured the output from 3 different distances and got identicals results from both.

4) You can manually set FEC on the flash, up to +/- 3 stops, to override whatever the flash gives you in Auto mode.

5) Nope. It doesn't look like the Metz will work in any mode off-camera (other than in ETTL remote slave mode) unless it's tied to the camera via the off-shoe cord 2. And, needless to say, it doesn't have a sync socket either. Bummer. I guess I'll have to return the Metz now. :lol: ;)

As for the 580EX, I have two bodies so I'm can still use it on the other body. I can then delegate the 550EX to doing other tasks, like being a slave or something like that. :)


...Leo

  
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condyk
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Jan 27, 2007 03:27 |  #4

Taken both posts together this a top review. I don't understand much of it as I'm not a flash guy, but still appreciate the efforts. I'd stick with the Canon 580 I reckon based on this.


https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1203740

  
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René ­ Damkot
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Jan 27, 2007 07:12 |  #5

Good review!

PacAce wrote in post #2606595 (external link)
If you didn’t like the way the settings were selected on the Speedlite 550EX, you are going to absolutely hate the way the Metz 58 AF-1 does it.

I won't be buying one then ;)

For those interested: Shootsmarter (external link) also did a test of a few (other) flashes...
The 580 didn't do too well.
Surprisingly they also said that there are diferences in ETTL mode between the flashes...
Pity they didn't write as thorough a review as PacAce ;)


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CTR
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Jan 27, 2007 12:13 as a reply to  @ René Damkot's post |  #6

Thanks for the detailed review. I've used the Metz 54 MZ4 and I much prefer the auto flash exposures compared to the ETLL II from the 580EX. With the Canon flash, adding +2/3 exposure compensation works about 80% of the time but reflections from glass or mirrors still throws it off.

Have you tested the ETTL mode with a diffuser? For some reason, the exposures are way off when I use a diffuser in ETTL mode. Others have reported that this is due to the sensor that is placed on the flash head.

If you have time, it would be great if you could post a few pictures comparing the exposures between ETTL and auto modes between the Metz AF1 and the Canon flashes.

Thanks




  
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marian
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Jan 27, 2007 12:25 |  #7

If you check the site http://www.shootsmarte​r.com/ (external link) , they just reviewed 6 portable flash units. I was surprised, but Metz was voted as the best! Quantum came in 2nd and the Canon 580EX was the last!
?




  
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Wilt
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Jan 27, 2007 13:11 |  #8

CTR wrote in post #2609361 (external link)
Have you tested the ETTL mode with a diffuser? For some reason, the exposures are way off when I use a diffuser in ETTL mode. Others have reported that this is due to the sensor that is placed on the flash head.

In the 54MZ, the ETTL sensor is in the lower left corner of the head very close to the edge of the lens, looking from the front...somewhat small round thing. If you can see that in the 58AF, you are indeed suffering from the same issue, that the Metz is dependent upon that sensor for ETTL compatbility (which makes me wonder why they didn't simply use the the same sensor as the AF reading, if they couldn't figure out the camera signal!)


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Wilt
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Jan 27, 2007 13:14 |  #9

Marian that link takes you to the home page, but you have to be registered to read that article! Maybe if you go to that page for us and post a direct link to that report, we can see it without membership?


You need to give me OK to edit your image and repost! Keep POTN alive and well with member support https://photography-on-the.net/forum/donate.p​hp
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TMR ­ Design
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Jan 27, 2007 13:56 as a reply to  @ Wilt's post |  #10

I'm pretty sure you have to register to gain access to ShootSmarter.


Robert
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Curtis ­ N
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Jan 27, 2007 14:04 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #2609590 (external link)
In the 54MZ, the ETTL sensor is in the lower left corner of the head very close to the edge of the lens,

Huh? I thought "TTL" stood for "through the lens". If it's not the camera that's measuring the light, comparing it to the ambient in multiple metering zones and calculating the flash power accordingly, what's the point?

I thought it might be great to have the option of automatic or E-TTL, and to have a focus assist light and other features of a dedicated flash in either mode.

Now I'm not so sure.


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PacAce
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Jan 27, 2007 17:30 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #2609590 (external link)
In the 54MZ, the ETTL sensor is in the lower left corner of the head very close to the edge of the lens, looking from the front...somewhat small round thing. If you can see that in the 58AF, you are indeed suffering from the same issue, that the Metz is dependent upon that sensor for ETTL compatbility (which makes me wonder why they didn't simply use the the same sensor as the AF reading, if they couldn't figure out the camera signal!)

Wilt, you'll have to explain this one to me because I'm totally lost as to what you were trying to say. As Curtis said earlier, ETTL does not rely on any type of sensor on the flash because it is the camera's metering system that is used to evaluate the proper flash exposure needed for the shot.

And even more confusing is the statement you made about using the same sensor as the AF reading. Did you mean AF as in auto-focus? If so, that's not really a sensor, is it? That's really an LED that projects a pattern of lines so that the camera can use them for focusing in dim lighting conditions.

As far as sensors go on the 58 AF-1, there's one for the Auto mode and it's in front of the flash beside the AF assist beam lens. And there's another sensor on the left shoulder of the main body just beside the flash head. This sensor is used for receiving the wireless remote commands from the master. I couldn't make out any other sensor on the flash and the manual doesn't make mention of any other either.


...Leo

  
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marian
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Jan 27, 2007 17:39 |  #13

Okay guys, I copied the whole article (minus the photos and put it here). Don't shoot the messanger. I just put it here for you!
:)


Digital On-Camera Flash: Our Latest Recommended Lists
By Will Crockett CREATED JANUARY OF 2007

On-camera flash (external or slide-in-the-hotshoe type flash: not the popup flash built into some camera bodies) is still one of the top troublemakers in professional and semi-professional photography that typically reeks havoc everywhere it goes. If you're having light quality, contrast, or exposure troubles in this area, you are not alone.
Since the summer of 2006, we've been carefully testing flash, flash modifiers, and camera+flash TTL combinations to build a new recommended list for our ShootSmarter members while studying the gear and it's performance to develop the skill set needed to make the work. We don't have all the data collected yet, but we can report that it does take a lot of time, practice and determination to become "fluent" with on-camera flash.
Our info comes from other resources besides our own testing as well. We see a lot of different cameras and flashes here at the school, so we quiz our students and attending instructors on what they are doing as far as on-camera flash hardware and technique so we can start to build a database of problems and solutions.

So over the next few months we will be bringing you fresh new info on solving your OC flash issues no matter if you shoot in TTL, AUTO, or Manual modes creating JPEGs or RAW files. This new info is in support of the new Digital On-Camera Flash DVD and the 90 minute + segment on OC flash in the SSU RoadTrip event. Let's start off with equipment choices...


OC Flash Gear:

The Problems

ONE: You buy a pro DSLR and matching brand pro flash but still have inconsistent TTL exposures.

This is the biggest complaint. Matching Canon or Nikon flash hardware alone will not solve this problem, but TTL shooters will find GREAT performance when using the right camera and flash combo coupled with the techniques needed to make them work well. For instance, the 580EX flash on a 10D is a complete waste of time, yet the same 580EX flash on a 5D works very well in TTL mode.
We will present the hardware in this smArticle™ and the technique will be presented in later months as we refine it.
BTW: The new OCflash DVD has a significant content in this area as brought to us by ace TTL shooters Paul Gero and John Kringas.

TWO: You buy a pro DSLR and an non-matching brand pro flash but still have inconsistent TTL exposures.

In years past, we usually would pass on the Canon, Minolta and Nikon flashes and buy the Vivitar, Metz, Sunpak, Quantum or Soligor (remember them?) flashes instead. Today, the aftermarket flashes still top our list but only for non-TTL applications with one exception - Quantum. The T5D flash system actually provides better TTL exposures on most DSLRs than any other flash.

THREE: Small flashes are so underpowered, I need a bigger flash.

Well, not so. DSLR's that produce great files at ISO 800 and higher can give you outstanding indoor images in TTL, AUTO and Manual exposure modes. This means you can choose to upgrade your flash or upgrade your camera.

FOUR: The light QUALITY from OC flash is too contrasty or it's just not as good as it needs to be.

Understood, but let's fix the problem at it's source (not later in Photoshop). If you are not happy with your OCflash light quality because it's too contrasty, then simply lower the contrast of the light source by making it larger. Bouncing the flash is tough to do all the time, but produces terrific quality of light. If that will not work well for you, look into one of the many light modifiers from LumiQuest or Harbor Digital Design or Stofen. More info on light quality coming up in future smArticles™.

The Real Decision...

Instead of choosing a flash first, then figuring out how to make it work for you, we suggest you work backwards. Decide on what you want the flash to do, then buy the appropriate flash. The "right" flash for a Nikon D2h shooter who wants to create TTL jpegs at a wedding reception may be the absolute wrong flash for the AUTO mode shooter using a D200 who needs a top fill-flash machine for outdoor sports portraits.

Our List of Recommended Hardware
So here we have the gear we recommend in an overall ranking, then our suggestions for the most appropriate gear choice for various types of photo jobs.
The overall scores are based on these 3 factors:

ONE: Exposure accuracy when tested with following cameras: Canon 5D, Canon 30D, Nikon D2x, Nikon D200, and Fujifilm S3.

TWO: The "usability" of the flash features (how likely are pros to use it's features and how easy are they to get at and setup),
THREE: The overall value for the money the flash presents for a working pro shooter.



Equipment Rankings
In 6th place overall...
Canon 580 EX

As much as I'm not a big fan of this flash, I think it's important for us to recommend it. The Canon 580 EX flash has it's strengths and weaknesses for sure, but if you take the time to figure it out and you use it on a camera like the 30D, 5D or better, you can get it's TTL system to work well for you. If not, there's always the manual setting. Please note that if you are using it on a 20D, 10D or lesser camera, you will find it extremely frustrating and we think there are much better choices.

My pal Paul Gero swears by this flash and makes some stunning images with it. I do like it's wireless TTL function that will allow you to trigger a second or even third TTL compatible flash using lighting ratios between the flashes. It sounds complicated, but I've used the 580 to trigger the Quantum T5d in it's Canon-compatible "qTTL" mode and had very good to excellent results.

Number 5:

Promaster 7500 DX

Moving up on my recommended list is the super bargain flash for the folks on a budget. The ProMaster 7500 DX has solid TTL, and Manual modes, two flash heads with one that swivels for terrific bounce + direct lighting and costs less than $250. This is a reliable little performer with a respectable recycle time and plenty of features that we like a lot. Couple this with some of our recommended rechargeable AA cells and you have a TTL beast on your Canon, Nikon or other brand cameras. There's not a lot of frills on this flash, but that's a good thing... it's all about the light.

Number 4:

Metz 76mz

The Metz 76mz series is the Cadillac of the on camera flash world. It is super powerful, extremely exposure accurate, loaded with smart features like a cooling fan built into the gorgeous massive main flash head, the second flash head for direct flash and it is a joy to own. This is an engineering marvel and has the largest and best-engineered flash head of it's kind allowing it to flood a scene with even light. There's plenty of power options to choose from including the cool slide in batteries that pop up into the handle or the high capacity external cells if you prefer. It's more affordable than most folks think at less than $900 for the starter set and can use Metz as well as other brands of external power cells (Quantum).

Number 3:

Nikon SB800

This small, lightweight flash is powerful, has an easy to use control panel and will work in TTL, AUTO and manual modes with ease. It's built for abuse and can easily get tossed around inside your camera bag or glove box and still be as useful and accurate as the day you bought it. For $350, there's a lot of value in this little guy. This is a great choice for Nikon and Fuji camera shooters alike and is a top choice for TTL for shooters who move around a lot. It also offers some very useable advanced features like wireless TTL triggering and wireless TTL ratios, and it will trigger the Quantum T5 system through their sweet Qnexus system too.

Number 2:

Quantum T5d

This is a modular approach to OCflash that lets you mix and match your flash head, light modifier, and the time-tested Quantum power cells. You can start off with the latest flash head, the T5d (or T5d-R), or send in your old T4 for an upgrade to the latest and greatest. Then choose from a wide variety of light modifiers to shape than throw your light the way you want to, then power the whole enchilada with some of the best external photo batteries on the planet. At around $1200 for a complete system, this gear is pricey but durable and well worth the money and performs great as a primary flash or as a second flash on location. Quantums "qTTL" system is the best and most accurate TTL system on the market.

Number 1:

Metz 54mz

Our top choice can really belong to any of the top 4 flashes here, and I do wobble between the Metz 76mz, the Quantum T5d for the #1 spot, but my pick (this week at least) is the amazing Metz 54mz series of flashes. Start off with one of the most powerful shoe mounted flashes in the world, add two flash heads - one large swivel head for use as the main and the smaller wink light for the direct fill light, then put in a sophisticated set of features from manual, auto and TTL exposure systems adjusted through a great control panel and you have the fast recycling, super flexible top choice in my book.




Flash recommendations based on camera type and application
Wedding photography:
Canon 30D, 5D and up DSLR FOR TTL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Canon 580 EX

Promaster 7500DX
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Metz 54mz

Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz or Promaster 7500
Wedding photography:
Canon 20D, and down DSLR FOR TTL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system

Promaster 7500DX
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Metz 54mz

Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz or Promaster 7500
Wedding photography:
Nikon D200 and up DSLR
or Fujifilm S2 / S3 / S5 FOR TTL CHOOSE:
Nikon SB800
Quantum T5d system

Promaster 7500DX
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Metz 54mz

Quantum T5d system
Nikon SB800
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz
Fill-flash (outdoor)
Where your available light is brighter than your flash setting. FOR TTL CHOOSE:
None
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Nikon SB800
Metz 54mz or Metz 76mz
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz
Flash Dominant (outdoor)
Where your flash light will be set brighter than your available light. FOR TTL CHOOSE:
No results - they all worked "ok" here but none really acceled.
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz
Portrait / Seniors / Outdoor portrait photography:
Canon 30D, 5D and up DSLR FOR TTL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system

FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Metz 54mz

Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz or Promaster 7500
Portrait / Seniors / Outdoor portrait photography:
Canon 20D, and down DSLR FOR TTL CHOOSE:
None.
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Metz 54mz

Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz or Promaster 7500
Portrait / Seniors / Outdoor portrait photography:
Nikon D200 and up DSLR
or Fujifilm S2 / S3 / S5 FOR TTL CHOOSE:
Nikon SB800
Quantum T5d system
FOR AUTO CHOOSE:
Metz 54mz

Quantum T5d system
Nikon SB800
FOR MANUAL CHOOSE:
Quantum T5d system
Metz 76mz
Metz 54mz or Promaster 7500

It's our opinion that the above recommendations are a great place to start. you cannot simply "buy" a few pieces of OCflash gear and expect to have great light and great exposures - unless you shoot film. : ) For digital, it's a new ballgame. Please, choose your gear carefully, don't ask it to do something it's not designed to do, and learn how to use it the right way?

More info to come!




  
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PacAce
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Jan 27, 2007 17:43 |  #14

CTR wrote in post #2609361 (external link)
Thanks for the detailed review. I've used the Metz 54 MZ4 and I much prefer the auto flash exposures compared to the ETLL II from the 580EX. With the Canon flash, adding +2/3 exposure compensation works about 80% of the time but reflections from glass or mirrors still throws it off.

Have you tested the ETTL mode with a diffuser? For some reason, the exposures are way off when I use a diffuser in ETTL mode. Others have reported that this is due to the sensor that is placed on the flash head.

If you have time, it would be great if you could post a few pictures comparing the exposures between ETTL and auto modes between the Metz AF1 and the Canon flashes.

Thanks

No, I haven't done any tests using a diffuser. What type of diffuser were you referring to? The Sto-fen?

Also, did you mean ETTL or Auto mode with the use of the diffuser? In Auto mode, unless the head is pointed high enough to keep the diffuser from emitting light directly on to the Auto mode sensor, you are going to have under-exposure problems.

However, in ETTL mode, the camera does the metering using it's own metering system so using a diffuser shouldn' really cause a severe case of under-exposure unless you are using camera settings (low ISO and very small aperture) so that the camera isn't seeing enough light coming back from the bounced flash for a proper exposure.

BTW, I've also heard of Canon Speedlites also having severe under-exposure problems when using Sto-fens in a straigh-ahead position (not bounced). But that's not an issue with the flash. It's more ETTL related than anything else. There was a discussion about it here a while back. I'll try to see if I can dig it up.


...Leo

  
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PacAce
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Location: Keystone State, USA
     
Jan 27, 2007 17:52 |  #15

PacAce wrote in post #2610480 (external link)
No, I haven't done any tests using a diffuser. What type of diffuser were you referring to? The Sto-fen?

Also, did you mean ETTL or Auto mode with the use of the diffuser? In Auto mode, unless the head is pointed high enough to keep the diffuser from emitting light directly on to the Auto mode sensor, you are going to have under-exposure problems.

However, in ETTL mode, the camera does the metering using it's own metering system so using a diffuser shouldn' really cause a severe case of under-exposure unless you are using camera settings (low ISO and very small aperture) so that the camera isn't seeing enough light coming back from the bounced flash for a proper exposure.

BTW, I've also heard of Canon Speedlites also having severe under-exposure problems when using Sto-fens in a straigh-ahead position (not bounced). But that's not an issue with the flash. It's more ETTL related than anything else. There was a discussion about it here a while back. I'll try to see if I can dig it up.

Here's the link I was talking about. Take a look and see if it's applicable to your problem with the diffuser.

https://photography-on-the.net …ht=diffuser+und​erexposure


...Leo

  
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