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Metz mecablitz 48 AF-1 digital Review RSS Feed

Metz mecablitz 48 AF-1 digital

Reviews Views Date of last review
16 48,843 Sat March 18, 2023
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $195.15 8.94
Metz mecablitz 48 AF-1 digital

The Metz mecablitz 48 AF-1 digital is stylish and technically state-of-the art. Equipped with a USB port for firmware updates via Internet, it has shown itself to be just as innovative as its big brother the 58 AF-1 digital, which has just been singled out as “Europe’s Flash Unit of the Year 2007/2008”*. Perfectly matched to digital cameras from leading manufacturers in each case, it is available in five different versions (Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic, Pentax/Samsung or Sony Alpha) – each individual one is flash-ready, due to its fully automatic flash modes. They facilitate precision light output, tailor-made for each individual subject. Numerous manual intervention options complement the photographic creative flexibility. Supported by a fully swiveling reflector system, which also has an extendible reflector card and a diffuser, almost unlimited possibilities open up for creative directed lighting. Thanks to the slave function, the 48 AF-1 digital can even be used detached from the camera. In the respective camera-specific wireless TTL mode, it can thus be used as a slave unit. It is an outstanding flash unit for committed amateur photographers.

Flash nameGuide Number (meters ISO 100)Flash controlFlash exposure comp.Flash coverage (24x36)
Metz mecablitz 48 AF-135 in 50mm zoom position
48 in 105mm zoom position
Manual (1/1 to 1/128 power)
Yes24mm lens,
18mm with built-in
wide-angle panel
Rotating flash headModeling lightAutofocus spotbeamConnectionsHot shoe pins
Rotate and swivelYesYesUSB for firmware
5 (incl. ground)
BatteriesDimensions (W x H x D)WeightIn production
4 x AA71 x 137 x 99mm425gNo
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16
New Member

Registered: November, 2019
Posts: 1
Review Date: March 18, 2023 Recommended | Price: $49.30 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well-built. P-TTL. Reasonably powerful.
Cons: One of it's four batteries tends to hang up on a battery door hinge.

Recently bought 'used' as a replacement for an increasingly temperamental Pentax AF540FGZ11. So far I've been very satisfied with it's performance.

Contrary to other reviewers, I've found it very easy to use with little or no reference to it's comprehensive user manual.

Works exceptionally well with my K-1. Has more than adequate power for informal portraits when used with a cheap silver/white bounce board light modifier, even with the camera set to ISO 100/ISO 200. Only last weekend I used it to very successfully photograph a friend's family function, in a large public building, where bouncing light from the high ceiling was impractical.

To date the only glitch I've encountered with the 48 AF-1 is a tendency for one of the four AA batteries it uses to hang up on a battery door hinge preventing removal. This, however, may be down to me using cheap, Chinese, rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries with a possible dimensional error compared with 'name-brand' alkaline AA batteries......
Senior Member

Registered: November, 2014
Posts: 272

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 11, 2014 Recommended | Price: $175.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Powerful, lightweight, P-TTL
Cons: Steep learning curve, feels cheap but isn't

I did a bit of research and I wanted a powerful P-TTL flash that would not break the bank. I settled upon the Metz 48 AF-1. There's the good and the bad but I feel that the good far outweighs the bad on this flash.

This flash is one where you need to attach it to the camera and then spend an hour or two with the manual and the flash testing all the modes and settings. It is NOT a user friendly flash at first. You will probably be frustrated and confused. Once you get the hang of it though it's a very nice flash. I have shot excellent photos with it in large auditoriums, aircraft hangars, and gymnasiums. It is extremely powerful but the flash can be cut back to provide nice and even light. I mostly bounce the flash off of the ceiling or a wall and I was impressed by its ability to evenly illuminate an entire fighter jet with a very pleasant and even light.

From a handling standpoint the flash feels cheap. I don't mind that though as you realize the designers were going for light weight. The build quality doesn't bother me and I'd rather have it be lightweight and plastic than make my camera excessively top heavy and hard to manage. Overall I would recommend this flash. Just have a bit of patience with learning the menus but once you figure it out the Metz 48 AF-1 is a great addition to your camera bag.
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2009
Posts: 88
Review Date: November 11, 2014 Recommended | Price: $125.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: PTTL, HSS, Automatic
Cons: Build quality, Menu system

This flash unit is a decent performer, although some aspects leave to be desired.

First the build quality - it just does not feel "solid". Turning the head is always accompanied by plastic creaking and crackling sounds. The plastic feels thin and cheap, and the shoe is also plastic. The battery compartment door has no spring to keep it open - it gets really annoying, if the door falls shut during replacing the batteries. It also did not have any accessories (pouch, stand).

It is fairly easy to get lost in the menu system. I had to refer to the manual on plenty of occasions. Once I even managed to lock out some operating modes.

Once you get it doing what you want - its all good however. I have nothing bad to say about its output, I also have not experienced it overheating. Built-in diffuser and reflector card are nice. Works well as a master flash, triggering optical slaves (I usually have the Metz on wireless radio receiver as a master and a Yongnuo flash in slave-eye mode).

In conclusion - if you are not too rough with it, it performs just fine.
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2009
Location: Watertown, NY
Posts: 267

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 28, 2013 Recommended | Price: $185.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Powerful, PTTL, FIrmaware Updating, Versatility
Cons: No Commander control, No hot shoe Stand when purchased, Confusing Manual

I bought this flash when I owned the K100D and through firmware updates have been able to successfully use it with the K200D, Kr, and K30.
That's the advantage of being able to download and update the firmware. I don't have to send the flash back to the factory or buy a new flash.

I initially chose this flash because it had many of the features of the more expensive Pentax flash at less than 1/2 the price. It is clunky initially to make menu selections and the manual is next to useless providing useful and easy to follow directions. However after sitting for hours playing with the flash and wasting much digital film on bad shots using the button menu has become much easier.

It seems to work better with each new camera model and firmware upgrade. Metz took awhile getting the firmware update out for the K30 but since I've installed it all the functions work as they are suppose to.

As an aside it seems to me that PTTL works much better with the latest firmware update for the K30. In the past PTTL was hit or miss dependent on the light I was shooting in but now it seems to be spot on with the K30 even with difficult lighting.

I've used this flash on camera and off camera using the on-board flash to fire the Metz and it worked well. I'm just beginning to find my bearings using flash and have much to learn and at least for now my abilities have not outgrown the Metz.

Excellent flash for the money and highly recommended.
New Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 1
Review Date: December 2, 2012 Recommended | Price: $219.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Metz, underlight display, movement of reflector
Cons: no master, plastic platform

Maby difficult menu orientation at the start.
Senior Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: LODINGEN, Northern Norway
Posts: 275
Review Date: October 27, 2012 Recommended | Price: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: pTTL, powerfull, its a Metz
Cons: User menu

The wireless and HSS modes are greate.
Bouncing card and wide angel lens are also very nice.

If I could use one of my flashes for the rest of my life, this would be the one.
Add a flash stand, and an umbrella, and you have a portable ministudio.

The menues are quirky.
Why on earth do the reflector have a lock only for tilting upwards? I have never used the camera upside down.
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Strand
Posts: 1,366

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 19, 2012 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: great value for features/power, may be the best value.
Cons: Little difficult menu, but nothing special.

I have more than a dozen flash units.

Many complains about the menu system of this flash, but in fact, I like it better than the Sigma super menu.
All functions are relatively easy to access if you once know it's own 'dialect'.

All most needed features are packed in this unit:
p-TTL, ev +/-, synch with lens zooms, angled, bounce card, camera body flash ev +/-, manual flash zoom head,
HSS, focus assist beam, manual flash with power vary 1/1 to 1/128, 2nd curtain synch, wireless slave ch1-4,
+ some more, and firmware updatability.

Highly recommended, as relatively low priced with great number of functionality.
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Ohio, USA/ India
Posts: 478
Review Date: June 7, 2011 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: tilt and swivel, value for money
Cons: none

This is the only external flash I have used. So I have nothing else to compare this to. But for my purposes this is just perfect. I cannot ask for anything more. As others have pointed out it is a no brainer to go with this flash if you are pitting it against the pentax 360.
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Temecula
Posts: 3,675

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 17, 2011 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Powerful, well built, reliable, fast recharge rate, user friendly when you get to know it, cheap
Cons: its a bit quirky at first and takes some time to get used to

I can't even describe how much better this flash is in comparison to my Pentax AF 360 FGZ flash. Its got NO battery door issues that plague pentax flashes, it recharges much faster, its got more power, can reduce much more power (Pentax only goes to 1/32 - good for highspeed photography), etc. etc.

The pentax cost me $40 less but that was used and the metz is 100% worth its price. My Pentax is currently wrapped in tape to keep the batteries in its compartment while the metz is just fine

I was a skeptical and went with pentax in the beginning...... dont make the same mistake I did!
Closed Account

Registered: November, 2008
Location: The edge of nowhere, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 467

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 18, 2010 Recommended | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Value for the money, power output, bounce and swivel capabilities, built-in diffuser and reflector card
Cons: Cryptic menu system

In all honesty, I see no reason why anyone would consider buying a more expensive Pentax external flash when they can just buy a superior Metz, other than for brand-name familiarity. I whole-heartedly echo the positives of this flash - or any Metz flash, for that matter - as written by other reviewers for the sake of not repeating them.

But I also echo others' frustration with the goofy menu system, one so cryptic and vague that unless you use the flash often you're forced to snoop through the Germanic-English instruction manual to remind yourself of what features like SL, FB, ML, and CC stand for. And once you find the acronym in question, Roland or Mannfred or whoever wrote the "English" portion of the manual - rather, "translated-from-German-to-English" portion of the manual - doesn't do a very good job of explaining exactly what each feature does.

For this reason, experimentation is the only way to effectively learn the many, many great features of this flash, which I suppose couldn't be a bad thing. Nevertheless, the only reason the Metz 48 loses a mark is not due to features or a lack thereof, but due simply to its menu system.

I'd like to add that I was greatly frustrated with the flash delay of this unit between pressing the shutter button and the flash actually firing, until a friend of mine - a Metz guy literally since he was old enough to hold a camera - pointed out that I had set my camera's flash mode to red-eye reduction. Since setting it to "Flash On", I'm now able to capture things exactly when I see them instead of having to anticipate expressions or actions like you have to with a built-in flash.

Unless you like to spend extra money for the fun of it, I will be blunt by stating that buying any other brand of external flash for your Pentax camera is completely beyond my understanding.
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Posts: 17,377
Review Date: August 13, 2010 Recommended | Price: $220.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: P-TTL & Swivels
Cons: only has wireless slave capability.

The Metz 58 may be a better flash but it is 2x better and that is what it cost compared to this one. This unit can act as a wireless slave to most master capable flashes, but cannot act as a master. In my case that is the on board flash of the K200d and K20d as well as my Sigma EM-140 ring flash. It also has firmware upgrade capability via usb. The manual is as complicated as the K20d manual. I got this flash just after getting my K200d. In my opinion, this is a better option than the 2 top Pentax offerings (360 & 540) in just about every category.
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Virginia Beach
Posts: 2,950
Review Date: July 9, 2010 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Best flash and features for the price
Cons: Worst menu system ever, cannot be Master for slave flashes

The Metz 48 AF-1 does everything I was looking for and does them well: full tilt/swivel, slave to camera,P-TTL, HSS and Manual. For the price I got all the features and power I could ask for. If it had cost more I would dock it a point for missing Master mode and the horrible menu system.

The cost differential between the Metz 48 and 58 is too much for the smaller step up in features. Love the ability to update firmware although I never could tell the difference after doing an upgrade. Time will tell if this feature turns out to be really worthwhile.

Bottom line, I call this unit the absolute best flash for the price.
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2009
Location: Southeast USA
Posts: 390
Review Date: July 2, 2010 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Lots of features, not too expensive
Cons: somewhat unfriendly user interface

This flash does what I needed it to do, which is provide a good amount of indirect (via tilt/swivel) light in low-light situations, for a fairly inexpensive cost as well. I have not often used the more advanced features of it, but I still consider myself somewhat of a beginner photographer. This flash has plenty of features for me to "grow into."

As others have and will mention, the menu is clunky, but it's pretty easy to access the most basic function of dialing in the flash strength. You'll get used to it.
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 126
Review Date: July 1, 2010 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent, versatile flash; great value for features/power
Cons: none

As already pointed out, it's a pretty big unit so on a K-x it throws the balance out. But for the price and its amazing list of features and pretty decent power, well its hard to complain.
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 154
Review Date: June 29, 2010 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: versatile, value for money
Cons: none

a great value for money flash for those on a budget ... have a swivel-rotate head ... several functions ... and gets a lot done ... it can be remotely triggered as well ... so the creative possibilities are endless ... !
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