Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Pentax Accessory Reviews » Flash Equipment » Flashes (Third-party)
Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital Review RSS Feed

Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital

Reviews Views Date of last review
13 41,257 Fri May 23, 2014
spacer
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
92% of reviewers $432.15 9.08
Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital
supersize


Description:
Even an award-winner can be made better. The “best flash unit in Europe 2007/2008” has received a little more fine tuning. In order to carry on meeting the highest standards in quality, a high quality metal base has been added which can be attached to the camera’s flash shoe in one easy movement. Technically speaking, no wish is left unfulfilled. The innovative high performance unit boasts a USB interface through which specific firmware for each model variant can be conveniently updated via computer and Internet. It looks sleek, artfully meters flash and is both intuitive and impressively powerful. Equipped with new innovations, the Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital offers cutting-edge secondary reflector technology, high performance energy management, multiple zone AF flash metering and a fully pivoting reflector system. The Metz top model works with all camera-specific system flash modes from Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus/Panasonic or Sony Alpha cameras including their respective wireless TTL modes. If the camera has a built-in flash then the mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital can be employed wirelessly in the system, even in servo mode. Thanks to its high guide number, the 58 AF-2 digital is not only extremely powerful but can also be used effectively for bouncing flash. Metz has integrated a flip-out reflector card for its vertically tilting and horizontally swivelling reflector. Thanks to the integrated and system controlled secondary reflector, bouncing flash adds additional brilliance to close-ups.


Flash nameGuide Number (meters ISO 100)Flash controlFlash exposure comp.Flash coverage (24x36)
Metz mecablitz 58 AF-242 in 50mm zoom position
54 in 105mm zoom position
P-TTL
TTL
Autoflash
Manual (25 levels)
Yes24mm lens,
12mm with built-in
wide-angle panel
Rotating flash headModeling lightAutofocus spotbeamConnectionsHot shoe pins
Rotate and swivelYesYesUSB for firmware
updates
5 (incl. ground)
BatteriesIn production
4 x AA
External power pack available
Yes
Price History:



Add Review of Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital
Author:
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-13 of 13
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 1,043
Review Date: May 23, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $399.99 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Powerful and loaded with features.
Cons: Slightly slow to recharge on AA batteries.

This is a serious flash for the pros.

It's powerful with a guide number of 58 meters at ISO 100, and the feature set is astounding. High speed sync, second curtain sync, full tilt and swivel, auto-thyristor mode, TTL and manual wireless mode, manual control with 1/3 stop adjustment, wide-angle diffuser, secondary flash reflector, stroboscopic mode, USB firmware updates, external power support, you name it--it's all here. My only complaint is the somewhat slow recharging on AA batteries (even on Eneloops), but otherwise, this is practically the best flash you can get for the Pentax system.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide
Posts: 84
Review Date: May 14, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Power. Flexibility. Build.
Cons: A bit expensive if bought new.

I bought a used 58 AF-2 as as un upgrade to my very basic 36 AF-4. It took a little time to learn, but the 58 AF-2 is fantastic in comparison.
The most powerful flash I've owned even compared to some old Metz film flashes I've owned in the past.

Highly recommended!
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2014
Location: St Petersburg
Posts: 382
Review Date: March 24, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, Power, Metal Foot, Ease of use, 2 heads, wireless P-TTL
Cons: Different but simpler controls than Pentax

I own 360 and 540 FGZ and this Metz 58.

ALWAYS take the Metz first... Wireless and PTTL work perfectly. Much tougher build. NOT consumer equipment...

Leave the cords home. Much faster to change modes than Pentax. They are fine (Great) units, but when time matters.....
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 306
Review Date: September 22, 2013 I can recommend this item: No | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Small but powerfull,pttl,many features
Cons: Userinterface,pttl not exact,all setup not remember when off

On paper this is good butin practise i not like. Recomend to look other flash than this.pttl exposures not even near acceptable consistent. This item sucks for high price
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2012
Posts: 960
Review Date: June 17, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $430.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good "A" mode
Cons: Fiddly menu

Powerful flash.

Menu takes time to learn but is generally logical, but with all controls limited to 4 "soft" buttons, getting "in" there is often cumbersome.

The A mode is very good. And the P-TTL gives a good exposure.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Georgia, VT
Posts: 1,654

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 8, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Tons of features, Decent Build, Powerful
Cons: Too damn expensive, That menu navigation setup really sucks the big one...

I love all the features they crammed into this flash. But as I start to do more creative lighting in my photography and move to off-camera setups, I find that manual flashes give me more freedom than this unit.

Yes, of course this flash can be used in full Manual mode. But the horrible menu system makes any adjustments a tedious pain.

To make an adjustment, you first have to press a random button. It doesn't matter which one (except the test button), because the first button press is useless. All it does is turn on the backlight. You'll get no other response from the flash the first time you press a button (unless you press the test button, then you'll blind anyone in sight).

Once the useless button press has been done, you then have to press a selection of buttons to get to the parameter you want to change (zoom or power), then adjust that parameter up or down by one step at a time. Then you either press the Return button or wait a couple seconds for the menu to go back to its home screen. If you ever wait too long to press a button (2 seconds or so), the menu goes back to the home screen and you have to start all over again.

If you need to change a second parameter, you must repeat the process ALL OVER AGAIN because the flash does not stay wherever you just were in the menu. Worse, you have to repeat the useless first button press EVEN IF THE BACKLIGHT IS STILL ON, because that's the way it works, the first button press is always useless.

This system drives me crazy when I have to go through it for minor manual adjustments. It makes using the flash in Manual mode a tedious chore. This is why this flash rarely ever gets used for creative lighting purposes anymore. I'd much rather bust out my Yongnuo YN560 flashes for creative lighting. They're dirt cheap, have more flash power, and can be adjusted in a heartbeat.

I realize most of this review is me complaining about the horrible menu system, which hardly justifies the rating of 8 I gave the flash. But the menu system is what I have to put up with most often, so it's what first comes to mind when I think of it. When using the flash in PTTL or Auto modes, it's an absolute dream. All the advanced features are very welcome. When I need a full auto flash, this is my go-to lighting device.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Sacramento(formerly from B'Ham, England).
Posts: 1,423

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 5, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Output can be electronically adjusted with compensation button
Cons: Cost, No dedicated adjustment buttons.

Love this flash as it betters the Vivitar 5600, Vivitar 383 and Sunpack 611 that I use to own. it powers down to 1/256th in 1/3 increments. I use a Godox Propac PB 820 to provide extended power.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Ipswich, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 583
Review Date: November 18, 2012 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Power, robust, features
Cons: The manual could be more descriptive

I only intend to use this flash as a mere amateur and am unlikely to use many of its features. The reason I bought it was after comparison to the genuine Pentax flashes (which seem to be less robust) and other brands that have fewer features. The dual flash head is a great innovation that provides some great results.

It took me a while to master, and you really have to actually study (rather than just read) the manual to work it out, but when you do it unlocks the possibilities quite well.

The Better Beamer FX-3 fits this flash. I have not used it in anger yet, but it fits the flash head well.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,212

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 3, 2011 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Best feature set available for the Pentax system. Good build quality.
Cons: Preflash suppression can't be turned off for use with optical slaves (yet). No PC port.

Features:
  • GN of 58 (in meters)
  • Color temp. 5600K
  • ISO 6 to 6400
  • Manual power from 1/1 to 1/256th power in 1/3rd stop increments
  • EV compensation from -3 to +3 in 1/3rd stop increments
  • 4 sec recycle to full with NiMH, or alkaline batteries
  • Metal foot
  • Tilt/Swivel head - tilts down 7° for macro work, just watch your lens.
  • Zoom head - 12mm to 105mm (35mm equiv)
  • Secondary reflector (35mm FoV)
  • Flip down UWA diffuser
  • Bounce card/catch light
  • TTL and pTTL compatible
  • pTTL Master, slave, and "servo" modes
  • Auto Thyristor mode (actually IGBT I think) from f/1 to f/45
  • Range indication in meters or feet
  • High Speed sync
  • Rear Curtain sync
  • Slow sync
  • Contrast control mode
  • Red eye reduction via secondary reflector
  • Modeling light
  • Spot beam focus assist
  • Flash bracketing
  • Stroboscopic mode
  • Audible readiness indicator and over/under exposure warning
  • Hibernate mode can be disabled
  • Settings retained upon power on
  • Optional power pack (provides 2 sec recycle times @ full power)
  • Firmware update via USB
  • Soft carrying pouch
This little flash does it all.

I bought a used Metz 45CL-4 (analog version) back in the film days. I was highly impressed with the build quality and the accuracy of the auto mode on my little potato masher, so I was delighted to discover when I made the transition to digital that Pentax had seen fit to protect the K20d's PC socket from high voltages. I could still use my old 45CL. I still use it quite a bit, but it doesn't have some of the high end features of modern flashes, though I probably could have gotten some of that functionality with an SCA cable. Go Metz!

So in shopping around for my first shoe mounted speedlight since an old Vivitar that I used to own, three flashes stood out for me. The Pentax AF540, the Sigma 610 Super, and the Metz 58 AF-2. All three offered great features, but the Sigma didn't have a built in sensor which I had come to love and revere on my potato masher, and the Pentax didn't have a metal foot (yes, that was important to me), and I'm not sure, but I don't think it has a stroboscopic mode either. So I once again chose a Metz flash, and I'm very glad I did.

Some thoughts on the unit: It's built well, from what I hear slightly better than the other two, but it's a bit lighter than my 45CL-4. I guess that's a good thing since a lot of folks use it on the hotshoe or a camera bracket. It's smaller than I thought it would be as well. The head swivels, but you have to remember to push the button on the side to release it. I'm gentle with my equipment anyway, so if I forget, I figure it out pretty quickly, no harm, no foul. One small complaint I have is the head doesn't click very positively at any angle other than -7, 0, and 90. It's plenty firm to keep the head alone from flopping around, but I feel like if I put a heavy light modifier on it, it might want to sink. In fairness, usually you would use something like that at 0° anyway.

Obviously the unit is loaded to the teeth with features, I don't know what else you could want in a flash as far as options. The auto mode is great, it take into account ISO, aperture, the bounce angle, light modifiers, zoom size. The only thing you need to remember is it measures in a 25° angle, so you want your subject to fill most of the center of the flash's field of view, and if your subject is more than maybe 4 meters away, they're taking up less area in the frame. Obviously if it's on camera this can lead to some boring compositions, but with it off camera and close to the subject, you can just shoot and shoot to your heart's content, and the results turn out great 99% of the time.

There are two pTTL modes, pTTL and PTTL HSS. To activate them, you must first register the flash on the camera (a little annoying), but then you can remove it, and it will stay in pTTL mode. One really nice thing about the Metz is you can deactivate the battery-saving sleep mode, so you don't have to constantly wake your flashes up only to find that they've lost all their settings. Other modes include TTL for Pentax film cameras, Auto, Manual, Stroboscopic mode, and spot beam only mode for focus assistance in low light (the AF assist lamp will work in other modes too, but in 'SB mode' the flash won't fire) AF assist helps quite a bit, but it's still only about 80% effective in low light, more so at shorter distances maybe 5 meters or less. Haven't had a chance to use stroboscope mode yet, but the flash will automatically let you know how many flashes you can expect at a certain power level and frequency. It will fire up to 50 flashes at 1 to 50Hz, but of course the max output will be greatly reduced the faster you set it to fire.

I love being able to use the secondary reflector as a fill and catch light for the eyes while pointing the main reflector at the ceiling or a wall behind me. AND If I set up my potato masher behind the subject I can use it's main reflector to illuminate the background, and the secondary reflector on it as a rim light. How 'bout that? A four light setup that fits neatly in your camera bag!

There are two complaints I have about the 58 AF-2. One is preflash suppression. It's nice, really the only way a flash can work in pTTL mode off camera, but it can't be turned off. So even though the unit has a built on optical slave, it can't be triggered by my studio lights which work only in manual mode, it just sits there waiting for a second flash that's never going to come. I can use the Metz to trigger my studio strobes, but only in non-pTTL modes, if I use pTTL, the preflash will set them off too early, and they will be recycling when the shutter opens. So if I want to move around and shoot my subject from different positions using the Metz 58 while my big strobes light the background, I'm pretty much limited to Auto mode which restricts composition, and Manual which I have to meter. It's just not as flexible and spontaneous as it could be. Hopefully Metz will address this issue in firmware 3.0

My other complaint is HSS mode. I guess I didn't think about the ramifications of the Pentax system when I bought the Metz, but this really has more to do with the camera. At speeds over 1/180th, at least on my K20d, the hotshoe, the PC socket, and the pop-up flash all stop functioning. I guess Pentax chose this implementation so that people wouldn't accidentally fire the flash above 1/180 and get black bars in their pictures from the shutter being only partially open. What that means is there is no way to get a sync signal to the flash if it's off camera, except via a TTL cord OR having a second HSS-compatible flash on the hotshoe. No optical triggering, no PC cable, no radio triggers, the camera just won't cooperate. There's not much Metz can do unfortunately, so it shouldn't count as a mark against this flash, but just something for prospective buyers to be aware of.

I don't mean to sound like a Metz salesman, but if you're they type that has to have the best, well this is the best. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who is willing to spend a little extra do get a powerful, flexible, reliable lighting tool.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2009
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 23, 2011 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible feature set, ample power, quite compact, A-Mode (!)
Cons: Needs to be handled with care when using dffusors, etc.

I love this flash. It really was the only flash device on the market I found that would give me all the features I was looking for in one box.

It really has about all modes you could think of (including wireless P-TTL) and all of them work like a charm.

I find the "A"-mode especially useful as it gives you the possibility to use old (M- or K-) lenses while retaining automatic exposure correction. To my surprise the A-mode gives very accurate exposure in the focal range between 35 am 135mm. This feature makes it a must-have for "vintage glass addicts" IMO. Also very nice is the possibility to update firmware via USB plug. The flash is not cheap but it is definitely worth it. Highly recommended.

One word of caution, though: Be careful when firing the flash in compact diffusors and don't combine diffusors with the built-in wide-angle diffusor. The flash head may be is a tad compact in relation to the power. Therefore the power density can be enough to damage the diffusor window if too much light is reflected from diffusors or other surfaces placed in front of the reflector.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,251

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 12, 2011 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Powerful. very adaptable. well built.
Cons: Slightly large, Menu.

I have had this flash for a few weeks now. I have shot a couple of events with it.

This is the first Hot shoe flash I have used and built in flash will be painful to use in comparison! I have attempted to shoot a couple of sports events but without decent flash I have only been able to get crisp images wide open but these still don't have that "pop" i was after. I spent a few weeks tossing up my different flash options, (Pentax Sigma and Metz) and the different power options that they provided. after many reviews and samples images later I decided I would be best to get a high powered flash so I narrowed my search to the pentax 540 or the metz 58Af-2.
I was hoping to go pentax, but I was put off by the flimsy battery door. I like my stuff to be durable like my camera.

My thoughts:
Power: This flash is excellent. I sometimes wonder if its more than I need , but i guess you can't get more power from a smaller flash but you can reduce a bigger one.
Performance: when using full power takes 3-4 seconds to fully recharge, but as I rarely use full power, it quite happily fires 3-5 times in drive mode (on camera) with sufficient brightness to five my images that "pop"

Build: This flash is very well build in my opinion (although I havent had anything except a nikon speedlight to compare) mount feels sturdy and buttons have a solid feel to them.

Features: This Flash has everything I need and many I have yet to use. But this brings me to one flaw. Their is a lot of menu diving to find the settings you need. I think a dedicated (+) ( - ) button for output power needs to be added.

Ergonomics: This flash is pretty big but that comes with the power, when using this flash on my k-7 I really need to have the battery grip to balance out the otherwise top heavy flash.

I hope this is helpful.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: The Canadian WetCoast
Posts: 371

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 21, 2011 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Design, features, power, price & Metz.de support
Cons: Harsh reflector, slow-ish recycle time on Full, expensive external power option

I have used Metz "potatoe smashers" on the job decades before and they can rival some of the entry level studio strobes. In fact I still have a surving 60CT-4 that all I need is buying new battery pack every 3 years. It keep flashing & flashing & flashing... Metz.de support is also one of the best. I pre-ordered this model last October and the first unit has minor PTTL problem. Fortunately my dealer (Vistek in Toronto) replaced it in less than a week. So, you can see I am pretty much sold on them.

Main criticism I have on this unit is the reflactor (or the Fresnel lens) is too shiny and casts harsh shadow if pointed at the subject directly. I almost have to bounce the main flash off a reflector at all time, which can bring color cast. Second criticism is recyling time on AA batteries can be long on Full power, and this bring out the last criticism - external power supply is painfully expensive.
   
Senior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Gothenburg, aka Göteborg
Posts: 216

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 23, 2010 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Capable, powerful, and with lots of features & options
Cons: Maybe a little too many options & not the cheapest around!

One of the items that I bought early was the Metz 58 AF-1 (now superseeded by the AF-2, with even more options and settings).

Some years back I bought a Olympus FL-36 flash, but this Metz flash is bigger, better, and, sadly, a bit costlier!

It has a wealth of extra features like a smaller, secondary flash, which is always facing forward. Using this little extra flash unit helps a lot in certain circumstances, like when you bounce the main unit in the ceiling.

The flash operates in a various modes, like TTL, P-TTL, Slave, Master, strobe, A, M, and so on. It used four AAs, but you can buy an external power unit, which is quite costly!

In use it has shown no bad sides, except, maybe, a bit too complicated menu system - I would have preferred a few more buttons, to simplify the menus a bit.

It has so many features that there isn't room for all here, but as Matt Grayson at ePHOTOzine writes: "It a great flash".

Click here to see this users profile Click here to Send this user a Private Message
Add Review of Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top