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Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1 Review RSS Feed

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 25,702 Sun May 24, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
91% of reviewers $259.78 8.70
Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1
Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1
Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1
Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1

-High max. guide number 52 (meters), High max. guide number 170 (feet) for ISO 100/21 and 105 mm
-Vertical (+90) and horizontal (300) swivel reflector
- Illuminated touchscreen display with automatic swivel function (90)
-Simple operating concept
-Motorised zoom for 24105 mm illumination
-Spot zoom mode
-Integrated wide-angle diffuser for 12 mm illumination
- Flip-out reflector card
- Modelling light (permanent light to check shadow)
- Integrated autofocus flash metering
-Flash readiness indicator and correct exposure display on unit and on camera (subject to camera)
- LCD flash range display
-Automatic unit shut-off
- Metal base* with quick lock

* Excludes Sony model

TTL flash mode (digital only)
Manual flash mode with 22 partial lighting levels
Servo flash mode with learning function
HSS high speed synchronisation
1st and 2nd shutter curtain synchronisation
Manual flash exposure correction for TTL flash mode
Automatic fill-in flash

Pentax version

P-TTL flash mode
P-TTL remote mode

Firmware update via integrated USB socket
4 x AA alkaline-magnesium or lithium batteries
4 AA NiMH rechargeable batteries

Included as standard:

Belt pouch
Slave stand
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-11 of 11
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2019
Location: Hengelo
Posts: 32
Review Date: May 24, 2020 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $82.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Easy menu, good pttl mode, many modes
Cons: Plastic feeling

After using the Metz 44 af-1, Which was no succes in combination with my K5, I changed the flash for the 52 af-1.
What an easy going flash is this! The touch screen is the easy control to all modes and settings.
Plug it and go. The pttl mode is great both on my K5 and my just bought K3ii.
Results are good both inside as outside. A new toy. I am looking forward to discover all features in combination with the K5 and K3ii.
Bought secondhand in mind condition.
New Member

Registered: August, 2017
Location: Georgia
Posts: 20
Review Date: May 25, 2018 I can recommend this item: No | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Still waiting for positive vibrations
Cons: Unit is erratic (zooming in/out upon power up)

Finally started using this after August 2017 purchase. I am not very hopeful..,. Hooked up off camera with Vela cord and unit uon power up erratically sounds like it zooms in/out... then smelled bad electrical smell.

Powered off and removed batteries. A distinct sense of forboding lurks about...

I looked up USA Metz Support and can't find anything.

Update: Service (warranty) is provided by a company called CRIS out of Chandler, AZ phone: (800) 799-0293 Here is a link:
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2013
Location: Makati City
Posts: 44

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 22, 2016 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $162.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: good power output, well-built, full featured, touchscreen
Cons: overexposure on bounce with Pentax K-S2

The previous reviewer was talking about the flimsiness of his unit, I'm not even sure we're talking about the same flash model. My Metz 52 AF-1 is rock-solid. The parts fit with precise tolerance. (Update: The red/ transluscent plastic on the front has some play.) The battery door is thick and worry-free. The foot is metal and slides in and out smoothly into and from the hotshoe. There is no chance that it will wiggle or slide out when mounted (tightens with the ring/knurled nut and locks in place with pin). The head articulates smoothly with just enough resistance. The slide-out reflector is thin, as mentioned by the previous reviewer. But it's not meant to be used by itself: it works together with the wide diffuser. So pull it out and push it back in together with the wide diffuser. You need not worry about breaking it.

The touchscreen is just brilliant! I used the flash in minutes without reading the manual. (Update: I started reading the manual and there's more to be learned there.) The flash is well-featured. Bounce and swivel, HSS, Master/Control/Slave, P-TTL, and full manual.

I've read horror stories about the unreliability of P-TTL, but that's not the case with my Metz 52 AF-1 (firmware 1.3) and Pentax K-S2 (firmware 1.2).

My unit arrived with firmware version 1.1. With that firmware, direct flash was exposing correctly but bounce was substantially overexposed. I updated to firmware 1.3 (released January 2015). Bounce still overexposed, but exposure is consistent. By consistent, I mean use P-TTL, not HSS, and dial in -2 1/3 EV. That seems to provide correct exposure. In this respect, I think Metz owes users an update. After all, my Metz 26 af-1 exposes correctly, both direct flash and bounce. Metz apparently knows the correct protocol already, they just need to release a firmware update.
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Iasi
Posts: 14

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 11, 2016 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $245.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: good metering, touch screen, good recharge times, lightweight
Cons: flimsy shoe, flimsy articulation, low sync speed, battery door

I'm merely an amateur in using flashes, meaning I don't spend much time tinkering with manual settings, therefore I expect all my flashes to just do their job automatically.
The Mecablitz 52 AF-1 does just that. And it does it very well.

I've always used brand flashes before, never third party, so my previous experiences with flashes from other brands can make me say that Nikon has by far the bets automatic flash compensation algorithms. That was until I got this Metz for my K-3 II.

The heavy duty test for any flash is how it compensates in quick light changing situations (live concerts or shows, night clubs, etc). In each and everyone of these situations I've encountered while using the Metz, my reaction was "wow!!". It really does all the work in calculating the right amount of flash output every single shot, thanks to its accurate metering cells and the latest firmware, and it does it with the flash pointed upwards and forwards as well, so you can't fail no matter how wrong your lighting technique is.

I can use the Metz to provide accurate focus without firing, with the help of its IR cells. Very useful in low light situations when flash is not an option but you still need fast and accurate focusing.

I wish the K-3 II had a wireless control option for flashes, it would have turned this Metz into a studio strobe.

Oh yes, and did I mention you can check and upgrade its firmware online by connecting it to your USB port? There haven't been any updates in a while, but it doesn't need one either.

I highly recommend this flash for any Pentax DSLR.

The good:

- very well built, despite the chinese feeling given by its lightweight and plastic combination
- good startup time
- decent recharge times, especially after full power outputs
- touch screen (very resistant to nails contact, my fastest way to access functions)
- integrated bounce card
- excellent metering
- great comm and sync with the K-3 II (haven't use it with any other Pentax DSLR)
- well sized protective pouch with belt clip
- great value

The bad:

- flimsy foot and locking system, easy to mount, tricky to unmount, always need to check if foot is secure since flash wiggles in place a bit
- articulation provides great angle, but is quite loose, making the flash easy to accidentally knock off the shooting position
- battery life, you'll need to carry at least two extra sets of batteries or one extra set of rechargeable batteries to ensure a 2 - 3hrs event shooting.
- bounce card is hard to get out and back in, looks and feels like it's gonna break (so far it didn't, but I'm not a professional heavy duty user)
- battery door needs more space to allow change of batteries while mounted
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2015
Posts: 49

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 14, 2016 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


From Metz Support about Pentax K3-II

Pentax K-3 Mark II' is not yet tested by us. For that reason this type of camera is also not yet mentioned on our homepage.

However, according to the reports of other customers the flash unit 'mecablitz 52 AF-a digital' (Pentax version; Metz article number 005231791) is also suitable and compatible for the digital camera 'Pentax K-3 Mark II'. Until now there are not any problems known from other customers.

For running with your Pentax K-3 II flash unit should be equipped with the current firmware version V1.3 (released on 23 January 2015).
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Paris
Posts: 1,933

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 16, 2015 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Features, Touch screen, Recycle time, Build, Power
Cons: None for now

It's a great flash for Pentax, 1/3 price of the Pentax 540AF but have all the feature I want : HSS, PTTL, Wireless PTTL, Wireless Optical Slave, Manual (1 - 1/128 power)....
The touch screen is very easy to use, I get it right out of the box, no need to read the full manual (well written) to understand how it works. Many people dislike the touch screen but I find it very useful and love it
Rate 10/10 for now ^^
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: New Berlin, WI
Posts: 528

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 17, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $249.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Simple interface, powerful, full bounce and swivel, metal base
Cons: Sliding door

I was very happy with my 48 AF-1. Unfortunately it imploded at a job so I bought a brand new Metz 52 AF-1 to replace it.

The flash works great. It has plenty of power, the interface is much simpler and intuitive than the 48, thank god because the navigation of the 48 was just a pain. The touchscreen works good.
Recycle time is also faster than the 48.
I have not tried the servo or slave function yet.

There is one odd problem with this flash that no other reviewer mentionned. When it's mounted on a K-3 or K-5, the battery sliding door doesn't open fully. It's missing about an 1/8 of an inch (about 3 millimeters). Therefore it is VERY complicated to remove or insert the two bottom batteries, which can turn your emergency battery replacement into a nightmare.
This should be a concern for event photographers. I will contact Metz to see what they have to say about this poor design...

I'm not including the sliding door problem into my rating. I give it a 9 because it's loaded with features and for $249 I believe is a good value.
Inactive Account

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Czech Republic
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 25, 2014 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $335.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: easy to use, settings, rotation
Cons: plastic lock of pin

Great item which helped me to move to different field of photography
It is easy to use, screen is easy to read and operate with. Rotation of screen is also fine. Only one potential problem what I see is a plastic lock of pin. If you break it, you won't be able to remove it from you camera. Well, not without a lot of effort.
But anyway, this is excellent piece of equipment and in my opinion much better (price vs. output) than original Pentax flash.

Go ahead!
New Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: October 18, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: features, look, lcd, power, Metz
Cons: can't rotate completly 180 to both sides - only one, lowest lcd brightness still too bright

Unusual flash as is first flash with LCD touch screen ever. Can't complain about control flow, maybe not fastest if you need to change EV comp very often (but is compatible with inbody settings of flash EV comp "-2" to "+1" which is great and much handier!). Is full of features, personaly love slave mode (makes wireless compatible with any flash out there, even other brands), modlight, spotbeam (IR matrix for AF bad light conditions without flashing), HSS, recharge times are fast and power it can provide 1/1 is really spectacular. I mind only one thing and that's brightness of the LCD - even at lowest setting really shining in your eyes when shooting in dark. Great build, value and handling, comes with stand and pouch.
Forum Member

Registered: February, 2011
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Posts: 91

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 31, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $275.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Easy to use
Cons: Can't use a PC Cable

This is my first flash, so I am no expert. P-TTL, P-TTL HSS and slave mode work really well for me. Bounce works well and I have not found that it over-exposes my pictures. The only thing I wish it had was the ability to use a PC Cable, especially for outdoor shooting. I was trying to shoot Cherry Blossoms here in Okinawa, Japan and I was having trouble firing the flash remotely. Since the flash does not tilt down when on the camera I needed to hand hold the flash off the camera while shooting. This was problematic as line of sight for the flash was an issue outdoors. So a PC Cable would have been useful. That's my only complaint!
New Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Brasov, Romania
Posts: 5

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: January 3, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $320.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Powerful, easy to use, HSS, P-TTL
Cons: lcd screen

It's a great flash, it does all as described.
LCD screen it's too sensitive, must be locked and has small problems at -10 Celsius.

Update 15.01.2013
HSS on K-5 at 1/8000 works!
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