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08-24-2011, 05:02 AM   #1
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Pentax AF540FGZ vs. Metz 58 AF-2

Hello Guys

I do need you help

I would like to buy a new Flash(just have two used AF40FGZ or something like that) and i cant decide between both of the mentioned above :S
I heard that the Pentax is a better build quality and more convinent to use due to more buttons. the Metz Flash has a second forward flash and is HSS capable(as far as i know).

Are both flashes master/slave capable ? what works "better" with the K5 ?

Are there any other important feature i might miss ?

Thanks for you help.


08-24-2011, 05:38 AM   #2
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I have had an AF540 and now have a Metz 58 AF-2 for my K20d. I also have a Metz 58 AF-1 for my Nikon D80.

The Pentax is capable but the build quality of the Metz is a bit better in my opinion. Also, the Metz allows you to update the internal firmware from your PC or Mac whenever Metz makes new ones available.

Both have HSS, the Metz as you said, has the second forward flash.

I believe both are Master capable, I know both are slave capable. The Metz does have a metal hotshoe.

The menu layout on the Metz can be confusing whereas the Pentax has more dedicated buttons for functions.

The LCD backlight is better on the Pentax (at least for my 51 year old eyes).

The Metz is virtually silent when charging although you can turn on an audible alarm if you wish.

I tend to prefer the Metz flashes due to having a number of 25 year old ones that still work, however, the Pentax is a good flash. The only reason I replaced it is that it fell off a light stand and smashed it's flashtube. In Canada, a replacement Pentax was about $200 MORE than the Metz. Originally, the Pentax was available for less than the Metz which is why I purchased that first.

I suggest you go to the Metz website if you haven't already, and download the manual, it's rather difficult to read in some ways but that would allow you to compare the two.

Hope this helps.
08-30-2011, 12:37 AM   #3
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get the metz. Pentax battery doors on their "modern" flashes are absolute garbage and eventually break leaving you high and dry. Metz > pentax any day for me.
08-30-2011, 06:24 AM   #4
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FWIW, I did quite a bit of research on this subject, as I was looking for an upgrade/addition to the Pentax AF 360 FGZ. After reading multiple reviews and comparing spec sheets, I went with the Metz 58-AF2 and love it. The menu is a bit quirky, but once you've taken a few laps its easy to navigate.

08-30-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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Owner of 2 'AF 540 FGZ' 'em!

I've purchased the first one about 3 years ago and, once I learned the menus, particularly, the "wireless" modes, I was able to get great results under difficult lighting conditions shooting on location at a small manufacturing facility. Using the built-in flash on a K-10 with the '540' set up as a 'slave' unit bounced into an umbrella, I was able to get all the shots needed to show this company's capabilities--one of the machines was over 16' long and I was able to light it end-to-end using this setup.

I just recently found a used one on eBay and was the high bidder until the last second: another bidder punched in a higher bid and took this unit for $329.50. A new one at B & H Photo sells for $389. I bought it.

The door issue some have complained about: I don't see the problem. I treat all camera equipment carefully so to me, this flip-open door is not really an issue. I just don't get rough with it.

I'm looking forward to my next assignment: shooting promo photos for a local professional harpist. The two '540s' will be used in combination as slaves with the on-camera flash being used as "control" to provide soft side lighting from one direction and rim lighting from the opposite side. I'll use either one or two umbrellas to soften the affect--or perhaps the secondary slave will be bounced into a folded white foamcore panel. The mode for both will be PTTL.

I shopped for the Metz and I've heard good reports on them. I just felt a flash that's dedicated to the camera in my hand (K5) would be a better choice. Now the choice is yours.

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