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11-11-2007, 08:45 AM   #1
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Metz 48 AF-1 Pentax-mount flashgun ???

Hi all

Has anyone on this forum used or purchased the latest Metz 48 AF-1 Pentax-mount flashgun yet ? I was initially considering one of the two Pentax AF 360/540 FGZ options, but questionable build-quality and performance issues have persuaded me to look elsewhere for alternatives !

Best regards
Richard

11-11-2007, 11:38 AM   #2
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Be forewarned: it has no auto-mode, so you are stuck with P-TTL, even if your subjects are prone to the lazy eye effect.
I think the Metz 58 AF-1 is much better value then. (But at a price!)
11-11-2007, 03:45 PM   #3
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Metz vs Pentax flash units

QuoteOriginally posted by Andreas Quote
Be forewarned: it has no auto-mode, so you are stuck with P-TTL, even if your subjects are prone to the lazy eye effect.
I think the Metz 58 AF-1 is much better value then. (But at a price!)
Andreas:

I have a Pentax AF360FGZ which is stuck in the manual zoom mode and won't respond to the zoom button. I hope to have that corrected by the Pentax Service Dept., but being naturally pessimistic I'm not going to hold my breath. I've seen several posts regarding the Metz 48 and 58 flash units, and have a couple of questions. Regarding auto-mode on the Metz, is that referring to auto-zoom? Also, I don't understand the difference in P-TTL and TTL metering, and what this would have to do with the "lazy eye effect". Can you help me here? I guess these questions lead up to my last one which is does the Metz have a better instruction manual than the Pentax? As mentioned by others, the Pentax manual leaves a lot to be desired to put it kindly. Thanks for your response.

CN
11-11-2007, 04:02 PM   #4
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I suppose you are talking about the AF 44.
The AF 44 has a flash duration at max power of 1/200s
The AF 54 has a flash duration at max power of 1/125s

Which is great, especially the AF 54 what a nice product, sounds about as good to me as an accessory that will reduce the number of megapixels of the k10d from 10 to 5. Or one that will add noise at all ISO, or one that will make the k10d AF as slow as the DS AF.

Why? Becase I am already unhappy with the k10d's slow 1/180 sync speed, but if I had an AF 54 then that already bad sync speed would get even worse!

The Pentax flashes have durations of around 1/1000 at full power. I dont understand how a company like Metz can mess up their specs so bad. Also no auto mode, and the oerating buttons seem a bit weird. I like it if its true that they have 12 levels of manual control though. Id love to see at least 1/2 EV steps of manual control on the Pentax flashes.

Speaking of which, I have both the 360 and 540 at the moment, and I must say the 540 is a lot better in terms of usage, the buttons on the 360 can be a bit annoying, in particular the adjustment wheel which is hell to turn, the new wheel on the 540 is a breeze. The 360 would be a decent unit at an acceptable price if it could swivel, I mean how much money does it add to the production cost to make it swivel? hardly anything

I think the Sigma flashes sound like better alternatives than the Metz ones.

11-11-2007, 04:17 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote

Also, I don't understand the difference in P-TTL and TTL metering, and what this would have to do with the "lazy eye effect". Can you help me here?
Ill respond to that one since I happen to have the same name...

TTL came before P-TTL and basically works similar to A mode except the sensor is not on the flash, its inside the camera. So the flash fires and then the sensor in the camera decides when the flash has output eanough light and the flash power is cut off.

P-TTL fires a preflash first, and then based on that preflash the sensor in the camera decides how much power the flash should output.

So the TTL will just fire the single flash but P-TTL fires two. Some people and animals might respond to the preflash by closing or half closing their eyes, and then the real flash fires to take the picture.

The k10d does not support TTL, the DS and D support TTL. So the DS and D can also use the older Pentax flashes, like the AF 500. P-TTL is also reported not to work as well as TTL, I can confirm the 540 is prone to underexposure when bouncing, normally 1 stop.
11-11-2007, 05:35 PM   #6
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Andreas:

Thanks for the info. Apparently my 360 isn't working correctly because in the P-TTL mode it flashes only once. Does it make any difference what shooting mode the camera is in, ie green, program mode, aperture priority, etc.?
11-11-2007, 06:29 PM   #7
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Are you sure it flashes only once, its not easy to tell you know, it happens very fast. But you notice if you try to trigger a second flash via an optical slave, the second flash is supposed to be triggered by your flash but its set off by the preflash so it fires too early and when you look at the picture you can see it didnt count in the exposure.

Indeed the mode matters, only M lets you use Auto and Manual Modes on the flash, the rest of the modes limit you to P-TTL. As for stuck in manual zoom, I dont think the mode will matter, no..

11-11-2007, 07:06 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Hi Andreas

When you said:

QuoteQuote:
P-TTL fires a preflash first, and then based on that preflash the sensor in the camera decides how much power the flash should output.
Does the P-TTL function also prevent 'red-eye', or is that an entirely separate matter ?

Best regards
Richard
11-11-2007, 07:13 PM   #9
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That is a seperate matter, you can select redeye reduction in the Fn menu under flash. P-TTL is for exposure only, in red eye reduction mode the flash fires a stronger preflash with a more noticable delay. But when the flash is on top of the camera you dont get a big red eye problem anyway, red eye becomes more of a problem when the flash is closer to the lens as it is on many compact cameras.
11-11-2007, 08:54 PM   #10
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Hi Andreas

Ok, without spending an absolute fortune, which flashgun would you recommend for use in conjunction with my K10D that doesn't suffer from lousy build quality, but also pivots & swivels without underexposing slightly like the AF540FGZ apparently does ?
There has surely got to be SOMETHING on the market which has all these bases covered ?
I really thought this decision was going to be a damned-sight easier than it currently appears.....aaargh !!!

Best regards
Richard
11-12-2007, 05:37 AM   #11
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The observations of the other Andreas are excellent. He deserves his name! :-) I add some other and less important ones.

To recap, "auto" means that the flash can decide by itself when it should stop emitting light. The flash itself has a sensor for this. (For TTL you have this sensor inside the camera, and the camera tells the flash to stop).

With "auto", the flash has to know which sensitivity you use, and which aperture, since these are the ones that influence the amount of light captured by the sensor.

Last week I bought a Metz 40 MZ-2 from eBay. (It did not work well with my Metz 3702-interface by the way.) According to the specs, this would have been a nice flash for me: all the settings of the camera are read by the flash, so "automatic" mode is really automatic... if you change the aperture on the camera, the flash knows about it. It also has a secondary light: if you bounce via the ceiling, there is some light reflected forward to prevent shadows around the eyes etc. . (The Metz 58 has this feature too; the 48 has not.)

So if you happen to see a used Metz 40 MZ-3 somewhere (I believe that the MZ-3 will work more reliable than the MZ-2), that would be a good choice.

TTL on my Ds does underexpose too. Auto works better with my Metz 32 MZ-3. That would be another recommendation, these flashes go really cheap. (But you will still need to buy the Metz-interface for Pentax). I have two self-made bounce cards for this flash and this gives beautiful light (flash directed to the ceiling, tiny amount of light reflected forward). But here you have to set sensitivity and aperture yourself. Since I often use the same values indoor (e.g. ISO 400 and f/4.5) that's not a big problem.

Ah, but what I wanted to say :-): I think you should do fine with a flash that does "auto", even if it has neither TTL (Ist-D, Ds) nor P-TTL. On the other hand, if you want to spend a small fortune on it, then I would definitely require P-TTL.

About this underexposure thing... do you really want to expose to the right when you use flash? If you use the flash because there is not enough light available (indoors), it would mean that you would have a very flashy picture then, no? A huge amount of light added by the flash! Maybe it is better to have some gap on the right of your histogram. That, in combination with flash exposure compensation in your camera, should help if you feel that your flash does show some underexposure.

Last edited by Andreas; 11-12-2007 at 05:39 AM. Reason: language syntax
11-12-2007, 07:25 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Andreas

Ok, without spending an absolute fortune, which flashgun would you recommend for use in conjunction with my K10D that doesn't suffer from lousy build quality, but also pivots & swivels without underexposing slightly like the AF540FGZ apparently does ?
I dont know what to tell you here. As for the underexposure, I did plan to test that today but didnt have time, but I think the problem is the P-TTL itself, not the flash unit so if you change to a different flash unit that does P-TTL then it should be the same since it is the camera that calculates the flash output, that is, unless the strength of the preflash is not up to the right spec so the camera cauculation becomes wrong.

I think the Sigmas seem..ok.. ?

I normally use Manual on my flashes lately so I am not too used to p-ttl. I find Manual a lot better than Auto. And its not that hard to do. And its also consitent.
11-12-2007, 07:25 AM   #13
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Well said

QuoteOriginally posted by Andreas Quote
The observations of the other Andreas are excellent. He deserves his name! :-) I add some other and less important ones.

To recap, "auto" means that the flash can decide by itself when it should stop emitting light. The flash itself has a sensor for this. (For TTL you have this sensor inside the camera, and the camera tells the flash to stop).

With "auto", the flash has to know which sensitivity you use, and which aperture, since these are the ones that influence the amount of light captured by the sensor.

Last week I bought a Metz 40 MZ-2 from eBay. (It did not work well with my Metz 3702-interface by the way.) According to the specs, this would have been a nice flash for me: all the settings of the camera are read by the flash, so "automatic" mode is really automatic... if you change the aperture on the camera, the flash knows about it. It also has a secondary light: if you bounce via the ceiling, there is some light reflected forward to prevent shadows around the eyes etc. . (The Metz 58 has this feature too; the 48 has not.)

So if you happen to see a used Metz 40 MZ-3 somewhere (I believe that the MZ-3 will work more reliable than the MZ-2), that would be a good choice.

TTL on my Ds does underexpose too. Auto works better with my Metz 32 MZ-3. That would be another recommendation, these flashes go really cheap. (But you will still need to buy the Metz-interface for Pentax). I have two self-made bounce cards for this flash and this gives beautiful light (flash directed to the ceiling, tiny amount of light reflected forward). But here you have to set sensitivity and aperture yourself. Since I often use the same values indoor (e.g. ISO 400 and f/4.5) that's not a big problem.

Ah, but what I wanted to say :-): I think you should do fine with a flash that does "auto", even if it has neither TTL (Ist-D, Ds) nor P-TTL. On the other hand, if you want to spend a small fortune on it, then I would definitely require P-TTL.

About this underexposure thing... do you really want to expose to the right when you use flash? If you use the flash because there is not enough light available (indoors), it would mean that you would have a very flashy picture then, no? A huge amount of light added by the flash! Maybe it is better to have some gap on the right of your histogram. That, in combination with flash exposure compensation in your camera, should help if you feel that your flash does show some underexposure.
11-12-2007, 07:11 PM   #14
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I just realized one scenario where the 360 can appear to be stuck in manual zoom.
If you enter manual zoom mode, and then pull out the front diffuser panel, then it will be locked to 20mm and pressing the manual zoom button will do nothing.

Simply pushing the front diffusion panel back in will make the zoom button work again.

Just mentioning in case it could be this

QuoteOriginally posted by Clem Nichols Quote
Andreas:

I have a Pentax AF360FGZ which is stuck in the manual zoom mode and won't respond to the zoom button. I hope to have that corrected by the Pentax Service Dept., but being naturally pessimistic I'm not going to hold my breath. I've seen several posts regarding the Metz 48 and 58 flash units, and have a couple of questions. Regarding auto-mode on the Metz, is that referring to auto-zoom? Also, I don't understand the difference in P-TTL and TTL metering, and what this would have to do with the "lazy eye effect". Can you help me here? I guess these questions lead up to my last one which is does the Metz have a better instruction manual than the Pentax? As mentioned by others, the Pentax manual leaves a lot to be desired to put it kindly. Thanks for your response.

CN
11-13-2007, 04:20 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Confused Quote
Hi Andreas

Ok, without spending an absolute fortune, which flashgun would you recommend for use in conjunction with my K10D that doesn't suffer from lousy build quality, but also pivots & swivels without underexposing slightly like the AF540FGZ apparently does ?
There has surely got to be SOMETHING on the market which has all these bases covered ?
I really thought this decision was going to be a damned-sight easier than it currently appears.....aaargh !!!

Best regards
Richard
Confused, this is sort of freaky. I remember reading your posts through google search as I was researching on which camera system to purchase. I was set on Canon and after much research including your posts I ended up purchasing the K10D and the Tamron 18-250. I also ended up purchasing the Sigma 10-20 and guess what's in the mail now....the Pentax 540.

I wanted a rotating and swiveling head with P-TTL, and later learned the usefulness of HSS and ended up really wanting that as well. The only flashes that fit the bill was the Sigma EF-530 DG (AFAIK not shipping yet), the top of the line Promaster (7500EDF, not yet available in US),Metz 58AF (really liked this one, not easily available in US and a bit more expensive than the Pentax 540) and Pentax 540.

I needed the flash immediately so I went ahead and ordered the Pentax 540. There are lots of factors and not so commonly understood features that have to be known prior to purchasing a flash. Do your research and you may find out that there is no ideal solution and the closer it gets to the ideal more it'll cost you.

I can tell you in a few days what this underexposure problem is all about, but to me it sounds more like what I've heard of with the K10D. K10D is not a P&S and takes some time to tune it to get the proper exposure with the various lenses and I think that's the issue with the 540 as well. It's not going to do all the work for you in all situations and I don't expect it to either.

Last edited by pcarfan; 11-13-2007 at 04:26 AM.
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