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02-09-2016, 02:15 PM   #1
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Using a metz 54 mz-4 on my K5?

I just got a K5iis and would like to use my metz 54 mz-4 on it.I have the 3702 module on it. I know I can't do pttl with it but it should work ok in autoflash. It seems to do ok unless I try to bounce flash with it, then it underexposes. Can someone go through what settings I need to use to shoot in autoflash? Thanks Bob

02-09-2016, 05:13 PM   #2
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I don't own the 54 MZ-4, but I do own a couple of slightly earlier Metz MZ flashes.

Of these, the 40 MZ models are known to have a bug in the flash firmware (or hardware?) concerning bouncing.

Metz got informed by several users about this, and after analysing it, they confirmed the existence of this bug. One PF user posted the Metz answer in this forum.
Metz said that, whenever you move the head for bouncing, the flash will reset the ISO value without showing it on the display (there you will still see the value sent by the camera body). To circumnavigate the problem, for the 40 MZ the solution is to recall P0 (this flash can store several complete flash settings in stores P1...P9, and P0 holds the actual setting).

If the issue with the 54 MZ is still the same, there may be a similiar way to cure the behaviour, but I don't know about the handling of this flash.

The 40MZ firmware cannot be updated (the 54MZ firmware probably can), and updating the chip inside the adapter would not cure this behaviour.
02-09-2016, 05:31 PM   #3
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I have several copies of 54 MZ-4 and -3 with SCA 3702 M1 and M2. I use them with K10D, K-7 and K-3 and don't notice any underexpose problem when bouncing.

I also have two copies of 40MZ. Yes, they do have overexposure problem when bouncing.

Of course I'm referring to A mode only. Metz tech support told me the SCA 3702-M2 could be updated by Metz service center to handle p-TTL. I sent a copy to them (my shipping cost) and a small fee. It came back with p-TTL mode still unusable!

I also noticed that the light sensor sometimes was confused by the Sto-Fen box or the like, resulting in underexposure. Try bouncing the flash without any light modifier.
02-09-2016, 05:59 PM   #4
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Ok here is what I noticed when testing further. I am shooting a subject at about 10 ft away. ISO 100 F5.6. Direct exposure is good. Bounced is underexposed at 100 ISO slightly under ar ISO 200. Good at ISO 400 and 800. It's almost as if I don't have enough power at the lower ISOs which I should at this close distance.

02-09-2016, 06:14 PM   #5
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Robert, what did you bounce the light off? What shade (dark? bright?) was the bouncing surface?
02-09-2016, 07:11 PM   #6
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A white ceiling although it did have a sprayed on small bubble texture on it but I wouldn't think that would make a big difference
02-09-2016, 07:43 PM   #7
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Some rough calculations:

Assuming the flash and the subject are located at 5 ft down from the ceiling, if the light is bounced off the ceiling, it has to travel 14 ft from the flash to the subject.

Assuming the flash head is at 28mm, the guide number then is 102 ft. The f-stop before adjustment for reflectivity of the ceiling is 102 / 14 = 7.3.

Bouncing off a popcorn ceiling can lose as much as 3x of light (only 1/4 of the light from the flash reaches the subject). In this case, the (rounded off) f-stop has to be: 7.3 / 2 = 3.5.

This explains the underexposure at ISO 100, f/5.6.

Most flashes (even your car's headlights), when old, become less efficient. Thus the guide number with the head at 28mm can be less than 102 ft.

A flash lightmeter is very helpful to debug exposure issues.

Last edited by SOldBear; 02-09-2016 at 07:51 PM.
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