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07-25-2018, 10:14 AM   #1
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Pentax AF540FGZ II Or Metz 52AF

Hello, all.

I haven't posted in a while, but I have a question about these two flashes.

I usually try to stick with the Pentax brand, but the Metz 52 AF flash seems to have almost the same features and guide number as the Pentax AF540FGZ II, while the Metz is priced almost $200 less.

So, convince me to buy one or the other.

I have a family wedding coming up in a couple of months, and would like to possibly get a new flash by then, with at least a week before the wedding to try it out.

I presently have an old Pentax AF540FGZ, which I love, but it is over ten years old.

Any advice/opinions welcome.

Mike

07-25-2018, 02:59 PM   #2
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I can't tell about the 540 II, but I have the Metz and can tell you it's a really good flash. I'm totally satisfied with it, That said, if you alerady have 540 that's working just fine, I would not change it just because it's being old. Unless by "old" you mean "obviously to the point of breaking". You will not do more with the new flashes than what you,re already doing with the 540 "classic".
07-25-2018, 03:02 PM   #3
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I can't convince you to buy one over the other, as I don't own the AF540FGZII. I do, however, own two of the Metz 52 AF-1 units - one for Pentax, the other for Sony - and they're my go-to flashes when I'm using (or might consider) TTL flash metering. They're powerful, very well built, and once you get used to the rather unconventional user-interface, easy to work with. I'm absolutely happy with them, and I'd recommend them if you're open-minded about the user-interface (it's actually very straightforward - but quite unique).

I also have the original AF540FGZ which I bought used, and it's a good unit - but I prefer the Metz unit.

Of course, if WR is important to you, that pretty much solves the dilemma - you have to go with the Pentax product...
07-25-2018, 03:53 PM   #4
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I am an event photographer and frequently use flash mounted on the camera whenever I need, I find the front LED light on the Pentax flash to be extremely useful. I can't speak of the Metz flash as I do not have one... so for me, I would choose Pentax flash (already did). Another point on the newer version of Pentax flash is that they are weather resistant, (again, I am not sure if the Metz flash have similar feature), which comes in handy when you are shooting an outdoor event.

07-25-2018, 06:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
I find the front LED light on the Pentax flash to be extremely useful.
The Metz 52 AF-1 has a modeling light and an AF assist light.
QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Another point on the newer version of Pentax flash is that they are weather resistant, (again, I am not sure if the Metz flash have similar feature)
The Metz is not weather resistant, so if you use flash outdoors in the rain, the newer Pentax models are better.

---------- Post added 07-25-18 at 07:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Bokeh Quote
I presently have an old Pentax AF540FGZ, which I love, but it is over ten years old.
I can't find it now, but I was given an AE-1 with a bunch of lenses and a Canon hot-shoe mounted flash (so probably 30 years old) and once I changed the batteries, as far as I can tell, it worked just as well as it did when it was 3 years old. I would consider a Metz 52 as a second flash to be used with your AF540FGZ.
07-25-2018, 06:56 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
The Metz 52 AF-1 has a modeling light and an AF assist light.The Metz is not weather resistant, so if you use flash outdoors in the rain, the newer Pentax models are better.[COLOR="Silver"]

---
I am not sure if we are referring to the same thing - front LED (which can be independently turned on) which can also be used for continuous video light. I looked at the Metz 52 AF-1 review again, there is no such LED on the front. The only other flash that has similar feature is the new Nikon SB-500.
07-25-2018, 07:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
front LED (which can be independently turned on) which can also be used for continuous video light.
It's not the same thing, the modelling light function does rapid stroboscopic flashing for about 3 seconds, to give an idea of shadows created by the flash. The AF assist light is red, so it won't be much good for continuous video lighting.
07-25-2018, 10:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Bokeh Quote
Hello, all.

I haven't posted in a while, but I have a question about these two flashes.

I usually try to stick with the Pentax brand, but the Metz 52 AF flash seems to have almost the same features and guide number as the Pentax AF540FGZ II, while the Metz is priced almost $200 less.

So, convince me to buy one or the other.

I have a family wedding coming up in a couple of months, and would like to possibly get a new flash by then, with at least a week before the wedding to try it out.

I presently have an old Pentax AF540FGZ, which I love, but it is over ten years old.

Any advice/opinions welcome.

Mike
Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1 Digital - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

07-26-2018, 06:48 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
I can't tell about the 540 II, but I have the Metz and can tell you it's a really good flash. I'm totally satisfied with it, That said, if you alerady have 540 that's working just fine, I would not change it just because it's being old. Unless by "old" you mean "obviously to the point of breaking". You will not do more with the new flashes than what you,re already doing with the 540 "classic".
WOW!

Thanks for all the replies, everyone!

Carl, I was thinking that too, I will not be doing anything different with the new flash than I was doing with the old one.

I was just thinking of getting a new flash, because my current 540 is about 10 years old, and I read somewhere that someone's old 540 died while on a job, and now I can't get this out of my head.

One of my nieces is getting married in September, and I am the sometimes annoying uncle (there's one in every family ) who is known to be a camera bug, and who both families will rely on for many photos that the hired photographer will miss. So, my flash dying at this wedding is unthinkable, but there's no reason for it to happen.

I actually still love my 540, and can predict how much it will under or overexpose in almost any situation due to ten years of use.

At most events, I use the 540 with a sto-fen Omni bounce, set the flash at f8, and the lens at f6.3, and get near perfect exposures most of the time.

I want to get a second, back up flash and wanted to stay with Pentax, but the Pentax goes for about $499 US dollars, while the Metz goes for about $319. That's a big difference.

I'll do a little more research, and let you all know what I do.

Again, thank you all for your comments.

I really do appreciate them.

And please, keep them coming.

Mike
07-26-2018, 07:23 AM   #10
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That doesn't sound like you are using P-TTL mode ...... What lenses do you need to use? I think you had better ensure first that your chosen new flash has the modes you need.
07-26-2018, 10:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
That doesn't sound like you are using P-TTL mode ...... What lenses do you need to use? I think you had better ensure first that your chosen new flash has the modes you need.
You are correct, mcgrengi, I am not using the P-TTL mode.

I never got used to it on my old 540 unit, so I experimented with it on Auto, until I could predict the results I would get.

I understand the new 540 unit does not have an Auto mode, so I would have to experiment with it in P-TTL mode, but from the reviews I've read, the flash is worth it.

When I did use my 540 in P-TTL mode, it seemed to usually underexpose the images.

The lenses I use for events are usually my Sigma 17-50mm f.2.8, and my Pentax DA70mm f.2.4

As stated earlier, I've found that unless the ceiling is higher than 12 feet, setting the 540 with a Sto-fen Omnibounce at f8.0 and the lens at f6.3 gives very well exposed, consistent results for a standard group shot.

If you have any advice/tips for using the flash in P-TTL mode, I'd love to hear them.

Mike
07-26-2018, 10:50 AM   #12
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There's also the option of using manual flash...
07-27-2018, 09:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
There's also the option of using manual flash...
True, buy I try to stay away from this at events, as many people will pose only a few seconds for a shot, and some get annoyed if you don't get a perfect image the first time.

Mike
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