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10-24-2019, 06:37 AM   #1
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Pentax AF540FGZ II reliability?

Hello folks,
The Yongnuo YN585EX I own has a dead AF assist light, I still love it but I want to change it and for a definitive solution this time.
I'm considering the Pentax AF540FGZ II aganist the Metz Mecablitz 58 AF II.
I was going for the Pentax, even if the only feature I care that the Metz does not have is the illuminator for videos and I don't really care.
Then I read around that some units of the Pentax AF540 just plain start to act weird and then die on their own.
Now, I care more about reliability than the extra features it has, expecially if I think that my camera can alredy be a master flash unit on his own (KP).
So, is really the Metz 58 AF II more reliable than the Pentax AF 540 FGZ II?
I am willing to trade the video illuminator for added reliability alone and saving a few bucks can't hurt.

10-24-2019, 06:55 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Maybe the Metz is more reliable. I don't know. I have a 540 and it's been a solid performer. However, I now use Cactus flash units (I have three) which for the price can be roughly handled. They work well with the K-1. They remotely trigger and have all the features I need for my personal and commercial work. I looked at the Metz or another 540, but the Cactus units just made so much more sense to me.
10-24-2019, 07:04 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kangaxx Quote
.

Then I read around that some units of the Pentax AF540 just plain start to act weird and then die on their own.

.
Evidence, Kangaxx? Links?



10-24-2019, 07:21 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Evidence, Kangaxx? Links?
Here you go.

Pentax AF540FGZ II Flash problems. - PentaxForums.com

---------- Post added 10-24-19 at 07:25 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
Maybe the Metz is more reliable. I don't know. I have a 540 and it's been a solid performer. However, I now use Cactus flash units (I have three) which for the price can be roughly handled. They work well with the K-1. They remotely trigger and have all the features I need for my personal and commercial work. I looked at the Metz or another 540, but the Cactus units just made so much more sense to me.
Thanks for your input on the 540 working fine, anyway I would like to avoid a transceiver since I alredy own a camera with that capability and a flash unit that can work wirelessly.

10-24-2019, 07:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kangaxx Quote
Here you go.



Pentax AF540FGZ II Flash problems. - PentaxForums.com

---------- Post added 10-24-19 at 07:25 AM ----------





Thanks for your input on the 540 working fine, anyway I would like to avoid a transceiver since I alredy own a camera with that capability and a flash unit that can work wirelessly.
You need to read Stevebrot's posts in that thread, Kangaxx, challenging the OP's assertions, including that there have been complaints on Amazon, BH, etc.

Torashi by the end was not able to say where he saw similar complaints.



10-24-2019, 08:33 AM   #6
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Reputation for the Pentax flashes are very good. The older version had a slightly flimsy battery door, improved with the V2.

The V2 also has weather resistance, and to me that's its biggest perk.

I prefer the menu interface of the Metz 52 AF1 (touchscreen) but if you only plan on using PTTL and, sa, manual, you'll be fine. If you often switch between slave, master, wireless PTTL, etc, then it's a mess.
10-24-2019, 09:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Reputation for the Pentax flashes are very good. The older version had a slightly flimsy battery door, improved with the V2.

The V2 also has weather resistance, and to me that's its biggest perk.

I prefer the menu interface of the Metz 52 AF1 (touchscreen) but if you only plan on using PTTL and, sa, manual, you'll be fine. If you often switch between slave, master, wireless PTTL, etc, then it's a mess.
That is a really good input.
I DO switch often between P-ttl and wireless P-ttl and on the Yongnuo it switches to wireless as soon as I remove it from the hotshoe.
I guess I'll go to the Pentax since its unreilability has not been confirmed by the users of this forum
10-24-2019, 10:58 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kangaxx Quote
I DO switch often between P-ttl and wireless P-ttl and on the Yongnuo it switches to wireless as soon as I remove it from the hotshoe.
That's not difficult to do.

It gets trickier if, say, sometimes you want the flash to be a PTTL master, at other times a slave, yet at other times a manual slave, etc. You can check out my review of the Metz 52 AF-1 to see how to make those switches, I explain the difference between the two systems.

10-24-2019, 11:23 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I have an AF540fgz mark 1. It has gotten old and begun to die. That being said, it's lasted close to a decade with pretty regular use. It still works as a dummy flash, but P-ttl and thyrister modes are kaput. Also, the locking mechanism for the foot has had the plastic completely worn down to the point that it no longer locks. However, it's been worn out, rather than spontaneously dying like a lot of third party stuff seems to do. I doubt there is a flash on the market for Pentax that would preform better or last longer.

Metz makes great gear but I wouldn't say its better than the Pentax stuff. But, I wouldn't say its any worse either.
10-24-2019, 02:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gerbermiester Quote
I have an AF540fgz mark 1. It has gotten old and begun to die. That being said, it's lasted close to a decade with pretty regular use. It still works as a dummy flash, but P-ttl and thyrister modes are kaput. Also, the locking mechanism for the foot has had the plastic completely worn down to the point that it no longer locks. However, it's been worn out, rather than spontaneously dying like a lot of third party stuff seems to do. I doubt there is a flash on the market for Pentax that would preform better or last longer.

Metz makes great gear but I wouldn't say its better than the Pentax stuff. But, I wouldn't say its any worse either.
The Mark II must have better build quality than the original, because it's now got a WR rating.

IIRC, Metz have stopped supporting Pentax officially, a problem with third party accessories because they may need firmware upgrades to fix bugs or to remain compatible with a new camera model.
10-24-2019, 07:21 PM   #11
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If you don't need the WR, perhaps pick up a first generation off eBay. That's what I ended up doing. So far so good.
10-25-2019, 05:12 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The Mark II must have better build quality than the original, because it's now got a WR rating.
To be fair, it doesn't mean it's going to last longer. Parts *could* still wear out faster.

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
IIRC, Metz have stopped supporting Pentax officially, a problem with third party accessories because they may need firmware upgrades to fix bugs or to remain compatible with a new camera model.
I don't think that's accurate. Although the USB upgrade part of the Metz flashes is mostly moot, as they rarely if ever released firmware updates.
10-26-2019, 10:42 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I don't think that's accurate.
I think @clackers is pretty much right.

There have been reports by users on this forum that Metz responded to bug reports by stating that they don't foresee them to be fixed.

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Although the USB upgrade part of the Metz flashes is mostly moot, as they rarely if ever released firmware updates.
They used to update firmware versions.

One of those updates broke analogue TTL compatibility of some Metz models which used to support both analogue and digital TTL protocols.

Metz just isn't the same brand anymore since the original Metz went bankrupt in 2014 and then was split into two parts to be managed by new owners.
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