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07-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #1
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Just received Metz 36 AF-4

Just thought I would pass on some info about the Metz 36 AF-4. I am coming over to Pentax from Olympus and wanted a hot shoe flash now without spending a lot. I need some time to learn how the K200D wireless flash works and decide how I want to handle off camera flash with Pentax.

With Olympus I used the Metz 48 AF-1 (highly recommended), but was not ready to spend that for Pentax (yet). I decided to give the 36 a try (for $99 shipped - Adorama).

It's actually quite nice. One of the smallest bounce flashes I have ever used (except for the awesome SB400 - Nikon). Takes 4 AA's, so recycle time is respectable. In my short time using it, expect to be able to get off a shot every 1.5-2 secs (for full recharge). You can fire off sooner, but it will not be full strength. Bounce is fine, although I wish they included in the integrated bounce card like they have on the 48. Power is a little weak, but I expected that - especially coming from the 48. Manual zoom is simple and effective.

The nice plus that I have noticed is the auto focus assist beam. I have a Sigma 24-70mm EX F2.8 Macro and I noticed that it does lock focus a tad quicker. With the 82mm filter size, I couldn't use the pop-up flash even if I wanted to - which is why I was quick to buy the 36 AF-4.

Overall, my first impression is high. If it swiveled and had a bounce card, it would be near perfect for its use. Beyond those two cons, it is a great PTTL solution for just under $100. I certainly need to (and intend to) spend more time exploring its capabilities, but I don't see there being any downside to the flash if you have right expectations. It's not going to power a big group shot or light a large room, and you don't have any control on the flash (on/off!).

07-02-2009, 03:39 PM   #2
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Ah, I've been waiting for one of these.
07-02-2009, 03:58 PM   #3
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Does it have the SB only mode?

Can you give the measurements of the flash when flat, please? The manufacturer's measurement are usually of the flash when folded.

Can you also measure the head, please? I'm wondering if there is a snap on diffuser that will work.

Thank you
Russell
07-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Russell,

I will be happy to take those measurements for you. What do you mean by SB only mode?

I was actually hoping to make my own diffuser as most seem like they would be too large for small, skinny head.


QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
Does it have the SB only mode?

Can you give the measurements of the flash when flat, please? The manufacturer's measurement are usually of the flash when folded.

Can you also measure the head, please? I'm wondering if there is a snap on diffuser that will work.

Thank you
Russell


07-02-2009, 09:05 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by joeyc Quote
Russell,

I will be happy to take those measurements for you. What do you mean by SB only mode?

I was actually hoping to make my own diffuser as most seem like they would be too large for small, skinny head.
The Metz 48 AF-1 has a spot beam mode.

"In the spot beam mode, the AF measuring beam can be used to focus on a subject at low ambient light level without firing a flash when the shot is taken."

Thank you
Russell
07-03-2009, 03:59 AM   #6
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Russell,

Laying flat, the flash is 5 3/8" x 2 3/4" (L x W). It is isn't perfectly rectangular, so those would be the longest dimensions.

The head is a little more difficult to measure. I will give you measurements from the top of the hinge - 1 3/4" x 2 3/4" (L x W).

QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
Does it have the SB only mode?

Can you give the measurements of the flash when flat, please? The manufacturer's measurement are usually of the flash when folded.

Can you also measure the head, please? I'm wondering if there is a snap on diffuser that will work.

Thank you
Russell
QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
The Metz 48 AF-1 has a spot beam mode.

"In the spot beam mode, the AF measuring beam can be used to focus on a subject at low ambient light level without firing a flash when the shot is taken."

Thank you
Russell
I forgot about the spot beam mode on the 48. Sadly I can't figure out any way for that to work on my K200D. There are literally no controls beside On/Off on the flash itself. Hope that info helps.

Joe
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