Comparing Metz handle flashes.

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by waynecrider, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    I'm going to pickup a handle mount flash to use with a variety of cameras. I'll be using the flash in manual mode with a 301 adapter to start with before buying any specific adapter, and 90% of the time the flash will be used on a stand. I'm comparing the 60 CT4, 45 CL4 and the 50 MZ5 series as I like the secondary fill flash since I'll be bouncing the main flash. The 50 MZ-5 apparently takes a more expensive battery but am unsure about using a battery pack with it. I'll be buying used so will probably expect replacing any battery. I'd appreciate your thoughts on a choice. Thanks.
     
  2. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    The 45 series will allow you to use AA batteries as well as a Quantum (or similar battery). I believe the 60 works only with a separate battery pack. I'm not sure about AC adapters which might be most important if using on a stand. When buying used, make sure the head will stay in the desired bounce position - sometime the detents get worn.
     
  3. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have both the 45 CL4 and the 60 CT4 and that's right the 45 CL4 can use either a Ni-Cad battery pack or ordinary AA batteries the 60 CT4 uses expensive either Ni- Cad or Dry fit rechargeable battery packs not AA batteries. Rechargeable batteries need to be fully charged and fully discharged regularly if they are constantly topped up they loose capacity until eventually they will hardly accept a charge at all. I don't use flash all that often and find that ordinary AA cells are fine, because rechargeable s if they aren't used often loose their charge.
     
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  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I really like the 60CT series flashes. I have a 60CT2, and a 60CT1.

    I bought my 60CT2 new back in the late 1970s and, with the exception of having to replace the battery once or twice, it has worked fine. It interfaces with the TTl metering on my Olympus 35mm cameras, but I've used it mostly with my Mamiya TLRs - I've shot a fair number of weddings with that flash.

    The 60CT4 replaced the 60CT2 in the Metz line.

    The 60CT1 was a more recent eBay purchase - acquired quite inexpensively as a backup.

    I like the fact that the battery is both heavy and held in a separate, over-the-shoulder battery pack. That battery, although expensive, has tremendous capacity, and usually results in fast recycle times. I used to have no problem shooting most of an entire wedding (100 - 200 shots in those days) on a single charge, with little or no increase in recycle time.

    Moving the battery and the charging circuitry to the separate power pack results in a large but light flash head. The relatively heavy power pack hangs easily either on a shoulder, or from a light stand, where it adds stability.
     
  5. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I, for one, don't like the 60-series.
    They are large and heavy. A two part affair, one part hanging off your shoulder, always swinging about, the other part in your hand, with a cable running between them. And you have to rely on the power pack: if it is empty, you can't resort to the ubiquitous AA-batteries, but have no other option than to recharge the thing wait until it has power again.
    And for what? They don't produce significantly more light. Nor faster cycle times. Nor more capacity (i.e.: the big, heavy, separate power pack outweighs and 'out-annoys' what you have to do with the smaller, lighter, one part 45-series units to get equal capacity: carry some spare batteries.)


    The more recent 76-series (formerly known as "50", reflecting - as do the names of the elder series - the guide number when set to work with a standard lens) is better, yet still rather big, still a two part affair (though it is now the control unit that is separate - but it goes on top of the camera, not on your shoulder) and despite the flattering name, also only marginally more powerfull than the 45-series.
     
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  6. Thomas Wilson

    Thomas Wilson Member

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    Comparing Metz handle units

    Dittos to Q.G. on this one.

    I have a couple of 60 CT's somewhere... have not used one in years.
    The battery packs are a pain in the a** and ridiculously expensive.

    I now use a pair of 54MZ's and love them. I use standard (buy off the shelf anywhere) 6 volt, 4.5 amp-hour batteries. I made the quick-release battery cable from a good quality audio jack soldered to a quantum battery insert.

    The belt-loop on the lens pouch wraps around the light stand or tripod leg.

    My battery "case" is a small lens pouch. $12.00.
    The batteries cost $8.00. (1/10 the cost of the Metz)
    The quantum part cost $25.00.

    *Forgot the obvious, the $8.00 batteries are rechargeable.
     

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  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Q.G. and I have had this discussion before :smile:.

    I think that the most important things to take from the discussion are:

    1) if possible, you should handle the options yourself, so you can gauge the differences; and
    2) YMMV.

    FWIW, the grey cubes shown in Thomas Wilson's photo attachment shown above are the batteries used in the Metz 60 CTs.

    When you consider the differences, and consider our comments, it probably is important to realize that I tend to use the (lighter than 45 series) 60CT flash heads mounted on a bracket which attaches to the camera bracket itself.
     
  8. wiltw

    wiltw Subscriber

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    The Metz 45CT has a GN of 45 meters; the 54MZ has a GN of 54 meters. But the 54MZ (and 58AF1) have deceptive GN just like ever other zoom head flash unit!!! If you put the 54MZ at the same 35mm coverage angle as the 45CT, the 45CT still has a GN of 45 but the 54MZ has a LESS powerful GN!!!

    All zoom head flash manufacturers overblow the 'power' simply by quoting what it does when zoomed to 105mm coverage angle! Deceptive BS
     
  9. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Indeed.
    That's how Metz - who always use the GN in their type descriptions - suddenly promoted the 50 to a 76 unit. They forgot they could 'blow up' the GN, so they 'corrected' that mistake.
     
  10. frotog

    frotog Member

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    The 60 ct-1 and ct-2 routinely sell on ebay for less than $100. Considering the amount of power (300 watt seconds) and the versatility (fresnel attachments and incremental manual output control with the mecamat) this is truly a wonderful thing. Once you figure out how to rig them to a stand (I like to utilize the 1/4-20 receivers on the bottom of the power supply to maffer clamp the heavy batteries to the legs of a c-stand) they can be extremely versatile for location work. Mount three of these babies together, synch them with a paramount 3-way pc cord and you have the power of a profoto 7b at about an eighth of the cost albeit with 7" recycle times at full power and long flash duration times (like 1/125th of a second). If you plan to use them this way it's best to power with a 220 Ah 6 volt golfcart battery (thanks to Mike Wilde for this tip!) as the factory power supply is a measly 4.5 Ah. BTW, I wouldn't dare drape these things over my shoulder - that's like so mid-eighties...
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I've noticed that German flash guns manufacturers quoted guide numbers tend to be more accurate than others because they have to conform to D.I.N. standards.
     
  12. JPD

    JPD Member

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    I use rechargeable NiMH AA batteries of the "new generation". Their selfdischarge is very low (the capacity is still around 80% after six months), and they don't have to be fully discharged before charging them. I use GP ReCyko 2100, but there are others too like Varta Ready2Use ans Sanyo Eneloop.
     
  13. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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  15. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Weight wise, and from my old Metz catalog, the 60CT4 without the battery pack weighs 22.9 ounces whereas the CL4 weighs 24 ounces without batteries. It's only carrying the pack that adds the weight and from what I hear there is a belt clip available. Now I'm not a big fan of Nicads. If you don't run them out on a shoot your screwed. I have a drawer full that are bad so I'm thinking that a power pack is the way to go even with the 45CL4, and although double A's are fine, being available anywhere, their expensive in the long run if shooting professionally. Really tho, the most important thing to me is manual control. There's no real number in the catalog about this, but from what I have read and if I remember right the 60CT4 can go to 1/128 or 1/256. I don't know about the CL4? Maybe someone can clue me in.
     
  16. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    22.9 ounces is about 650 gram, right?
    The generator/power pack adds 1850 gram (= 65.3 ounces).
    6 AA batteries weigh nowhere near 65 ounces.

    1/256 (8 stops)

    The 45 CL 4 has 1/2, 1/4 and 1/40.
     
  17. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Thanks Q.G. That's the info I need.

    Luckily the battery pack isn't going to be held so the weight doesn't matter. For light weight I'll be resorting to an SB flash.
     
  18. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The dry lead acid battery used in the Metz 60 series doesn't lose much power when not in use. You should charge it as soon as you've done using it. Lead acid battery doesn't like to be in the discharge state for a long time.
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I don't use my Metz 45 CL4 flashguns very often and prefer to use ordinary AA Alkaline batteries.
     
  20. skruft

    skruft Member

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    I still do use a 60CT4 and the Hasselblad branded 45. Before that used 402s, which I stilll have. Yep, those packs are heavy, but the heads noticeably lighter..
     
  21. tbeaman

    tbeaman Subscriber

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    Just to toss something into the pot, I recently acquired a well-used 45 CT-1 and was surprised to discover in testing with a flash meter that it didn't seem to throw out any more light than my Canon 199a or Sunpak 422d. I'm not sure why that is (use of alkaline batteries?), or how likely it is, but it's something to look out for I suppose.
     
  22. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    That's interesting. What is the rated or advertised GNs for the the 3 flashes. Did the test results for the Canon and Sunpak match their rated GNs (or at least consistent with the relative rating of the 2 flashes)? Assuming a valid test, my first thought might be a worn out (or aged) flash tube or capacitor.
     
  23. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    If you test any flash unit against any other, with all of them in some sort of auto mode, it would be a sign of a bad flash if it didn't produce the same output as any other unit. :D
     
  24. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    What method and conditions did you use to test it ? how far was it away from the flash meter ? was the 45CT1 on manual full power ? how did you calculate the guide number ?
     
  25. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    You can't test the guide number in the computer mode because in that mode it gives the correct exposure by altering the flash duration and the duration could be 1/60,000 sec and flash meters don't sync. at those speeds.
     
  26. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    True. But that doesn't mean that it could be why the 'test' gave the same results for different units.
    :wink:

    They do.