Flash for Hasselblad 503CW

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by arigram, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    What would be a good flash for the Hasselblad 503CW that operates in TTL mode? I am between Hasselblad's own D40 and Metz's Mecablitz 60 CT-4.
    I have no need for all the special functions of the Mecablitz as the 503CW has a simple TTL sensor, but it looks more powerful (I am not sure of the power of the D40) and more versatile than the Hasselblad one.
    What do you think?
     
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    What special functions? For TTL basically all Metz flashes need a module that goes between the flash and the camera. The module then connects to the camera TTL sensor. You need to connect the flash to the camera for TTL to work.

    The nice thing about the Metz line is you can share modules with any other flash that uses the SCA type modules. Or you can use the flash with other cameras by just getting a matching module. I've got a couple of Metz 45s. By just changing the cable/module the same flash works with all my cameras. It's great.

    I've got this wierd memory that Metz makes Hasselblad flashes. Maybe I'm dreaming.
     
  3. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I've heard nothing but bad things about the Hasselblad flash. It seems to be the one dog in their lineup. I'd go with the Metz.
     
  4. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you both.
    I think Sunpak makes the D40.
     
  5. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Also look at the Sunpak 120J TTL. I have this flash and bought it over the others primarily for its value. It offers manual as well several TTL/Auto modes that the D-40 does not. It is also 60% of the cost of the D-40.

    Regrds, Art.
     
  6. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I concur about going with the Metz. Great products and they've built versatility into their implementation of the SCA standards, just as it was intended.
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    Now for something completely different:

    I am not much In favor of TTL anything except viewing...although TTL manual can be useful.

    Here is an approach that works very nicely for me.
    For sake of argument I am using, hypothetically, a Hasselblad and say Fuji Asa 160 color negative. I have come to the conclusion that for my lenses f8 is the best compromise. I choose a flash that has a power variator from full power to 1/16 or less. Using a flash meter I make note of the power position that will produce F8 at the following distances and mark it.
    1 meter
    1.4 meters
    2 meters
    2.8 meters
    4 meters
    5.6 meters
    8 meters.

    Of course this would require a flash that had a reliable guide number of 64 in meters with asa 160 film under average conditions.

    I know a given photo will be taken a 2 meters. I move my power level to the 2 meter position and set my camera lens at 2 meters. I approach my subject turn around and step back approximaley 2 and 1/3 steps. I put the camera to my eye and rock back and forth on my feet until I find the sharpest focus.
    I take the photo. The focus is not touched and the f stop remains at f8. This will work more reliably and faster than fiddling with the focus on the camera.

    I am outside. I am going to take a photo where I wish the flash to fill 1.5 stops less than the ambient light. It is a group shot being taken a 4 meters.
    I set my focus to 4 meters. I set my flash variator at a distance midway between the 2.8 meter mark and the 2 meter mark. I set the shutter to an appropriate speed. I approach my subject, turn and take 4 and 2/3 steps back. Lift the camera to my eye, rock on my feet to get the appropriate focus and shoot.

    This technique is like shooting fish in a barrel. You will get very uniform exposures. You will get nice sharp focus. You will be able to work quickly.
    It requires a bit of practice and knowing what you are doing but it is really slick and I highly recommend it to you.
     
  8. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I just got the Metz 45 CL-4.
    My God, the thing is a monster! Lotsa bigger than what I expected it to be!
    I guess I am used to smaller 35mm flashguns...

    Anyway, my question...
    The bracket that comes with the flash is too wide for my Hasselblad as it seems
    it was designed for cameras that run parallel to it. It makes handholding the camera uncomfortable.
    Does Metz make a smaller bracket I can use for?
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    The bottom part? They have a plate for square format cameras. But it's wider. Maybe you've got that one already?
     
  10. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Eh, no, I am talking about the bracket that goes under the camera and holds the flash.
     
  11. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I have a couple of the Metz 45 CL-4 potato-mashers, too. I'm not aware of any bracket that is more convenient than the one supplied. The idea, I think, is that you're supposed to hold the whole rig by the flash handle. Operating the camera with only one hand, however, is a pain.
     
  12. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Doesn't the camera slide on the bracket? I don't remember if either of mine are using factory brackets or not but on the bracket I have you can slide the camera closer/farther from the flash.

    It's actually not bad if your camera has a grip on the other side. I thought it would turn into an even bigger monster but at least with my cameras [not blads] it's possible to hold the flash with one hand the grip with the other.
     
  13. Fintan

    Fintan Member

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    The bracket that comes with the Metz mounts the flash to the side of the camera. Some people [like me] would rather mount the 45-CL4 above the lens and use one of these Stroboframe units.

    http://www.tiffen.com/displayproduct.html?tablename=stroboframe&itemnum=300-800
     
  14. Jeff Dyck

    Jeff Dyck Member

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    If you have a Hasselblad flash grip (readily available on eBay for <$100 if you don't - i.e. ), you can get a Pro Systems adaptor that will allow you to mount your Metz flash above the lens --> Like this
     
  15. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Ha!
    And I guess I would need to be careful when passing under a doorway or a bridge! I wouldn't really want for that heavy thing to hung above my head like that. The whole point of looking for a shorter adapter was so the flash would sit closer to the camera and make the system a bit more compact.
    Well, if I am going to use a flash I wouldn't be very inconspicious any way!

    Thanks for the replies though
     
  16. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Arigam,
    The advantage to a top mount is the shadows will look more natural.
    With a side mount flash you will usually get shadows to the side & behind the subject. With a top mount flash the shadow is pushed down, behind the subject.
     
  17. lee

    lee Member

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    John is right the farther off the camera you get the flash the more natural the light becomes and if shooting color the chance of "red eye" decreases.

    lee\c
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2005
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you guys, you are quite right, but I use the waist level finder and that position of the flash would make it impossible to use. Plus since it has a built in long handle and is not a compact flashgun as the typical one found in 35mm SLRs, I think it would be too bulky to position that way.
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ari
    I believe Stroboframe has a bracket available that will put the flash over the camera and forward of the waist level finder. I'm working on memory for this so don't be surprised if I'm wrong.
     
  20. Simonpg

    Simonpg Member

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    D40 or Metz

    I use both a D40 (yes made by Sunpak per the made in Japan stamp on it) and a Metz CL-4.

    I mainly use the D40 because of the LIGHT - the quality is superb being a "bare bulb" type, so its a different unit to the Metz thyristor head, which sufferes from the usual flash issues. The circular reflector gives perfectly even coverage over the square frame.

    The D40 as others said sits superbly on top of a prism finder avove the lens axis. It is limited to TTL mose as it has no manual or aperture modes. use the 503 flash/film speed dial to control exposure compensation.

    I occasionally use the Metz which has good coverage of the 2quare fram if you use the wide angle diffuser or a StoFen diffuser (the latter is best).

    BUT, both suffer from limited guide number / power. The ideal unit might be one of those neat Quantum units with bare bulb and rechargable Turbo batteries - big bucks; but delivers superb light and controls.

    So, the optimal set up is a D40 (for convenience) plus (for more power) a Quantum.
     
  21. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I don't think they do.
    I use the 45CT 4 and the 60CT4 Arri, and Metz make a square plate about 2 1/2" x 2 1/2 that is sold as an optional extra, that fits on the top of the bracket, and can be slid along to position the camera in the best place on it.

    If you think the 45 CT4 is a monster, it's a good job you didn't buy the 60 CT4 which has a seperate battery pack that is carried over your shoulder , it has a guide number of 60 meters and nearly takes wallpaper off it's so powerful.

    The 45 CT4 has a guide number of 45 meters, I find that on German flashguns the stated guide numbers are accurate because they have to conform with DIN standards, a lot of Japanese ones are very optomistic in their supposed flash output if you test them with a flash meter.