Small flashgun for Rolleiflex

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by arigram, May 9, 2008.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I am looking for a small flashgun with TTL function for the Rolleiflex 2.8 GX and FX models.

    I have a Metz 45CL-4, but it is large and bulky and not really needed.
    I need something small and compact with just enough power to fill in a bit
    a shadowed face. Something I can carry in the camera bag at all times.
    Something that will not necessary need an L bracket.

    Probably it will have to be a SCA model to connect to the TTL function of the camera.

    So, far, the only flashgun I've found is the Metz 44 MZ-2 which:
    "Offers SCA dedication for TTL, Auto and Manual (GN 44m / 100 ISO). Powered by 4x AA batteries, max. recycling time 6 sec. LCD panel and auto zoom head 28 - 105mm."

    Anything else to suggest?
     
  2. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    There are quite a few shoe-mount Metz 32 CT-3 units available used.
    They are small, cheap, support SCA 300, and pack enough punch (only 1 stop less than the Metz 45 CL-4).
     
  3. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thanks, that looks tiny!
    Too bad that it doesn't seem to be tiltable upwards to use with my LumiQuest bounce.
     
  4. aparat

    aparat Member

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    I had the same question a while back. I needed a small flash mainly for fill-in with my Minolta Autocord. I considered two Vivitar models: Vivitar 2800 (tilt head) and Vivitar 225. I finally bought the 225 for $3 and I couldn't be happier. The auto function works great for fill-in purposes. The flash is small, runs on two AA batteries, and so far has been very reliable.

    aparat
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

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    It looks to be automatic/manual and no TTL though.
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Used? Agfa 383CSI [I think it's CSI] Plug your metz modules into it. Only 38meters for the guide number.

    Often very cheap used. I've bought them in the past for less then the attached Metz adapters and cables.
     
  7. arigram

    arigram Member

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    That sounds like something that would be hard to find.
    My preliminary searches found absolutely nothing and that's a record!
    Used, new, anything really.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    They show up on Ebay every so often. The really hard to find one is the big model. The 643.
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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  10. aparat

    aparat Member

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    True, but do you really need TTL control for daylight fill? I simply set the Vivitar flash to 1-2 stop(s) less power than would have been required for full exposure, set proper exposure on the camera and fire away. Typically, this works just fine. Obviously, one needs to be aware of the limitations of the flash, i.e., its low Guide Number. The auto thyristor automation of Vivitar flashes works surprisingly well.

    aparat
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The reflector does indeed tilt up.
    Up to 90 degrees with click stops in between at 45 and 60 (i guess) degrees.

    I like these small 32 CT-3 units, and use them myself, with the appropriate SCA foot, for the same purpose you say you want them for.
     
  12. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Do you know if the 32 ZT-1 also takes a SCA adaptor?
     
  13. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    TTL flashgun?
    Mate, go old school, get a rolleiflash and shoot bulb!:D:wink:

    I got one for my 3.5A, it's really great stuff!


    Cheers


    André
     
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  15. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Can you attach a Rolleiflash 2 to a 2.8FX?
    It is of course much more attractive and fitting to the whole style of the Rolleiflex, but I would worry about diffusion.
     
  16. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I am seriously looking into the Rolleiflash 2 and one unit I've found says it fits bay 3 lenses, such as those of the 2.8FX. Can I use it (sans TTL ofcourse)?
     
  17. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    The FX doesn't have a bulb synch setting. Flash bulbs take a bit longer to fire off I think. Maybe you would have to keep your shutter speed down to a 60th or something. ?
     
  18. Ulrich Drolshagen

    Ulrich Drolshagen Subscriber

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    I have one. It can be tilted up to 45° but of cause only if it is attached upright.

    Ulrich
     
  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Ari,
    I've had a 40MZ-2 advertised for a while, just took the ad down a few days ago.
    It's larger than the 32 and the head will both pivot on the horizontal axis and the flash tube assembly will pivot vertically. It also has a small flashtube beneath the main tube.
    It uses the 310x modules for ttl. I don't know if this would help out or not.
     
  20. arigram

    arigram Member

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    John, I've sent you a PM,
    but I would like to post this concern of mine in public:

    - Any flash unit that fits on the hot shoe or the Rollei SCA adaptor may pose a problem with the focus knob.

    I am not so much concerned with the height of the unit, as I will be using it with a bounce and the head tilted upwards, but I am afraid that the flash body may block the focus knob and may make the focusing much harder which will go against the main purpose of the flash, that it is to be a fill-in accessory for street photography.
    So, its actual size and position to the knob is very important.
     
  21. Greg_E

    Greg_E Member

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    There was an ad running here several months ago for a company that would take the old bulb flash units and put in modern electronic strobes so that you have the old style look with the newer convenience and no waste from used bulbs. Seemed like a delightful idea to me for those that want to preserve the atmosphere that a working old camera can provide.
     
  22. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I think I've settled on two Metz flashguns:
    - The 44 MZ-2 which is TTL and SCA.
    http://www.metz.de/en/foto-elektron...a-blitzgeraete/mecablitz-44-mz-2-digital.html
    - The 20 C-2 which is a small, cheap, automatic little thing.
    http://www.metz.de/en/foto-elektron.../automatik-blitzgeraete/mecablitz-20-c-2.html

    Both, can either fit the SCA module or a L bracket, the 44 with a special TTL extension cord.

    Considering I will be using the flashgun for fill-in flash with a bounce,
    should I just get the small one or cough up for the bigger gun?
     
  23. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Ok, here is my first report after actually buying a small flashgun.
    I went to a local photography store and happened upon the Metz Mecablitz 20B5. It seems to be an older model, now discontinued but very possibly still available in stock. I bought for 28 euros, which is not a bad price, but I am sure I could find it cheaper if I looked. But I didn't have to look, I tried it on the camera on the store and didn't have to pay shipping or wait.

    I haven't fired a shot yet, but I am looking to go through at least a roll of HP5+ as a test. Its use will still remain fill flash for street and travel photography and thus I wanted something small and not powerful. Just enough to light up a face a stop or so and give some catchlight.

    It fits on a L bracket and connects via a PC cord.
    If the show of the bracket is metallic like mine, you need to tape the hot shoe plug of the unit. As you can see, it fits slightly above the lens where normally you would want a flashgun a bit higher. I could get a taller or expanding L bracket but unless the light is really ugly, that would be too much. Also, the bracket I have, falls back a bit and tilts the flashgun at 45 degrees and I am meaning to tape a white plastic sheet and try it with a slight bounce. I might even be able to get a 90 degree tilting head,
    but that might be too much for such a weak unit. Its small though, fits the bag, goes very well with the Rolleiflex and its convenient to hold and operate the focus knob.
     

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  24. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    I think the placement of the flash near the lens will give you an interesting journalistic look. I don't know of any street photographers actually using fill flash on a regular basis, so that will be somewhat unique. Diane Arbus did some close flash stuff that I like.
     
  25. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Yeah, Arbus used the Rolleiflash with its bare bulb and reflector, probably at full strength to give that look. I am going for a softer effect and I am thinking that on photographs like this one
    [​IMG]
    I want to retain the dark look but maybe give a stop more to the subject and also get the catchlight to bring out the eyes. But I like that photograph, dark as it is as it gives the feeling of the place, with the fish sellers usually in the dark and with all the light falling on their displays.
    The Metz 20B5 is small enough to fit in the bag along with the bracket so its not a problem to carry, as a more normal flashgun would be. Its a tight fit with all the accessories really.
    I found Hama selling two interesting shoes: a hotshoe to PC and a 180 degree tilting shoe. The latter, more useful will enable me to try the Metz unit tilted 90 degrees upwards with a bounce.
     
  26. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

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    Your photograph has interesting dynamics but it definitely comes off as underexposed to me and what is that v notch on the left side in the black border by his shoulder. That'll never work. Spoils the composition. I have used my Rollei in weddings with a Vivitar thyristor flash and just set the film speed on the flash a stop or two too fast and then figure the exposure on the camera as if not using a flash.