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  1. #1

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    How to use a Metz Mecamat 45-30 sensor? :)

    Dear friends,

    sometimes it's not all this bad to spend time in hospital - I've got a Metz 45CT-5 set along with Quantum battery (dead cells inside, err) as a warming-up gift. It works fine, and it includes a Mecamat sensor - a true German device with a built-in finder. I can understand something about its controls - one side of it makes for manual mode, using fractions of full power (up to 1/64), showing the f/numbers and distances for a given film speed. Well, the another side is the automatic mode - with a film speed setting ring too, the view angle switch and the green/red switch. This side gives me programmed auto exposure... but what should mean those red and green side triangle marks placed non-symmetrically around the BIG red and green lines indicating the chosen auto-f/stop program? Can't understand it by myself, sorry... but these are there for some important reason, right? Am I right about the other features, or am I missing something?

    Also, is that Mecamat thing a good gadget by itself, eh? Does anyone use them today? Should it offer a better light control precision, being compared to inner flash sensor of the Metz 45CT-5 itself? Do those old Metz 45 flashes without Mecamat measure their flash power well enough to shoot chromes without a TTL, or their built-in flash meter is a rather so-so performer? Should I test the flash and Mecamat first on a full range of programs with my Minolta and some medium-gray subject before shooting?

    Cheers from Moscow,
    Zhenya

  2. #2
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Hi Zhenya,

    I have the 60-30 rather than the 45-30, but I suspect that they are very similar. The two triangles are for use with the wide and the tele adapter, to the best of my knowledge.

    On the auto side they show the distance limits of the unit. The long line still shows the aperture, but it does not show the maximum distance when the wide or tele is used.

    On the manual control side they are used to set the distance/aperture calculator to the correct relation - you set the appropriate triangle to the film speed in use.

    There is a selector switch to determine which side will be used, a view angle selector and the auto side has a range switch to choose between the red and green ranges - but you seem to have already understood those. The viewfinder has parallax correction settings, but you've probably understood those as well.

    Does that make sense?

    I find that it is very useful for static setups - you can mount the sensor off-camera, and aim it quite precisely at a chosen fixed point. For on-camera rigs, it gets the sensor out of the way of softboxes.

    Best,
    Helen
    Last edited by Helen B; 11-24-2006 at 10:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    Hi Helen,

    thank you for your help - indeed, my sensor and your 60-30 are very similar in action. To be frank, I wouldn't be able to figure out the purpose of those triangles by myself - I have forgotten about the Televorsatz, he-he

    I just love the quality of the light produced by this Metz - it's so very different from a regular on-camera flash! But it looks like the flash's sensor is overexposing a bit in an unsystematical way - should it be always point on, or on wider apertures (say, f/2.8) I just need something like ND filters over the flash's window to tame the excessive light? I have a feeling that the flash just doesn't have enough time to stop when shooting at, say, f/2 in close-up, and the accident overexposure occurs

    Is there a rule saynig about the minimum distance between the flash and subject, allowing the sensor to react properly? I can't find any manuals for CT-5 and Mecamat, and I don't think that Metz service would be of great help, too

    Cheers from Moscow,
    Zhenya

    Quote Originally Posted by Helen B View Post
    Hi Zhenya,

    I have the 60-30 rather than the 45-30, but I suspect that they are very similar. The two triangles are for use with the wide and the tele adapter, to the best of my knowledge.

    On the auto side they show the distance limits of the unit. The long line still shows the aperture, but it does not show the maximum distance when the wide or tele is used.

    On the manual control side they are used to set the distance/aperture calculator to the correct relation - you set the appropriate triangle to the film speed in use.

    There is a selector switch to determine which side will be used, a view angle selector and the auto side has a range switch to choose between the red and green ranges - but you seem to have already understood those. The viewfinder has parallax correction settings, but you've probably understood those as well.

    Does that make sense?

    I find that it is very useful for static setups - you can mount the sensor off-camera, and aim it quite precisely at a chosen fixed point. For on-camera rigs, it gets the sensor out of the way of softboxes.

    Best,
    Helen

  4. #4
    Markok765's Avatar
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    My metz 32CT3's flash sensor is very good for correct lighting.
    I almost always bounce it though(turning the head, its not handholdable)
    Marko Kovacevic
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  5. #5
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Hi Zhenya,

    There is a minimum distance, because there is a minimum workable flash energy - or duration. In the absence of any better information, you could use a rule of thumb that the minimum distance is one tenth of the maximum distance. That works for the 60 series. The maximum flash duration is about a hundred times the minimum in auto (1/200 and 1/20 000 in the case of the 60 series), so the corresponding ratio of distances is ten to one - or it would be if the output was linear with time. Anyway, it's just a rule of thumb.

    You could use ND lighting gels or diffusion material to cut down the light output. Keep an eye on how hot they are getting if you are using rapid flashes. The wide diffuser will lose a stop as well.

    A significant amount of dirt on the sensor window will lead to overexposure.

    There's no harm in asking Metz for the manuals.

    Best,
    Helen

  6. #6

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    Mecamat 45-46 Manual

    Quote Originally Posted by eumenius View Post
    Hi Helen,

    thank you for your help - indeed, my sensor and your 60-30 are very similar in action. To be frank, I wouldn't be able to figure out the purpose of those triangles by myself - I have forgotten about the Televorsatz, he-he

    I just love the quality of the light produced by this Metz - it's so very different from a regular on-camera flash! But it looks like the flash's sensor is overexposing a bit in an unsystematical way - should it be always point on, or on wider apertures (say, f/2.8) I just need something like ND filters over the flash's window to tame the excessive light? I have a feeling that the flash just doesn't have enough time to stop when shooting at, say, f/2 in close-up, and the accident overexposure occurs

    Is there a rule saynig about the minimum distance between the flash and subject, allowing the sensor to react properly? I can't find any manuals for CT-5 and Mecamat, and I don't think that Metz service would be of great help, too

    Cheers from Moscow,
    Zhenya
    Hi - I have a Mecamat 45-46 myself and the Operating Instructions cover some 40 pages so it would be a little difficult to explain the complete operation in a few papagraphs.

    The Mecamat 45-46 is (was) intended to be used WITH a 45 series flash. The sensor coverage of the Mecamat is different that that of the 45 flash and the greater range of selectable settings and will extend the usefulness of the flash - particularly for macro or telephoto photography as there are pre-calibrated settings for both the wide angle diffuser and the tele-attachments.

    My suggestion would be to email me if you want a copy of the manual. I am sure that the main features are similar enough to be useful. I would be more than willing to photograph the individual pages and forward them to you if you are still interested.

    Cheers from Canada!

  7. #7

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    Hi Burton

    I'm not familiar with any of this. Do you know the difference between the Mecamat 45-30 and the 45-46? Like Zhenya, I have a 45 CT-5.
    I hope not all the 40 pages are in English and if you can painlessly reproduce them I would be glad of a copy, just so I can understand what they are about!!

    Cheers from Dee Why NSW

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Statula View Post
    Hi Burton

    I'm not familiar with any of this. Do you know the difference between the Mecamat 45-30 and the 45-46? Like Zhenya, I have a 45 CT-5.
    I hope not all the 40 pages are in English and if you can painlessly reproduce them I would be glad of a copy, just so I can understand what they are about!!

    Cheers from Dee Why NSW

    Hi Dee,

    The difference between the 45-30 and the 45-46 is related to the functionality of the flashes they are targeted against. The Metz 45-CL/CT-4 flashes for example, have different functionality than the Metz 45 CT-5. The CT-4 flashes have a TTL mode and several selectable manual modes (M, M1/2, M1/4) as well as a Winder mode (which is actually M1/40), and 6 Auto modes. The CT-5 has no TTL mode and M (manual) is one setting at full power only, and there are only 5 Auto modes.

    So the differences start to come up because of issues like this: For ease of use, the Mecamat 45-46 is designed to have the CT-4 flash set in TTL mode and then the Mecamat will control the flash output.

    Since that can't happen with a CT-5 (no TTL) the Mecamat 45-30 is designed differently and the instructions are different. There are some basic similarities in intent and because the control panels are physical instead of software, the high level instructions for one model will at least give you an overview of the other.

    The 40 pages are in English - I didn't think anyone would really care about a total page count in all languages. Nothing is painless, but I will be looking at scanning this manual as a back-up in the next few months and if at that point you want a copy - just contact me.

    Burton

  9. #9
    Helen B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helen B View Post
    ...

    There's no harm in asking Metz for the manuals.

    ...
    If you want manuals for Metz equipment, you can simply email Metz. They will send you a manual. I can pass on the pdf 45-30 manual I got from Metz to anyone who sends me a PM and an email address - the file is a couple of MB or thereabouts.

    Best,
    Helen

  10. #10

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    OK Burton, thanx for the comment. I have asked Helen to forward me a copy of the 45-30 manual. I didn't see any of these manuals on the Metz website. Perhaps you have to specifically ask for them.

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