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  1. #1

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    Flash recommendation for newbie

    Hi, I am new to this forum and newly re-discovering the joy of film photography for that matter. I am sure this question has been asked before, but was not able to find the information. I am doing this as a hobby, not professionally.

    I am looking for a good general purpose flash that can meet the following criteria:
    1. support 35mm and MF, and digital
    2. max $150 (used is fine)
    3. powerful enough for bounce off ceiling for home portraits
    4. has bounce and swivel
    5. manual and auto setting (no need for TTL)

    Two models that come to mind:
    Metz 54 MZ-3 (i will be getting a flash bracket for use with MF)
    Metz 45 CL-1

    Metz brand is not too important for me, just to give a starting point, so any other brands are welcome. Thank you in advance. Any other advice is also appreciated.

  2. #2
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    I have several of the Metz 45 flash units. When you put them on manual it's at full power & that's the only setting in manual. They have 5 automatic settings, at various power levels using the thryster circuit. They have a batter pack that fits into the shaft. I don't know for sure but it looks like the batteries can't be replaced. They are in a case that's removed for charging but they can be charged while in the flash. It's a nice thing to take the battery pack to a counter to re-charge and if you have another, plug it into the flash and continue.

    Where do you live?

    I've got several Sunpak 120J flashes with little use. The unit I've got in my hands now has been fired maybe 100 times. I moved from Sunpak to Quantum for various reasons. The 120j can be set to full, 1/2, 1/4/,1/8, 1/16 power in manual mode. They also have the thryster circuit. It has a reflector that can be adjusted to project the light beam like a parabolic curve. They run on 4 "AA" batteries.
    Bill Clark

  3. #3

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    If you're looking for a flash for both fully manual and newer electronic cameras, be conscious of the flash voltage of the particular model of flash you're looking at. Many older flashes, including the Metz CT series and earlier Vivitars have high flash voltages that will fry current camera electronics.

  4. #4

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    I *just* bought Metz 45 CT3 for something like 60 dollars from KEH. It's an old one but is a good one. I've contacted Metz and verified it myself by measuring, the trigger voltage is perfectly safe for modern DSLRs. Of course, it is of no concern with older film cameras.

    (be careful, the same is not true for all Metz!)

    This one is manual and auto. In manual mode, it has full power, 1/2 and 1/4. It will only TTL with select (read small) number of modern cameras if you buy an adapter for each. I choose not to. It's quite powerful. I think the guide number is something like 140. Auto mode seems to be very accurate. I have yet to have significant problems.

    I'm using this flash with Mamiya M645 Super, Nikon N80 and Nikon D200.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    For everything but the swivel, I'd suggest the Vivitar 285HV. Manual and auto use.

    For everything you request, a Nikon SB24 will do quite well too. Manual, auto, and TTL use.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by wclark5179 View Post
    I have several of the Metz 45 flash units. When you put them on manual it's at full power & that's the only setting in manual.
    That's only true for the "1" model out of that series. The others offer 1/2 and 1/4 power settings as well.

  7. #7

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    I have a Metz 45 CL-1. Works quite well. I highly recommind it.

    Jeff

  8. #8
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wclark5179 View Post
    I have several of the Metz 45 flash units. When you put them on manual it's at full power & that's the only setting in manual. They have 5 automatic settings, at various power levels using the thryster circuit. They have a batter pack that fits into the shaft. I don't know for sure but it looks like the batteries can't be replaced. They are in a case that's removed for charging but they can be charged while in the flash. It's a nice thing to take the battery pack to a counter to re-charge and if you have another, plug it into the flash and continue.

    Where do you live?

    I've got several Sunpak 120J flashes with little use. The unit I've got in my hands now has been fired maybe 100 times. I moved from Sunpak to Quantum for various reasons. The 120j can be set to full, 1/2, 1/4/,1/8, 1/16 power in manual mode. They also have the thryster circuit. It has a reflector that can be adjusted to project the light beam like a parabolic curve. They run on 4 "AA" batteries.
    What you write about the Metz 45 CT1 Bill is perfectly correct, but that is the basic model of the range the other models of the 45 range like the 45 CL 4 have full half and quarter power ability in the manual mode as well as six auto apertures, TTL flash and motor drive capabilitys

    P.S the trigger voltage of the 45 CT1 is very high about 200V, and much higher than the 45 CL4 which is somewhere around 24 Volts, this isn't a problem on most film cameras except the Canon T90 that I know, but many digital cameras will only tolerate around 6v and might fry the electronics, only the 45 CL4 digital model is suitable with many digital cameras. http://www.metzflash.co.uk/pages/FAQ.html.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 02-26-2010 at 10:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben



 

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