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Flashgun Metz 52 AF-1

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
First of all I must say sorry because of no pictures in thread. It's due to busy times and there is a mess with all the images (I havent even managed to unload the pics from one CF card for couple of months).

After my wife complained several months about the recycling time of FL-36R I made her a christmas present with Metz 52 AF-1.
Out of the box it was a nice piece with leg and soft bag. When I powered it up it got a bit strange as I was used with buttons and wheel but it only had touch display.
I thought ok, doesnt matter switch it to TTL and forget it.
The flash was nice a lot more powerful than the Olympus one, recycling times way faster and all seemed nice but... after some use it feels like it doesnt understand the TTL that good. The issue, I never had with FL-36R was that indoors I use ceiling bounce most of the time but when turning the head in front directly to the subject it overexposed the picture, could even say it burned it. I tried it several times and the result was the same. FL-36R understood it and reduced the power so that I always got a good exposure. In those situations I was really missing the wheel FL-36R had (like I used at Village dance party). Changing the flash power was not that hard also, but again it was all electronically controlled (or maybe I didnt found the right place). When FL36R you change GN then on this one it was possible to change EV -so the flash calculates something and tries to compensate. It didn't felt like working much and it was also hard to understand what settings there are. But maybe its because of I haven't read the manual and experimented with it enough although month as passed. My wife also complained a bit that the exposing works a bit strange way so I probably need to learn to use it better. But considered that you get 50% more power for same cash or a bit less it can not be that easy.
Well to be honest I actually experimented a bit once. As now I have 2 flashguns and one is with IR control so I took couple of pics when Metz on camera and Oly for background. Got some nice results.
One more thing I noticed was that battery cover was a pain. In order to replace the batteries it is needed to remove from the camera. That felt like a major failure of design department.
For conclusion I would say it is good and powerful flash with not that good user interface but in the end we are happy with the piece because it is doing the job it was meant to do - faster recycling times and more light with ceiling bounce.

One day I will post the images and make some experiments to find out if it is possible to get TTL working in reasonable ways or not.

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  1. throt's Avatar
    As promised I tried to play with the flash a bit. Forget to tell before that it has also tilt and turn head but to move it from 0 position to any other you need to use some force instead of locking buttons Oly has.
    First I looked up the manual and found out that it also uses the remote control oly flashes use so I tried how this works. I'd say it worked really good as it operates as slave and the flash intensity is controlled from camera. Just for testing placed FL36R to one channel and Metz another and the subject between them. Reduced the Metz power a bit and it worker as it had to (Oly left Metz right).
  2. throt's Avatar
    The flash comes with flash shoe but beware of using it intensely as it has plastic tripod mount thread. Also the fixing to the support has been done with pressing the locking ring to the shoe not with pin. So if you plan to twist and move it on a tripod a lot ensure it is well fixed.
    Now back to on camera overexposure. As read from manual then the flash itself tries to compensate the light so when tried to change the shutter speed the results were very much alike not to say identical.

    1st sample that was not so bad

    2nd taken spot measuring from the wall. But instead of the measured and focused spot the background light is correct.

    3rd spot measuring from the light chair. Actually tried also to measure from jeans, tried to change shutter speed, camera exposure correction and still all they became very similar

    Tried to shoot the objects closer everything
    worked like a charm.
  3. throt's Avatar

    Now the same spots taken with Olympus flash with same settings.

    So in conclusion it's a great flash to use bounce flash or remote but not that good for direct shooting. Then again if to consider that it has smaller price tag it is ok.

    Rating FL36R vs Metz 52AF1
    Price 0 - 1
    Power 0 - 1
    Bounce flash 1 - 1
    Direct flash 1 - 0
    Recycle times 0 - 1
    RC 1 - 1
    User interface 1 - 0
    Auto zoom 1 - 1
    Tilt and turn head 1 - 1
    Flash shoe 1 - 1

    Olympus: 7
    Metz: 8