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Old Apr 19, 2009, 9:48 PM   #1
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Seldom, if ever before, have I owned... anything, at all, about which I could not complain - certainly not photographic equipment! There is an exception to every rule and all things come, to he who waits. I had to wait 58 years for the Big, Bad METZ to find me.

I have a Metz, 58-AF1 (for digital). It's an on-cam flash but, like the rest, it can be mounted on an arm or whatever. Someone else might complain that it is not light. Well, nothing weighs nothing - lol When you get something, it weighs something .) It stabilizes the cam, hand-held, acting as a damper.

The day I bought it I just had to test it so I did a shot in a totally dark room. When that thing went off - My GOD... I dunno what it did. I do know it fired more than once and the image looked better than it would have with the lights on - no hard shadows, or anything!

This thing is a beast. I consistently run it set down at least two notches, and sometimes three, with the deflecter screen folded down in front of that awful strobe. The light is... unique. It doesn't seem to cause "white-out" like other flashes. It's more blue than yellow. It works, for me.

It ain't cheap. It costs a little less than Canon's big light and more than their cheaper ones. It claims to be able to project light 195 feet and I don't doubt that, for a single second! If it has a problem, lack of power is not it!

If I were you I would try this flash out, before I bought one.
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 7:46 AM   #2
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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TheDigitalMage wrote:
It claims to be able to project light 195 feet and I don't doubt that, for a single second!
It doesn't work that way. Maximum flash range at ISO 100 is equal to the GN divided by the aperture your lens is set to (provided you're using a direct flash, not a bounced flash).

The Metz 58-AF1 has a GN (Guide Number) of 138 feet (42 meters) at a 50mm zoom position, or 192 feet at it's max zoom head position of 105mm. In other words, how much you zoom in impacts flash range.

But, the GN is not how far you can expect to be able to use it.

To determine flash range, you need to divide the GN by the Aperture (f/stop setting) you're using.

For example, if your lens is set to an aperture of f/5.6, and you're zoomed in to 105mm, then the maximum flash range is approximately 42 feet at ISO 100 (GN of 192 feet divided by your aperture of f/5.6).

Then, each time you double the ISO speed, flash range increases by 1.4x.

Also, if you're not zoomed in as much, flash range will decrease. If you bounce the flash, flash range will decrease. If you use a diffuser, flash range will decrease.

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Old Apr 20, 2009, 8:25 AM   #3
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I have this unit for over six month. I am happy with the performance so far.
There is only one issue, this unit is very fussy about rechargeable battery. If the battery is not freshly charged; the low battery indicator comes on as soon as the unit is turned on. Metz knows about this problem. Any suggestion to over come this problem other than using non-rechargeable battery or the power pack?
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Old Apr 20, 2009, 8:09 PM   #4
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Indeed... rechargable batteries produce 1.2 volts, as opposed to 1.5 volts for alkaline. So the simple solution is to use one more battery, connected in series, in order to come up with the 6 volts the flash requires OR to make (or even buy) a battery pack that hangs on your belt.

If you go for making a battery pack be sure the battery you choose has at least 7 ohms of internal resistance - I would go with 10 ohms. Metz says this is necessary in order for the flash not to overheat, due to more abundant power (considerably!) than is available from the batteries it is supposed to use.
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