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bluesman graham Sep 29, 2006 1:59 PM

Hello everyone, i have been useing successfuly for sometime now a Meitz 45ct5 unit with my Nikon F3hp with the dedicated c60 module!, i have now moved over to the "dark side" lol, and use a nikon d100 digi. I have tried the meitz unit with the standard "sca 510" module that came with the flash unit but to no avail ( not on any settings!!)

Could anyone please shed light:-) on, if any, amodule i would need to get the gun fireing?, i know thw d100 has a flash but i really like the lighting settings i can achieve with the meitz.

i have been to the official mietz site but it only deals with there modern units and mine is a good ?? years old. i am not expecting it to be cheap so i want to get it right first time:?thanks for anyones time. Graham

JimC Sep 29, 2006 9:49 PM

I wouldn't take this as gospel...

But, I did a bit of digging and it looks like you'll probably need to use the Nikon AS-15 adapter with it, attaching the Metz via a PC Sync Cable.

Then, use the camera in manual exposure mode, using the Metz in it's Auto mode, setting the Aperture on the Strobe to match the aperture you have set on the Camera.

That way, it's using it's built in sensor to measure reflected light during the exposure, terminating the flash output when it sees enough light for the selected aperture. Or, you could use manual power settings on the Metz instead.

If you want a more integrated solution, you'd probably need to go with a newer MZ Series Metz, using the correct SCA 3402 M6 adapter (although something older than the current M6 version might work, too).

Unfortunately, the sensors in Digital Cameras are too reflective to meter from during a flash exposure like you could with OTF (off the film) metering. So, most Digital Cameras are designed to use a preflash instead to help determine the length of the main flash burst needed for proper exposure. As a result, a lot of flash systems were redesigned for Digital, making many strobes more or less obsolete if you need better integration.

You may want to contact Metz to see if they have any other suggestions.

bluesman graham Oct 1, 2006 1:04 PM

Hello, thankyou JimC for you advice, i have looked into the options and find you are correct on all counts,so, i have decided that only utilising my camera on manual is not enough considering the price of the camera!! andi am going to sell it and purchase a newer version, again thanks for the help. Graham

JimC Oct 1, 2006 2:55 PM

It's not as bad as it sounds. ;-)

No big deal. Just set the camera to around f/5.6, ISO 200, and about 1/100 second (more or less, depending on how much ambient light you want to let in), set the flash to match, and fire away.

Or, select a different combination of settings to suit your lens, tastes, and needs.

If you're like me, you probably don't change apertures a lot in most condtions you'd need to use a strobe in. So, it's really not *that* much trouble.

The strobe (at least one with a built in sensor with an auto feature that measures reflected light), is doing the rest of the exposure work for you (terminating it's own output when it sees enough reflected light for the auto range with aperture/ISO speed combination selected).

It's not like you'd need to compute your distance to subject each time, too (like you would using a manual only strobe). The built in sensor in the stobe handles it for you, "throttling" it's own output.

I took some photos at a small dinner for a friend last night (it was his birthday). I used a Sunpak 333 Auto with my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D, using the same technique I'm describing.

I used manual exposure on the camera, set it to f/5.6, ISO 200 and 1/80 second (fast enough, since it was a relatively dark room and there wasn't enough ambient light to cause motion blur at that aperture and ISO speed). I could have used a different shutter speed if desired.

Then, I selected the aperture range on the strobe to match it and let the strobe control it's own output, based on the amount of reflected light it saw.

This type of solution also has the benefit of eliminating a preflash (that you'll find with the camera manufacturer's dedicated solutions with so called TTL modes), since some people will always blink when they see the preflash.

I paid a whopping $25 for this strobe in 10 (as new in box) condition from the used department at B&H. It's got 3 Auto Aperture Ranges, Tilt, Swivel, Manual Zoom head, GN of around 120 ft at ISO 100, depending on the zoom head position, manual power settings and more. :-)

Everyone is buying dedicated strobes lately. So, the used market is full of bargains (incuding some of the Metz strobes like yours). lol

Sure, a dedicated strobe would save the hassle of using manual exposure. But, it's really not a big deal to me. I don't use a strobe often enough to warrant the expense, and good Auto Thyristor Strobes are dirt cheap on the used market.

BTW, some of the Metz MZ series strobes can give you the best of both. With the correct SCA Adapter, they're aware of the camera settings being used (Aperture, ISO Speed), so you can still elminate the need for a preflash using their Auto mode, without the hassle of setting the flash to match your camera settings. They also support the preflash TTL modes, just like the camera manufacturer's strobes.

So, if I needed a better strobe that was aware of my camera settings, I'd probably get something like a Metz 54MZ3, 4, or 4i (or one of the MZ Series "Hammerhead" strobes if I needed a more powerful unit.

Some of them also support wireless and high speed sync modes. I've thought about getting a 54MZ4 from time to time for use with my Maxxum 5D, and it supports the same modes the Konica Minolta strobes do, and also gives you an Auto mode that can eliminate a preflash, while still being aware of the camera settings with the correct SCA adapter). I probably wouldn't need a more powerful hammerhead type unit.

But, I really can't justify the expense, since using manual exposure with an inexpensive Auto Thrystor type strobe like my $25 Sunpak works just fine in the conditions I normally use a flash in. If I had your Metz, I'd be using it the same way versus buying a new one. :-)

NHL Oct 2, 2006 6:51 AM

JimC wrote:

If I had your Metz, I'd be using it the same way versus buying a new one. :-)
... and I agree! ;)

I have the exact 45CT-5 and use it on manual with my 'digital' Canon - You need to buy two heads (and then need to worry on where to place the 2nd one) to equals what you can do with this Metz...
-> and the best way to use flash on the Canon is on manual anyway (it allows you to control both shutter and aperture). On Av or Tv it's always a fill!

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