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Old Oct 1, 2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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Hi All,

Have we any users of the Metz 48 AF-1 or the Sigma EF30DG on the board ... I was considering treating myself to the Pentax 360 for Xmas... that is

until I saw comments by forum members in this thread ... http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...jump_to=928258

I've no personal experience of either make, Metz I think is generally considered as quality kit, and I imagine Sigma will fall in the same category, so I invite comments

Ideas welcome. ... Jack

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Old Oct 1, 2008, 11:40 AM   #2
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i have 3 of the 360's and 1 540. they all workreally wellfor me, however i use them in wireless if that makes any difference. at first i wasn't impressed with them, but after working with them and learning how to use the flash i have zero complaints.

i have heard more positive thing about the metz, compared to the sigma, but overall good things in general.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 4:05 AM   #3
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ishino wrote:
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i have 3 of the 360's and 1 540. they all workreally wellfor me, however i use them in wireless if that makes any difference. at first i wasn't impressed with them, but after working with them and learning how to use the flash i have zero complaints.

i have heard more positive thing about the metz, compared to the sigma, but overall good things in general.
Thanks Ishino, I guess as in all things as you use any piece of gear, you become more conversant with it's performance, and gain confidence in it.

At the moment I'm favouring the Metz, I've seen only reports by non-Pentax users so far, but they're very promising, and the Metz is readily available in the UK at a good

price, and I think are generally recognised as producers of qualityflash equipment. Does anyone else have any input ?, comments welcome. ... Jack.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 1:03 PM   #4
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Hi Jack,

I have a 360 (3 yrs) and a 540 (over a year), use them quite a bit, and have not had any of the problems discussed by others you referenced. Using P-TTL to its best advantage is something that I took some time to learn, but to me it's worth it, as it makes some previously difficult flash situations almost brainless compared to using a flash without the features (as has been illustrated in a number of recent threads on this forum).

That being said, the Metz looks very nice. Their reputation is very good among many working photographers that I've spoken to, and the ability to update firmware via the USB port is an important feature as P-TTL is still a work in progress at Pentax. In this respect the Pentax guns are the easiest -- so far no updates needed and I expect future developments will be accomplished within the capabilities of the logic already contained in the flashes.

From what I've heard, the Metz 48 has about the same specs and features as the 360, but adds swivel in the head. I've also read that the tilt has no locking positions between horizontal and vertical, so this could be a limitation if you planned to use a diffuser like the Omnibounce -- but I'm sure this can be worked around with little problem.

One more thing should be mentioned -- the swivel feature in the head is, IMO, somewhat over emphasized. Don't get me wrong, a swivel head is very convenient, but one can always shoot portraits in landscape orientation and crop to portrait. This is especially true with the higher resolution sensors, but works fine for the 6MP bodies also. I've found that I have been able to get very good 8x10 prints from files as small as 1MP. I did this quite a bit with the DS when I just had the 360, and it always turned out well.

Scott
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 6:51 PM   #5
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I have the Metz-I had been looking at this product line for many years and assumed they produced a quality product. Unless you enjoy science projects stay away from the AF 48. The menus are confusing-the translation from German in the manual is a disaster. It is very difficult to change modes-I used it on my K10D-now it stays in my closet and I use the old Pentax AF500-FTZ in the manual mode. I emailed their customer service-that didn't go well, either. I have no experience with the AF360 but it has to be better than the Metz.
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Old Oct 3, 2008, 8:12 AM   #6
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Thanks for your thoughts Scott, all noted ... you do make some very good points. I do like the idea of firmware updates via USB, that has to be a plus. I get the impression

from specs I've seen that the Metz has a bit more power. I'm pretty sure my main use will be off camera with a macro rig.



DMJJR, you've obviously had bad experience with your model. I have downloaded a multi language manual in .pdf format for the Metz, and that does seem to be pretty

straightforward, admittedly I'm not getting simeltaneous hands on practice with the flash, so that may well be a wrong impression. Up to press I can get the Metz much

cheaper than the Pentax in the UK. No hurried decisions this end, I'm still looking for info on the Sigma model. Thanks for the input it all helps. ... Jack


Link for the manual download ... http://www.metzflash.co.uk/pdffiles/..._NL_GB_I_E.pdf


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Old Oct 3, 2008, 9:15 AM   #7
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Hello,

Have you looked into the High-speed sync flash feature of the different units you are looking at?

I know I'm probably really flooding the forum with this idea, but don't forget to compare the different flash units on this feature as well.

I went cheap, because that is what my budget is. I went with the Vivitar 285HV with no P-TTL. So I'm forced to do more fiddling around to set-up for a shot.

I went with the Vivitar 285HV mostly because I don't have the money to plop down on a P-TTL flash & also because I'm forcing myself to use my camera more in the manual mode to try to get a better understanding of how it works and what I can do with it.

(I actually walk around with my incident light meter metering away whether I'm taking a shot or not. Drives my wife crazy. I "think" my daughter has come to accept it.)

Knowing what I know now about high-speed sync flash (and the creative things you can do with it.), I'm am very interested in the Pentax 540 FGZ with it's high-speed sync feature, but alas, no funds so I'll just keep on my path to explore off-camera, diffuse lighting for the near future.

If you are not interested in the things that high-speed sync flash can do then this is a moot point.

Take care,
Glen



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Old Oct 3, 2008, 11:19 AM   #8
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tacticdesigns wrote:
Quote:
Hello,

Have you looked into the High-speed sync flash feature of the different units you are looking at?

I know I'm probably really flooding the forum with this idea, but don't forget to compare the different flash units on this feature as well.

I went cheap, because that is what my budget is. I went with the Vivitar 285HV with no P-TTL. So I'm forced to do more fiddling around to set-up for a shot.

I went with the Vivitar 285HV mostly because I don't have the money to plop down on a P-TTL flash & also because I'm forcing myself to use my camera more in the manual mode to try to get a better understanding of how it works and what I can do with it.

(I actually walk around with my incident light meter metering away whether I'm taking a shot or not. Drives my wife crazy. I "think" my daughter has come to accept it.)

Knowing what I know now about high-speed sync flash (and the creative things you can do with it.), I'm am very interested in the Pentax 540 FGZ with it's high-speed sync feature, but alas, no funds so I'll just keep on my path to explore off-camera, diffuse lighting for the near future.

If you are not interested in the things that high-speed sync flash can do then this is a moot point.

Take care,
Glen


Hi Glen,

Both the Pentax and the Metz flashguns I'm considering have HS Sync facility, I'm not sure re. the Sigma model ... I'm not finding as much info on that one as the others.

Like you my present budget wont run to the 540 FGZ, but the two above will do most things I want from them. Thanks for contributing. ... Jack

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Old Oct 3, 2008, 7:18 PM   #9
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I have the Sigma EF 500 DG Super, which I believe is the predecessor to the EF 530 DG Super. Thus far I have not complaints. I *think* it supports high speed sync but I have not tried. Thus far my specimen has worked through the K100d, K10d, and K20d without needing rechipped. My main use is blasting enough additional light on a sunny day to make f/16 a possibility for macro.

I have a lot to learn about using flash, so my input is probably not worth much. The best I can tell you is that it seems reasonably well put together and has always worked for me, at least until the batteries die.

Tim
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Old Oct 4, 2008, 12:45 AM   #10
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I have the Sigma EF 530 DG Super flash. HS sync flash to 1/4000 works with flash on the K20D. Can't get it to work in wireless mode although the manual says it should?

I am totally happy with this flash!

cheers

bb2
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