Metz 48 AF-1 digital flash review

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Metz 48 AF-1 digital flash review Empty Metz 48 AF-1 digital flash review

Δημοσίευση από  Την / Το Πεμ Οκτ 09, 2008 11:06 am

Κώδικας:
Review by photo.greenlightstreet.com

Metz 48 AF-1

Το Metz 48 AF-1 είναι ακόμη ένα ποιοτικό φλας με κομψό σχεδιασμό, από την γνωστή εταιρεία. Είναι κατασκευασμένο στην Γερμανία, και ακολουθεί τα βήματα του μεγάλου μοντέλου της εταιρείας 58 AF-1, το οποίο έχει ήδη τιμηθεί με το βραβείο “καλύτερο φωτογραφικό προϊόν 2007-08”.

Όσον αφορά στην ισχύ, το 48 AF-1, έχει οδηγό αριθμό (GN) 36 σε ISO 100 και με φακό 50mm (στις δικές μας μετρήσεις, το GN έφτασε το 32). Για φακό 105mm, το GN γίνεται 48. Έτσι, είναι αρκετά ισχυρό για κάθε περίπτωση, ακόμη και με χρήση ανακλαστήρα. Η γωνία λάμψης του φλας μπορεί να καλύψει φακούς από 24mm μέχρι 105mm (αντιστοιχία σε φορμά 35mm), ενώ υπάρχει αυτόματο zoom 24 -105mm. Επιπλέον, διαθέτει μικρό ενσωματωμένο ανακλαστήρα, με τη βοήθεια του οποίου η ευρυγώνια κάλυψη κατεβαίνει μέχρι φακό 18mm.
Ακόμη, η κεφαλή περιστρέφεται καθέτως και οριζοντίως. Για την λειτουργία της αυτόματης εστίασης υπάρχει υπέρυθρο βοήθημα, ενώ δεν απουσιάζει η δυνατότητα συγχρονισμού δεύτερης κουρτίνας. Μπορεί να λειτουργήσει είτε σε TTL είτε σε Manual, όπου ρυθμίζεται σε 12 επίπεδα ισχύος (1/1-1/128). Υποστηρίζονται οι λειτουργίες Canon E-TTL και E-TTL II και i-TTL και D-TTL της Nikon, ανάλογα με την έκδοση που επιλέγετε. Σύντομα, θα είναι διαθέσιμες οι εκδόσεις Metz 48 AF-1PS υποστηρίζοντας τις λειτουργίες TTL και P-TTL των Pentax και Samsung, 48 AF-1S με λειτουργία ADI της Sony, και 48 AF-1O για Olympus - Panasonic. Επιπλέον, το 48 AF-1, μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί σαν μονάδα φλας TTL slave, με έλεγχο από τη μηχανή (commander mode), ενώ διαθέτει και USB interface για σύνδεση με υπολογιστή, ώστε κάθε νέα αναβάθμιση firmware να μπορεί να “φορτωθεί” εύκολα μέσω Internet χωρίς επίσκεψη στο service.
Specifications

Guide number (ISO 100, lens 105 mm): 48 m (157 ft)
Modes: TTL, TTL-HSS, Manual, Manual-HSS
Manual partial light output: 1/1 ... 1/128 light output in 1/3 increment
Recycling time (at full light output): about 3.5 seconds
Light coverage with main reflector: from 24 mm (35 mm format)
Light coverage with wide-angle diffuser: from 18 mm (35 mm format)
Wireless capabilities:
Slave

Second curtain synchronization: Yes

Modeling light: Yes
Flash bracketing: Yes

Build quality
The Metz 48 AF-1 flashgun has excellent build quality. It is a very nice looking piece of equipment and doesn't feel cheap at all despite the fair price (currently around $220). It is compact, which can be a plus. And it proudly wears "Made in Germany" sign right above the LCD display.

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Swivel and tilt head
The unit has swivel and tilt head, which goes clockwise 120 degrees and 180 degrees counter-clockwise. It tilts within the usual range from -7 to +90 degrees. There is only one button to be pushed to adjust the head position, which is proved to be better comparing to older two-button designs.

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Wide-angle diffuser and reflector card
The wide-angle diffuser is built in so is the white reflector card. Though the last one cannot be pulled out of the head by itself. You have to pull the diffuser, which pulls the card, and then push the diffuser back in. We don't really like that but it is the usual design and is not a real issue. Also the pulling itself feels a bit clumsy to us. It does not give us that solid built feel that we get from the rest of the unit.

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Controls
The buttons on the unit have very nice tactile feeling. They are not too small, not too big - they are just right. There are only four of them to control the functionality, which is nice as long as the user interface is clear and easy to understand. A minus here is that to select something on the display you need to press two buttons. The idea behind this interface choice is probably to prevent an accidental change of some setting, which may happen when only one button has to be pushed. But the price for that is the necessity to use two fingers and probably two hands while you still might have to hold your gear. We'd say this approach has the right to live. So it's up to everyone's taste.


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LCD display
LCD display is neat. But to our taste some of the symbols are too small and may be hard to read. The display lights up every time you press a button trying to change anything. There is no dedicated "illuminate display" button. It is probably a good idea since it saves one additional push of a button and is unlikely to consume too much of the batteries life.


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USB connectivity
One of the cool features is the ability to upgrade the firmware via USB port. There is no need anymore to send the flash away when an upgrade must be done. Though how often are you in the need to update a flashgun's firmware? May be not hat often but it depends. Anyway it is a very nice addition to any flash unit and is more than welcome.

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Battery compartment
The battery compartment door is well built. It opens easy and closes tight. Of course the contacts polarity is marked, though there is no picture (no space for one) to show how the batteries should go. So you have to remember or take a look at your battery to figure out which battery end is the plus one and which one is the minus. This is very little detail but if one does not replace batteries rather often this information tends to slip out of the head.

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Performance
The performance of the Metz 48 AF-1 flash is impressive. Although we did not test the unit in all possible ways the few shots we took demonstrate good exposure handling - the E-TTL at work. The flash makes no noise during recycling. Head motor does produce some buzzing but it's nothing to be annoyed with. The recycling time is only 3.5 seconds at full power, which gives more chances not to miss a precious moment while you have to wait for your flash to get ready. For some reason at this point many web-sites say that this flash requires 5 seconds to recycle. The manual we have says 3.5 seconds. So we checked and the unit has indeed charged in about 3.5 seconds after firing at full power. In dim light conditions auto focus assist beam did help however we'd expect a bit better performance there but it is still good.



If your camera is able to communicate with a flash about the size of the image sensor the unit will understand that and adjust the light output accordingly. This is useful when you don't have a top of the line SLR with a full-frame sensor. I this case the flash has to cover less area, which means less light output, which in turn means longer battery life.

Additional notes
One minor thing that caught our attention is the inscription right above the knurled nut. It says "for Can". Our unit is the "C" model, which is for the Canon camera bodies. And obviously "Can" stands for "Canon". But why not to put the whole "Canon" word there? There is plenty of space. Of course it affects nothing but looks kinda ugly to us. Well... we are sure they had there reasons (may be trademark issues or something like that).



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Also we have to mention that there is no pouch included with this flash. Off camera shoe stand is not included as well. All you get is the flash itself and the manual (well at least with the units they sell in the United States). One may want to consider this when shopping for a flashgun.



And finally let us note that currently Metz makes 48 AF-1 for Canon E-TTL II, Nikon i-TTL, Pentax & Samsung SLR Cameras, Sony Alpha Series (former Konica Minolta SLRs) and Olympus & Panasonic SLR Cameras.
Conclusion
The Metz 48 AF-1 digital is a powerful flashgun with a lot of settings. It produces well exposed shots. Wireless slave functionality, second curtain synchronization, modeling light, flash bracketing, built-in diffuser and reflector card are all there. You get the whole package with this unit. Basically this flash looks good, feels good and performs good. And for the money it is well worth considering. So just watch out for the weak tilting lock, make sure you like the user interface and don't mind the "for Can" inscription.


Registration date : 01/01/1970

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