Thank you for these flash gun reviews, given me much food for thought. I have a pair of 5600HSDs and am considering a third as I still often use my Dynax 7 and three cameras in use simultaneously give rapid change between lens type and also a reserve when recycle times start to lift (sometimes changing batteries is too awkward) and I am dubious about how often I would need an expensive external power pack (if still available). Besides a third gun opens up other creative possibilities (I have at times roped in my old thyristor guns for this - more on these below).
Apart from the awkward user interface and the thumbwheel locking (devices I have learned to loath) the Metz is of interest. Will a 5600HSD fit Stofen fit this gun? But then maybe the fill tube obviates the need for a Stofen so it would be a non issue. I have oft wished for a fill light with my Dynax and now Sony Apha cameras as back in the early 1980s I had a very useful Agfatronic 352CS hammer style gun with fill tube that was both flexible and simple to use and gave consistent results (wish we had 2600mAh re-chargeable batteries back then). I still have this gun which I purchased for much reduced price as clearance in 1983.
I was just out of the RN and wishing to make a break from hands on aircraft stuff so had applied for a college degree course and in the meantime had been taken on by an outfit aimed at taking portrait photographs in peoples own homes.
Yes, you may well shudder, but I had to do something to keep the hounds at bay whilst I explored other avenues of work and out of three taken on I was the only one still being ‘used’ a few weeks in. The aim was to make ever shot on a roll of 36 count and printed out immediately at 10x8. The thinking of this aspect ratio whilst looking through the viewfinder had to be grasped quickly. The firm offered us their own cameras and flash units with which I was less than impressed and they allowed me to use my own cameras. The supplied dire flash was why I quickly looked for an alternative. The firm restricted me to a tight geographic area, one that I had quickly drained, so I branched out on my own for awhile whilst taking a missed GCE and then gaining that degree place, as a mature student.
My first electronic flash unit was a Sunpac (purchased about 1967) of limited power output and awful balance on camera – hid most of the top plate too and the attachment bracket had two of those awful thumbwheels, one to fix to the flash and another to the camera. Even those 1983 guns of mine, I had added a Vivitar Auto Thyristor 4600 with both a standard and a vari-power slave base unit, seemed so sophisticated then compared with that old Sunpac. The Vivitar had one of the worst thumbwheels I have come across which had to be really tight else the flash would suddenly leave the pistol-grip. The thumbwheel was then so tight with so little room to get a good grip that I found it expedient to carry a pair of snipe-nosed pliers in my bag.
Sorry for the ramble but the Metz looks interesting, a couple of pieces of judiciously placed gaffer-tape, or even plastic electricians tape, would sort that ND filter cover. Incidentally I used a small piece of gaffer-tape, applied across the lower lug, to secure the transparent cover over the display of my Dynax 7D after reading the warning in your review of this camera.
'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' - Benjamin Franklin