Flash units reviewed

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David Kilpatrick
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Flash units reviewed

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:51 pm

Minolta, Sigma and Metz flashguns for digital SLRs compared - now on line:

http://photoclubalpha.com/?p=73

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Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:57 pm

you forgot this one, David:
http://www.adorama.com/MZ76MZ5.html
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Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:10 pm

I had no intention of doing the MZ76 - it's really in a different class, like the old CT60. I have never actually seen one in use.

If I look at this gun, it will be separately, and with several different camera adaptors and DSLRs to try it on - and it will be for Master Photo>Digital magazine not Photoworld.

There may also be claimed compatible guns from Cobra, Jessop in the UK, and other makers but I preferred to keep to the mainstream choices.

David

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Unread postby pakodominguez » Tue Jun 12, 2007 11:35 pm

I agree it's a different class.
such a class!
I have now 2 60s, but when I decide their retirement, the 76 wil be the replacement.
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Unread postby rogprov » Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:16 am

Thanks for the very nice review David. Very timely so far as I'm concerned as I'm just about to get a another flashgun :)
Roger

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The "i" version...

Unread postby paulobro » Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:33 pm

Admittedly I know next to nothing about flashes. But searching info after reading David's Photoclub Alpha review I noticed nowhere, not even on Metz's website itself there's a 54MZ-4i available for Sony/Minolta mount. In fact, judging from Metz's site and a couple of USA vendors I've checked, all cameras use the 54MZ-4 version and Nìkon and only Nìkon uses the 4i version.

Of course, there're the gun's photos on the review and the images are clear it is a 4i digital version... So I can't help asking: what is it between the 4 and the 4i version, does anyone knows?
Paulo Brochado

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Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Wed Jun 13, 2007 3:35 pm

The 4i is the digital compatible version, updating an earlier model. It is indeed available and always has been in Maxxum/Dynax/KM mount. It's just that US dealer often prefer to ignore the existence of this mount!

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Re: Flash units reviewed

Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:36 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:Minolta, Sigma and Metz flashguns for digital SLRs compared - now on line:

http://photoclubalpha.com/?p=73

David

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

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Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Aug 11, 2007 12:45 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:I had no intention of doing the MZ76 - it's really in a different class, like the old CT60. I have never actually seen one in use.
David

I was considering this route some time ago and even got hold of the brouchers.

Now - I wonder? :idea:

No! Don't even think about it! :lol:
'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' - Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Flash units reviewed

Unread postby Omega892 » Sat Aug 11, 2007 3:09 pm

Omega892 wrote: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?

I think I have found the answer to that question which is no it will not fit. Judging by the 'Big ringlash ...' article in Photoworld Spring 07 page 28 if the unit discussed therein does not fit neither will a Stofen of the same pattern as that for a 5600HSD.

BTW Why can I not upload an avatar? I am using a jpg file type and within limits.

On other forums I visit there is a section dedicated to issues to do with driving the forum covering such things as the maximum for sizes of submitted images (and file type) for various uses, i.e. avatars, forum post attachments and Gallery, plus other issues that tend to crop up.

In that latter vein, I guess that y'all use Macs and I would like to mention that under IE7 on a PC (Win XP) that the side bar at http://www.photoclubalpha.com/ appears at the foot of a page after the content.

A one stop area for this type of thing could be useful.
'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' - Benjamin Franklin

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Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:12 pm

The sidebar doesn't do that with all Windows installations - I still don't know why it does with some, and why the text runs off the page edge with others. IE/Windows produces erratic results with Wordpress CSS pages and if I correct one aspect, other Windows users then find a different thing has shifted.

You should be able to upload an avatar. I can't tell you why it should not work. If it is a file format issue, try saving it as a GIF instead.

David

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Unread postby Omega892 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:44 pm

I now have a Metz 54 MZ-4i with SCA 3302 vM7 adaptor on order from Mifsuds (I have purchased from them before) who's web site is currently showing this gun only available in Nikon fit with the Metz 54 MZ-4 in Konica Minolta fit.

A tel.con was made to specify and check that the correct type will be obtained.
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Unread postby Omega892 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 3:53 pm

David Kilpatrick wrote:IE/Windows produces erratic results with Wordpress CSS pages and if I correct one aspect, other Windows users then find a different thing has shifted.
David

IE/Windows is pretty much erratic all over. I am still trying to figure out why visited links on my sites Sea Vixen pages still show as visited even after web files have been deleted, IE7 restarted or even after a complete deletion of web files and a full system restart. Probably a screw-up when IE 6 was updated to IE 7.

IE7 has stupid and limited control for display colours of text - take what MS think is right or nothing.

I would switch to Firefox but I want to see what many of my visitors might see as I know they use IE.
'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' - Benjamin Franklin

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Unread postby AndyG » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:55 pm

I would switch to Firefox but I want to see what many of my visitors might see as I know they use IE.


I'd suggest checking any website with at least IE6, IE7, Firefox and Netscape - each has it's foibles but as a Firefox user I still see sites with wierdness that isn't there in IE.

Cheers,

AndyG

Off to Elvinton this weekend (http://www.elvington.org/programme.htm). No Sea Vixens, but the Air Museum there has one of it's close relatives on display (http://www.yorkshireairmuseum.co.uk/collections/aircraft/post_wwII_aircraft_info.asp?id=47) This is actually a good example of a page that's OK in IE7 but has naff text formatting in Firefox...

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Unread postby Omega892 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:42 pm

Omega892 wrote:I now have a Metz 54 MZ-4i with SCA 3302 vM7 adaptor on order from Mifsuds (I have purchased from them before) who's web site is currently showing this gun only available in N*k*n fit with the Metz 54 MZ-4 in Konica Minolta fit.

A tel.con was made to specify and check that the correct type will be obtained.

It arrived today, could have had it yesterday but posty (Royal Mail) decided not to press the doorbell again. I was in a back room running water and wife was upstairs and heard only one weak dong and thought the strong wind gusts had done that. If instead of taking the time to write out a docket and push through letter box postman pat had rung the bell properly (yes it did work and is easily heard from outside the door) then we would not have had to go to the depot to collect. :x

The box was well bashed (I took a pic' before opening) when first seen too. :evil: Fortunately the oustide box was very large so the small box containing the gun only had slight damage.

The contents contained one large (thick because of all languages covered) manual and another smaller one for the SCA 3302 adaptor which had the suffix M6 but was in German, French and Dutch so not understanding how to remove and check what adaptor was fitted (an SCA 3302 M7 had been specified) I called Mifsud and was then put through to the importers. I then discovered that there were in fact two little SCA 3302 M6 booklets, the other containing instructions in English.

Now a check was made and a small sticker proclaiming M7 found on the upper, normally hidden, face of the adaptor so all should be well.

First blasts seem to indicate that on TTL shots are somewhat overcooked and that Auto (thyristor) control is more on the money. But I need to make sure that I have got my head around this rather awkward user interface correctly and do some more playing.

Oh! And the Stofen question. Yes the 5600HSD pattern Stofen does fit but may be difficult if not stretched and shaped by fitting to a 5600HSD first.
'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.' - Benjamin Franklin


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