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on 21 February 2013
Hard to fault this flashgun, it works perfectly. If you just want to put it on your Nikon and take perfect flash shots without thinking about it, this flash unit does the job really well. That means it communicates perfectly with the sophisticated i-TTL programming of Nikon cameras. (Watch out, some independent brands don't! - for example I considered a Nissin which claimed it could do this, but only when I read the fine print did it turn out to be incompatible with my particular Nikon camera.)

The Metz charges rapidly, produces a nice even light, and gets the exposure right. So you end up with photos that look better than anything the camera's in-built flash could achieve. (I use a Nikon D5200, so it's good to see the Metz even works with newly-released Nikon cameras). It works well for bounce flash (where the flash is pointed upwards so the light bounces off the ceiling, producing softer lighting for indoor shots).

The rear of the flash unit is very simple, it has four nicely illuminated buttons rather than an LCD panel. These do the job well and make the flash pleasantly simple to use. It's like using an Apple computer rather than a Windows PC, it's deceptively easy and it just works. There is manual adjustment etc but to be honest you might seldom use it since the standard settings get the job done perfectly. Some advanced features are missing compared to the Nikon flashguns at two to three times the price. For example, for remote wireless shooting, the Metz only works on all channels, whereas on Nikons you can select the channel. This means if you are in a room full of photographers and you're all doing remote wireless flash work at the same time, the Metz will go off when anyone takes a shot, rather than 'listening' only to your channel. But realistically when would you ever be in that situation?! (By the way, to work remotely the Metz seems to require a master flash such as another Metz on the camera, the inbuilt flash doesn't seem to work to trigger the remote flash - but I think that is a limitation of the Nikon D5200 rather than any limitation of the flashgun).

The Metz has a quality feel to it - it is very nicely made and is a good match for Nikon cameras. Disappointingly the foot to stand it up for remote flash is not included, nor is a bag, you have to buy these as optional extras if you want them. The manual is very good, proper clear English (the Metz is made in Germany, not Asia).

If you love complexity (i.e. you want to fiddle a lot with the LCD panel settings on your flash) and have plenty of budget, why not buy the Nikon SB-700 (and around twice the price) or the Nikon SB-910 (at around three times the price). But if you want a flash that will take equally good shots in most situations, this Metz is highly recommended.
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on 4 July 2013
This flash unit from the renowned German manufacturer Metz has a flash output similar to Canon's own Speedlight 430EX and, as far as I can see, very similar functionality when attached to a Canon EOS dslr. This gives it just over three times the power output of my 40D's built-in pop-up flash with a metric guide number of 44 (105mm lens @ ISO 100) against 13 for the built-in flash. What it doesn't have, however, is the price of the Canon flash is substitutes for, this little beauty can be found new for around £120.

The five buttons on the back control on/off, auto/manual, power output in manual mode and a host of other functions, and the contacts on the hot shoe enable it to be controlled from the camera's menu, just like one of Canon's own flashes. It seems fully compliant with Canon's E-TTLII protocol and communicates with the camera and lens to control zoom setting and flash power. A plastic wheel screws down over the hot shoe clamping the flash securely to the camera. I also picked up, quite cheaply, a third party diffuser that clips over the flash head and softens the light, helping reduce harsh shadows and the dread red-eye effect. The flash head tilts up by 90 degrees and swivels about 300 degrees for bounce effects, but that tends to fool the automatic operation. It's probably best to use bounce with both the camera and flash set to manual and work out the aperture from the guide number, a simple enough calculation. Metric GN 44 at (say) 4 metres (remember if you're using bounced flash to allow for the distance to the ceiling and back down to the subject) gives an aperture of f11 or, if you set the flash to half power, f8. In this mode I normally set the shutter speed at 1/125 sec as the 40D synchronises with electronic flash at up to 1/250. Second curtain sync, set from the camera menu, is also available for faster shutter speeds.

Documentation is comprehensive, but a bit "one size fits all", covering the Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic/Leica, Pentax and Sony versions of the flash in several languages, so it takes a search through to find English (pages 82-105 of about 128 pages).

Altogether a good product and a substantial saving on its Canon equivalent.
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#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERon 4 July 2015
I've owned a few of these as a back up TTL flash for higher end models on both Nikon/Canon and Sony mounts.

This model is a jump up from the most basic entry Metz, but falls short of being a genuine "mid range" flash (the market has moved on a bit and other third party makers are offering stiff competition) It is however fully TTL compatible (it integrates with the camera metering), the headline features are:

TTL Flash, Guide number 44
Bounce and swivel head with wide angle reflector and white card
Coverage from 24 – 105 mm (12mm with the wide angle diffuser)
Manual Flash Levels: 1/1, 1/2, 1/8, 1/64
Wireless slave mode
Modelling light (this fires a series of flashes to show you where the shadows will fall)
Built in single LED AF assist light

On paper it's a reasonably well specified flash offering both manual, wireless and dedicated TTL for integration with the cameras metering. Using the flash is very simple 4 main buttons for the various modes, 4 LED lights for the manual flash power output. However third party makers have upped their game in the last year or so and now offer comparable features if not more for less outlay. Hot shoe is plastic that on it's own isn't a huge problem, but again even flashes costing less than half this now come with a metal foot. Another weaker point is just 4 power levels for manual flash whilst this might be adequate it's should be more flexible.

Output is quite good with a guide number of 44 it's not lacking, not as powerful as higher end models but day to day more than enough. It's worth pointing out though that this model doesn't support HSS/Auto FP if your camera is HSS capable this flash won't be of use for higher shutter speeds. Rarely an issue inside but it could limit the usefulness outside for fill flash.

When I got the Metz guns I had around 4 years ago there were few alternatives around, fast forward to 2015 and the market has exploded with some excellent flashes from other makers, and the Metz has fallen behind rivals in this area. I think a price of about £80 is more realistic for what it offers it certainly has some use for an indoors flash or second flash. Spending a little bit more gets you the newer updated 52 AF-1 which is fully featured, or a second hand 50 AF-1 or 58 AF-2 both of which offer more manual control and HSS. At the right price worth a look, but this model needs an update and a more realistic price point.
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on 24 July 2014
Bought the Metz 44 AF-1 for use with my Panasonic GX7 CSC. I rarely use flash so did not wish to spend out on original Panasonic gear at nearly twice the price. The Metz is extremely well made and of very high quality. It is very simple to use and easily comparable with far more expensive models. Buying the Metz model with the appropriate firmware for the make of your camera gives full TTL connectivity making fully automatic exposure settings a doddle. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this flashgun as a lower priced alternative for enthusiast and pro use. Very quickly delivered by Amazon too!
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on 12 April 2015
Works well with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6, including slave functionality. You do need to read both the camera and flash instructions though for the slave bit. I couldn't get the Wireless FP mode (high speed flash repetition for a fast shutter speed) to work on the flash, but there is no mention in the Metz instructions that this function is supported, although the camera has this option available. The Metz flash has an auto-focus measurement beam that has a longer range than the one on the camera, and I couldn't get this to operate either. This time there is no mention of it in the camera instructions. I've sent an enquiry to Metz asking about this, as it would be useful.

The quality of the picture with Auto-White Balance is very good, and the range of the flash is also very good, although not measured.

To use the slave function you need a cheap stand to mount the flash on.

The operation of the flash is a doddle. Fit to camera, turn camera and flash on, check the flash is in TTL mode (it remembers the last setting), and fire away. Bouncing the flash off white walls improves the picture a lot, and is one reason I bought it.

To use the flash in Slave mode (once you've got it set up), turn on camera, set Wireless Flash to On, turn on flash and set Slave mode, position flash on stand (ensuring it can pick up the signal flash from the camera, but this seems very flexible), and fire away. It will also be useful to be able to hand-hold the flash to illuminate photos of strange places and things that a camera-mounted flash would cast shadows over.

In slave mode, you can either use the camera's own flash as a signaller (when it does not fire during the photo), or allow the camera flash and the Metz one to both illuminate the subject. Of course, buy many more units and surround your subject with flashes.....

I've only had the flash for a few days, so still gathering experience.

At about half the price of the Panasonic flash, it's a bargain. It's better still when Amazon have it a bit cheaper on Today's Deals!
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on 16 March 2014
I'd been toying with the idea of getting a flash for a while. The built in unit on EOS650D does an OK job, but the lighting is harsh and there is little flexibility in its use.

I first looked at the bottom end of the price range and found models that looked good but were manual only and had poor build quality. Then there was Canon's own. Undoubtably good quality and good specification, however they command a high price.
Metz is a well known brand and one that I've used before. With a guide number of 44 it is powerful enough for most situations and has a bounce and swivel head for a more flattering light.
When the flash arrived it was well packed. The instructions were clear and concise, however there was a lot of refer to your camera's user manual (the camera's says refer to the flash manual!).
The flash is well built, it come with a bounce diffuser and wide-angle adapter that allows for use with lens as wide as 12mm. The flash is compatible with Canon's E-TTL II and works well both inside and out for fill-in flash. There is a small degree of manual control but no manual override for the zoom function (cover out to 105mm lenses). I have used this flash for bird photography with a Sigma 150-500mm lens and it provided good fill-in for a subject while at a focal length of 400mm!
The EOS650D has a built in remote function for flash photography. The Metz instantly synched with camera and work amazingly well as a wireless slave unit. It is also worth mentioning that the firmware can be updated by USB via the Metz website.

There are far more positive than negatives about this unit. Although there is little flexibility in manual mode, the other functions more than make up for this shortfall for your average photographer, it's build quality and firmware updates should really help to extend it's usefulness.
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on 19 May 2016
Flash works good but if I would know that some parts are beowke of and there ia no manual in I wouldnt buy this one ... because I could buy for extra 20€ new and not broke ...
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on 21 April 2013
Works perfectly with my Nikon D90. Well made with aquality feel. There is no need to pay twice as much more for Nikon flash, Metz have long been a leader in Flashgun manufacture and it's dedicated to my Nikon giving full auto exposure functions. It will cover wide angle, zooms in sync with the camera lens, bounces and also has a built in deflector for softer results, as good as it gets.
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on 18 June 2013
Excellent performance with my Pana FZ200, very powerful perfomance, motorised zoom head automatically provides the correct coverage spread of light. Simple to use, just leave on auto setting. Bounced flash with the head tillted up by 60 degrees gives very natural illumination without harsh shadows considerably improved over built in flash head. As this is less than half the price of the Pana unit of similar spec, its a great bargain. German build quality is excellent, and the firmware is updateable should future cameras need it. To update simply connect to computer with micro usb lead and wait, will connect to website automatically and update if required. Well recomended 5 stars.
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on 7 January 2014
Got this flash for my SONY ALPHA A380 a few weeks ago and it is absolutely fantastic. Initially I was a little unsure as to what type of flash I would need, but after seeking some advice from a camera shop they recommended this flash. Since I had never used a flashgun before I had no idea what to expect, or even how to use it; but after a few hours of playing around with it I started to figure out all of the necessary settings both on the flash and on the camera. I would definitely recommend this flash to anyone who is seeking a high quality yet affordable piece of equipment. I have currently only used it for studio type photography, but all results have been fantastic. The only thing I would recommend is plenty of AA batteries, or rechargeable batteries, as this thing drains them pretty quickly.
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