Friday, June 18, 2010

Bought a new strobe

Not pinball but photography related (you may see more of these posts here in the future), they're kind of pinball related as my pinball machines are often subjects of what I photograph.

Anyway, I'm happy, bought a new toy :)
Got myself a Metz 48 AF1 strobe. I'm happy with it as it's a great strobe (as far as I've tested). Does full TTL, which I didn't have - up to now I only had a Nikon Sb-26dx which couldn't do ttl with my D90, and two older strobes with a slave flash trigger that only had full power or their own optical eye.

So with the 48AF1 and that SB26 I've got myself two nice flashes with full control in manual mode. Now I have to find some time to play around, but I already have some good ideas :)

I had been considering the Nikon SB-600 too, as that's similar in features. It is a bit more expensive here in Belgium (seems in the USA it's opposite and the Metz unit is more expensive there).
Read a few reviews of both flash units before making my choice.

The main difference between them in my opinion is the number of buttons on them.
The Metz 48 only has 4 (and a power on/off switch).
- Mode (switch between manual/ttl/ttl bl/hi-speed sync/..)
- minus and plus button
- testbutton
that's it !

With the flash on your camera you can select with the mode button between ttl and manual (and then use the + and - buttons to adjust power).
All other settings you have to press + and - together to go into a selection menu.
There you can select several items (again using +- together, and selecting with only + or -). Ie you can set it to use as a slave (and set its channel), adjust the zoom manually, modeling light, ..

The SB600 unit has much more dedicated buttons for each of these functions.

The advantage of the Metz is that it looks easier (less buttons to learn).
The Nikon SB-600 has an advantage for the pro photographer, it's much faster to make an adjustment: just press its specific button. While on the Metz you'll lose a few seconds more because you have to go into the menu, go to the adjustment, change it.
Especially when you're shootin people this is a big advantage, they'll barely notice that one press with the Nikon and the shoot goes on. With the Metz you have to stop for like 2-3 seconds before you can continue.
But as I only shoot static objects in a studio setting, speed of making adjustments it's not my main concern.

One advantage the Metz has and which is why I really like it for, is that the lcd screen lights up automatically. Press any button and the lcd screen lights on.
The SB-600 doesn't have this, it has a dedicated lcd backlight button.
I really do not like this. My older Sb-26dx strobe is similar.
When I take pictures of my pinball machines, it's usually late in the evening, and it's very dark in my gameroom. Dark enough to almost not see anything, at least not see what's on the lcd screen and most of the time even impossible to see where all the small buttons on the flash unit are.

So therefor I really prefer the Metz, just press any button (and because there are less, it's easier to feel which one I need to press), the lcd lights, and I can do the modification I want. With the sb-26dx I had trouble doing this - I wanted to make adjustments, lcd stayed dark, couldn't immediately find the button to light it, ..
Of course now I have TTL it's easier to do this. I don't have to work full manual and adjust settings there, I could use TTL and change the flash strobe power settings on the camera instead of on the flash unit (although working full manual gives me moer control)

No comments:

Post a Comment