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Metz Metz 54 MZ-3 / MZ-4

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Reviews Views Date of last review
15 60381 Dec 13, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $311.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.91
8.09
8.3
452_1_

Specifications:
The flagship of the Metz compact flash series presents itself as simple to operate and loaded with special functions. Available with a standard foot or available as a set including the SCA 3002 adapter for Canon, Minolta, Nikon and Pentax AF cameras. Remarkable here is the successful integration of an effective high-speed synchronization into a flash unit with extensive special functions.


 


          
dtolios
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Registered: Mar 17, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 29
Review Date: Dec 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Nice, A (auto) mode, E-TTL compatible for HSS and fill-in, More reliable exposure in A than 420 EX in E-TTL
Cons:
Good but not great build quality, no build in bounce card, not that great recycle times.

I bought the Metz 54 MZ-4i with the SCA-3102 adapter in 2005 to work with EOS SLRs...the flash was tried on EOS 30 (film, ELAN 7 in US), EOS 20D, 5D and 50D.

The reason the flash was bought over the Canon equivalents was the A (auto) mode at which the flash overrides the not so reliable E-TTL metering found in Canon Speedlights. It's a decent Nikon-like approach, though it still lacks...

Indeed, in A mode the flash does seem to out-class in consistency and power the 420 EX - the only available for comparison flash I had. Its obviously more powerful, and that's good as I mostly use it for bounce flash.

The second flash-head for eye-catch effects even when the main flash is bounced is a nice feature, but I rarely use it.

Build quality is nothing impressive, but not that bad as ppl write...I wouldn't think Canon Speedlights are really better, even the 5xx models.

Battery life seems decent, and recycle times are also decent, but not that fast. The interface is not great, but you can learn how to use in in an afternoon of fooling around, even without the not-so-great manual.

It works fine with my generic plastic diffuser, bought from ebay for $5 or so.



Dec 13, 2010
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Burk Young
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Registered: Jul 27, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 454
Review Date: Oct 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, features, great unit
Cons:
Battery door, what were they thinking ??

Great unit has done everything I have asked it to do... so far very reliable.

Oct 12, 2008
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Majikthize
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Registered: Mar 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Review Date: Apr 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros:
Cons:

Excellent functionality, accurate exposures. Makes a great partner with a 50MZ-5 or 70MZ-5, as it can trigger and control them wirelessly. Also, it works with the same P50 power pack. Build quality is a bit spotty, though. I've got two, and both have loose connections in the battery compartment, which causes them to lose power occasionally when I turn the camera to portrait orientation. A little jiggling brings 'em back to life. Most of the time, I use them with P50s, so this is not much of an issue for me. One other thing: putting a Stofen Omnibounce on it causes the 54 to overexpose by about 2 stops when using eTTL. I guess the Omnibounce reduces the brightness of the eTTL preflash by two stops, causing the camera to boost flash output. I use the 54 in auto mode 95% of the time, and when I really need eTTL - outdoors - I remove the Omnibounce and switch to HSS.

On its own, the 54 is a good flash. As part of a system with a 50/70MZ-5 and P50, it's terrific. I've got two 54s, three 50s, and three P50s, and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything. The 50s really make my event work stand out from the competition. The third 50 goes on a stand for side/backlighting or for bouncing on a ceiling or wall to light large areas of a room.


Apr 6, 2007
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vigna
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Registered: Mar 20, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 56
Review Date: Oct 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very positive results with Canon 20D both E-TTL and AUTO mode, particularly well with bounce flash. 2nd reflector useful but cannot combine with E-TTL. To use E-TTL you need dedicated SCA-3102 shoe adapter. Easy to move from AUTO to E-TTL but flash should be attached to the camera to select E-TTL function. Good energy managment with rechargable batteries. Works OK with Omnibounce attached. Flash is very handy when fill in flash and night wedding reception parties. Highly recommended
Cons:
Battery sliding door bit clumpsy and loading need both hands. Could be bit noisy if you needed flash readiness alert.



Oct 4, 2006
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aangel
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Registered: Jul 15, 2006
Location: Greece
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 15, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 1 

 
Pros: No comments...
Cons:
Broken after I shot 10 films... What else to say?...

I love to take unposed pictures with available light. I have never used a flash before, but I had to buy a strobe for a photo project. I bought the Metz 54 with a foot for my Contax RX. Some days before the project, I shot about 10 films to test all its modes: TTL, Auto, Manual, Stroboscopic etc. Everything was going well but the day of my project, i.e. yesterday, the flash suddenly broke...!!! No indication on the screen, nothing, it was completely dead... Before starting, I put a new set of batteries and everything seemed OK.

The result: I was forced to take all my pictures with an old Minolta camera, instead of my Contax... I am furious with Metz! Of course, I will try to get my money back or a new flash.


Jul 15, 2006
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WEST1972
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Registered: Jan 24, 2006
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 106
Review Date: Jan 31, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very good with canon film pro slr, some faults with canon dslr. high power (not as much as my 70mz-5 but enough, very good A mode, although M mode is more accurate, aditional assist flash light
Cons:
battery cower, not total compatibility with my EOS 5D, no mather what module i use (M, M2, M3)

I think that this flashgun is one of the best in this price range - with film cams better than most other original Canon rivals.

I used it for several years on film and now on digital - in M setting you are in total control of the lightening in A mode everything is ok, but in very mixed lightening the results are very average, so its better to swich on M.

Set of batteries last long enough, stroboscope works very nice, sound of exposure confirmation can be shut off.

Best works if boucend for my work anyway...

Direct light in poor light conditions a little harsh, but anyway a good flash - i recomend it highly, if you know what are you doing...

If you shot average everydays home pics is maybe better to buy 430 EX ...


Jan 31, 2006
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kurtismayfield
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Registered: Jun 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 27
Review Date: Dec 26, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $339.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Auto mode more consistent than 420ex or 550ex ettl. Secondary reflector. Very efficient power management.
Cons:
Owner's manual is pitiful. Battery door cover - clunky design. Exposure confirmation tone too loud.

You get what you pay for...

Dec 26, 2005
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leicar8
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Registered: Oct 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The best flash I've ever possessed. Used on my Leica R8 and M6 TTL bodies, it never ceases to amaze me re the quality of light it produces. Its easy method of allowing me to quickly adjust light output pleases me mightily while shooting portraits informally.
Cons:
None



Oct 24, 2005
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radamo
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Registered: May 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 358
Review Date: Aug 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great auto mode. Fully supports e-TTL for fill flash. Secondary flash on front of flash body for fill flash when bouncing. Fast refresh rate with nimh batteries.
Cons:
Documentation is not the best. But the flash is easy to setup and use.



Aug 29, 2005
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deermatt1
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Registered: Sep 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1020
Review Date: Mar 9, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: auto mode is right on
Cons:
havent found any

I bought this flash here on fm used , and came with a stoffen bounce. Its a great flash, I leave it in auto mode, and pictures are almost always right on, I love the results

Mar 9, 2005
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crnama
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Registered: Jun 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 541
Review Date: Jan 18, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $320.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great indoors on Auto mode, Recyles fast
Cons:

I use this flash on my 10D and prefer it over anything Canon has put out. It seems E-ttl would always miss the shot. I love the Metz because you can use it in E-ttl for those times when you need to and then switch it to Auto and let it do all of the thinking for you. This is such a good flash that I ended up buying two of them. I bought the optical slave for the second one and now I can use both at the same time.

Jan 18, 2005
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Heather_R
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Registered: Feb 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 197
Review Date: Apr 13, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Excellent ability in auto. Great power and recycle on Nimh rechargeables. Works great on a stroboframe with a canon cable to get the flash off-camera!
Cons:
Manual made it difficult initially to learn and not a lot of specifics on the web to teach the basic ins and outs of this flash.



Apr 13, 2004
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Paco Raap
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Registered: Jun 30, 2002
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 108
Review Date: Feb 1, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $275.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1] Cheaper as a 550EX 2] Works in A " Automode" dead on with candids and more. 3] Easy to get used too even without the manual 4] With right foot also E-TTL and HS E-TTL are available 5] With other foot can also be used on other brands with dedicated camera features.
Cons:
1] Manual is in three language and difficult to read although the text and explanation is OK. 2] Cheap looking and feeling power switch.

I bought for my D60 an 550EX 1,5 year ago.
It clearly depends where you use this flash for as some are very happy with it.
The Canon flagship worked for me as a nightmare in this time.
Inconsistent exposure with indoor candids and high contrast product photography.
The E-TTL usage with FEL only compensated the half of it.
Outdoor the 550EX worked fine and as fill in flash.

But this Metz put in "Auto" makes life easy as it is.
99% of the candids and black/white composures are dead on.

Put the camera in M mode and set shutter and F-stop to your liking and flash away. No FEL key to be used anymore!!!!!
It also has E-TTL and HSS E-TTL but sofar I only used that for fill flash in outdoor situations.
For indoor situations the AUTO mode and the M on the camera is the way to go.

Other benefit is that this flash in "Auto" mode does not use a preflash to determine white balance and so normal cheap slave flash and slave units can be used to get more then one flash working with this unit.

All manual settings as with the 550Ex are available.

The power on/off switch is a little flimsy as is the battery door cover.
But the build quality compared with the 550EX is almost equal.
With two buttons and the dial all functions are easy to select.
Although the manual is crisp and clear it has a terrible structure of more then one lanquage.

With the right adapter foot this camere can make those who are strucling with E-TTL life more easy.
Check the Metz webpage for the right footadapter before you purchase.
Some Canon Digital SLR users have trouble that some adapters not work with their cameras.
These are the Canon adapter numbers available:
3120 M, & 3120 M2

Note 11-05-2004
The 3120 M works with my D60 without any problem in AUTO mode and M setting on camera.
With Flash on AUTO mode and the camera in TV-AV-P or any other automatic camera selection the flash is not working correct as with a 550EX it locks at maximum F-setting or 1/200 TV setting. According to Les Brown at Bogen USA this has to do with firmware needed to be upgraded to M2. However in some cases with D60 this is not always the cure. If you have a 3102 M foot upgrading can do no harm as I was informed but will not always cure it.


Feb 1, 2004
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Pavel
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 4971
Review Date: Jan 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Many features
Cons:
was not fully compatible with my Canon 10D even with the latest foot

I had read many positive reviews of this flash and liked very much the idea that with the change of a foot it would be posible to use on other brands of camera. I got very good results with it but several things did not work correctly on my 10D and bounce flash was one of them?? If a more compatible foot comes out I would still be happy to purchase another in the future ( but only if it was fully compatible remotely with my 550 as well now) but as it was I returned it and got a canon 550 which I am happy with. I did like the controls better on the metz rather than the canon.

Jan 2, 2004
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Griffin
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Registered: Jan 8, 2002
Location: China
Posts: 879
Review Date: Jun 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Easy to operate; more accurate flash output, even on a D30; flash colour is just right
Cons:
Expensive, more bulky, don't work with Canon wireless flashes

I have used Canon 550EX, Sigma EF500S and this flash unit gives the best results so far. The "A" mode is very good casual and candid shots. If you are in more serious photography, there is TTL/ETTL mode. In general, this unit provides better results than 550EX. There are no CF or a series of buttons operations like Canon and Sigma, just one button and a dail are all you need to give the settings. However, there is a price to pay. The flash is considerable more expensive than a real Canon.

Jun 3, 2003
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Metz Metz 54 MZ-3 / MZ-4

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
15 60381 Dec 13, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $311.63
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.91
8.09
8.3
452_1_