Metz MZ 54MZ-4 Flash for Pentax Cameras


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longko

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Sep 7, 2006
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#3
IIRC Metz 54 u need change a module to work P-TTL in KxxD series. Metz P-TTL flash are Metz 48-AF1 and Metz 58-AF-1. A better flash than 540 but like flowerpot say no support. My reflector breaks so can't repair unless i send US.:sweat:
 

hjbyeo

Senior Member
May 5, 2006
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#5
wah ... expensive. Just buy the Pentax 540 (at least got support from Shriro).
 

felixcat8888

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May 8, 2005
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#8
Read review of the 540 makes me want to get the Metz

I am a part-time wedding/event photographer who uses Pentax system (as of summer 2008 I have a K20D, K10D and an *ist DS). I own two Pentax AF540 FGZ units and my experience with both of them is decidedly mixed. The new Pentax K20D is one of the best cameras avaialable today for any price. The Pentax 540 FGZ flash, on the other hand, is old, badly designed and badly built. It's not worthy to sit atop the K20D.

I've encountered three problems with these units. If you search the Internet you will discover that these complaints are not uncommon.

First, I've had problems with build quality on both of my units. I purchased my first 540 FGZ in 2007. After only one or two events, the auto-zoom motor stuck. Flash had to be sent back to Pentax repair in Colorado, which kept it for a full month.

While the first unit was being repaired, I purchased a second unit. (NOTE: I needed this anyway so I don't complain about the second purchase.) After only a few events, the new unit got stuck on my K20D and could not be removed normally. Like the problem with the auto-zoom motor, this problem (with the flash getting stuck) is well known. Armed with info from the 'net, I was able to take the flash apart while it was still attached to the camera, take out the locking pin that is the cause of the problem, and remove the unit from my camera. If you visit pentaxforums.com you will be able to find the post in which I describe this process in detail. I have left the locking pin off the camera. The flash works without the locking pin although it becomes necessary for me to think while I'm shooting to make sure the unit remains firmly mounted in the hot shoe.

Finally, my first unit - which had been behaving itself for many months - also got stuck in my camera, and I had to do the same thing.

I hasten to add that I handle my camera equipment VERY carefully. THe K10D/K20D bodies are very well built. The 540FGZ simply is not, and there seem to be design flaws in the hardware as well.

Then there is the whole problem of P-TTL, Pentax's proprietary flash exposure system. These problems are harder to describe but they're worth mentioning. The preflash that P-TTL uses to measure exposure seems to have a marked tendency to cause subjects to blink. Equally bad, the exposure results are inconsistent. Without flash (using available light) I know my K20D so well I am confident of getting a good exposure nearly every time. Shooting with the flash, however, this isn't the case. If you practice a lot with the flash, you can get it to work pretty well most of the time. But the things I've read about Nikon's best flash units make me jealous.

The Pentax 540 FGZ is also not as strong as some of the units available for Canon and Nikon cameras. There is only +1 EV available - possibly not enough power to take wedding formals in front of an altar where there's strong back lighting. I now use both units and get better results - but that should not be necessary.

My next flash will be a Metz unit and I hope it works better than the Pentax 540.

On the plus side - and to explain why I give the unit 2 stars rather than 1 - when it doesn't break, the 540 can be effective. The tilt-swivel head works really well. Although the users guide is very old (and unaware of either the K10D or the K20D) and very badly written, if you throw yourself at it, you can figure out how to get the flash to work well in wireless mode. Controls are easy to use once you've figured them out. And I have the optional battery pack which is indispensable if you're shooting an event and need to take hundreds of shots and want quickest recycle time.

Bottom line, as I said before: Pentax makes GREAT cameras, but this flash unit is mediocre.

3 out of 5 says bad. Only 2 say good. mm . . . Metz here I come.
 

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longko

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#9
I have Metz 48-AF1, AF-540FGZ and AF-360FGZ. The AF-540FGZ is good, lasted me abt 9k shots before the head board stopped working. Cost me 100+ to replaced it. I never had any of the problems like zoom head stuck (Metz 48/58 also have this problem, most cases need to send back), also no pin stuck problem. Pin stuck problem happens when u did not un-fasten the pin lock and starts to dismount the flash. Unless Metz has support here, I suggest u get the 540. Do note, Metz 54 may not work really well with P-TTL even with module upgrade. That's why most waited and bought the 48 and 58.
 

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woonsin

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Nov 10, 2007
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#10
i got my AF-540 from US, i got international warranty from pentax USA as well. Got my sis to bring over so save on shipping. But if buy and shipped from there i think around $500 plus a bit...
Hi, Flowerpot
Me also got same model from my friend who came here for holiday but could not find international warranty card. My friend advised me to register online in website for international warranty and use his name and address in USA but I was not sure whether use my local address or his address... Please advise... :(
 

#11
Hi, Flowerpot
Me also got same model from my friend who came here for holiday but could not find international warranty card. My friend advised me to register online in website for international warranty and use his name and address in USA but I was not sure whether use my local address or his address... Please advise... :(
there is no international warranty card in the box... u have to email to Joe or Virgil cant remember off my mind at Pentax USA, scan a copy of the receipt and serial number of the flash for proved of purchase and he will mailed you the international warranty with the serial number printed on the warranty card...
 

Vulpix0r

Senior Member
Oct 2, 2002
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#12
Those who want to order straight from Metz Europe, vPost got vPostEurope service already... :D
 

#13
my gripe about the pentax is the PTTL, its really lacking behind Nikon by a long mile, no surprises there...

as for those the zoom motor and pins got stuck, i think it dun happen very often, not least heard of it here...

put it this way... getting the Metz might has less QC problems (Psychologically) but if there is a problem then how leh...

getting the Metz will not make the PTTL work better, so the flash results still depends on experience and practice...

so, get the AF-540 lor, pray no problem, got problem at least there is help...Metz got problem...then pray also no use :bsmilie:
 

#14
Those who want to order straight from Metz Europe, vPost got vPostEurope service already... :D
i was in Germany a few months back, was keen on the Metz AF-58, i thought Germany will be cheaper since Metz was from Germany, but was put off by the price... :(

Euros so strong, conversion rate no good...

but if any bro got cheap lobang... mi interested...:bsmilie:
eh i thought i prefer pentax :kok:
 

woonsin

New Member
Nov 10, 2007
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#15
there is no international warranty card in the box... u have to email to Joe or Virgil cant remember off my mind at Pentax USA, scan a copy of the receipt and serial number of the flash for proved of purchase and he will mailed you the international warranty with the serial number printed on the warranty card...
Will check contact in pentax website. Thank you, my lovely flowerpot.
 

#16
Will check contact in pentax website. Thank you, my lovely flowerpot.
ok la.. help ppl help until bottom...:bsmilie:

Joe.Virgil@pentax.com

Tell him some story how u get the flash in US blah blah blah...

Then u need to show him the receipt and the serial number of the product

example

AF 540 FG Flash Serial no. LF11xxx

He will then send you the international warranty card with the serial number printed on it.. but the warranty date is base on the data of purchase...

Hope it helps...else i dunno what more i can do...:bsmilie:
 

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