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Reliable TTL Flash for Leica M10?


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An SF 40 I purchased used is unreliable. It will no longer flash after a few days of light use - died during an afternoon Thanksgiving celebration. Fortunately, I had a Canon EOS 5D mk IV and 430EX III-RT flash to use for flash pictures. But it was very frustrating that the M10 and its TTL flash didn't keep working.
 
Everything lights up and the head zooms manually, but no flash, either from an M10's trigger or the open flash button (the LED ready light). Changed batteries to a freshly-charged set when I got home - still doesn't flash, even though the LEDs light up
 
So bottom line - SF 40 may NOT be up to professional standards of durability, and you may want to avoid it for TTL flash with Leica. Admittedly this flash was (lightly) used, but it's still disappointing. Seems like the company with the best optics in the world has only unreliable TTL flash.
 
I used to use a Metz 32MZ-3 / SCA 3501 for TTL flash with an M6 TTL and M7. It worked great on those cameras, but doesn't work with the M10 (or my old M8). And used Canon 430EX version 1 speedlites have been rock-solid on many commercial shoots. Just seems like Leica can't get its flash act together. 

*** Does anyone have any suggestions for a reliable TTL flash for the M10? ***
Edited by lecycliste
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Sorry, I can’t quite swallow $800-$850 for a flash, and the SF 64’s ~1 pound weight and ~6 inch height will make for a difficult-to-use setup on my M10.

 

I have Canon 430EX-series flashes. Punting the TTL approach entirely, I guess the question I should be asking is, will a 430EX III-RT’s function and pin layout render it unusable in manual mode with the M10? Will I blow anything up if I try to use a 430EX or 430EX III-RT in manual mode on the M10?

Edited by lecycliste
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I believe the Leica SF-26 is a Metz product if you don.t want the weight/price of the SF-58 or SF-64.  The SF-24D works fine if you don't need a tilting head.  I can't speak to Canon flashes, but my Nikons work fine on my Leicas in manual and Auto (auto-thyrister) Mode.

Which Nikons do you apply?

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The SF-40 is a rebadged Nissin i40.

My SF-40 has been arguably my most reliable 'leica' product so far, and the Nissin I40 for my Sony cameras has also been a very reliable, solid performer, even it if leaves a bit wanting in build quality.

I'd swap out your SF-40 for another one - it sounds like you got a bad one. 

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Do they just slide on and work or is there some adapter needed?

 They mount normally.  The Nikon flash contacts are very close (but not identical) to those Leica uses.  Since I use Auto Thyrister mode for most of my Leica flash photography the only difference when using the Nikon flash is I have to manually enter ISO and aperture.  Leica flashes receive the ISO setting automatically.

Edited by Luke_Miller
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What I scarcely ever use flash – and never have done with a Leica but it is worth having on hand on a very bright backlit day.

 

My very small Nikon SB400 hasn't been used for at least a couple of years and I'm charging up the batteries now.

 

However, it is simply on/off – no auto mode et cetera.

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