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mhoutman

Recommended Flash unit for CL

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I was wondering which flash unit  is recommended for the Leica CL.

 

Leica SF 26 / Metz 26 AF 2

Leica SF 40 / Nissin i40

Metz 40 AF 2

 

Thanks for your input

 

 

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I considered carefully and bought the SF40. Quite a good compact flash and best value (relatively) of the bunch. You cannot buy non-Leica flashes and maintain full compatability, so that rules out Nissins and Metz, The SF 26 is ridiculously expensive. The SF 40 is only slightly more, but much more of a flash in comparison.

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The first decision is: do you want to use TTL? If so, your only choice is among the Leica flashes. If not, you have a choice of millions (well, quite a lot).

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That is true; if you don't want to use the features of TTL it is no use to buy a new flash. eBay is full of good automtic flashes for peanuts.

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I considered carefully and bought the SF40. Quite a good compact flash and best value (relatively) of the bunch. You cannot buy non-Leica flashes and maintain full compatability, so that rules out Nissins and Metz, The SF 26 is ridiculously expensive. The SF 40 is only slightly more, but much more of a flash in comparison.

 

Jaap and others thanks.

 

I was in the understanding that  a Nissan i40 would bring the same as SF 40 but that was a wring assumption. It seems Nissin are Leica’s new partner, but are these limitations due to license agreements or technical matters ?

So in a way one is almost forced to buy Leica only (TTL).

 

Last but not least a Metz 40 AF-2 for Leica/Panasonic/Olympus also supports TTL, then where is the problem ?

Edited by mhoutman

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That the  TTL Panasonic/Panaleica system is different from the "real" Leica sync system.

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Yes, for ttl you have to buy Leica brand. I have the SF64 which is really too big for the CL, but works fine with ttl. For anything else it is not good: the interface for manual control is slow and unintuitive.

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A SF60 is coming...

Yes... I've looked at the Nissin i60 on which it is based. It looks like the SF60 will be a good practical flash for Leicas, with a far more usable interface than the SF64. OTOH it will come at a Leica price.

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I think the SF40 is about the perfect size for the CL, so I fear the SF60 might be a bit on the large side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I got the SF40 and it is very compact. I only have my concern with the battery door spring mechanism but so far so good.

 

I did not find an option to register nor is a manual included. It seems avaiable as download only...

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I would echo folks recommendations of the SF40. Not only does this work well on the latest CL and SL digital Leicas but it also has a built in SCA3502 module emulator. The SCA system was a modular system developed my Mecablitz, where you could buy the flash you needed separately from the TTL module for your specific camera. So if you needed to upgrade to a more powerful flash, you only needed to buy a new flash unit, not the communication part for your make of camera. This means the SF40 will be usable TTL with the M6TTL, M7, MP and R7, 8 and 9 film cameras but also with the M8, 9 and 240 series cameras. It also has a video/modelling LED light. The only omission is that it does not have thyristor control and photon counter/sensor, so cannot be used in A or Aperture priority mode. The A mode shown on the flash is something different and is an amended mode of TTL. This is great for me as my current travel kit is a CL and M7, where I only now need to take one flash, the SF40. 

 

Wilson

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The SF 40 is the only real option for the CL, at least in my opinion. Only the Leica branded flashes (regardless of maker) will provide TTL so that leaves out the Metz and Nissin flashes if you want even vaguely modern functionality. The SF26 is barely competent for anything other than a little fill flash. Skip it. Over priced even by Leica standards, and no manual capabilities whatsoever. The larger Metz based Leica flashes work OK, but are too large for the diminutive CL—very awkward—and the UI on them is very poor. Makes them surprisingly hard to use if you don’t use flash every day. The SF 40 is really the obvious match if you want TTL.

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I got the SF40 and it is very compact. I only have my concern with the battery door spring mechanism but so far so good.

 

I did not find an option to register nor is a manual included. It seems avaiable as download only...

The manual available as a a download and printed copy not included seems to be a new policy. I just got the CL body and it is the same. However you can request that a printed copy be sent to you once you register the camera

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I'd prefer a smaller unit on the CL. The little Metz 26 looks neat to me.  I don't need TTL at all so Auto would be fine but i wonder if the Metz works at all on the CL. Any idea? Otherwise i would go for the Leica 26 but the red dot is expensive indeed.

 

 

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I’m not sure, but IIRC it has no A setting. I’ll have a look when I get home.

The build quality is rather second rate.

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I'd prefer a smaller unit on the CL. The little Metz 26 looks neat to me. I don't need TTL at all so Auto would be fine but i wonder if the Metz works at all on the CL. Any idea? Otherwise i would go for the Leica 26 but the red dot is expensive indeed.

 

 

Metz 26 AF - 2_web.jpg

I ordered this Metz Mecablitz 26 AF for my CL, but it did not work at all in any setting. So I had to return it!

Edited by Louis

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I ordered this Metz Mecablitz 26 AF for my CL, but it did not work at all in any setting. So I had to return it!

 

Too bad... Thanks for warning anyway.

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There is always the older SF24 but you really have to use a diffusor with it to avoid glaring white faces. I have somewhere a Leicagoodies SFILL but can't find it at present so was using two layers of tissue paper and sticky tape before I bought the SF40. The 24 works in both TTL and Auto mode on the CL. The 40 is a lot better with tilt, pan and an auto zoom head. 

 

Wilson

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I'd prefer a smaller unit with tilting reflector... Could the SF 26 be considered the "small tilting SF 32D" Jaapv was referring to in his post from 2011 below?

 

SF 24D is expensive but will offer full TTL compatability with the M9. Small and quite good, but no tilting reflector. There are makeshift ways around this.
I have been hoping for years that Leica would offer a small tilting SF 32D....

 No sign or whisper of it yet.

 

 

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