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What is the best flash system for my M8?

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About one month ago I sold my Canon 5D MK2 all lenses and flash accessories, today I’m a proud owner of a Leica M8 brand new and a second-hand M6, 28mm f/2 Summicron ASPH, 50mm f/2 Summicron.

I’m not a pro but a serious amateur, with the occasional wedding to shoot. With this in mind, should I be buying the 24D or the SF 58 flash? I’m not a big fan of flash and probably will us it on rare occasion, but I need one! Want some know-how feedback on this one?

 

Thanks

Bernard

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Hi Bernard, I guess it all depends what you want, If you read previous threads on this matter, you will see that it is a mixed bag, some would never pay the money for the SF58, some use the Metz version, others use the 24D...others never use flash!!

I think one thing is fact, not many people have used the SF58 so it is difficult to for them to comment,Some that have used it state it is way too large.

All I can say is I have one and just love it, I don't use flash often but when I have it has performed better that I had hoped, even using the Viso & bellows combination TTL. (See previous posts)

I don't plan getting another flash so that is it...It works well for me.

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I also rarely use flash, but I bought the SF-20 when it first came out and have continued using it when needed even though it has been replaced by the 24D. I normally use it just for a bit of fill and it works just fine. I find that larger flash units on an M body make it too top heavy.

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I appreciate all of your comment, I did look at some other posts, and I’m sold on the 24D, it will suit my need for light. I also saw the SFILL on one of the post maybe I can check this out for a more soft light effect.

Thanks’ a million!

_______________________

Bernard

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Guest roey

I have both the SF-58 and the 24-D. The big disadvantage of the 58 is obviously its size -- the camera gets top-heavy when carrying it using the shoulder strap. However the 58 has several advantages over the 24D:

  • a lot faster in TTL mode -- there is a noticeable delay between the pre-flash and the real flash using the 24D
  • you can bounce the flash off a wall or ceiling
  • more powerful
  • HSS (high speed sync), which the M9 will hopefully support -- the M8.x doesn't

I keep them both but if I had to decide between the two I would keep the 58.

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I use the 24D for bounce most of the time. What's the problem? Read Sean Reid's piece 'Using flash' at Reid Reviews. It is a subscription site, but the info there is worth the fee many times over.

 

The old man from the Age of Flash Powder

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I had a SF 24D and sold it to buy a SF 58 (I also had a Nikon SB 800 that I used on the M8 more then the 24D).

I now use flash more often on the M8 then I ever did with either the 24D or the nikon SB 800.

Yes I have a cord and a flash bracket that I could use the 24D for bounce but it was just to much trouble. With the Nikon it was hit and miss. With the SF 58 I pop it on and go. sometimes useing the extra front/direct flash and sometimes not.

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I use an SF24D, and find it works very well. I also use it on my Nikon F3 too in 'A' mode with very good results. It's best attribute as far as I am concerned is that it is small and light. Ideal to just pop into a pocket until needed.

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If you want a reasonably powerful flash, with motorzoom reflector, bounce and more than excellent results for little money, consider the old Metz MZ 32 on a 3502M5 or M4 SCA adapter. In my experience the whole MZ and Z series of Metz is the perfect flash for the M8. Mind you, you will have to use it on "A" TTL does not work. The flashes cost next to nothing on e-Bay and the adapters are freely available new.

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I have the SF-24D and the SF-58 and they both work perfectly well, though the SF-24D is a bit puny. The SF-58 has great output, the secondary front-fill reflector is useful and it's interesting when the flash head zooms to match the mounted lens (assuming it's coded) on the M camera.

 

However, the build quality disappoints and comparisons with the great (and about £100 less) Nikon SB-900 do the SF-58 no favours. Plastic mouldings which are are going to be so easy to mark, a plastic hot-shoe with thumb-wheel instead of the metal quick release, buttons instead of a thumb wheel and an average display (though a giant leap forwards from the dismal SF-24D effort) all show it was built down to a still rather high price - and I paid £100 less than some dealers are listing it (£420).

 

Good to see the hot shoe can be easily replaced with 4 torx screws to remove it but they bind into plastic, not metal as in the Nikon. Nice electronic build quality behind through. Bit of an insult that the plastic difffuser is an extra (standard on the Nikon). You'd think they'd throw that in to enhance the package. You do get a plastic table stand/tripod mount (no metal thread insert) which I almost threw away thinking it was packing.

 

OTOH, it works very well with the M8u and a 90mm lens, nice light throw over quite a distance. Images are well exposed using the TTL metering.

 

So, overall, much better than the SF-24D, but expensive for what it is.

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Guest BigSplash
If you want a reasonably powerful flash, with motorzoom reflector, bounce and more than excellent results for little money, consider the old Metz MZ 32 on a 3502M5 or M4 SCA adapter. In my experience the whole MZ and Z series of Metz is the perfect flash for the M8. Mind you, you will have to use it on "A" TTL does not work. The flashes cost next to nothing on e-Bay and the adapters are freely available new.

 

Jaapv you will be surprised but this is exactly what I use ..with great results, and it is not too bulky. I rarely use flash but it is great for special situations...eg shadows on a face.

 

I have an old large Metz (45CT5) also but cannot use this on the M8 due to the trigger voltages being dangerous for the M8 electronics. The problem with this pro type flash is its bulky size and I would not recommend any large gun as it is no fun to carry

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The Metz 45CT5 has 14.5 volts over the strobe contacts, this is perfectly OK on the M8 (which has a heavy duty semiconductor controlling the hot-shoe).

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Guest BigSplash
The Metz 45CT5 has 14.5 volts over the strobe contacts, this is perfectly OK on the M8 (which has a heavy duty semiconductor controlling the hot-shoe).

Are you certain as I have had very different inputs and warnings.....even Metz seem to be concerned when i phoned them. I guess there is such a thing as a hot shoe adapter by the way??

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Bear in mind that even though Leica don't provide an off-camera synch cord there are a number that work. I used a Nikon SC-17 cord for years with an SF-20. The pin positions are the same.

 

Regards,

 

Bill

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Guest BigSplash
The Metz 45CT5 has 14.5 volts over the strobe contacts, this is perfectly OK on the M8 (which has a heavy duty semiconductor controlling the hot-shoe).

 

I phoned Metz UK distrib. just now and they say that the 45CT5 has a 24 volt trigger voltage and it should NOT be used with any digital camera. They say that the 45CL4 has a 15 volt trigger volt...could it be that you have the wrong model number. or that the distrib has the wrong data from Metz Germany system support sheet?

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Are you certain as I have had very different inputs and warnings.....even Metz seem to be concerned when i phoned them. I guess there is such a thing as a hot shoe adapter by the way??

 

Early Metz 45CT1s (serial number below 534000) did have an old-fashioned high trigger voltage, over 200V, but all other 45s use transistor-friendly voltages that I'm happy to connect to my M8 (though maybe not to some other digital cameras).

 

You can connect a 45CT5 (in fact any 45 except the CT1) to a hotshoe by using the SCA301 foot and SCA300A cable.

.

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I phoned Metz UK distrib. just now and they say that the 45CT5 has a 24 volt trigger voltage and it should NOT be used with any digital camera. They say that the 45CL4 has a 15 volt trigger volt...could it be that you have the wrong model number. or that the distrib has the wrong data from Metz Germany system support sheet?

 

I bet they were pleased to hear from you. Did you tell them you are an ex-CEO with a thing about bellows?

 

Besides, I would have thought any CEO worth his salt would have a voltmeter and be able to inform us Great Unwashed what the voltage is...

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