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What is the best flash system for my M8?

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Guest BigSplash

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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...

 

 

Mark thanks for the help and insight ...as always a quality input. I am getting mixed signals as to the risk I am taking with connecting to the M8 without using the Wein adapter.

 

 

According to Jaapv listing someone has measured the trigger voltage as 14.8 V on the 45CT5 while Metz claim it is 24Volts........Does anyone know what the max voltage that the M8 can take?

 

Thanks

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Guest BigSplash
Why not give Stefan Daniel in Solms a call?

 

Thanks for the advice and I just did..

 

Stefan says that he recently asked his engineers about this and he has been told:

 

1 The old flash units will work with M8 as there is more than adequate protection for high trigger voltages.

2 I said OK for 14.8V ..Yes, what about 24Volts ...also yes

3 I then asked what about the very early flash units that could give 200Volts...He said that too is OK and that this has been tested and proven as OK.

 

Seems that Leica has done an outstanding job compared to their competitors which have not so well protected their flash circuitry. According to the web sites damaged Thyristor flash circuits are a major cause for damage in the repair departments for Leica competitors.

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Guest roey
I use the 24D for bounce most of the time. What's the problem?

 

The problem is that I am more clumsy than you or Sean. I need both my hands for the camera. I agree with you on value of Sean's site, though.

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I had (still have) a old Philips flash thingy that I believed was 250V and that worked fine on the M8. I had no reservations using it after having seen Mark Norton's dissection and the size of the transistor they used. Only later did I discover that it was a mere 30 V by doing an actual measurement. It's main (or only) advantage is that it is really small and uses a single AA battery i.e. a nice stopgap if all other light fails.

 

Pity about that discovery - I always felt like a buccaneer before, wimps with their Weinsafe stuff and all that. Ah well.

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Guest BigSplash

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What a fortunate coincidence.

 

Apparently many people have been asking about this issue given the warnings and rumours on the web for digital cameras in general.

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Actually, my question is the reverse of the usual one on threads such as this. If you purchase an SF58 will it be usable with other camera brands -- e.g. the usual Canon and Nikon -- and to what extent. Perhaps one of the SF58 owners who has responded here could clarify.

 

Thanks

 

Robert

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Actually, my question is the reverse of the usual one on threads such as this. If you purchase an SF58 will it be usable with other camera brands -- e.g. the usual Canon and Nikon -- and to what extent. Perhaps one of the SF58 owners who has responded here could clarify.

 

Thanks

 

Robert

 

As mentioned above, I use my SF24D with my Nikon F3, and it works very well in 'A' mode. I would think that the SF58 would work the same, seeing as the flash/camera interface is the same. I don't know if the TTL functions would work correctly on non-Leica cameras though, as the signals may be different even if the pins match. (Although it does bring up the 'ready' light on the F3.)

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Actually, my question is the reverse of the usual one on threads such as this. If you purchase an SF58 will it be usable with other camera brands -- e.g. the usual Canon and Nikon -- and to what extent. Perhaps one of the SF58 owners who has responded here could clarify.

 

If you want a versatile cross-brand flash, get one of the Mecablitz SCA 3002 guns and with SCA3002 adapters for your various cameras (Leica, Nikon, whatever.). That way you get full compatibility with every camera, not just some from one manufacturer.

 

The Mecablitz 54 MZ-4i digital is the closest to the SF58, but there are other models including the 44 MZ-2 digital which is intermediate between the SF24 and SF58 in size and power.

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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.

 

Brent, how do you use the SF20 on the M8? (I have one lurking at the back of a drawer). Presumably it lacks some facility which is found on its successor SF24D?

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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

 

I have both the Metz 58AF and the 24D, they both have their uses. I am not a fan of TTL flash with the Leica- it doesn't work well, certainly when compared to a modern DLSR. Flash control from Leica is about 25 years behind an SLR, as is its metering. I have a collection of film Nikon cameras, and my Nikon SB-20 flash (Used on my Nikon F2, FE2, F4) works great! It has a GN of 88 with bounce capability and 5 aperture ranges. It is 50% thicker than the SF24D but is the same frontal area, and much smaller and lighter than the Metz. The SF24D has a GN of 67 and no bounce capability. Give those Nikon auto flashes a thought. I can find no difference 98% of the time between pix taken the Nikon SB-20 or either the metz or Leica flashes.

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I have both the Metz 58AF and the 24D, they both have their uses. I am not a fan of TTL flash with the Leica- it doesn't work well, certainly when compared to a modern DLSR. Flash control from Leica is about 25 years behind an SLR, as is its metering. I have a collection of film Nikon cameras, and my Nikon SB-20 flash (Used on my Nikon F2, FE2, F4) works great! It has a GN of 88 with bounce capability and 5 aperture ranges. It is 50% thicker than the SF24D but is the same frontal area, and much smaller and lighter than the Metz. The SF24D has a GN of 67 and no bounce capability. Give those Nikon auto flashes a thought. I can find no difference 98% of the time between pix taken the Nikon SB-20 or either the metz or Leica flashes.

 

It's funny that you mention the Nikon SB-20, I was looking at the SB-24 used, is there anyone try the new Vivitar DF 383 Series 1 on a M8?

 

Thanks' everyone!

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The problem is that I am more clumsy than you or Sean. I need both my hands for the camera. I agree with you on value of Sean's site, though.

If that is a problem, then the auxiliary grip may be a solution. I do also use a wrist loop attached to the flash end of the Nikon cord -- I arrived at the same solution as Sean did. The only remaining problem is that as the shoe is occupied, it is difficult to use very wide angle lenses as there is no place for a finder! With bounce even a 15mm can be covered. And a swiveling flash does not address that problem ... The rest is just a matter of practice. And you should learn the art of focusing with your feet (I'm serious).

 

Leica of course should have offered a 'system' extension cord with the SF-24D. And it should have been just like my Nikon SC-17 except that it should have had a finder shoe on top of the thing that goes on the camera end. Are you sleeping, ye Gnomes of Solms?

 

The old man from the Age of Flashpowder

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Brent, how do you use the SF20 on the M8? (I have one lurking at the back of a drawer). Presumably it lacks some facility which is found on its successor SF24D?

It does not have TTL flash. So you must use it on external 'A'. I understand that it has such a mode. It means of course that you have to 'tell' the flash what aperture you have set; I presume ISO set is transmitted to the flash by the camera.

 

The old man from the Age of Flash Powder

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I have pressed my old Leica SF20 into service for my M8. It does not have TTL, but for me it is about the right size and works just fine, power, spread and reach.

 

No tilt/swivel is a drawback for ceiling bounce, but for many situations where I need flash facility in a particular area, I have an extremely lightweight and portable tripod (Velbon V-Pod) with a tilt adapter (eg Hama) on it. I have radio TX and Slave (Deratz Electronics, Australia) to fire the flash.

 

You can set this up really quickly, can get ceiling bounce and of course, it doesn't matter if you shoot vertical or horizontal. I am thinking weddings here and very mobile commercial shooting as I used to do. I use Lithium CR123A rechargeables to power the SF20 and they last for ages.

 

Really depends on how you work and of course, it may not suit your style.

 

Regards

Mike

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I have both the Metz 58AF and the 24D, they both have their uses. I am not a fan of TTL flash with the Leica- it doesn't work well, certainly when compared to a modern DLSR. Flash control from Leica is about 25 years behind an SLR, as is its metering. I have a collection of film Nikon cameras, and my Nikon SB-20 flash (Used on my Nikon F2, FE2, F4) works great! It has a GN of 88 with bounce capability and 5 aperture ranges. It is 50% thicker than the SF24D but is the same frontal area, and much smaller and lighter than the Metz. The SF24D has a GN of 67 and no bounce capability. Give those Nikon auto flashes a thought. I can find no difference 98% of the time between pix taken the Nikon SB-20 or either the metz or Leica flashes.

 

I agree with this.

 

All of you 'not using flash' should try some of these TTLmulti flash systems' now available with Canon (and Nikon). It makes flash photos look professional and natural. Leica has nothing of this and should develop and offer such a TTL multiflash system as soon as possible, both for the S2 as well as their M-cameras.

 

Rule no. 1 in flash photography: Don't have a flash on the camera! Have a transmitter. Like Canon's Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2. It is lighter and more comfortable. Place several flashes around in the room. Say, one reflected in the ceiling and another directed towards the object and yet another towards the background. The combinations are endless. Then 'flash photography' becomes something new to play with. Your M-cameras with it's excellent and contrastful lenses will come to it's right.

 

That Leica can't offer a similar flash system to it's S2 and M8(9) owners is no less than a scandal. It just might be details like this that a pro photographer just might chose a 1Ds III instead of a S2.

 

This Leica S58 looks promising. But we need a 'multi flash TTL system with a camera mounted transmitter'! We should have this by no later than FotoKina 2010.

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The SF 58 is expensive but I recommend it. It works very well on the M8.2, even with TTL, using the current model Nikon off-shoe cord. I used it for a shoot in Vancouver earlier this year and it was excellent. I haven't had time yet to write the review.

 

I imagine it also works just fine on camera but I don't use flash that way so I don't have much experience with that combination.

 

Cheers,

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The SF 58 is expensive but I recommend it. It works very well on the M8.2, even with TTL, using the current model Nikon off-shoe cord. I used it for a shoot in Vancouver earlier this year and it was excellent. I haven't had time yet to write the review.

 

I imagine it also works just fine on camera but I don't use flash that way so I don't have much experience with that combination.

 

Cheers,

 

When and if I use flash I mainly use it on the camera.

I agree with Sean the SF58 is a very good flash on the M8/.2.

Those that haven't tried one should go to there nearest dealer and take one for a ride, that is if they'll let you.

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I would think that the SF58 would work the same, seeing as the flash/camera interface is the same.

 

Indeed it does. You can use the SF58 on, for example, a Nikon D3 and manually adjust the ISO and reflector on the flash to match what the camera is set to; you then set the lens aperture on the camera to what the flash says.

 

With the ISO set to 6400 and the reflector set for my 105mm f2.8 lens wide open, the flash is good to 166m, call it 550ft though it will be prone to over-expose anything close by, of course.

 

One benefit of the slightly iffy build quality is that the flash is quite lightweight and sits on top of an M camera quite well.

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