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What is the best flash system for my M8?

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I have been using the SF24D with my M8.2 and so far have been more than pleased with the images, if I need to bounce it I use it with a Nikon SC TTL cable I picked up very cheaply.

 

Some results here:

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Very nice pic Ian!

 

I would like to know what kind of cable or item number from Nikon did you used?

Very nice result, I wonder if you would get the same result in a low light situation (at night)?

I guess I'm not convince of the SF-24D yet!

 

Bernard

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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.

 

Mark:

 

I have the 24d and a nikon 900. What settings do I use if I use the 900 with the m8? I rarely use flash with the m8 and the 24 is perfect for occasional use but if I can use the 900 for those rare "need real flash" situations I would love to save $700.

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Basic thing to understand is that the Nikon flash and M8 are not talking to each other so you need to act as messenger to provide both camera and flash with the information required. That rules out using flash modes where the flash exposure is under the control of the camera, instead, you are using just that central contract where the camera says "do it" and the flash uses its own metering cell to gauge the exposure required.

 

You can use "A" mode where you tell the flash (by setting manually) what the ISO is, dial in any exposure compensation you might want and select the focal length to set the reflector. The flash then tells you what aperture to set on the lens. Depending on the focal length set and whether you choose FX or DX fill, you can restrict the flash to the frame coverage or have wider illumination.

 

The flash doesn't know anything about the shutter speed and therefore the available light element of the exposure, so if this is significant, you need to take this into account by setting the flash, otherwise you'll over-expose.

 

This is the great advantage of TTL flash metering. The camera is able to tell the flash what the available light element of the exposure is and set the flash exposure appropriately.

Edited by marknorton

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Very nice pic Ian!

 

I would like to know what kind of cable or item number from Nikon did you used?

Very nice result, I wonder if you would get the same result in a low light situation (at night)?

I guess I'm not convince of the SF-24D yet!

 

Bernard

The cable is a 'system cable' (hence the 'SC' in the name) which works on the Leica because Leica just happens to have its extra hot shoe information contacts in exactly the same place as Nikon has. But Leica and Nikon use those contacts differently, hence a Leica camera cannot 'talk' to a Nikon flash. Only the center contact is operative (and the return-lead via the shoe itself of course) when you use an off-brand flash.

 

My cable is a SC-17. The current cable, as I remember, may be SC-19. They all work as long as they have the contacts in the right places. Which they must have in order to work with Nikon gear.

 

The old man from the Age of Flash Powder

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Very nice pic Ian!

 

I would like to know what kind of cable or item number from Nikon did you used?

Very nice result, I wonder if you would get the same result in a low light situation (at night)?

I guess I'm not convince of the SF-24D yet!

 

Bernard

 

Hi Bernard,

 

I use the Nikon SC-17TTL cable that works very well with the M8+SF 24D.

 

The images I took above were all using the SF24D mounted on the camera, I do find this combination perfect as it is a small & reliable system that works well with good end results - the SC-17 allows good bounce capability.

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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.

 

With reference to the Mecablitz 54 MZ-4i mentioned - will it work as a TTL flash (that is accept instructions from the camera) with the M8? I do understand that a Metz adapter would be required to turn the non-dedicated version of this flash into a dedicated flash. If this would work it would appear to be a less expensive way to have a TTL flash with full bounce capabilities.

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With reference to the Mecablitz 54 MZ-4i mentioned - will it work as a TTL flash (that is accept instructions from the camera) with the M8? I do understand that a Metz adapter would be required to turn the non-dedicated version of this flash into a dedicated flash. If this would work it would appear to be a less expensive way to have a TTL flash with full bounce capabilities.

 

The Mecablitz website seems to say you can get TTL with the M8 but not the M8.2 - which is implausible. See what you think: SCA-Adapter: Metz.

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The Mecablitz website seems to say you can get TTL with the M8 but not the M8.2 - which is implausible. See what you think: SCA-Adapter: Metz.

 

In general I find their adapter/flash capabilities tables rather confusing and come to the same rather implausible conclusion as you that TTL looks to be possible with the M8 but not the M8.2 (which is the model that I own)! I guess that I will send Metz a note and see if they can give me a clearer answer.

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In general I find their adapter/flash capabilities tables rather confusing and come to the same rather implausible conclusion as you that TTL looks to be possible with the M8 but not the M8.2 (which is the model that I own)! I guess that I will send Metz a note and see if they can give me a clearer answer.

 

I doubt you will find any Metz flash supporting true TTL with the Leica M8 as the Leica SF58 is made for Leica by Metz and it would be against Leica's interests to have a NON-Branded flash, that cost much less, work the same as the Leica flash.

 

I could be wrong so buy the Metz with the correct adapter and post back your results.

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I doubt you will find any Metz flash supporting true TTL with the Leica M8 as the Leica SF58 is made for Leica by Metz and it would be against Leica's interests to have a NON-Branded flash, that cost much less, work the same as the Leica flash.

 

I could be wrong so buy the Metz with the correct adapter and post back your results.

 

This made me check the prices. Turns out the 54 MZ-4i is NOT the cheap option. Robert White has the following (GBP excluding 15% VAT):

 

Leica SF58: £380

 

Mecablitz 54 MZ-4i: £325

SCA adapter: £60

 

For comparison, the Mecablitz 58 AF-1 dedicated guns for Canon, Nikon or FourThirds - which I guess are basically the same as the SF58 - are only £275.

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I've been using a Metz mecablitz 38C-2. A very basic flash.

 

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Karl

Edited by karl101

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How dare you post such a photo here? It's totally unacceptable to have so much depth of field that the ears and whiskers are sharp as well as the eyes!

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I've been using a Metz mecablitz 38C-2. A very basic flash.

 

Karl

 

Wow! That flash must have some power. The cat was asleep before it fired the pre-flash!

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The cable is a 'system cable' (hence the 'SC' in the name) which works on the Leica because Leica just happens to have its extra hot shoe information contacts in exactly the same place as Nikon has. But Leica and Nikon use those contacts differently, hence a Leica camera cannot 'talk' to a Nikon flash. Only the center contact is operative (and the return-lead via the shoe itself of course) when you use an off-brand flash.

 

My cable is a SC-17. The current cable, as I remember, may be SC-19. They all work as long as they have the contacts in the right places. Which they must have in order to work with Nikon gear.

 

The old man from the Age of Flash Powder

 

Hi Lars,

 

The nice thing about the current Nikon cable is that it comes off the side of the shoe (rather than the front) so it is less likely to foul the view through the finder.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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That is a nice feature, and probably a completely unintended one, as Nikon system cameras have no finder windows. So one should buy the current one (is it still the SC-19?) if one doesn't have one. Having a 17 and paying XL yen/dollars/euros for a 19 is a different matter. Especially if you think you will shell out for a M9 within a year.

 

The old man from the Age of Giant Screw-Thread Flashbulbs

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That is a nice feature, and probably a completely unintended one, as Nikon system cameras have no finder windows.

 

Hi Lars,

 

That's not entirely true. Some Nikon compact cameras also have a hot-shoe that can use the SB flash range. (P6000 for example.) I do agree that it's a nice touch for us Leica users though

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That is a nice feature, and probably a completely unintended one, as Nikon system cameras have no finder windows. So one should buy the current one (is it still the SC-19?) if one doesn't have one. Having a 17 and paying XL yen/dollars/euros for a 19 is a different matter. Especially if you think you will shell out for a M9 within a year.

 

The old man from the Age of Giant Screw-Thread Flashbulbs

 

I just looked and it is the SC 28. Yes, I would say that's the one to buy. I'm using the combination of M8.2 + SF 58 + SC 28 and it all works well.

 

Cheers,

 

Sean

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