SB 600 vs Metz 50 AF-1

Started Sep 29, 2010 | Discussions thread
Tim Pertuit
Forum MemberPosts: 91
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Re: SB 600 vs Metz 50 AF-1
In reply to The Big One, Oct 17, 2010

I don't have first hand experience on the Metz as I had never even of heard of it before today, but I was curious about it so I went to lookup some specs. I was trying to compare the GN for both flashes, but noticed that the Metz advertises their GN with the zoom head at 105mm compared to Nikon that specifies theirs at a zoom head position of 35mm/85mm. I was able to find a full table of GN in the Metz manual, and GN falls to 29 at the 35mm zoom position (the Nikon is 30 at 35mm zoom)

The Metz manual is here (English section starts on page 88).

http://www.metz.de/fileadmin/fm-dam/Download/Photo_Electronic/Bedienungsanleitung/mecablitz/mecablitz_48_bis_76/mecablitz_50_AF-1_digital_Nikon_D_F_NL_GB_I_E.pdf

I have the SB-600 and according to its manual the GN at the 85mm zoom position (85mm is the max on the SB-600) goes up to about 40. (I think the Nikon website has a typo and intends to say that the GN goes from 30 to 42 from 35mm zoom to 85mm zoom instead of 35mm to 35mm, doh).

Based on this, the Metz may have a slight edge at the higher zoom head positions, but is probably very close in output at "normal" zoom positions. This of course assumes the manufacturer ratings are accurate (or similarly wrong). At least one review of the SB-600 (Ken Rockwell - I know I know, please don't flame me, but his site is near the top of google results) says the SB-600 is about 1 stop less than the GN would indicate.

When I was in the market for my flash, I did also consider the Sigma flashes (Sigma EF-530 DG Super i-TTL). It too advertises a higher GN and has a lot of the "high end" features. However the usability reviews from the flash are what kept me away. I wanted something more basic for my first flash to reduce the learning curve.

So take all this for what it is, some guy reading manuals, web pages, and reviews. I have the SB-600 and have been very happy with it. More power would always be welcome, but if you're not afraid to up the ISO a bit, many situations can be overcome.

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