External Flash Life Expectancy

Started Aug 29, 2013 | Questions thread
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HLSchmidlapp
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External Flash Life Expectancy
Aug 29, 2013

I'm a fairly active amateur, taking at least a few pictures every day. I use my external flash a fair amount and it's starting to act odd. I have a Canon camera and previously had a Canon flash (Speedlite 550EX) but it wore out over the course of about eight years. I bought my current flash, a Metz 50 AF-1, in April 2012, so it's only a little over a year old. I have no idea how many flashes its had but probably not more than ten thousand. I do tend to use bounce a lot, so the percentage of full power flashes is probably relatively high. Other times I'm using it for fill flash on a sunny day, which is far less taxing, I would assume.

My question is, should it be dying already? I'm getting improper exposure sometimes. Also, yesterday when I would be doing nothing, the flash would fire, which was a little odd. Those could both be problems with the camera, of course, but without the flash it seems to be working find. Also, the plastic Fresnel lens on the flash is cracked slightly and discolored toward the middle, almost like it's melted a little from the heat of the flash. When I take a few shots with full power flashes, I can smell an ozone sort of smell, which worries me.

Is this flash done? Is the Canon really that much better built that it lasted so much longer? That would certainly justify the significantly higher price, if it is.

Any thoughts?

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