How do you protect your Metz from freezing over? (a little story)

Started Feb 20, 2009 | Discussions thread
B Gavin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,588
Re: How do you protect your Metz from freezing over? (a little story)

thanos wrote:

B Gavin wrote:

I'm also a long time Metz user, and this info you can confirm for
yourself: The test button on the back of the flash will fire the
module you had attached would only affect the battery drain required
for flash operation - slightly more for camera communication with a
dedicated module vs none for the SCA 301 unit.

Yes BG I do confirm that. My understanding is that the shoe is just
an interface to the camera electronics. I adore my Metzes for that.
Tonight is the third night i'm going out to shoot and I'm taking
another MZ-3 with me. If the 4i freezes I'll swap the shoe to the
MZ-3. I've already posted above that last night (second in a row) the
4i froze again but I swapped the shoe with a 301 and shot the rest of
the night like that.

The temperature you mentioned (-5C) isn't really all that cold, so
you might want to check your battery conditions as well. I've used a
Metz in conditions (with wind chill) of -40C recently without issues

  • except for my poor hands!

Hear you on that. Had 3 sets of bats with me. Swapped sets, nothing.
Swapped shoe, flash worked. It's the damn shoe.

Hmmm ... still not convinced it's the shoe, since you had some flash related symtoms as well (flash wouldn't fire with test button) but it might be related to some circuitry that needs to go through the Canon shoe when that's installed. The simplest way to confirm would be to try another Canon shoe and / or another Metz 54 MZ-4i flash if you know someone you can borrow from. And I can certainly understand your frustration!

Turning the flash off for a brief period would let the batteries
recover slightly - but in reduced temperatures - obviously not
enough. The other operations you did were inside and as the batteries
warmed up - looks to me like everything else simply returned to

Switching to Canon will still put the same 4 x AA cells in an exposed
position on top of your camera and really won't change anything. Some
Metz models have an an external power connection and will let you
plug into an external power pack that you can keep in a warm pocket.
I believe the Metz P50 Power Pack will work for your model, but there
are likely third party units that will also do the same job.

I don't wanna go Canon. I have absolutely no complains with my
Metzes. I'm eating drinking sleeping with them and we have a
wonderful family life together. Just that tiny little glitch happened
At this point I'm either thinking of the battery pack or selling the
4i and taking the plunge for a 76 MZ-5.

I like Metz myself, and have quite a selection of dedicated SCA units, but generally tend to use the SCA 301 shoes anyway. Before deciding to take the plunge for that 76 MZ-5, remember that it'll take the same SCA 3102 Canon module and if that's really where your issue is - you won't be a happy camper!

If you've already swapped batteries and that didn't work, the next cheap test you might want to try is a 'kettle cosy' - normally used to insulate teapots, or a large mitten. If you can use one of those and one of those chemical hand warmers to keep the flash itself warm when not in use - you may be able to confirm that the problem is actually related to the flash and not the SCA unit.

I'd also suggest contacting the Metz support site and presenting the issue to them. The techs there are very professional and you'll have an answer in a day or so - no cost - and they'll tell you if this is unusual behavior and what the probable cause would be.

Good luck!


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