Test results on bounced Metz flash in A mode

Started Jun 1, 2006 | Discussions
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
Test results on bounced Metz flash in A mode

I have done a little more tests on my Metz flashes (40MZ-2/MZ-3i) and SCA adaptors (301/372/3701M2) with my Z-1p, MZ-10 and *istDS cameras and FA31/1.8 Limited lens. All results are only "bounced flash" which was chosen because of my own preference for indoor shooting. They behave quite differently when not bounced so cannot be compared with direct flash which I have not tested thoroughly. I have double/triple-checked my tests until they are totally confirmed by the Sekonic L308S meter. I have two Metz flashes and two 3701M2 shoe so any faulty connection is ruled out. The exact readings are not important but their "patterns" are. Only 'A' flash was tested, not TTL.
====================
SCA301/372 analog shoe, iso400/800, all cameras:
[chosen aperture: L308S reading]
f2: 1.7
f2.8: 2.4
f4: 2.8
f5.6: 4
f8: 5.6
f11: 8
f16: 11
f22: 16
====================
SCA3701M2 digital shoe:

Z-1p, iso400/800:
f1.8: 1.4
f2.8: 2
f4: 2.8
f5.6: 4
f8: 5.6
f11: 8
f16: 11
f22: 16

MZ-10 & *istDS

  • iso400:

f1.8 - 6.5: 4.8
f8-22: 13

  • iso800:

f1.8 - 9.5: 6.7
f11-22: 19
====================

As it can be seen above, the plain old analog shoe produces the most accurate result (actually from 200 to 3200 at any aperture setting, but I do not have the data anymore). With 3701M2 shoe, only the Z-1p works properly. With MZ-10 & *istDS, the results are totally weird and unexplainable. I would imagine this shoe was designed for the Z series but its reverse engineering shows limitation on newer cameras. There is also 3701M3 & 3702 shoe which might or might not have this issue, but I do not possess these shoe so cannot be tested. Anyone using this particular shoe, 3701M2, might wish to consider switching back to analog shoe like 301 or 372 if using 'A' flash.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan/

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Test results on bounced Metz flash in A mode

Hi Alan!

I found your results hard to believe, I have to admit. So I tested my Metz 40MZ3 in Auto (3701M2 and 301) and TTL (3701M2) on my DS @ ISO 800.

1.5m away from wall, flash at 1.8m height bounced on 2.5m ceiling at about 60°. Reflector set to 50mm eq. focal length. Sigma 18-125 at around 45mm, starting at f4.5 , stopping down with each shot.

Results:

The Auto images with the 3701 were okayish until f/8 - they got darker from f/stop to f-stop, but were useable. The f/11 and f/16 shots were totally blown out, twice, no error on my part, I am quite sure. The 301 did not show this problem.

So, I tested my 3701 in TTL mode. As it should be. Really. I am sure your flashmeter would show a deviation, but the white seems identical from shot to shot and exposure seemed exactly 1 stop too bright - TTl only works at 200 and 400 ISO, ISO 800 gives one stop over. So I switched to ISO 400 and now TTL was really perfect. I know this won't help the high-ISO flashers, just adding some info to the Metz database of wonders

Have you tried your flash in TTL mode with the 3701 M2?

Cheers
Jens

-- hide signature --

Member of LBA (Lens Buyers Anonymous), M-fourty-two section
'LBA knows no bounds, and seeks no justification...' (Jim King, 2005)
http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/index.html - Photography, Tech and Geek stuff :}
'Why is everyone answering rhetorical questions?' (Me, 2005)

OP (unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
Re: Test results on bounced Metz flash in A mode

JensR wrote:

Have you tried your flash in TTL mode with the 3701 M2?

I did test TTL at iso400 & 800 too when I conduct the 'A' tests. Those particular results were identical to yours too, perfect for iso400 from f1.8 to f22, but 1EV over for iso800. That was based on the actual pictures, not just the L308s readings. In fact, the histograms of iso800 shots were not blown yet, though very close, but all pictures are completely useless because the highlight are so bright no amount of PS could save it. iso400 shots however, even with a big gap toward the righthand side of the histogram, all shots are well exposed and perfectly fine. So much for the advise of exposing toward the right. But I am not ready to draw my conclusion yet as it is still not very concistent based on my experience. Time will tell.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan/

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Test results on bounced Metz flash in A mode

Hi Alan!

the actual pictures, not just the L308s readings. In fact, the
histograms of iso800 shots were not blown yet, though very close,
but all pictures are completely useless because the highlight are
so bright no amount of PS could save it. [...] So much for the advise
of exposing toward the right.

Well, 1 stop over is much with flash, IMO. I often like +0.5 flash exposure compensation with ISo 400 and 200.

Cheers
Jens

-- hide signature --

Member of LBA (Lens Buyers Anonymous), M-fourty-two section
'LBA knows no bounds, and seeks no justification...' (Jim King, 2005)
http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/index.html - Photography, Tech and Geek stuff :}
'Why is everyone answering rhetorical questions?' (Me, 2005)

OP (unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
Update results

JensR wrote:

Have you tried your flash in TTL mode with the 3701 M2?

This is just a minor update of the TTL flash result. I have tested both 372 & 3701M2 shoe in TTL flash mode at ISO400/800 bounce flash with 40MZ-2. Both shoe produce identical exposure. So the strange exposure issue associated with 3701M2 shoe affects 'A' flash mode only.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan/

Anastigmat Forum Pro • Posts: 12,686
Re: Update results

Didn't both of you heard what *isteve said in his sig? He said that "measurbating" makes you short-sighted. It is a good thing I don't own a flash meter or else my eyesight would exceed the range of the built in diopter adjustment of the DS's viewfinder. LOL.

wlachan wrote:

JensR wrote:

Have you tried your flash in TTL mode with the 3701 M2?

This is just a minor update of the TTL flash result. I have tested
both 372 & 3701M2 shoe in TTL flash mode at ISO400/800 bounce flash
with 40MZ-2. Both shoe produce identical exposure. So the strange
exposure issue associated with 3701M2 shoe affects 'A' flash mode
only.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan/

OP (unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
What's wrong with you?

Anastigmat wrote:

Didn't both of you heard what *isteve said in his sig? He said
that "measurbating" makes you short-sighted. It is a good thing I
don't own a flash meter or else my eyesight would exceed the range
of the built in diopter adjustment of the DS's viewfinder. LOL.

-- hide signature --
JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Indeed a good question...

Alan,

if finding a flash overexposing by several stops is measurbating, I don't know what we are allowed to investigate without being insulted...

I always said that I have no problems with my Metzes, and I stand by that - because I only use them in TTL mode. The issues you have found (and I have confirmed) with Auto flash, though, are real. What is puzzling me is that I do not see any reason why they exist. I'll try to look into it again and maybe contact Metz.

Cheers
Jens

-- hide signature --

Member of LBA (Lens Buyers Anonymous), M-fourty-two section
'LBA knows no bounds, and seeks no justification...' (Jim King, 2005)
http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/index.html - Photography, Tech and Geek stuff :}
'Why is everyone answering rhetorical questions?' (Me, 2005)

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Update results

Hi Alan!

I just retested with my 3701 M2 in A mode, ISo 200 and 800.

But this time, I covered the extra contacts of the digital TTL shoe. Exposure is now very consistent. This means that the shoe itself is able to do it correctly, but probably it receives some digital communication it does not fully understand.

Cheers
Jens

-- hide signature --

Member of LBA (Lens Buyers Anonymous), M-fourty-two section
'LBA knows no bounds, and seeks no justification...' (Jim King, 2005)
http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/index.html - Photography, Tech and Geek stuff :}
'Why is everyone answering rhetorical questions?' (Me, 2005)

OP (unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
Re: Indeed a good question...

JensR wrote:

The issues you have
found (and I have confirmed) with Auto flash, though, are real.
What is puzzling me is that I do not see any reason why they exist.

Indeed. The flash got the aperture, ISO & focal length correct so A flash should work properly. Just puzzling.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan/

OP (unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
Re: Update results

JensR wrote:

I just retested with my 3701 M2 in A mode, ISo 200 and 800.
But this time, I covered the extra contacts of the digital TTL
shoe. Exposure is now very consistent. This means that the shoe
itself is able to do it correctly, but probably it receives some
digital communication it does not fully understand.

Probably the limitation of reverse engineering I guess. No big deal really as I am now using 301 shoe which makes the flash more portable.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan/

CorLux New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Update results

Jens,

I'm about to buy a K10D and read with horror that it doesn't provide A-TTL anymore as I have a good old Metz 40MZ2 (SCA3701) with handle and reflector and really would like to keep using it.

So, I read with great relief that you managed to get a 40MZ2 to work correctly in auto-flash, by covering a pin on the SCA3701 adapter. I guess the one that has to be insulated is the one that communicates the TTL feedback, but which one is it ?

By covering that "bad" pin, will the ISO setting, aperture and focal length still be transmitted from the camera to the Metz flash ? If yes, that means that my flash-gear will still be quite usable on a K10D, as I read in a few threads that the auto-mode on 40MZ2 gives quite reliable exposure. Otherwise I would have to go for the 3702, since you mentioned that it didn't have this problem. (But, then I would rather wait for 3703, which hopefully will be born one day!)

You may add this little detail on your excellent web-page. Are there any other tricks related to the use of 40MZ2 with a recent Pentax DSLR ?

Thanks,
Corry

You may also have a look at the following post that states that 40MZ2 works fine in A with 3701. Maybe Thommy only worked with low ISO and large apertures

http://www.digicamfotos.de/index3.htm?http://forum.penum.de/showthread.php?id=37287

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Update results

Hi Corry!

So, I read with great relief that you managed to get a 40MZ2 to
work correctly in auto-flash, by covering a pin on the SCA3701
adapter. I guess the one that has to be insulated is the one that
communicates the TTL feedback, but which one is it ?

I do not fully remember, but I think it was (only) the "digital" one, which you can see on Bojidar's site:
http://kmp.bdimitrov.de/technology/hot-shoe/index.html

BTW, to my knowledge, noone tested a 3701 in Auto mode on a K10D, but tests on former Pentax dSLRs show the error and so it is unlikely that it went away. But, as the K10D uses a new ISO range, it could be that this solved the problem somehow.

By covering that "bad" pin, will the ISO setting, aperture and
focal length still be transmitted from the camera to the Metz flash
?

No. Basically, this was the idea behind the test. The 3701 is castrated to a 372 adapter (former aTTL adapter of the SCA 300 system). The error goes away when the "extra" digital info is removed.

I would have to go for
the 3702, since you mentioned that it didn't have this problem.

That's correct.

(But, then I would rather wait for 3703, which hopefully will be
born one day!)

Don't hold your breath

You may add this little detail on your excellent web-page.

Thanks I'll do that, but as wlachan said in this thread: It doesn't make much sense: The castrated 3701 will behave like a 372 on the *ist D and *ist DS and like a 301 (3001) on the non-TTL bodies. The 301 costs next to nothing, if you don't already have it.

Are
there any other tricks related to the use of 40MZ2 with a recent
Pentax DSLR ?

Philzucker uses various 40MZs wirelessly. Apart from that I can't think of much "tricks".

You may also have a look at the following post that states that
40MZ2 works fine in A with 3701.
Maybe Thommy only worked with low ISO and large apertures

As the K10D generally uses one stop lower ISO, this may well be the case. As I implied above, it would be interesting to test a 3701 on a K10D.

Cheers
Jens

-- hide signature --

'Well, 'Zooming with your feet' is usually a stupid thing as zoom rings are designed for hands.' (Me, 2006)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Not showing in "My Threads" :(

This thread is not showing up in the "My Threads" listing. So, if I don't answer, just drop me an email (in my profile). Thanks. Jens

-- hide signature --

'Well, 'Zooming with your feet' is usually a stupid thing as zoom rings are designed for hands.' (Me, 2006)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

CorLux New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Update results

Thanks Jens for your detailed reply.

I will be getting the K10D before WE and let you know next week the results î get with 3701.

thanks also for linking me to Philzucker
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1036&message=21984659

I still play with the idea of getting a SCA8083. It's to bad that it doesn't come as a combined 3702/8083. Would allow us to use it as smart-auto on the body and in simple auto in wireless.

Corry

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads