German flash manufacturer Metz has said that the mecablitz 44 AF-2 flash unit that it announced at the end of last year will be available immediately in the UK at a price of £179.99. The gun is an update of the 44 AF-1, and brings with it compatibility with Fuji's X-system and a built-in LED for videographers. 

Originally announced in November last year, the 44 AF-2 is designed for full frame and APS-C DSLRs, as well as a collection of mirrorless cameras. It has a maximum guide number of 44m / 144 ft at ISO 100 when used with a 105mm lens, and offers an automatic zoom head that covers angles for lenses from 24-105mm. A wide diffuser extends that coverage to 12mm. 

Metz has included a video light in the form of an LED that has an output of 100 Lux at one meter, and which can be controlled via four brightness levels. 

The flash can be integrated into the wireless flash control systems of Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax, Sony and Samsung cameras, and is additionally compatible with Fuji and some Leica cameras when mounted in the hotshoe. 

In manual mode the gun has four output levels, and in all modes it can be triggered at the beginning or the end of the exposure. High speed modes allow synchronization with shutter speeds beyond the usual maximum sync speeds of the host camera. 

The gun is designed to be easy to use and sits slightly above the middle of the company’s AF range of hotshoe mounted flash units. 

This will be the first Metz flash unit launched since the Metz-Werke GmbH & Co. company became insolvent and the flash business was saved by Germany’s Daum Group, which is better known for making fitness equipment. The flash side of the business is now called Metz mecatech GmbH. 

In Europe the flash unit will cost 190 Euro, but it doesn’t appear to have been launched in the USA yet. For more information on the Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 see the Metz website.