I recently "inherited" a Metz 45 CT-5 flash from my Dad. He said it's from the 80's...
Looks fine cosmetically, but the battery pack is definitely fried and needs replacement. Does anyone have experience with these units?
I am interested in trying it out with my 5D, but not sure if it will work voltage wise--I definitely don't want to fry something here
Also, the flash was purchased in Germany. Would that pose a problem if I were to buy a battery pack in the US?
Thanks for any pointers!
Those are great units. I have a 45 CT-4 from that time. First owner actually. It works great with the 5DII. I confirmed with Metz Germany that these units are safe for modern DSLRs.
After a lot of research I think I would label it an urban myth that flash units "fry" modern cameras. Yes, there may be some exotic units out there or stuff may just malfunction after all those years. And I don't encourage you to try anything out without doing a bit more research. But after reading lots and lots of forums and web sites on this subject I have not found a single case where somebody actually did harm to the camera with one of these.
Batteries: same standards everywhere. There are two types of 45 units as far as I know; those with AA battery cages and the ones that take some rechargeable insert. I'm not familiar with the latter. And I'm not sure those are interchangeable.
Metz has some old manuals and parts lists on their German web site. That should help. Check out places like KEH.com They have a lot of Metz original parts. With the battery cages I found that it's worth spending a bit more on original replacement parts. The cheap ebay stuff doesn't fit 100%. Regular AA rechargables like Eneloops will work fine (6 of them). Again, this may be different on the NiMH rechargeable flash models.
Contact Metz support. They are very responsive and will give you a clear answer regarding any voltage concerns. To be sure you can always purchase one of those little Wein safe-sync adapters.
Attaching it is easiest via the PC port. There is a designated cable for that. Alternatively, the cable that goes on the hot shoe also works with the generic version of the SCA adapter. Make sure you're not using one that was designed for any specific camera model with TTL. TTL will NOT work under any circumstances. It's all manual all the way or you can use the flash in the auto mode and set the aperture and range and the flash will do a pretty good job at measuring internally with the little sensor in front.
Wireless is of course the safest and most versatile option. Any cheap ebay triggers will do. If that all works then it's absolutely worth hunting for the optional "mecamat" unit and cable to go with it. It gives you lots of options to dial the unit down manually. I found one at KEH for cheap but I think I lucked out since those can be somewhat rare and are very model specific units.
One thing to consider is that cost may add up with spare parts and such. I think it's worth it. The flash units are very very good and more powerful than any modern designated Canon flash. The guide numbers are a little misleading with that. And for covering an event I actually still find the old fashioned "potato masher" style very useful, especially in larger rooms. And comfortable at that.
Feel free to shoot me a note if you need help.