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Third Party Flash / Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2


I'm thinking of picking up a 580EX ii.  But being a careful purchaser, I thought I'd look around and see what else is out there.  The closest competitor seems to be the Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2.  The price difference isn't that big.  Just wondering if there is any compelling reason not to choose the Canon flash?

Is there anything else out there to consider? The 600EX-RT is probably a little too pricey for my occasional level of use.  I'll also use the flash on a variety of different cameras so an "auto" mode (External Automatic Flash Exposure in CanonSpeak) is desirable, which rules out the 430EX II.

I would not get the new 600, for the same price I can get a set of Bowens strobes ! not the same I know but I just think the price is way over the top.
I have the Metz 58 AF-2 and it is great ! very easy to use and it has an advantage over the 580 in that it has a secondary flash.
I has a great strobe function, modelling light feature and is very well built. Metz are after all one of the better know makers of flash units.
I have owned the 580, but the Metz has more functions for less money.

Perhaps the biggest differentiator between otherwise good quality flash units is the extent of their master / slave functionality. The most functional are those that support full E-TTL II auto exposure in a wireless master / slave set-up. Canon's units obviously do this (580EX II as master or slave, 430EX II as slave only). Other current units that do this are the Nissin Di866 MkII and Sigma EF610 DG Super (both as either master or slave), plus the Metz 58 AF-2, Nissin Di622 MkII and Yongnuo 565EX (all as slave only).

The third party units supposedly use the same (optical) wireless communication system as the Canons so they should all be able to talk to each other. I can't verify this as mine is an all-Sigma system. Obviously, none of the above will communicate by radio frequency with Canon's 600EX-RT but that unit does also have the optical system for backward compatibility.


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