THE METZ 45 SYSTEM and UPGRADE



THE METZ 45 - MODIFICATION PROGRAM
UPDATING A POWERFUL STROBE and SYSTEM

Metz flashes have been renowned for years for the outstanding build quality, the value and usability of their products, and last but not least their excellent durability and power.

Introduced at the Photokina 1976, the 45 CT-1 features mostly one thing photographers wanted, needed and used.  Power. With a guide (GN) 148 based on film for 35mm full frame focal length is quite a lot for a battery powered strobe off the shelf but was a good performer on the slow film of the day. (ASA 50-100 came to mind).  Other strobes did not come close without spending a lot more money. Others also did not have the spread and width.


I build the power supplies, the custom cables and modules, and have some 45’s in stock.   I will build on your own .45 after I inspect it for flaws.   Also included in this ultimate kit are the custom cables for the METZ, four Yong-NUO transceivers,  Arca-style - quick release, Perfection Bracket and the only two things not included are the stand the dual is on and the small display block holding the single upright.  This kit has a 45-20 Mecamat (rare) accessory adapter for increased sensitivity,  with nine Manual and five additional Auto settings.  The 45 single is numbered 534,000 and useable on all cameras with a low synch requirement.  We also have adapters for a SONY near the green dot.  About four custom cables are included.

The Single with 7.2 NiMH Black Box and Charger with the Mecamat is $300.00. Included is the fast release.

Everything you see on the picture plus more (lots of custom cables) is $1200.00.

The 6V power packs Black Box and the white tuxedos work well with the smaller Cobra style Metz units.  Those 7.2 NIMH 4000 series are needed to supply the hungry 45’s.  In dual situations I go with the 9.6 monsters.  Most weigh under 2 libs,

The 45 series flashes work the old-fashioned way, too, without TTL magic.  Which is if you understand light is in many cases a joke but it sells cameras to the “ Light headed” deficient.  An aperture is dialed in on the settings dial, and a photo cell regulates the necessary light output according to the selected aperture.  Simple and pro-preferred.  Set the camera for the ambient lighting and use the flash in Automatic or manual mode for the primary or fill role. More flashes less waste and better light distribution on subject.

The more sophisticated models' output can be fixed to ½ or ¼ power.  The really big deal about the 45s though is the range of accessories which greatly enhance their versatility. Especially the external Mecamat sensor makes your 45 a small studio strobe, allowing you to dial in several more automatic apertures and manually regulating the output between full power and 1/64. 
The good news is that good units can be found for under 100.00 e
specially the simple 45 CT-1 models and I can convert them into blasters and do it economically. Some like certain serial number and condition are worth more. Thats what I look for, I’m not looking to rehabilitate some of the junk on eBay, I have been lied to, many times too often.


METZ:  FUTURE IS SECURED,
METZ IS ALIVE AND WELL IN MUNICH
Rumors abounded that Metz was going in bankruptcy.  Not true, the manufacturer of TV and  flash units can look to the future with confidence again. As administrator Joachim Exner communicated today, company operations have been sold to two investors today. Both investors have committed to maintaining operations at the Zirndorf site for the long term.

The flash units and plastics business is bought by the Daum Group, located in the region. The Daum Group is a manufacturer of innovative drive solutions in the field of electro mobility and of high-end fitness equipment, operating on an international scale. 

The company has a headcount of around 100 employees at the company headquarters in Fürth. The takeover of the flash unit and plastics business from Metz secures important know-how for the Daum Group concerning future company growth and also expands its product portfolio. 

Daum takes over 146 out of 174 employees in the Metz flash units and plastics segment. This means that nearly 85% of jobs is maintained. The creditors have already approved the sale. The transfer of undertakings is planned for 1 May.

“With Skyworth and Daum, Metz has gained two strong partners at its side, both with a clear vision and proven staying power. This provides Metz with a long-term perspective. – Exner, insolvency administrator


HANDLE-MOUNTS - THE PROBLEM
WAS MONEY - NOT THE PRODUCT
The best Wedding/Event units over the years (three-four decades) were the Pro Metz 45 and 60 series handle-mounts.  But they were expensive to power and worse the battery power was insufficient for todays throw it against the wall and hope it sticks shooters.  

The 45 CT-1 and CL-1  were smaller and is really a good fit with todays DSLR’s.  In some cases twice as powerful and twice the capacity in imaging today. The 60 series was a split hybrid layout and not really alterable, far more complex and you can’t do a lot with it because of it’s weird battery setup and difficulty with parts and convertibility.  I won’t touch them till I complete a new battery setup but it’s not promising and too small a market.

The other problem was wimpishness.  Thats the shooter that thinks a wedding is like a cross country trip on the Appalachian trail and weighs every thing so his pack is super light.  Whether it does the job doesn’t matter, just so its light.  I’m envious of these folks , my military pack weighed 45-50 pounds and we did not bitch about it since five pounds meant 50 extra rounds,

Its simple, more power in the past meant expensive heavy batteries.  Not any more.  My pack for my Metz 45 weighs less than my cobra packs which only weighed 2.37 pounds,  the new pack weighs 1.4 pounds. The dual pack to run the single or double 45’s ... 1.7 lbs.

Changing chemistries not available with the lifespan of the Metz 45, I found ways to circumvent the power problems in the .45.  I am upgrading the 45’s. every day for customers.  

The The Metz hammerheads are still very viable today. In three distinct areas of shooting, and it is wonderful that some of you guys dump them on the market, so I can get them fairly cheap and turn them over to the program.  

Chimping:
Especially the Wedding pretend shooters, sometimes called Chimping Chumps looking at every shot.  Sure those smaller heads do miss all the people on the sides.   To the right is the real deal.  Real Chimping! 

Weddings:
Nothing on the market has the spread and power of the Metz big boys unless you have thousands of dollars for high end stuff.  Especially outdoor and late night work in big halls.  

Group Shots - Wide: 
Using my perfection bracket and a pair of Metz 45’s, triggered by simple Yong-Nuo’s or Pocket wizards, lighting a hall room at events or outdoor fill flash with large groups is simple and those bridal parties of ten or more wide per side can get good even lighting.  

The Perfection Bracket:
Hundreds used my Perfection bracket before all the plastic cheap crap came out and now I use the bracket on dual 45’s.  Killer! Take two  METZ 45’s x 148 guide @ ISO-100 = 296 or F16 at 20 feet wide.  Those numbers are verified with a Sekonic 358.  See the photos here.

Beach Scenes:
High key lighting for models on the beach where you are fighting the sun, and the finances.  Many model shots are money losers and a lot are portfolio swaps.   

MANTRA-
I refurb, rebuild, redesign, re-engineer and manufacture power packs that are affordable to furnish the power these larger units require.  This entails rebuilding modules that transfers the power from the pack to the strobe.

THE PLAN 
Thus we took affordable CT-1 and CL-1 units, for those doing pro work and with some smarts can be had for very little on the web.  I find them laying in pawn shops. To me a pawn shop is sometimes a better deal than eBay. I can see and test what I am buying.

NOTAM: **  I also buy Kodak Carousels and found a brand new one in the original sealed box, never opened in a pawn shop for next to nothing. 
Also owning seven SONY
’s with adapters, the abundance of Minolta lenses in A-mounts were on a par with, and surpassed some Nikons.

Guys in the business who do this for a living need the wider pop these flashes make, as too many weak flashes produce wide shots dark at the edges and overexposed in the center.  We call this torpedoing.  Your group pictures will be better. Because, the wider-beamed, more evenly lit framing in the A mode if you target correctly works a major improvement over a hot centered strobe. 

Manufacturers lie a lot about Guide numbers.   Vivitar is a prime example, I worked on, repaired, upgraded, modified, and tested thousands of Vivitars over 45 years and never hit a guide of 120.  The Vivitar 283-285-285HV units, made in five countries, for five decades or more, never rose above 9.1.  

I moved the VIVITARS into the legacy section since there is little activity anymore, no parts and after four almost five decades, enough.  The METZ was a better investment for the Wedding, Event, commercial shooter simply because it was a better flash than the Vivitar, more reliable, built like a tank, bigger head, true guide at 150 @100 ASA and no sliding manual head gizmo to screw up your shots.

WHATS NEXT

•  Do send me a list of what you have to work with, pictures help and let me figure it out. I have several options, on varying levels and some spare parts and resources.  I’ll quote you. 
•   Another issue to think about before you tear one apart is compatibility with newer products.  I have a list of devices and the knowledge that cut the high voltage down for the synch ports.  
•  If your intent was as a stand or manual unit using into an umbrella, fine MANUAL mode works great. This is a stalwart true 150 guide power head with great color. Thus most are using them today on stands.  They make excellent portable location units for the budget minded shooter, no AC required and no cords for clients to trip over.  
•  The Metz will now with the pack consistently turn good numbers with a Pocket Wizard or other flash trigger with an umbrella or other light modifier since they have a bigger head.
•  With a guide number 148 at ISO 100, that’s about as powerful as many of the smaller cheaper hyped up Chinese studio lights on AC, about 170 @ 320 watt seconds. (more like 120)


LOTS MORE
INFORMATION

•  ACCESSORIES FOR THE 45
•  MARY ANN BEACH RIG
•  METZ CLARITY
• PRO USE and THINKING
•  THE CLIPS (MODULES)
•  THINK BEFORE YOU SYNCH and STINK 



If this make sense and you can handle a better solution, call me, or let me know what you have and I’ll quote you on the changeover to my system. No batteries needed in the in the handle, they are pretty light, and a pack on the belt is about the same weight maybe a few ounces heavier, about a pound but twice the power, width and range and the head weight is less, the battery on a belt keeps your pants up. 😍


** NOTAM - Notice by Alan’s Messaging