LEARNING MODE - The CT-1and CL-1 series  are in basic A mode and Manual mode units with thanks to YONG-NUO bringing back those modes to shooters ( Many Strobists) who didn’t have a clue about light.

The advantage of learning to use the A mode and manual settings are faster shooting, quicker flash recovery, control of the light, and does a better job working in manual situations is critical to Wedding and event shooter who work in the dark locations like old churches and halls.  

You still have auto focus but still retaining full image control .  You simply let the flash do the thinking instead of the camera.  Any ttl or pre-flash integration slows down shooting.  Lets face truth the truth.  TTL in any manufacturers camera had it roots in making the amateur better, the pro who knows what he is doing prefers the control.  

Of the myriad of pros I spoke with, real money making pros, most shot manual or aperture preferred.  TTL was unreliable and slowed things down. The brain was in the head of the shooter, not in the head of the flash and camera who sometimes conflict with each other.

Metz talks about quality of light and I agree, its true.  It’s inherent in the design, with it’s additional higher guide and a wider more powerful head that gave continuity to the scene.  It shows more as a clean whiter white. 

I used all of the Metz “ Potato mashers”, the most popular being the 45 CL-CT, for 90% of my wedding work and they were excellent on film based medium format cameras.  They were reliable,  dead on exposures and color perfect for slow films like VPS professional and the FUJI line of PRO films. 


I re-designed a whole new system of battery packs based on the availability of newer battery and charger components and found a decent source.  But and after you use one, and you see the difference in flash distribution, coverage, technique  and power, you will become a convert.  Not to mention reliability, and longevity.  Oh I forgot to mention cost.

The advantages of this work around is longer battery life, reduced cost savings, for the new version of this old workaround, If the METZ 45 you have, is in great working condition I can custom build one for you.

Most of the projects I work on and offer come with decades of experience, and a strong effort to be completely safe. Many of the strobes, flashes and other devices using capacitors to build and release energy are dangerous in more ways than one. 

First:  I check the serial number of the strobe.  READ ON and you will FIND OUT WHY.  Power, we test them on the 7.4 side and then the 9.6 side.  Check slides and controls and look for corrosion.

Second: We create a module for the side showing the best results. Since the design allowed both NiMH and Alkali voltages, we may use different input speeds. 

Third: We manufacture a Black Box and charger combo with the desired MAH which can vary from 2000 to 4000 MAH.

Fourth: We determine if the setup is best for single or dual use.  The beauty of this set up is with two high-power black boxes and their dual ports you can mix and match both setups. 

Fifth:  The modules are then fitted with Quantum coiled cables I modify and convert the module and we test and test.   

The first simple manual electronic flashes had basically three components: A battery connects to a capacitor which is  connected to the flash bulb. The switch is the cameras hotshoe.   These flashes had high (320 V) voltage but the hotshoe was a mechanical metal trigger, not digital and could handle it.

The voltage from the battery slowly but steadily charges the capacitor like a stream of water filling a bucket. Once it is full, the water gets turned off. The capacitor is storing all that power.  Most strobes today are in the 320-340 range and can be dangerous.  As soon as the circuit between flashbulb and capacitor is closed all the stored energy drains out in one split second and the flash goes off. Just like dumping all the water on your friends head.  Now fill the bucket again.

In earlier manual flash designs the solid one setting the full charge was always fully drained.   And then a new re-charging cycle started, usually very slow.

NOTE: About voltage leak, when capacitors get old they can “ leak”I just fixed a Vivitar 285 for a customer that he said tingled.  The capacitor was leaking through a short in the shoe into his bracket.  He’s alive, the problem, he has a Pacemaker, not a good scenario.  I have no clue as to what a discharge could have done to him but on the safe side, I fixed it the best way I know how. No charge for the repair, I smashed it with a hammer and tossed it. He’s got a Yong-Nuo from me, I upgraded to a Black Box now and loves it.

The automated models added basically two more elements:
•  A light sensor to determine exposure 
•  An electronic switch (called a thyristor) between capacitor and flashbulb. 

•  When the circuit is closed, it switched the thyristor “on” which let the high voltage get to the flashbulb.
 •  The light sensor measured the light reflected back to the flash and after receiving sufficient light switched the thyristor "off".   Nice, since Thyristors can handle high voltages and they are very, very fast switches.

•  Flash automation, the correct exposure.
•  Only part of the capacitors charge is used.  Thus the remaining charge is on "higher ground" and only the balance to full is needed.  This means faster recycling. 

•  The 45 gave you a choice of five apertures after selecting the ISO. 
•  The inner Dial on top was used to select ISO of your film. 
•  The outer transparent wheel could be turned to one of five aperture positions or Manual. 
•  The scale below the transparent wheel showed the selectable apertures and maximum distance for your selected aperture. 
•  The 45 CT-1  has so much power with my new packs that you rarely need it in normal situations. 
•  Faster recycling, better working distance, and burst modes 
•  Better power for bounce lighting.but You can bounce from the ceiling or a side wall. The 45 had the power to do it easily and the automation to do it perfect out of the box.