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Metz 44 AF-2 digital Flashgun Review

Metz 44 AF-2 digital Flashgun Review - We review the new Metz 44 AF-2 - a compact but versatile new flash with LED video light.

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Category : Portable Flash and Lighting
Product : Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 digital electronic flash
Price : BUY NOW£141
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Metz Mecablitz 44 Af 2 Digital (2)

With a flash unit and built in LED light the new Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital flashgun offers two solutions in one, with the flash working in the traditional flashgun manner for stills photography, and an LED light which can be used for continuous lighting for video and product photography. The Metz 44 AF-2 digital is available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Micro Four Thirds, Pentax, Fujifilm X series, and Samsung NX for £169 making it good value for money. 

The flash has a GN rating of 44 (at ISO100, 105mm), which is noticeably more powerful than most built-in flash units. The flash is a zoom head, covering 24-105mm (Full-frame), with a wide-angle diffuser for 12mm wide-angle. The built in LED light is rated as 100Lux at 1m, and there are 4 levels of adjustment.

Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital Features

Metz Mecablitz 44 Af 2 Digital (4)

The Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 is a zoom flash with a range covering 24-105mm, and a 12mm reflector for wide-angle lenses (FF). The GN (Guide Number) is 44 at ISO100 and 105mm focus length and is a more affordable flash unit compared to other flashguns from Metz, such as the Metz 64 AF-1 Digital, priced at £329 with a GN of 64, and a zoom range covering 24-200mm and a 12mm reflector for wide-angle lenses. 

Colour temperature is 5600K for the main flash unit and 5000K for the LED video light. The LED is said to last around 4hours for continuous lighting, when using Ni-MH (2100mAh) rechargeable batteries. There are 4 light output levels in manual mode. The flash can be used as a slave with another flash system, and is compatible with all major camera systems - you just need to get the right one for your camera.

The on/off button on the back of the flash unit illuminates green when the flash capacitor is full and shows that the flash is ready. The flash comes boxed with a printed manual, but does not include a stand or diffuser. There is a clear control panel on the back with a number of buttons that illuminate depending on mode selected, as well as a power guide with 4 LED lights. 

With the right camera model, you can sync first or second shutter curtain, as well as High-Speed Synchronisation (HSS / FP). The flash supports wireless TTL: E-TTL / E-TTL II with Canon, Advanced Wireless Lighting with Nikon, Olympus RC with Olympus, P-TTL Remote System with Pentax, and Sony CTRL and CTRL+ wireless remote system. Currently, the flash does not support Fujifilm remote slave operation, but when remote slave mode is supported by Fujifilm cameras, the flash can be updated with a firmware update from Metz.

As well as the 12mm reflector for wide-angle lenses, there is an integrated flip out reflector card, which can be used when using bounce flash. The flashgun can tilt upwards 90 degrees, and 300 degrees horizontally (180 degrees anti-clockwise and 120 degrees clockwise). The flash gun features automatic cut off (auto off) as well as the supporting wake-up from the camera, after sleep.

Metz Mecablitz 44 Af 2 Digital (1)

Key Features

  • GN44 (at ISO100, 105mm)
  • Vertical (+90°) and horizontal (300°) swivel reflector
  • Simple operating concept
  • Motorised zoom for 24–105mm illumination
  • Integrated wide-angle diffuser for 12mm illumination
  • Flip-out reflector card
  • Modelling light (permanent light to check shadow)**
  • Integrated autofocus flash metering
  • Flash readiness indicator and correct exposure display on unit and on camera**
  • Automatic unit shut-off
  • Metal base* with quick lock (excludes Sony version)
  • Firmware update via integrated USB socket
  • 4x AA batteries

Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital Handling

Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Rear Buttons Wide
Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Rear Buttons Wide

To switch the flash modes you simply press the mode you want, whether Manual, SL (Slave), TTL (Through the Lens), or LED. With the central on/off button illuminating green when the flash is ready, it is easy to use the flash. 

A built in AF beam light aids focus in low-light and worked effectively when we tested it with a Canon EOS 600D. Mounting the flash on the camera is straightforward, you simply slide the flash onto the hot-shoe and tighten the screw to hold it in place. The flashgun feels very well built with a pleasant design and feel and even works well on more compact DSLR cameras including the Canon EOS 1200D and Nikon D3300

Whilst there is no downwards tilt for macro shots, there are 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees up. It can also be rotated 180 degrees left and 120 degrees right to enable the flash to bounce from a wall behind you. 

Metz Mecablitz 44 Af 2 Digital (3)

Flash modes:

  • TTL flash mode (digital only)
  • Manual flash mode with 4 lighting levels
  • 1st and 2nd shutter curtain synchronisation**
  • Manual flash exposure correction for TTL flash mode**
  • High-speed synchronisation HSS/FP **

** Subject to camera

Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Flashgun (1)

Battery life - The flashgun uses 4 AA batteries, letting you use your preferred type of battery, with lithium batteries giving the longest battery life, although rechargeable Ni-Mh batteries also give good battery life. You can also use alkaline batteries which are readily available if you find yourself with flat batteries. The flash should deliver 270 shots when used at full power using Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries.

  • Use with alkaline batteries (1,5 V) 220
  • Use with Ni-Mh batteries (1,2 V/2100 mAh) 270
  • Use with lithium batteries (AA, 1,5 V) 450

The flash should give many more shots when used at lower power settings. In the battery compartment, you'll also find the USB socket for when firmware updates become available for the flash. 

Recycle times: (min/max)

  • Use with alkaline batteries (1,5 V) 0,1 / 3
  • Use with nicad batteries res. hydride batteries (1,2 V) 0,1 / 3
  • Use with lithium batteries (1,5 V) 0,1 / 4

Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Flashgun LED Full Power
Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Flashgun LED Full Power.

Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Flashgun LED Quater
Metz 44 AF 2 Digital Flashgun LED Quater Power.

Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 digital electronic flash Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Using a lens that is too wide-angle and focusing too closely on the subject is likely to show an area that the flash is not able to illuminate, although this is likely to be the case with any traditional flashgun. The flash unit delivers good illumination on default settings. We were easily able to control the flash output level using the flash exposure option on the Canon EOS 600D. 

The colour produced by the flash appears neutral, although when using the flash in the bounce position, care needs to be taken to ensure that the wall or ceiling used for bouncing the light isn't going to change the colour of the light. 

Metz 44 AF2 Flash Catch Light 1
Metz 44 AF2 Flash Catch Light 1

Using the flash in a bounce position means the flash isn't as harsh when shooting subjects at close range, and you can achieve a more natural looking image with the background lit more effectively. There is also a built-in flash reflector card, although this can occasionally be a bit fiddly to pull out, although once you get used to it, it shouldn't be too difficult. 

The use of the built in LED light is best for video recording, but can also be used as a fill light. However, due to the directness and brightness of a single LED light that is constantly on, it may not be the most comfortable light source for the model or subject. We also found the colour from the flash preferable, although this could easily be countered with use of a custom white balance setting. 

Value For Money

The Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital flash is available for £159 making it very good value for money for a combined flash with LED. If you are looking for a flash with a built in LED light for video, then alternative flashguns include the Pentax AF 540 FGZ II (GN54, with LED light for video / stills) at £399, and Sony HVL-F60M (GN60, with LED lights for video / stills) at £459, which are significantly more expensive than the Metz.

 

Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital Verdict

The Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital is an affordable flashgun that provides the added bonus of a built-in LED video light, making it a great tool for those who do both stills photography and video work. The flashgun works well with the camera, with a pleasing and bright light output, and the simple controls and design of the flashgun make it very easy to use. There are also a wide range of accessories available for the Metz 44AF-2. The Metz 44AF-2 would make a great first flashgun, with the added versatility of a video light, reducing the number of things you need to take with you when shooting. 

Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital Pros

Very good value for money
Good flash output
Built-in LED video light
USB updates
44GN rating

Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-2 Digital Cons

Direct flash can be harsh, and a diffuser is recommended
LED light best for video

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Metz 44 AF-2 delivers good results for stills and video and is great value for money.

 

Metz mecablitz 44 AF-2 digital electronic flash Specifications

Flash
Flash Guide Number (ISO100/m)100m
Camera Dedication
  • Canon
  • Nikon
  • Pentax
  • Sony / Minolta
  • Olympus
  • Multi-dedicated
Flash DurationNo Data
Power Source
Battery TypeAA
Dimensions
Weight306g
Width73mm
Height130mm
Depth106mm

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