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New Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1 flash for Nikon cameras to be announced this month

Metz Mecablitz 64 AF-1 flash for NikonMetz-Mecablitz-64-AF-1-flash
Metz will soon announce a new Mecablitz 64 AF-1 flash for Nikon cameras. The new product is already listed on several online stores in Europe. Here are the translated specifications:

  • Guide Number 64 at ISO 100
  • Motorized Zoom 24-200 mm
  • Wide-angle diffuser for 12 mm
  • Great lit touch display with automatic rotation
  • Folding Reflector vertical -9 / +90 º horizontal and 300 º
  • Secondary reflector with two steps of light output
  • Integrated reflector card
  • Sync Connector
  • All specific modes TTL cameras
  • Automatic flash mode with 12 diaphragms
  • Manual flash mode with 25 steps of partial light output
  • Flash strobe mode
  • Wireless remote TTL master and slave mode
  • Four individual program memories
  • USB connector for software upgrade
  • Power with four AA batteries or Power pack
  • Includes case and slave foot
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  • jk

    beautiful speedlite!

  • Kynikos

    The specs look really promising.

    Can Nikon brick this with a firmware update?

    • FW

      It’s possible, but that is what the USB port was for.

      • Kynikos

        Thanks–good eye.

      • Kynikos

        Thanks–good eye.

  • Isaac Alonzo

    Now this looks awesome! But how about CLS?

  • Juergen.

    In Germany listed as “item ordered, is expected” at a major dealer, Foto Koch, for 429,– Euro incl. 19 percent German VAT.
    That’s the same price as for the other variants of the 64 AF1:
    http://www.fotokoch.de/63991.html

    Listed for the same price at other dealers like Technikdirekt and Saturn when later available.

  • Forest Funk

    Nikon’s own flashes are way too expensive.

  • Forest Funk

    Nikon’s own flashes are way too expensive.

    • george

      Well, based on the price on the site mentioned just above, this is going to be more expensive than even a new SB-910.

      • Juergen.

        SB-910 list price (MSRP) at launch – Dec 15th 2011 – was 509,– Euros incl. German VAT at 19 percent.

        Nowadays SB-910 street price is roughly 380,– to 400,– Euro (incl. 19 percent German VAT).

        The price of the Metz is the MSRP at launch.

        • george

          No arguments there, but if they wanted to sell these units they should at least price them lower than the top of the line Nikons (against which they compete). Otherwise there’s no reason going for a 3rd party flash instead of the real deal.

          For instance, I got a 58 AF-2 recently, which competes against the SB900, at half the price of the Nikon. If it was priced twice as and I were willing to spend that amount of money I’d definitely go for the Nikon instead.

          • Juergen.

            I agree with the pricing.
            Once available the street price has to go down, I think it has to be below 350,– (as SB-910 is 380,– to 400.–), ideally sth. like 329,–.

          • MRomine

            With “Wireless remote TTL master and slave mode” that alone puts it above the Nikons and makes them worth more money. But they re both overpriced.

            • rt-photography

              how exactly is it above the nikons? Nikon Sb900 910 and 700 are CLS compatible as masters or slave in TTL..

            • MRomine

              Anything would be better than Nikon CLS, especially if it is RC.

            • george

              The 58 AF-2 is exactly like Nikon’s CLS, not radio. Although it offers the same functions as its Nikon counterpart, it’s much less intuitive to use and also much slower than the Nikon, so no, it’s not better than an SB900 or even a SB700…

            • rt-photography

              yea for sure. cls is crap. no reason to use cls with such cheap and good Rslaves,

        • Adrian Valentin Tomiţa

          Ok man, but do I have to remember that for that extra amount of cash you get a Guide Number of 64 compared to the weak 34 GN of the SB-910? Not to forget it’s also touchscreen, plus, the SB-910 has a very slow recycling time compared to the 64 AF-1 from what I’ve heard.

      • David

        Love my new Phottix. $299 and slots in between the SB910 and 700.

  • saywhatuwill

    I like that they have the smaller flash for the catch light when using the bounce flash. It looks like a great unit and I’m sure it won’t overheat or slow down with heavy use.

    • george

      I have a 58 AF and like it, but I surely hope they improved some of its drawbacks with this newer model. While it’s quite powerful and works perfectly with the CLS and wireless system, the recycle time is frustratingly long (almost 10sec at full power), the menus are a pain in the a$$ to navigate and extremely slow, and it doesn’t even get a standard power cable…

      • saywhatuwill

        Thanks for that mini-review of the older version. That long recycling time can be frustrating. Can it speed up with rechargeable batteries? One thing I liked about the SB900 was the fact that the menus were pretty straightforward and the options were easily chosen. It didn’t sound like that with the Metz.

        • george

          That’s the best you can do with any batteries. Even with those new 2400mAh Eneloop X cells, you’ll still have to wait several seconds for it to recycle.

          As for the menu, there’s absolutely no comparison to the 900-910. You even have to go to a sub-menu to apply EV compensation, and it takes the flash a second or two every time you hit a button for the LCD to change. For me it’s only practical to use as a slave to a SB900, especially if you are, say, shooting a wedding and have to move and adjust quickly…

          • torwag

            Hmm. using the 58 AF-2 I can’t understand the critics here. Sure recycle could be faster but it is ok for me (might really heavily depending on what you want do). I would say it is more about 4-6 secs rather then 10.
            The menu, well as usual, it has haters and lovers. I for instance find it not bad, once getting used to it, it is rather logical. Sure it could be improved but that is true for all other flashes as well.

            One point which was not addressed yet is service.

            I once burnt-in some cloth into the Frensel lens of the flash. Send it in to Metz, with a roundtime of a week I received a repaired flash with the old Frensel lens as spare (or proof that they really changed and not just cleaned it). Service was very helpful and friendly. On top, I paid less then 30 Euro for the exchange including shipping and parts. Try to get this from any other manufacture.

            • george

              Having used all kinds of flashes in the past, since the days of film, I believe the 58 AF-2 behaves more like a previous generation unit would compare it against a SB800, not the 600/700/900/910.

              Menu navigation is really slow, it does take a couple of seconds for a command to go through, and its ergonomics are nowhere near those of the 910’s.
              My biggest complain regarding its menu is the lack of a quick way of applying flash compensation. You have to navigate to a sub-menu to change that, and it takes upwards of 4sec to achieve that, totally unacceptable for a modern flash.

              Even changing the manual levels is a pain. You basically have to click 24 times a button to go from full power to 1/64, and you have to stop and wait for the flash after each press for the command to go through. That’s over half a minute wasted just for changing the output…

  • Global

    Seems like the users here trust “Metz” brand — are there other manufacturers of Flashes that you particularly like? Which are the best?

    And which flashes do you recommend with FX cameras for basic small-to-medium studios? (Other than Nikon brand, but with as many or more features — not “discount” or less features).

    I only have used one SB-900.

    But I am considering multi light set up (at least 3).

    • Juergen.

      Metz has a 50+ year reputation as a maker of flashes.

      Personally I bought my first Metz 45 flash in 1978 …

      Amongst several other flashes I have 5 Nikon SB-800, which I typically bought for Euro 199,– (incl. VAT) from my photo dealer with one year warranty.

      • Global

        Good to know, does Metz work particularly well with Nikon (do any third parties work well with Nikon’s proprietary system)? Thanks Juergen.

    • george

      After using the SB910, SB700, Metz 58 for some time, I recently bought a Meike MK-910 and couldn’t be more happy with it.
      It’s a perfect clone of the SB910, exactly the same layout, same power, same recycle times, HSS, and works perfectly as a Master/Commander. And all that for 140USD…

      • Global

        Thanks for the heads up, sounds like it could be good for the 2nd and 3rd flash with a Nikon SB-900 as master. Does it lack any software features on Nikon’s proprietary system?

        • george

          None that I noticed. It’s really hard to tell the two apart without reading the label…

  • Neopulse

    Would like to see a comparison between this flash and the Lumopro LP180.

  • rt-photography

    their 58 AF-2 is just a garbage of a flash. I have 7 flashes I use for weddings and after having experience with it, its crap and is now a backup of a backup. what a waste of money.

    VERY slow to recycle. so slow in fact that even in manual at 1/32 power it cant keep up with a 2 continuous shots with a 622n slave shot with a D3s. even my old POS workhorse SB28 can out perform this crap and can do 4 continuous shots before the 5th shot doesnt light.

    build quality isnt all that. the tightening knob has no grip. I had to use a file and add grooves to it. the menu is so retarded you cant believe someone would actually finalize it for production. you have to press button after button just to get to the settings you want and there is a huge lag when pressing the button and till it registered. what a waste of money.

    there are WAY!! better options than metz. they used to be the alternative to nikon in film days. but today, with yongnuo, neewer, godox, nissin, triopo, meike, and others, their price and features is not worth your time. this LOOKS nice (like the 58 AF-2 did when it was released) but truthfully even if it sold for $300, id get 2 yongnuo 568 ($340 total including shipping) or an SB910 before getting one of these.

    screw you metz.

    • Global

      Can Yongnuo 568es be slaved to an SB-900 and used exactly the same as if it were part of Nikon’s own system, given that the SB-900 is the master?

      • rt-photography

        568 will do slave mode in CLS. but it cannot be a master (on camera) I use the 568 now mearly for off camera flash set at manual with 622n slaves. but I keep just in case my SB700/900 go rogue and I need an on camera flash.

        but got a reply from yongnuo that the 568 mark II is in testing phases so I have a feeling it will get released this year. that metz LOOKS nice. I wouldnt touch metz again.

  • Frank

    Is anyone else concerned about the massive battery drain that LCD screen could be? I mean, if you think flashes go through batteries quickly now, what happens when you add an LCD screen to the equation?

    • Global

      That was my first thought — as far as ive heard (not experienced) many strobists do not like color-leak in their scenes and LCDs tend to have a specific cast. However, I seriously doubt it could make that much pollution. But they probably hate power drain even more! Not only that, but I would guess that touch screens take even more energy.

      That being said LED technology has come a long way and the power drain might be minimal, especially if the screen turns off between use. Personally, I’d prefer working with a screen, it just seems more natural in a cellphone age. But who knows.

  • Jason

    Does Nikon have a patent on the locking pin to stop the flash coming loose? I’m surprised that no one else has taken it up on any third party flashed. Also, for the guy who’s asking what’s best for a small to medium sized studio – the answer is studio lights, a set of which could cost you less than this one flash

  • Spy Black

    You’ll never see that touch screen outdoors when trying to do synchro with that unit.

    • julius77

      Not only that, but touch screens got a way of failing in extreme weather conditions as well as with greasy fingers…

  • frank

    I want one of these bad boys!

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