P&Shooter's flash, Metz 28 CS-2

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by usayit, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Nov 15, 2003
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    North New Jersey, United States of America
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    Ok... for all those that hate P&S cameras and see absolutely no need for them.. please do not read further. This isn't about making a P&S replace the need for a high quality camera nor a debate. It is all about just adding a little creativity and fun to a P&S camera.

    I like to travel light and I always travel with a camera. I like having a P&S as it fits in with my daily routine. I absolutely freakin hate how P&S cameras flash; lack of flexibility, off camera, creative control, and power. Most subjects under flash look like deer caught in headlights. While browsing ebay last week, I ran into a Metz 28 Cs-2 flash and found it very intriguing. Leica shooters are very familiar with the Metz branding and in general have good designs. I figure "what do I have to loose".

    First, it is fairly small flash... easily pocketable. I absolutely love the folding bracket design. The bracket extends to fit larger cameras as well. There is a weighted "foot" on the bottom of the flash when you want to set it down. The screw/knob used to attach the flash to the camera's tripod bracket also has a tripod hole. On the back, there is a small LCD panel with several buttons for settings. The physical design is almost perfect. My only suggested improvement would have been to include another tripod hole underneath the "foot" so I could place the flash off camera on a small table top tripod. I was also a bit disappointed with the build quality and their overuse of cheap feeling plastic. The flash comes with both a wide angle diffuser as well as a telephoto fresnel adapter.

    I've had small flashes before and usually just simply throw out light at full power. They are cheap, dumb, and most require a hotshoe. I expected maybe a slight improvement with the Metz. To my surprise, the Metz 28 CS-2 is a very feature rich and intelligent flash in a compact size. Now I understand the reason behind the premium price but the flash now feels like a bargain.

    It is very easy to use. I am using it with a Panasonic TZ5 with no real manual control. I simply set the flash to "easy" and turned on learning mode. I then set the camera to 100ISO (don't use auto ISO), force flash on, and red-eye off. Then take a test picture. The flash "learns" the preflash pattern of the camera and sets itself accordingly. You only have to do this once and the flash will remember. After that, it is a matter of using the "+" and "-" buttons to adjust power of the Metz flash in conjunction with the EV+/- compensation of the camera. Easy as that. The LCD panel on the back will also report back flash range as well as light up an indicator when proper exposure is detected.

    It doesn't stop there. This tiny little wonder even has Auto Thryster mode just like the bigger and higher models of flashes. You can select ISO, Aperture, Tele/Wide, and EV+/-. Just leave it to the auto sensor to adjust the power of the flash accordingly. In addition, a MANUAL mode is available for complete control. The manual mode has settings for power from 1/1 to 1/16.

    All in all, I really like this flash (albeit I need more time with it). It is compact, intelligent, and most importantly a built-in optical slave (be aware that other flashes can set it off). It allows for off camera flash creativity with almost any P&S which means more fun with better results. I highly recommend it.

    I found best results setting the TZ5 camera to EV -1.5 and the Metz at +1 in easy mode. The Metz flash is held at arms length up high above the camera.


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