Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1 Touchscreen Flash – Now Available

The first touchscreen shotshoe flash, Mecablitz 52 AF-1, from German manufacturer Metz is now available in the Canon version, with Nikon, Sony, Pentax, and Olympus/Panasonic/Leica versions soon to come.

The 52 AF-1 is probably a fitting way to start 2013 as this will likely be the year touchscreens take over a large portion of consumer electronics, and photography equipment obviously won’t be immune. Whether touchscreens will be a force for mostly good of evil is yet to be seen, though Metz are known for their down to earth user friendly interfaces so it probably a good thing they have got the ball rolling, hopefully in the right direction.

 

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1

 

At just $250 the 52 AF-1 is almost a fully featured TTL and HSS flash, with the Canon and Nikon versions having optic wireless master and slave compatibility built in. With a guide number of 52 metres at 105mm zoom that puts it roughly in-between the Canon 430EX II and 600EX-RT in power. So the 52 AF-1 is not quite a full size competitor, but really not that far off either. The other main omission separating the 52 AF-1 from the top end units is a lack high voltage port for external battery packs.

Features –

  • High max. guide number 52 (meters) at 105 mm
  • 3.5 sec recycle at full power
  • Wireless TTL, Master and Slave: 3 Groups, 4 Channels
  • Simple optic slave with pre-flash supression mode
  • HSS – High speed flash synchronisation
  • 1st and 2nd shutter curtain synchronisation
  • Manual power mode with 22 partial lighting levels
  • USB port for firmware updates
  • Autozoom Head: 24 to 105mm
  • Horizontal/Vertical Swivel: 300/90°
  • Illuminated, Auto-Rotating Touchscreen
  • LCD flash range display
  • Simple operating concept
  • Integrated wide-angle diff user and Flip-out reflector card
  • Metal base with quick lock
Omissions –
  • HV Port for external battery packs
  • PC sync port
  • Auto sensor

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1

The 52 AF-1 touchscreen features an automatic 90 degree swivel function which rotates the screen when the camera is held sideways in the portrait position. The illuminated LCD looks simple and clear, though its interesting Metz have chosen not to go with a full colour LCD screen

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1 screen

 

The 52 AF-1 has a metal foot, though Metz have retained the old locking ring system. Which in itself is not a bad thing, though the current locking ring is smaller and less grippy than some previous models which doesn’t help when mounting and removing the flash.

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1 foot

 

A USB port allows for future firware updates, which is becoming fairly critical these days with Camera manufactures making more significant changes to their protocols in new models.

Metz Mecablitz 52 AF-1USB

 

For off camera flash use compatibility with other third party TTL radio triggers can be an issue though. As third party TTL radio triggers become more popular this is becoming an increasing issue. In general mixing third party gear like this is not ideal, so that may be one thing to consider carefully if off camera use with radio triggers is a priority.

Metz make high quality flash units otherwise at very reasonable prices, and the 52 AF-1 looks to be no exception. Whether the touch screen is to everyone’s liking remains to be seen, though Metz are already expanding into monolights with touchscreen control as well, so its clear they are only going to become more prominent.

The 52 AF-1 is available now at B&H for $249.99, and listings should appear on Amazon shortly.

Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and the Olympus/Panasonic/Leica available.

Metz Website

7 Comments
  1. tommy 7 years ago

    that looks soooo much like a NISSIN !

    • Eddie 7 years ago

      Hmm, i have it since november and it’s quite impressive and very easy to be worked with!

  2. Wesly 6 years ago

    It looks great, thank you for this review.

  3. Marco A de Avila 6 years ago

    Hello!

    I would like your opinion between 52af-1 and 568ex / 568 ex II in conjunction with trigger 622C using a Canon 70D.

    Thank you Marco.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 6 years ago

      Hi Marco,

      Unfortunately I do not know what the compatibility of the Metz 52 AF-1 and YN-622C is like at this stage, as there have not been any reports of this combination being used as yet. Hopefully some other users may be able to comment on that.

      The Metz are a very nice quality flash, it just that compatibility with TTL radio triggers makes it difficult with Metz and Nissin etc. Using the same brand at least you can be sure they will be compatible now, and also if the triggers receive firmware updates later. Thanks.

      • Dillan 6 years ago

        I bought a couple of AF 52-1 flashes, and they work perfectly with my Cactus V triggers.

        • Author
          Flash Havoc 6 years ago

          Thanks Dillan,

          Most manual radio triggers should be fine.

          I should have said compatibility with TTL triggers (often used for remote manual as well though) can be difficult mixing third party flash and triggers. Thanks.

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