Metz mecablitz M400

So there are options for a flash on a Fuji with TTL, after all. Not yet available, but Metz just announced their new line of flashes at Photokina. They don’t have a price yet, but if it’s going to be similar to their current models, it should be around 250UD$. Hopefully less than 300AU$.

It’s going to a compact flash, a little bit smaller than standard units, which will look quite good on a Fuji. It’s maximum guide number is 40, which is not as powerful as the new Fuji flash, more like the Nissin i40, but for what I do, I don’t need anything more powerful than that. Apparently it will be perfect for wireless communication, both in manual and TTL mode. I’m curious how they accomplish that, but that would be quite useful. Of course it will deliver high speed sync as well.

Flash Metz M400 for FujifilmOne of the really good things about this flash is the ability to have it’s firmware updated via a usb interface. Perfect solution and much better than the Nissin option of sending the unit back to the manufacturer to have the new firmware burned into the system at their end. Being able to update firmware on a third party flash unit is essential, as we discovered with the i40 problem.

I’ve seen comments on photography forums full of disappointment, even hate at Fuji’s decision to update their TLL algorithm. I don’t know if Fuji did that to eliminate a competitor or was their decision completely benign, one thing is certain, they always had the right to do that. Let’s see if they address that incompatibility in the next firmware update, but I’m not holding my breath. I was able to cancel the delivery of Nissin i40, so I don’t need to bother with the firmware update, but I also don’t have a ttl flash to go with my new X-T2, once it’s delivered. Still waiting.

I will most likely get the new Metz, tho. I have a little bit more trust in that old German company. I still think that ttl is a function that is important to have in a flash, but last Saturday I actually shot my Canon 5D mk3 almost exclusively with my flash in manual mode, and I was very happy with the results. Actually more happy than when I had it on TTL. Weddings are hard to shoot with ttl. There is so much black and white in the frame; black suits and white dresses, that the flash in ttl gets easily confused. I get way under or overexposed images. I try to meter against neutral grey object for correct flash value, but thats really hard to do accurately. In manual mode it was much easier. Kept the distance constant, kept the camera in manual mode as well and got very nice images in return.

I still used my flash in HSS mode outside. The midday sun was horrendous and if I didn’t fill some of the shadows with light I would have gotten really bad pictures. I think that HSS may be a much more important feature of my flash than a ttl. I will still do more testing and practice in avoiding ttl, but I’m not willing to just give up on it altogether and only every shoot in manual. I will shoot manual, but I want to have the option.

1 reply
  1. Joseph
    Joseph says:

    Hi Jay,
    Just wondering how this flash hold up with your use. Got mine late last year for my Canon M50 from CR Kennedy. I understood then that Metz sold of their flash division. I used to have a Metz CT32 with my Pentax during the film days and it was off by 1 2/3 stops from the guide number of 32 meters. My Sunpak were usually spot on but the brand sort move towards the horizon.


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