Metz 36 AF-4O v. Panasonic DMW-FL360

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Porky4, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Hi Folks, :smile:

    I currently have a Metz 36 AF-4O for use on my Panasonic G1. I'm generally very happy with it, but have a Panasonic DMW-FL360 coming at the end of the week to try out. Obviously, I will test out the FL360 and make up my own mind, but I wondered if any of the members here have any comments that they would like to make on these two flash guns.

    There doesn't seem to be much reported on the various forums (fora?) for either flash, but owners of both seem happy with their purchases.

    As I see it (without having tried the FL360 yet), the main differences are:

    Metz
    1. For:
    • Half the price of the FL360
    • Same max power as FL360
    2. Against:
    • TTL only. No manual/Auto modes.
    • Head tilts only, no swivel.

    Panasonic
    1. For:
    • Rebadged version of the trusty Olympus FL-36.
    • TTL, Auto and Manual.
    • Swivel, positive tilt (+90 degrees) and negative tilt (-7 degrees).
    2. Against:
    • Expensive compared to the Metz.

    I'm sure that there are more and would appreciate any pointers/suggestions that you may have.

    Paul :cool:
     
  2. flipGTO

    flipGTO Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Feb 8, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I don't have experience with the smaller Metz flash, but I have the FL36 and the Metz 48. The Metz 48 recycles so much faster than the FL36 because it has 4 batteries instead of 2. It also has a great wireless flash feature, but the Panasonic bodies can't take advantage of that. The FL36 to me was just a big disappointment, especially in the recycle time department.
     
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  3. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Thanks Mark, :smile:

    I didn't realise the FL-36 flash only used 2 batteries so the Panasonic, by implication, does as well. As I said, I haven't tried it yet, but I just checked an on-line manual and, yep, it's only 2 as well. As you say, that'll hit the recycle times.The Metz 36 uses 4 and recycles pretty quickly, so I obviously will notice a difference there, but I'm not sure that will be a major problem for me.

    In UK, the Metz 48 costs more than the FL-36 and quite a bit more than the Panasonic is going to cost me (it's refurbished to new, not actually new), so price-wise it's out of the ballpark for me.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Paul :cool:
     
  4. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

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  5. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Thanks Sabesh, :smile:

    I knew about the lack of swivel. It is obviously a limitation of the Metz 36.

    You may have been getting decent recycle times on your recent shoot as your FL-36R appeared to be being used mainly for fill-in lighting so was obviously not firing anywhere maximum power. Forgive me if my assumption is wrong here. The chart you linked to shows the maximum recycle times to be 8 seconds and 3 seconds for the FL-36 and Metz 36 respectively, which seems to back what Mark was finding above.

    Don't know about elsewhere, but the newer FL-36R (and Panasonic FL360E) are quite a bit more expensive in the UK than their older versions.

    Thanks for the comments.

    Paul :cool:
     
  6. scon4061

    scon4061 Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Feb 8, 2010
    Wigan
    I picked up a new FL-36R for half price because the box was damaged. I tried it out and couldn't believe how slow it was at re-cycling when used on full power. It's fine for fill in flash but way too slow on full power.

    I put it back in its box and haven't used it since. It's hard to see how this product made it to market.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 14, 2010
    Toronto
    I bought an FL-360 for $175 recently, very lightly used (complete LNIB). It's fine as a light fill. I will use it wirelessly, in manual, in concert with the four batteried FL-500 when I finally get the transceivers and Gary Fong stuff.

    Off camera, it probably could have been done cheaper with a higher GN, but I wanted the first lights to be fully Pany compatible. I may go for more horsepower later on.
     
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  8. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    Paul, yep, wasn't firing at max power during the shoot. However, the Poergenix batteries do make a difference. Just checked. Recycles in less than 4 secs. Cheers.
     
  9. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Thanks Sabesh, I'll keep an eye out for the Powergenix NiZn, but there don't appear to be too many places you can buy them in the UK. One that I did find had them at £23.99 for four :eek:, including a charger. That's not cheap! In the chain of Poundland stores here in the UK, you can get packs of decent (not great) high power alkaline batteries at 12, or sometimes 14, for a pound. I've been using those and as I don't use my flashguns that often, £5 worth of batteries lasts for quite a long time!

    Paul (Cheapskate is my middle name) :cool:
     
  10. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    Paul, Powergenix charger and batteries are sold on eBay too. Just curious, why do you need fast recycling times? I find that the only time I need fast recycling is when I shoot some Pro gigs like weddings.

    For the E-P2, I prefer something portable, yet has full functionality (I find tilt/swivel and HSS more critical than recycling times). The FL-36R fits the bill in that regards.

    Another option to consider: Get an FL-14 with a short, TTL extension cord. I've seen one person doing this: He was holding the E-P1 with one hand and the FL-14 with the other and bouncing it off the walls. Cheers.
     
  11. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Hi Sabesh, :smile:
    The only ones I can find on €Bay UK are not sourced from the UK, but come from the US, so greater P&P charges and so more expensive than the single one I found in the UK and mentioned in my previous post.

    I don't particularly. It's just what other people have observed. I said above: "The Metz 36 uses 4 and recycles pretty quickly, so I obviously will notice a difference there, but I'm not sure that will be a major problem for me." It would be nice to have a fast recycle time if it's not going to cost me too much, though. Why not! :biggrin:

    The purpose of this thread was to solicit comments about the difference between the Metz 36-AF4O (which I have) and the Panasonic DMW-FL360 (which I can get at very good price). As the Metz is is a TTL flash and I have a TTL cord and a rotating flash bracket, where the flash can also be angled sideways (which you weren't to know), I don't understand what benefit I would get from buying an FL-14.

    Thanks for your response though.

    Paul :cool:
     
  12. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Hi folks, :smile:

    The FL360 arrived. It looks well made, but then again, so does the Metz. The FL360 has a shorter body than the Metz, but the head is longer, so the overall size is about the same, but the FL360 sits (looks) better on the G1 than the Metz.

    I whacked in a couple of unused el cheapo alkaline batteries (Hyundai Extra Heavy Duty) which I've been using of late with no problems and was horrified to find that the recharge time on the FL360 was 25-30 seconds after a full power blast. :eek: I then tried a set of part-used Duracell alkaline batteries and the recharge time came down to a more acceptable 10/11 seconds! :thumbup: Obviously the Hyundais aren't suited to the FL360 although they behave OK in my other flashguns. Maybe that's down to the fact that the other flashes all use 4 cells? I don't know.

    Now, I don't have any rechargeable batteries so got some GP 2100 mah ones to try out while the hybrio and eneloop ones I've ordered are on their way. The recharge time has dropped to a fairly consistent 8 seconds :2thumbs: after a full power flash, which is in line with the quoted figures, and is just a second, or two on half power. Just out of interest, I tried my Canon 540EZ with the same batteries and that recharges in 3 seconds after a full power (GN54!) blast, so the FL360 is far from quick, as others have said!

    I'd like to try the PowerGenix ones Sabesh recommended, but ignoring the fact that they are hard to source in the UK (and need a special charger) they have a nominal voltage of 1.6v which is higher than the norm. and I wondered if that may have a adverse affect on the charging circuitry in the flash? Does anyone else have any experience with the PowerGenix NiZn batteries?

    Paul :cool:
     
  13. monkey66

    monkey66 New to Mu-43

    8
    May 24, 2010
    Paul, how did the Metz compare?
     
  14. Porky4

    Porky4 Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Apr 4, 2010
    Staffordshire, UK
    Hi Monkey,
    Sorry about the delay responding.

    There's very little to choose between the Metz 36 AF-4 and the FL360 when used in TTL mode. The zoom adjusts automatically on the FL360 and the head can swivel (not just tilt), but apart from that, they both have the same maximum power and exposure is handled correctly on both. The FL360 wins on its Manual options. The Metz is TTL only.

    I originally asked the question because I was able to get a refurbished FL360 for a good price and I wanted to see if I could safely replace the Metz with it. Normally it sells for about twice what the Metz sells for.

    I have satisfied myself that I can replace the Metz with the FL360, so if you don't need anything more than TTL, the Metz is more than adequate for the job.

    I've been meaning to put the Metz up for sale, just haven't got round to it. So, if you are in the UK and are interested in a good TTL flash for Olympus/Panasonic cameras, drop me a PM and we can discuss it.

    Paul :cool: