Metz 36 AF-5

At £65, the Metz 36 AF-5 is a budget flashgun, and a quick glance will show you why – there are minimal controls, a modest size, and it only possesses a vertical swivel-head option. That said, it is aimed at novices and has a zoom facility of 28-85mm.

Metz 36 AF-5

Metz 36 AF-5

Its simple creation is probably its best selling point, and with the vertical tilting swivel head, manually adjustable zoom, and detachable wide-angle diffuser – suitable for the illumination of wide-angle focal lengths from 18mm – there is still scope for creativity with this product.

In terms of recharge time, the Metz posted an average of 1.5 seconds on NiMH batteries. It recorded a figure of 2 seconds on alkaline batteries. Talking of batteries, their installation is quite fiddly on this model of flashgun. Running guides within the battery compartment could make this a lot easier.

Despite the small size this product feels sturdy. The vertical tilt head does have a tendency to be a little loose though. There is an integrated autofocus flash metering facility too, but beyond that there are no manual controls. If you want a flash with a high number of outputs, this may be for you.


  • Listed guide number 36
  • Tested guide number 22 (at ISO 100, 1m)
  • Listed recycle time 3secs
  • Tested recycle time (NiMH @ full power) 3.2secs
  • Tested recycle time (Alkaline @ full power) 3.6secs
  • Flashes per charge (NiMH @ full power) 370
  • Flashes per charge (Alkaline @ full power) 320
  • Focal length coverage 28-85mm
  • Wireless optical slave No
  • AF assist beam Yes
  • Fill-in reflector No
  • Wide-angle diffuser panel No – just a detachable diffuser
  • Power controls N/A
  • Available to fit Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Four Thirds, Sony
  • Bounce angles 0, 30, 45, 60, 90 degrees
  • Rotate angles (right) N/A
  • Rotate angles (left) N/A
  • Dimensions 73x110x87mm
  • Weight 205g
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This review was first published in the Spring 2012 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.