The Metz BL-200 kit comes with two lightweight, compact heads that kick out 200Ws of power each. This is impressive considering their size, though flash duration isn’t as short as the Bowens so they’re not as well suited to shooting fast-moving subjects, and they have a disappointing full-power recycle time of 2sec.
The heads have six power settings which can be adjusted in 1/10-stop increments. Included in the box is a 50x70cm softbox which is well-built and easy to construct, an 84cm umbrella, and one reflector. The umbrella is shoot-through, but also has a silver-lined cover so it can be reflective as well, making this a very versatile kit. Metz uses an S-fit bayonet mount so Bowens-compatible modifiers can be attached. The modelling light is fairly dim at 75Ws, so has limited use as a constant light source. It can be adjusted independently of the main light with six different power settings though, or can be turned off completely. There are two air-cushioned lightstands included with the kit, each with a maximum height of 198cm. This is fine for most portraits, but not so good for lighting from above. Overall build quality is very good, though oddly the protective cap will not fit on with the modelling bulb in place, so the bulb has to be removed every time the lights are packed away. The lights are not fan-cooled but do have overheat protection. With the kit comes a generously padded and well-built carry bag.
This is a powerful, compact and well-built starter kit with a versatile set of accessories. Its flash duration and recycle time let it down a little, and wireless triggers are not included. Overall though, a very good buy.
- Street price: £349 (As of June 2016)
- Max. flash power: 200Ws per head
- Modelling bulb power: 75Ws
- Modifiers: 1 umbrella, 1 softbox
- Full-power recycle time: 2sec
- Wireless transmitter included: No
- Reflectors included: 1
- Digital display: Yes
- Max. lightstand height: 198cm
- Fan-cooled: No
- Carry bag included: Yes
- External battery connection: No
- Visit: www.intro2020.co.uk
This review was first published in the Spring 2014 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.