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.
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
- Visit: www.intro2020.co.uk
This review was first published in the Spring 2012 issue of Practical Photography - download back issues here.