Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

Metz 50 AF-1 Digital - £180/ $280

The Metz 50 AF-1 feels very robust considering its price. Bettering the company's previous model, it boasts a rugged metal (rather than plastic) mounting plate and a maximum power output of GN 50, instead of 48.

The bounce range of -7 to 90 degrees is generous, and the head swivels a full 180 degrees to the left, but only 120 degrees to the right.

A fairly typical 24-105mm motorised zoom range is available for full-frame cameras, and you can adjust the display to take the crop factor of APS-C cameras into account.

For multi-flashgun setups, there are two slave modes: one offers full wireless communication with the camera or master flashgun, while the other senses another flash via a light-sensitive cell.

Performance

The menu system is a little arcane, and not as intuitive as those on the Nikon SB-700 and SB-900. But after a bit of practice, adjustments become fairly easy.

The manual flash settings are mostly accurate, but we found practically no difference between the 1/32 and 1/64 settings. In i-TTL metering mode, the Metz often underexposed images.

Flash output

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

In the range between 1/4 and full output settings, the Metz is a little down on power. However, accuracy improves at lower output settings.

Aperture reading at 1m
Theoretical: 50
Measured: 32

i-TTL exposure accuracy

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

In i-TTL mode, images are often underexposed by a full stop (-1EV), meaning dark pictures and requiring flash exposure compensation to be dialled in.

i-TTL exposure accuracy
Measured: -1.0EV

Colour accuracy

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

Colour rendition is good, but we found we usually had to add positive flash exposure compensation in order to avoid colours looking quite muddy.

Colour accuracy
Measured: 16

Image quality verdict

Best flashguns for nikon dslrs

The Metz gun often suffered from flash underexposure in i-TTL mode during our tests, making for dull-looking images. Colour accuracy is good, though.