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Flash Photography on 500CM


Hi all,

I'm confused on flash photography with 500C/M and Metz flash lights. Since 500C/M is not a TTL camera, we have to use a manual mode on Metz flash.

Does it means that if I stick to f5.6 and 1/60 exposures on ISO 100 the flash will automatically give the right light intensity. The flash PC cord is plugged to the lens.

Pal Dou
Pal, it's very simple, but you have not stated the model Metz. I use a CL4. So check what modes the Metz you have offers - TTL (irrelevant on a 500cm); Auto (the flash head is set to the aperture you chose to use on the lens and then the head sensor measures the flash output to suit. The flash head has 3 or more apertures on offer); manual (you set a power output on the flash head based on a calculation using the guide number, distance and f stop on the lens).

So if you have a Metz offering auto setting on the head, just compose the shot, select a shutter speed for the amount of ambient light you want to allow in (the Hassey synchronises to any shutter speed) and set the aperture based on DOF etc you want, set the flash head f stop auto position per the lens f stop selected, plug in the x synch cord to both flash unit and lens. Fire away.

It is hard to make a mistake using the auto mode (although it is not quite full auto as in TTL) and I have never missed not having TTL on my 501cm.
Thanks Simon,

Could you explain more about it? Mine is Metz 32CT3. At the back there are 5 modes: TTL, M (Manual) and 3 Auto modes (yellow, blue and red). I have no idea on the difference between the 3, but I guess it is something dealt with the apature lever.

Pal Dou
> It would be the best to go to the Metz website. They have manuals there in pdf format. Depending on which auto mode you choose you have to select a different aperture on your lens. This aperture is indicated by the different colours and will depend on the speed of the film which has to be set on the flash. It is all very simple but I do not own a flash like you, look into the manual.

[I just purchased a used 50mm lens. Can anyone point me to a site where I can obtain a copy of its instruction manual? Thanks.]

The difference between the three auto modes is the maximum range and (linked) what aperture you must use. You have a choice of three.

A choice of three ranges, that is. You'll see that with the "red" option, the maximum range (15 m) is more than 4 times the maximum range of the "yellow" option.
What aperture comes with what range depends on the ISO setting (the slider thingy).

So select one of these "A" modes, set the same (!) aperture on the lens, hook the Metz up to the synch contact, and snap away.

But you'll need a cable to do that. The 32CT3 does not have a facility to attach a cable. So you need a hot-shoe-with-cable gadget. These are available from a number of sources.

Just curious: what are you going to mount the 32CT3 on?

Oh, and the rest of the buttons on the 32CT3:

The green thing next to the green battery symbol and the window in the green circle is the battery test.

The "0" and "I" marked buttons on either side of the window below the battery test are the "off" and "on" buttons respectively. The window is the on/off indicator light.

The button next to the thunderbolt symbol is the flash test button.
The window next to it is the "ready" light. When lit, the flash is charged.

Press the test button while aiming the flash at your subject to see if the output at the selected aperture will be enough. A red light above the "TTL" symbol on the left of the mode-selector will light if it will.
It will not light if output is not sufficient, and then you will have yto either move closer, or select a different range, and the larger aperture that goes with it (remember to set that on the lens too!!!)

The mode-selector has the settings you already mentioned.

In TTL mode, the flash expects controlling input from electronics inside cameras, through a SCA adapter. The 500 C/M does not contain such electronics, so you can;t use TTL mode with that camera.

Next to it is M, for manual. The flash will always (!) put out full output. You (!) will have to select the correct aperture for the subject distance yourself. The slider on the unit helps: with it pointing at 100 ASA, for instance, you need f/16 if the subject is 3 m away (from the flash unit!), and f/2.8 if it is 15 m away.
You will have to change aperture every time flash to subject distance changes. The flash does absolutely nothing, other than "giving it all".

If you want to set one aperture and forget about it all, you must use any one of the three "A" (for auto) modes.
Then the flash will control its output automatically, which means it will meter and shut itself down whenever it thinjs enough light has been out out.
Works great as long as you remember 1) to set the correct aperture on the lens as well, 2) remember that there is a maximum range, and 3) not to cover up the flash's sensor (in the front, below the name).
Thanks QG and Simon for your info.

FYI I have a 32CT3 and also a PowerGrip G15, so your concern is solved (apart from extreme heavy weight to handle the whole lot.)

Hi Pal,
Having messed about with several flashguns and had trouble calculating apertures with multiple (synchronized) flash exposures, I finally bought a small flashmeter, and now I get the right exposure every time. Since few flashguns are able to manage multi flash on TTL, this turns out to be great value for money!
Regards Gerard
Anybody familiar with a good ringlight to be used manualy on a Hass. 500CM for macro flower shots? Thanks for your help:
Ted S

I've used the Hasseblad Macro Flash successfully with the 500C/M using the guidelines in the manual (I purchased a used one from a camera dealer and got the bracket on Ebay). A polaroid back is almost a necessity to check/confirm exposure. I have since gotten an SCA300 module to do TTL flash metering with my 503CW and that flash.

I have been tempted by a few old Ringlights that appear on Ebay from time to time, but they always seem to have some quirk. That could explain why they end up there. I have no experience with ringlights, though.

One of the things I like about the Macro Flash is that it comes with attachments to dim one or both flash heads. You can also upgrade it to TTL for a 503CW or other TTL body with the SCA adapter module. Better than having to find a new flash system when you upgrade your body. If you set the flash heads properly, you should be able to get a relatively flat light on the subject.