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In praise of the Metz 20 C-2
Old 09-29-2010   #1
kanzlr
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In praise of the Metz 20 C-2

hi everybody,

the question about what small flash to get for camera X comes up quite frequently, thus I wanted to share my experience:

for "serious" flash use, ie when I know I will use a flash for the majority of shots, like an event or something like that I bring my big Metz 40 with SCA adapter with me. But if I don't know, or when travelling, I wanted something smaller. I investigated a few options already when I had a Ricoh GXR and finally bought the small Metz 20 C-2

it has only 4 settings: off - M - 2.8 - 5.6.
On the back it has a classic iso/distance/f-stop diagram
Also, it has a locking lever, a tilting head (for bouncing off the ceiling), a small thyristor sensor in front and a PC sync plug.

So far it works wonderfully well. Set the camera to ISO 160, the lens to f2.8, the shutter speed to 1/250, the flash to f2.8 and off you go. As long as you are within the distance that is indicated on the table on the back of the flash, it works great. Even bouncing works, although with reduced range, of course. If you respect the possibilities of this little two battery gun, it exposes very well and fills the role as a cheap, small travel companion very very well.

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Old 09-29-2010   #2
swoop
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I really loved mine for awhile but it recently busted after about a year and on only goes off every other flash or so. But for $50 and the size it's great on any Leica M. The best feature was the sync that allowed me to fire it remotely. But for some reason it only worked when the flash was set on Manual. Still great.
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Old 09-29-2010   #3
kanzlr
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too bad, Metz is usually pretty reliable.
it is just that it has the perfect size, and the back to basics approach fits so well into M photography. Thought about getting the SF58, but it just doesn't make much sense. If I often need good on camera TTL flash, I'd stick with Nikon.
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Old 09-29-2010   #4
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Thanks for posting this. I'm looking for something similarly small and similarly featured but in a simpler rectangular package that doesn't have the L shape of the 20 C-2. Would appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 09-29-2010   #5
kanzlr
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hm, maybe a Nikon SB27? but havent tried that one yet.
the 20 is L-shaped but small, and the L lip is not very pronounced.
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Old 09-29-2010   #6
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Thanks, kanzlr. My apologies for digressing in your msg thread! Back to your Metz -- I'm impressed that it delivers in bounce mode with just two AA batteries pushing the circuit. Could you please flesh out a little more what your bounce experience has been?
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Old 09-29-2010   #7
Jason Sprenger
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My RF bags have this Metz and its Sunpak sibling. I had two Sunpak's but when one died, I bought this Metz and found it was almost the same flash. The difference is the Sunpak version has only one automatic setting at f4 but can operate as a slave, and sadly, the Sunpak isn't available whereas the Metz one still seems to be out there.

With the head tilted for bounce, I find I can carefully slip a business card behind the head to throw a bit more light forward as well as up. No rubber band needed.

I don't think I would choose to shoot a wedding with it, but in a travel kit, it's great. I can manage this flash and a set of 3 compact lenses kit in a Domke F-5xa.
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Old 02-03-2011   #8
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I bought the small Metz 20 C-2 today. I also considered a Nikon SB-27 but I couldn't find any and Metz was available at a local store so the decision was easy. GN 20 is alright if you shoot close (max 3 meters) and in any case I'm going to use it for fill flash.
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Thanks
Old 05-07-2011   #9
bwcolor
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Thanks

I've got at least thirteen on camera flashes and I rarely use flash these days, but I don't have a good small flash for fill-flash with my rangefinders and a small fill flash would be used. So, ordered it this morning. I look forward to having a small flash when I need it.
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Old 03-13-2019   #10
Ste_S
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From the looks of it Metz no longer make something equivalent to 20 C-2. It's replacement is the 24 AF-1 which looks to be TTL only.

I'll keep an eye out for a used 20 C-2, but in the mean time is there anything else people would recommend ? Aiming to use it with a Canon P rangefinder
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Old 03-13-2019   #11
presspass
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It's only available used, but the Vivtar 2800 is a good fit. It has two auto settings as well as manual, a head that tilts but does not swivel, and runs on four AA batteries. They are usually available on eBay and sometimes in older camera stores or even at flea markets. Typically, they sell for $10 or less.
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Old 03-13-2019   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ste_S View Post
From the looks of it Metz no longer make something equivalent to 20 C-2. It's replacement is the 24 AF-1 which looks to be TTL only.

I'll keep an eye out for a used 20 C-2, but in the mean time is there anything else people would recommend ? Aiming to use it with a Canon P rangefinder
The Panasonic PE-20S which has a pc sync terminal. The larger PE-28S if you'd like to tilt.
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