How do I fix a non-firing Metz Af58-1?

Photography Asked by Clem on December 4, 2020

I have a Canon 50D and a Metz Mecablitz AF 58-1.

A few years back I used to work a lot with this combo, but it’s been set aside for a few years.

I took it out, and changed the batteries of the flash to brand new ones. The flash doesn’t test fire.

I put the flash in the hotshoe, powered up the camera and the flash, and I know the camera communicates with the flash because the flash knows my aperture and focal length etc.

I understand it’s probably a flash bulb problem of some sort, I just wanted to know if anyone ever encountered the same problem, if I can take care of the problem myself, and what is the expected cost of repair in a shop.

The flash really works flawlessly except for, well, flashing.

2 Answers

Taking it in for service would be the best you can do letting the experts take care of business is the right thing to do.

Answered by Clos on December 4, 2020

How long is "a few years"? In the manual, there's a note that you should power on the flash every few months rather than just letting it sit:

Forming the flash capacitor
The flash capacitor built into the flash unit undergoes physical change if the unit is not switched on for a prolonged period. For this reason it is necessary to switch the unit on for approximately 10 minutes at least once every three months. The power supplied by the power source must be sufficient to cause the flash readiness indicator to light up no more than one minute after the flash unit is switched on.

See Are flashes really subject to a "use it or lose it" problem? for more on this (including this same quote, actually). Note that some other models need to be treated differently; for example, Sigma says "It is recommended that the flash be charged and fired several times a month, to maintain proper capacitor functioning."

It sounds to me that a problem related to this has developed. I'd send it in for service.

Answered by mattdm on December 4, 2020

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