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The Metz 45 CL 1 flashgun. A flashgun for the keen amateur photographer and professional photographer. This is one of the most powerful flash units available. As with all the Metz flashguns the first number refers to the guide number basically the power of the flashgun. The flashgun is a standard hammerhead unit with the battery pack fitting into the handle, a rechargeable Nicad battery pack is available or you can use 6 AA batteries. The flash unit can be attached to the camera using the tripod socket and the bracket that comes with the flashgun. The bracket attaches to the bottom of the flashgun by a bayonet type clip and a locking screw this enables the flash to be removed from the bracket quickly. The 45CL1 is not a fully dedicated auto flashgun (unlike the 45 CL 4 using the correct lead). The flashgun has several ‘auto’ settings, basically you set the auto setting on the flash (depending on distance from the subject) read off the corresponding aperture number (on the flash) and set this aperture number on the camera. (Remember you still have to set the shutter speed to the correct flash sync speed or slower) I have had my 45 CL 1 for seven years now and find the unit relatively quick to charge up using AA batteries, accurate for exposures and reliable. The flashgun was not cheap but then you do get a good quality robust unit.
Metz have always made excellent flashguns, and the 45 range are the most popular of the "hammer head" designs. The code 45 refers to the guide number in meters, and in real terms this means you can operate the gun over long distances. Without getting too technical, simply divide the distance that the subject is away from the camera to give you the correct aperture - subject 22.5 meter from camera - aperture equals F2, subject 5 meters away, aperture approx F8, etc etc. But in reality, the Metz offers a very wide range of auto settings, and these are so acurate that for 99% of the time, the gun will work out the correct exposure for you. If you need a powerful automatic flashgun, and dont mind hauling it around, the Metz is the one to go for.