Metz talks about quality of light and I agree,  I believe it to be true  The secret, is simpler a wider more powerful head that gave continuity to the scene.  It shows more as a whiter white. 

I used all of the Metz "Potato mashers", the most popular being the 45 CL-CT, the 60 CL-CT series for 90% of my wedding work and they were excellent on film based medium format cameras. 

I will as always, offer support, and compassion, for those who are willing to venture on.  With the advent of digital and the demise of the medium format, things have shrunk. Your paycheck, your retirement, savings and camera values, repair costs have accelerated.     


The 45's just like their COLT namesake were reliable,  dead on exposures and color perfect for slow films like VPS professional and the FUJI line of PRO films. 

That was another era, with slow films, slower brides, we controlled them, fewer Bridezilla wannabes, clones, drama queens and plain old "didn't you get any last night" misery makers.  

We also didn't have too many wimps, unsure of themselves doing the shooting complaining a pack weighs 2 pounds and its heavy. So they carry twenty AA cells in their pockets missing shots, filling landfills. WIMPS… a different era, in this case film guys rule. 

They had to make it work and the METZ 45 was a crucial tool.  ASA 50 will do that to you.  The main reason many dumped their Metz strobes is because their weak link was power.  Its simple,  they are more powerful strobes and need more power. 

METZ batteries and power supplies were very expensive and proprietary just like the Quantum T series and they will hook you and kill your wallet on the upkeep and accessories.  So we came with a better plan. I built these units for sale for ten years and then as more Canon and Nikon strobes came on line, the potato masher fell in polarity to the point where is not feasible for me to stock for them, and I ceased working on them.


The costs to me to build a 7.2- 9 Volt configuration of the Metz 45 Black Box escalated, actually tripled and the specific charger went to 60.00 my cost using 8 volt SLA batteries.  The current batteries from Power Sonic were acid mat, not liquid gel and not as good as the German Sonnenshine's which were costly if you could find a fresh one which is virtually impossible. 

Bad units sent to me, with the owners thinking they had gotten the last great deal on eBay, METZ 45's  arrived in need of the $179.00 trauma room at Metz.  

And then the problem of the synch voltage, another flag. So many models and builds. You have to manually check the voltage on your unit. Think before you do something that might go wrong as the smell is sometimes the first clue as to something might be wrong. 

Expensive Ni-Cad packs were great for film. 50 full power flashes on Ni-Cad Packs were OK in the days of film.  That is when you carried two clips and only shot 120 pictures.  But not all these clips were that good. And the niCads were finicky and had memory problems.

203341613.jpgSome of these modules sent to me were old, very old and made of components that click together and then a couple screws lock things together.  

When dismantling them, they snap apart sometimes into more pieces than you thought you wanted to have.The term brittle with age and weak comes to mind.  I used to modify these clips into a cable similar to the Quantum factory one on the left and save you money.

There are three versions of the clip. (Battery Holders) Look inside the handle. You see three pins but your module only has two.  Compare a rechargeable module with an Alkali module and the contacts are in different places. Because they have a resistor to compensate for both a 7.2 module and a 9.6 module. The major heads-up here is that the one you need might be covered over as a knockout. They are fixed welded Ni-Cad, loose Alkali, and fixed welded Ni-MH.

The first is the welded factory AA older Ni-Cad filled packs from METZ and they are 7.2 -7.4V, they come in several colors and are Ni-CAD not NI-MH.


MODEL 5312
The second, type is unfilled and is an empty holder you fill, with Alkali, the one that holds the loose batteries, it is designed to work with the ground and PIN A which is in a different location from the Ni-Cad pack which we call PIN B.  Pin "C" is the common ground for both.  
It is the 9.6 volt version.  It was designed voltage wise to handle Alkali not NiMH. Six (6) times 1.5 Volts equals 9 Volts. 

Do not sub rechargeable's, another wrong move if you wish to get optimum performance or any at all. It was designed for Alkali, get it?  So don't stuff it with six rechargeable's. Six (6) times 1.2 volts equals 7.2 Volts. About once a month I get a geek who tell me how great it worked. I'm not that stupid. It will stall out as soon as the NiMH hit 94%. 

Again, the Metz 45-39 Battery Holder also should be exclusively used with "AA" alkaline batteries-it does not work well with NiCad, NiMh or other battery types.  Many subbed Ni-MH into the Alkali pack which have a different algorithm and weren't invented yet when these systems were designed.  I love wannabe plans where "If it fits it works". Maybe in sheep farming, thats true.

MODEL 54557 NiMH 

The third version is the newer Ni-MH and more current so you might not want to kill it quite yet and use it as a backup, if it works.  Most don't.  Many are just dead from lack of usage and some need the landfill. One bad cell in a Ni-MH and the whole clip is bad. Very common. Hooking the wrong pack to the wrong power supply will result in smell-o-vision, thus the following warning.


This pack sells for 120.00.  More than you paid for the Metz 45 Used. And there is a caveat.  Pack and charger is $200.00 Like I said not cheap. they are very proud of their work.  It's best to find an Alkali or old Ni-Cad to redo, or the Indian cheap cones out there on eBay.

I make battery packs into modules because many of the Metz holders are thirty years old now and useless as their Nicads are long gone.  It does not work on the old charger, the new charger is 80 dollars. 


In some cases the contacts will have to be resized and soldered to work. If not, that popping sound might be a meltdown. There are screws, some hidden, wiring, and drilling with step bits, and a diode to contend with. I did not do this for nothing, I charged for this. Thats why the clips had three holes,  two used for the 7.4 and then one was for the 9.6 using the common ground.   Schematically 7.4 >>>. GRound <<< 9.6

Another issue is compatibility with newer products. That hurt the handle mounts even with the SCA system, just too much basically in cost and other parts needed. And like I said the Metz parts are not cheap. But, people don't know about them and if you can steal one, go for it. In my world they do work well enough to keep, if you use them to capacity and their best use is...

On a stand or as a manual unit using into an umbrella, fine MANUAL mode works great. This is a stalwart 150 guide power head with great color. They make excellent portable location units for the budget minded shooter, no AC required and no cords for clients to trip over.  

The Metz will now with the pack consistently turn good numbers with a Pocket Wizard or other flash trigger with an umbrella or other light modifier since they have a bigger head. With a guide number 148 at ISO 100, that's about as powerful as many of the smaller cheaper hyped up Chinese studio lights on AC, about 170 @ 320 watt seconds. (more like 120)


I offer a  design for those who are brave enough to try building one themselves. The plans are here in concept, free and so is my advise, but my work is not.  Stick with the program. I think these products shown below for the battery pack side are far better, cheaper, newer and fresher quality than the ones at Radio Shack.  

•  Obviously, a working Metz 45 flash unit in good condition with all the sliders working.
•  Order the battery, and charger as shown from  The specs might change slightly as the packs are constantly evolving since Ni-MH is an product based on how the mash is made, purified combined with some metallurgy and is constantly evolving. Lithium, the next generation will work as soon as they  get the kinks out.  Plants blowing up, people dying, random explosions, and fires.  Thats why you can't take them on planes.

•  A spare Battery module. - Alkaline , Nicad or Ni-MH to convert.


This is a Smart Universal Charger for NiMH / NiCd Batteries and allows charging of all NIMH packs from 7.2V - 12V with charging current selection and temperature sensor built into the unit.  Works great and I endorse it.

Generally they range fro 21.95 to 25.00 and they are a lifetime investment as they will power other projects. This is one primary reason why I did not go to Radio Shack. No variety and their chargers did not conform.


  • Rated output voltage: 17.8V ± 0.2V
  • Output voltage: 7 V DC ~ 18.5V DC
  • Battery capacity extend:     0.8Ah ~ 15Ah (1A current)
  • Number of cells: 6-10 NiMH/NiCD cells in series
  • Charge current: 3A ± 0.2A / 2A ± 0.1A / 1A ± 0.1A
  • Max. delivered power: 54W  input: 100~240VAC 
  • Rated AC 50/60Hz
  • Input voltage: 90~264VAC
  • 1 Standard Tamiya Female connector.
  • Alligator clips (red + black).



Tenergy Sub C 4200mAh Propel Model--Beat or match IB Packs
Minimum Capacity: 4000mAh
Number of Cells: 6xSub C / 7.2V 4200mAh
Continuous Discharge Rate: 10C ( 42Amps)