German flash maker Multiblitz enters liquidation

Multiblitz, the lighting manufacturer that invented the Guide Number, is in administration after 69 years in the industry.

Multiblitz catalogue

Multiblitz Mannesmann, the German studio lighting manufacturer, is going out of business.

Last month the company filed for insolvency with the district court in Cologne, where the firm is based. Operations were taken over by insolvency administrator Dr Mark Boddenberg, with a hope that the business would stay running under a new owner. Unfortunately, no new owner has been found and so the company is now being liquidated.

In an e-mail to distributors, the company said:

“We deeply regret to inform you that the intention to continue with the Multiblitz company under new ownership could not be implemented last week.

“After almost 70 years we must say farewell to the photo industry. We thank you for your trust and the great collaboration during the past years and wish you all the best from your business.”

Multiblitz founder Dieter Mannesmann, circa 1952
Multiblitz founder Dieter Mannesmann, circa 1952

Multiblitz manufactured studio lamps, batteries and light-shapers, starting with the Multiblitz I, first released in 1948 by founder Dr-Ing Dieter A. Mannesmann. The company made a name for itself among press photographers with portable handle-mount flashes such as the Reporter and Press Universal in the 1950s and 60s. Dr Mannesmann was also the inventor of the Guide Number (GN), defined as flash-to-subject distance multiplied by correct aperture f-number, to measure the brightness of an electronic flash.

Multiblitz Press Universal

Their latest flash, the M6-TTL, featured a built-in battery and wireless TTL control, but competed with many other manufacturers offering similar products.

Distributors with outstanding queries are asked to contact [email protected]

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.