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interesting Meike MK-320 flash

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Mitchins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mitchins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: interesting Meike MK-320 flash
    Posted: 12 January 2016 at 20:28
So after being dissatisfied with the FM20 ever since the a99 came out I've wished for something better, the fact that the newer model is just a an adaptor glued to the Minolta mounted version pretty much infuriated me.

Well the wait for me at least is over, picked up an incredibly cheap but full featured and so far well performing flash.

Here's the official link (I think):
SITE

It's a native Mi mount and the TTL works well with A99, the bounce and swivel performed well with metering too so not just ADI.

It's light because it works off two batteries only (AA), and it has wireless modes I haven't played with.

I suggest anyone in the market for a lightweight and convenient flash give it a look into!
Sony Alpha 99; Sony 16-35mm F2.8 CZ; Minolta 20mm F2.8; Sony 28-75mm F2.8 SAM; Sony 50mm f1.4; Sony 70-300mm SSM G; Sony 70-400mm G SSM; Minolta 100-200mm F4.5; Sony 135mm ZA
 



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thornburg View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote thornburg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2016 at 20:44
There's already a bit of discussion about this flash in another thread...

But I'm glad to hear of another satisfied customer.

I've still got it sitting in my Amazon cart waiting for me to pull the trigger.

Also, your link shouldn't say "mailto:" at the beginning.

Edited by thornburg - 12 January 2016 at 20:48
Sony a3000, a6000, a57, a99 - Sony E 16-50, 28/2 | Vivitar 13, 85 | Minolta 24, 28-105, 35-105, 50/1.7, 75-300 | Tokina 28-70/2.6-2.8 | Sigma 70/2.8 Macro | Tamron 70-200/2.8 | Celestron 1000/11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 January 2016 at 20:56
The flash is one of these ( your link is wrong ), I got mine at the end of the year and it works a treat .
Very happy with it , very versatile and compact .
The wireless slave function is not TTL , purely manual , but is very easy to use for a bit of indirect fill in flash . Ideal for macro / close-ups.

If your considering one , get one .
Very good value for money and well built .

see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 00:20
Yes but TTL does not work with unchipped adapted lenses.

On a-Mount since very little lens adapting can take place, this can be interesting.

On E-Mount with all the people adapting anything that is less than a millenium old, it just does not work with those adapted lenses.

When in TTL mode, the rear of the flash shows you the ISO you are working from and the aperture selected on the camera. When using an unchipped lens, the aperture shown is F3.5 and stays there. I tried shooting at F3.5 with some adapted lenses and no go, everything is over/under exposed with no consistency.
Michel B
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Mitchins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mitchins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 00:28
Originally posted by michelb michelb wrote:

Yes but TTL does not work with unchipped adapted lenses.

On a-Mount since very little lens adapting can take place, this can be interesting.

On E-Mount with all the people adapting anything that is less than a millenium old, it just does not work with those adapted lenses.

When in TTL mode, the rear of the flash shows you the ISO you are working from and the aperture selected on the camera. When using an unchipped lens, the aperture shown is F3.5 and stays there. I tried shooting at F3.5 with some adapted lenses and no go, everything is over/under exposed with no consistency.


For me that's not really a big deal, on the A99 it works a treat with the Sigma 35 ART.
It provides a low cost option that has all the functions I need, with enough power for my purposes and very light-weight convenient. Both my Sigma EF-5x0 Supers have DIED! After about 7 years one won't turn on and the other resets to 1:1 just before I fire - well time to move on!. It's a super good value deal.

I'm sure you could easily obtain chipped adaptors (or chips) to make this work properly.
With the extra flange distance unused of the E-mount being available, there's no reason an adaptor couldn't have the option to set the focal length and aperture (like Nikon lets you do!) but that's another matter

FWIW I use manual mode often too, such as on my generic two strobe ring flash, but its nice to have TTL bounce.

EDIT: Personally, I'd be more distraught over the lack of EXIF in post process/archive than the lack of proper TTL flash. I love my metadata.

Edited by Mitchins - 13 January 2016 at 00:31
Sony Alpha 99; Sony 16-35mm F2.8 CZ; Minolta 20mm F2.8; Sony 28-75mm F2.8 SAM; Sony 50mm f1.4; Sony 70-300mm SSM G; Sony 70-400mm G SSM; Minolta 100-200mm F4.5; Sony 135mm ZA
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Mitchins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mitchins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 00:29
Originally posted by neilt3 neilt3 wrote:

The flash is one of these ( your link is wrong ), I got mine at the end of the year and it works a treat .
Very happy with it , very versatile and compact .
The wireless slave function is not TTL , purely manual , but is very easy to use for a bit of indirect fill in flash . Ideal for macro / close-ups.

If your considering one , get one .
Very good value for money and well built .



Do it!
It's honestly the low cost full featured flash I've been waiting for and it supports the new mount without picky adaptors - damn Sony didn't even bother updating their FM20 properly, psssh!
Sony Alpha 99; Sony 16-35mm F2.8 CZ; Minolta 20mm F2.8; Sony 28-75mm F2.8 SAM; Sony 50mm f1.4; Sony 70-300mm SSM G; Sony 70-400mm G SSM; Minolta 100-200mm F4.5; Sony 135mm ZA
 



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craig66 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote craig66 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 02:12
I also have one of these MK-320s for close up/macro. It works very well on A77ii on-camera. Whether it really is GN 32 is anyone's guess, but the power is quite good. If you want a small flash, it does the business at low cost.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote IanL Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 January 2016 at 23:27
Originally posted by Mitchins Mitchins wrote:


For me that's not really a big deal, on the A99 it works a treat with the Sigma 35 ART.


I assume it will not work as a controller for off-camera flash with the Sony system.
Ian
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neilt3 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote neilt3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 January 2016 at 00:30
Originally posted by IanL IanL wrote:

Originally posted by Mitchins Mitchins wrote:


For me that's not really a big deal, on the A99 it works a treat with the Sigma 35 ART.


I assume it will not work as a controller for off-camera flash with the Sony system.


Correct .
It will not act as a wireless controller .
see my photostream on flickr;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt3/
C & C welcome.
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Miranda F View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2016 at 20:33
I've finally got around to having a play with the Meike 320S flashgun I got before Christmas. I chose this flashgun in preference to the more fully-featured Sony or Nissin models because I wanted something compact that would fit easily in my gadget bag, and because I didnít want to spend a lot of money on something I didnít use very often.

My first impressions were very good Ė it is really quite a neat and compact unit, taking a mere 2 AA cells but with an advertised guide number of 32, it tilts and swivels, and has a backlit LCD display. In use, though, you can't read the labels on the buttons which are very small and black, so you need either glasses and a flashlight or you need to learn what to press.

The Meikeís on-camera performance is also quite good. It works well with the A58, doing TTL properly and relaying the aperture and ISO on the LCD in TTL mode (though the ISO indicated didnít always match what the camera showed after the picture was taken). The area coverage seems good too, easily wide enough for the 18mm lens indoors. It has a manual mode too with power adjustments down to 1/128 in 1/3 stop intervals. You can take it off and stick it in your pocket, and it goes to sleep, then wakes up again when you fit it on the camera. But it is very stiff to put on and take off, though, so scarcely needs the wheel lock provided.

The only criticism I have about on-camera performance is that from the tests Iíve done, the GN seems to be barely 2 stops better than the A58ís built-in flash, so Iím doubtful about the 32GN claimed. On the other hand with the Ďkití 18-55 lens fitted it does provide sufficient power for bounce off a white ceiling at reasonable ISO, which the camera flash doesnít if you try deflecting it.

Off camera is a different story and Iíll admit to being very disappointed. I knew it didnít do HSS or the full WL flash, but as it does have both S1 and S2 modes I expected (perhaps naively) to be able to use it with some degree of auto off-camera, but that isnít really possible. Yes, you can use it as a fill-in to the main flash, eg a backlight, but you canít turn the camera flash down manually on the A58, and if you put it into WL the Meike wonít trigger correctly, even with manually set power.

Off camera you really need both the flash and the camera in manual mode (including manual ISO) because the camera doesnít understand that you have an external flash fitted. I rather hoped that the auto ISO which so accurately adjusts ISO in jpegs after a normal picture would do the same in flash mode, but it doesnít. It picks a figure beforehand (usually 800) and sticks to it even if the end result is black.
You can soften the main flash with a hanky or deflect it upwards (eg with a piece of cardboard covered in foil) to avoid the direct path, allowing you to achieve a side main light with the Meike, but again only in manual.

Now older flashguns used to have an opto sensor which allowed auto power adjustment according to the aperture and ISO set on the dial, without having to judge the flash-to-subject distance, but wouldnít trigger optically; the Meike does the reverse Ė it will trigger optically, but doesnít have any sensing of reflected light so off-camera it is completely dumb. In that respect my old Vivitar 285 is more useful, except that it doesnít have the pre-flash ignore (S2) mode which the Meike has, so to use it I need to put the Meike on the camera and use the Vivitar off-camera.

Which is a two-flash solution, and the Vivitar is big.

So, the summary is that on-camera, the Meike is very versatile and just powerful enough for bounce in a domestic environment, if not a large hall, while off-camera it is of only limited use. Therefore, it canít really compete with the more expensive models on functionality or performance, and when compared with the built-in camera flash the only thing it offers is bounce capability. If that is enough for you (or your camera doesn't have flash), itís a good choice; if you want anything more, save up and get the Nissin i40 or one of the Sony HVL-FxxM models.


Edited by Miranda F - 21 January 2016 at 20:41
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2016 at 01:55
+ 1 on most of what you said.

I also own one (bought it more by curiosity and since there was a local seller here in Montreal, i got it without having to pay for shipping)

A couple of additional comments and questions:

- On A7R/A7II ( have not tried on A-mount camera yet) TTL does not work with unchipped adapted lenses. In this situation,the flash indicates F3.5 and whatever aperture you use it seems to vary power from one shot to the other (a bit like the Phottix Mitros+ and Odin triggers). I see you have some Tamron and MF primes. Does it work on A58 in TTL with any of these MF lenses ?

- Guide Number: For the fun of it i compared it to the Sony HVL-F32M in Manual Mode using a Minolta Flashmeter V for measure. The F32M does not have a test button so on camera in Manual mode at the 28mm setting on the Sony FE28-70 Kit lens, the Sony is 1 1/2 stop more powerful than this "Published Guide No 32". At the 70mm lens setting it is 3 stops less since the Meike does not zoom but the Sony can concentrate the light.

- Red Eye: I tested a couple of close-up shots with the kit zoom on A7II and at the longer setting the angle of the flash being so close to the lens axis provided more red eyes that the HVL-F32M that sits taller a bit.

- You mention using a flash with sensor in on Flash sensor Auto mode as WL remote. I can not see how this can provide any reliable exposure since the trigger flash if it lasts long enough will definitely affect the amount of light your remote will provide.

- You also mention that when used in WL, the S1 mode should work when the camera and built-in flash are in Manual mode since there should not be a pre-flash. My attempts were with S2 mode with TTL on board flash and the trigger occurred at the right time for exposure but i agree it is a pain to figure the power level needed since even the manual provides very little detail about the power level.
Michel B
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2016 at 13:07
Originally posted by michelb michelb wrote:

+ 1 on most of what you said.

I also own one (bought it more by curiosity and since there was a local seller here in Montreal, i got it without having to pay for shipping)

A couple of additional comments and questions:

- On A7R/A7II ( have not tried on A-mount camera yet) TTL does not work with unchipped adapted lenses. In this situation,the flash indicates F3.5 and whatever aperture you use it seems to vary power from one shot to the other (a bit like the Phottix Mitros+ and Odin triggers). I see you have some Tamron and MF primes. Does it work on A58 in TTL with any of these MF lenses ?

I can try, but I wouldn't expect it. with an unchipped lens the camera has no idea what aperture is present. Even a generic chipped one only tells it *something* - for available light that works, since it only needs to know the difference, but for flash it needs to know the absolute aperture. I don't see how TTL flash could work then.

I generally use a generic chipped M42 adapter with the wide angle Tamrons (mostly 24mm and 28mm primes), but occasionally one of james liao's with the 500mm mirror or 300mm-400mm telephotos. All of them are operated as preset aperture lenses, and the camera seems to cope with that ok in available light.

Originally posted by michelb michelb wrote:


- Guide Number: For the fun of it i compared it to the Sony HVL-F32M in Manual Mode using a Minolta Flashmeter V for measure. The F32M does not have a test button so on camera in Manual mode at the 28mm setting on the Sony FE28-70 Kit lens, the Sony is 1 1/2 stop more powerful than this "Published Guide No 32". At the 70mm lens setting it is 3 stops less since the Meike does not zoom but the Sony can concentrate the light.
[QUOTE]
Not sure I follow this. If the 32M zooms, wouldn't the output be higher at 70mm? And in any case you'd only get full output if the light was insufficient for the aperture in use (result=dark) otherwise the flash will be cut off early.

Originally posted by michelb michelb wrote:


- Red Eye: I tested a couple of close-up shots with the kit zoom on A7II and at the longer setting the angle of the flash being so close to the lens axis provided more red eyes that the HVL-F32M that sits taller a bit.

- You mention using a flash with sensor in on Flash sensor Auto mode as WL remote. I can not see how this can provide any reliable exposure since the trigger flash if it lasts long enough will definitely affect the amount of light your remote will provide.

Yes, but I deflected the camera flash away from the subject with a piece of cereal packet covered in kitchen foil. The bounce light at the subject is then very low, provided I use the right aperture. The snag is that the camera still expects to see a certain amount of light, so I have to use manual settings for aperture and ISO and set the slave flash to this.

[QUOTE=michelb]
- You also mention that when used in WL, the S1 mode should work when the camera and built-in flash are in Manual mode since there should not be a pre-flash. My attempts were with S2 mode with TTL on board flash and the trigger occurred at the right time for exposure but i agree it is a pain to figure the power level needed since even the manual provides very little detail about the power level.


Yes. I think the Meike will work quite well as a manual master flash and with auto-sensing flashes as slaves, but then I can use a cheap £1 junk-box flash for that with some negative film stuck over it for IR trigger*!

Though interestingly enough, not all opto triggers seem to work on IR. The new cubic one I bought on ebay doesn't, but the 20-year old one does.
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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Post Options Post Options   Quote michelb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 January 2016 at 02:36
Quote: I can try, but I wouldn't expect it. with an unchipped lens the camera has no idea what aperture is present. Even a generic chipped one only tells it *something* - for available light that works, since it only needs to know the difference, but for flash it needs to know the absolute aperture. I don't see how TTL flash could work then.

All of my Sony and Minolta compatible flash units work in TTL/HSS with un-chipped adapted lenses on both of my A7R and A7II and are also reliable in Manual flash mode ! They are ( some adapted with sony ADP-MAA adapter):

Minolta 2500D, 3600HS(D), 5600HS(D)
Sony HVL-F20AM And HVL-F20M, HVL-F32M, HVL-F36AM, HVL-F42AM, HVL-F43AM and HVL-F43M, HVL-F56AM, HVL-F58AM, and HVL-F60M

This Meike and my Phottix Mitros+ ( or any of the above Minolta/Sony flash mounted on Odin receivers) do not operate either in TTL/HSS when used with un-chipped lenses.
Michel B
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 June 2016 at 08:38
I have to downgrade my opinion of the Meike-320 flash after using it a bit. Yes, it's small and neat and cheap and does TTL on camera, but no WL TTL function (or HSS, which you'd not expect at that size and cost).

And the real trouble with it is it takes only two AA cells, runs them down very quickly, and doesn't work with rechargeables which is a pain (it won't even turn on with them in). I assume the cause of both is the battery voltage cut-off point is too high, as most other equipment I have which takes AA cells works fine on rechargeables. So if you're planning to use it much near full power (which is quite easy, given the GN), you need a pocket full of AA cells with you which somewhat negates the virtues of being small and light.

If you only need a low-power bounce flash on-camera for just a few shots it is a good choice, but for much else you may be better off saving up for a Nissin i40 . . .

Edited by Miranda F - 14 June 2016 at 08:42
Miranda F & Sensorex, Sony A58, Nex-6, Dynax 4, 5, 60, 500si/600si/700si/800si, various Sony & Minolta lenses, several Tamrons, lots of MF primes and *far* too many old film cameras . . .
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