Starter Flash: How is the Neewer NW320 or Meike MK320?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Hawkman, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I've been thinking that it is high time I learn some more about manipulating light beyond the ambient or natural light I find. And that means looking at flash photography, which kind of intimidates me. So much to learn and understand.

    But first, I'm starting to look out for a relatively inexpensive (i.e., under US$100) flash. I'd prefer to have TTL capability, and I noticed a post somewhere mentioning the Meike MK320 and/or its twin the Neewer NW320. Does anyone have any experience with those particular 3rd party TTL flashes, or any other good ones that don't break a US$100 piggy bank? (And I know, cheap does not always equal good.)
     
  2. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    198
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    I have the Meike MK320s and it is OK as long as you don't use all of those SR/MC/MD or Nikon manual lenses. Will only work in TTL with your native lenses for E-Mount or properly adapted through LA-EA adapters with A-Mount lenses. And No HSS with the Meike either. You can have mine if you want

    Same with all Phottix Mitros+flash with or without Odin WL TTL triggers.

    Still awaiting news of the Nissin flash units from other users (some are quick on the gun saying it works but testing one picture and actually taking a lot of pictures with adapted lenses is something else). I was in the process of buying a set of Air but the seller ended up selling it to someone else so i have no regrets since i have since then learned that these may require a Firmware update that can only be done at an approved factory service. 2 people just mentioned ( Gary Friedman on his blog and a user on Dyxum) they have major issues with either exposure or batteries dying after about 1 hr of use.
    Since i am in Canada and there is no distributor/service center that i know of, i can spare that kind of trouble.

    Up to now i have only been able to keep TTL and HSS with original Sony / Minolta flash units wether on-camera, off-camera with cables or through WL by using the Minolta/Sony native WL protocol.

    If i were you, i would save my money for Sony's HVL-F32M ( TTL with ALL lenses, HSS, WL control of all compatible Minolta/Sony WL capable flashes, WL remote, real Zoom action, Tilt/Swivel Head and from my quick tests, at least one stop more powerful than the Meike.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  3. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Thanks for the info Michel. So the Sony flashes are the only ones that TTL with manual focus adapted lenses? Will the MK320 and other 3rd party lenses at least operate in manual mode with adapted glass? And does the HVL-32M tilt and swivel?
    Thanks again.
     
  4. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    658
    Dec 12, 2014
    N├Žstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Some percentage of faulty units should be expected from any product
     
  5. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Another cheap option is getting a Minolta flash 5600 HS(-D) or 3600 HS(-D). For both flashes you'll need the Sony ADP-MAA adapter as well to fit them onto your A6000 and (probably, not sure about that) A3000, but you might still end up under $100 total cost. From my own experience I can say that both flashes work very well with adapted lenses in TTL-mode. I have a slight preference for the 5600 because it has more power and a more modern user interface, but the 3600 works well too and is lighter and easier to handle on the camera.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  6. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    198
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    I think the Metz flashes might work since they seem to be paying royalties to get access to the full firmware but i have no confirmation of this.

    Ad's suggestion is good for adapting the 3600HS(D) due to its price but it has limited use in manual mode (only High/Low power), only bounces up (no swivel) and can not be used as a controller. I would strongly suggest it as a TTL WL remote (controlled by the F32M like i suggested) since it only costs around 100$ ( the adapter will increase this to about 125$)
    The 5600HS(D) or Sony HVL-F56AM clone is usually closer in price to a F32M in the used market ( the ones i see are usually closer to 200-250$ when they come wit their OEM accessories). It is indeed a more powerful and versatile unit but lacks the controller capability on digital cameras. Still needs an adapter for basic on-camera use.

    I can't believe the 300$ US price for the HVL-F32M in the US right now since i can get it new here in Montreal for 235$ Cdn +taxes which is about 270$ and with Cdn/US exchange rate conversion, this would be about 202 US $.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    943
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Thanks for that info Ad. I'll keep a lookout for the Minolta 3600HS(D) and/or 5600HS(D) - and I assume the (D) is important for use with digital Alphas rather than film units.

    Interesting that you mention Metz... I had been looking at the new Metz 26 AF-1 for Sony (MI shoe), but it seems to be back-ordered or just not available yet anywhere. At US$129 it seemed like a nice alternative to the supposedly under-powered HVL-20M I was also previously looking at.

    And as for US prices on the Sony flashes, I agree that US$300 for the HVL-32M is currently a bit too steep for my wallet, especially as I don't expect to use a flash all that much really. I'm not a professional, I don't shoot weddings or much in the way of formal portraits, so it would mostly be for learning, fiddling around with indoors, and the occasional family/friends gatherings in low light. Intriguing that the price to you in Canada is so much better.
     
  8. michelb

    michelb TalkEmount Regular

    198
    Oct 27, 2013
    Greater Montreal area in Quebec, Canada
    Michel Brien
    The D in the name has nothing to do with Digital since it means D for working with the distance encoder of Minolta A-Mount lenses that were released at the same time that allows ADI flash along with the Maxxum/Dynax/Alpha 7 around 2001 before Minolta actually introduced its first proper Digital SLR in 2004 as the Maxxum /Dynax/Alpha 7D ( the only other one was the 1995 RD-175 with a whopping 1,75 Megapixels but this one could use previous generations of xi flash for both TTL and WL).
    ADI was a new way to offer more accurate on-camera direct flash exposure since the D encoder in the lens provided the camera with the distance the lens was focused at. Adding to this, the camera also knows the focal length and aperture of the lens in the mode used.
    A D flash ( only 3 models: 2500(D), 3600HS(D), 5600HS(D) ) would then communicate with the body telling it its power level (guide number) at the given setting it was at so the camera pre-calculated the power the flash needed for proper exposure.
    This is a combined camera/lens/flash feature in the sense that all 3 components need to be perfectly D compatible for it to work. It is still available on many Sony cameras using A-Mount and most of the Sony flash units have this capability when used with the proper bodies and later Minolta D lenses.

    This helped prevent over/under exposure from either very bright or very dark subjects by using the flash guide number principle. Again only available for direct (no bounce) on-camera flash picture taking

    The fact that these 3 flash units can still work with almost all of their original features with modern Sony cameras is really outstanding considering they date back to 2001. Only the 5600HS(D) has lost its capacity to control other WL flash.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2