Be very wary about purchasing the Meike MK-420 TTL flash...

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions thread
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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 20,581
Be very wary about purchasing the Meike MK-420 TTL flash... this case, for Fuji.

To begin with, I realize this is predominantly an accessories forum (not necessarily a lighting one), however, I felt it prudent to also post this here.

Two years ago Meike released the Li-ion battery powered MK-420 TTL flash for Fuji. I was one of the first adapters, having raved about it's seemingly long battery power (over 600 shots before just one bar dropped on the power meter on the LCD. In addition, I raved about how well it could light up a given area. And this flash was only priced from $100 to $129 depending on where you purchased it from. They also make it for Sony now from what I've seen.

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, here's the link to it on the Amazon US website:

But after having used it now for 1/5 - 2 years (actually, have only used it directly only 3-5 times over that time-frame), ALL of the Meike Li-ion batteries for this flash have severely swollen, not even fitting the opening on the flash at all. The swelling was so bad that if I were to push the batteries into the slot on the flash, I would be virtually unable to remove them once installed.

Here are two photos...

The opening for the Li-ion battery is on the side - when new, it just slides in and locks with a click, with the end surface being flush with the body. As you can see here, it barely now fits the slot.

Here are 3 of these batteries placed side by side. I tried to put them together flush, but they are so severely swollen that this is the end result

OK - so what is the point of my posting here, you may ask? I tried contacting Meike a half a dozen times - but they never answered. I then contacted the vendor I purchased the flash and extra batteries on Amazon. They indicated in the typical broken English, "you want to fix, buy new battery!!!!!" I almost hit the ceiling when I read this. I then tried to explain to them that I was really interested in getting Meike to understand that there is a serious problem with their Li-ion batteries for this Mk420 flash.

Several days later, I get another email indicating, "OK, we talk with engineer who say that when battery not used much, it will swell." I exploded, telling them that this should not be considered normal because I have several GODOX flash units that use Li-ion batteries and I've had virtually no issues with battery swelling. After that, there was pure silence.

So in the end, my advice to you is that although this flash model may appear quite useful, bear in mind the li-ion battery swelling scenario which will ruin your day. Sure, I can purchase new ones (after all, I love the flash) - but why do so, knowing that the same problem will appear within the year.

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Have a great day...
Bernd ("Ben") Herrmann
Fuquay Varina, North Carolina USA

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