Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions
_sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

I've been looking for a travel-light flash for use with an optical slave trigger with a compact camera and the D90, also as a macro flash (notice the SB-R200 is weaker that the pop-up flash and eats odd CR123 batteries, so not useful except for macro, and the SB-400 is TTL-only so not useful as a remote slave flash).

I first thought of the Sunpak PF20XD (adjustable power, auto/manual digital slave, declared GN 20m (ISO100, 24mm), $44. Then I noticed the MK-300, which does not have the optical slave function (so one may need an additional SYK-3 or a SF4 or radio triggers), but supports Nikon TTL instead. Looks roughly similar to the SB-400, with added buttons and the manual mode, without a tilt head (but I've got a cable and a small bracket with a ball-head), currently $47 at LinkDelight. There's some odd data on power, 32m (ISO 100, 105mm). A chinese review claims coverage is about 18mm(DX) and GN is about 18 (compared to 21 of the SB-400, 12-13 of Nikon pop-up flashes), min recycling time after full flash 3s on fresh eneloops. Does anybody have experience with it?

http://www.lightingrumours.com/meike-mk-300-is-a-cheap-mini-ttl-flash-with-full-controls-3809

http://haodua.com/portal.php?mod=view&aid=79

Nikon D90
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microbi Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

hi, i got two from gb.

the outlook is positive,

but i-ttl sucks!

manual - no,

rpt - ok,

but i-ttl overexpose,

and the flash compensation does not work.

near the same expsure from -1 to -2,7,

and then -3,0 is dark.

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microbi Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?
1

here is a testchart with varying flash esposure.

i'm not happy with this flashes.

i will send ist back.

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OP _sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?
1

Tnx for your detailed assessment. I already ordered one before you posted  Will see what I will do. Maybe the firmware is flashable via the mysterious mini-USB port. I've noticed some of the few small flashes that do have manual power adjustmet have odd scales of adjustment values.

I see the legacy Nikon SB-30 is another similar ultra-compact flash option for travel and macro. TTL is probably incompatible but has non-TTL auto, three manual levels, and optical slave functions. CR123A battery unfortunately.

OP _sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

microbi wrote:

here is a testchart with varying flash esposure.

Got mine, and I must confirm your findings. The build looks surprisingly good considering the price, but exposure is erratic. May not be an issue with TTL, I think the problem is with the scale of the manual mode, too little difference around 1/1 power and too much difference around 1/128 power. When increasing flash power by one stop and decreasing ISO by one stop, the exposure should stay the same, but this isn't happening (notice one could change the aperture instead of ISO but aperture is often less precise).

It looks like we're involuntary beta testers  I'll email the company if they can update the firmware.

microbi Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

yes, i use two sb-30 too.

manual on camera or with the radiopopper jrx.

and im looking for a smal speedlight with ittl and manual power levels.

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madecov
madecov Veteran Member • Posts: 6,257
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

Thank you guys, I was also considering one of these as a light travel flash. I am also considering the MK-900 as a fifth flash for strobist use.

Guess I'll skip this one for now.

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pghpat New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

microbi wrote:

here is a testchart with varying flash esposure.

i'm not happy with this flashes.

i will send ist back.

Any chance that you had D-Lighting enabled? It sounds like the lighting optimizer was fighting the flash setting. I have witnessed this on Canon, but I don't know whether that same condition can happen on Nikon.

OP _sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

pghpat wrote:

Any chance that you had D-Lighting enabled? It sounds like the lighting optimizer was fighting the flash setting. I have witnessed this on Canon, but I don't know whether that same condition can happen on Nikon.

Sorry, I don't use ADL. The exposure is erratic even with all-manual, including no TTL. The flash has a surprisingly large number of power levels (compared to other similar devices), but they are not calibrated correctly, probably a timings issue. I've received no reply from the shop and from Meike regarding this.

abyssal20 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

Yeah, I have some experience with this flash and none of it good. I purchased it as a compact emergency flash I could put into my limited space bag. On receipt, it looked like this hi-tech unit was going to fit the bill perfectly. I planned on using it manually on my D1x and i-ttl on my P7000, D200, and D2h.  Believe it or not, it dissabled my shutter on ALL but the D1x. Using it "old school" on the D1x was as expected. But again, no matter what mode it was in, the shutters wouldn't event fire on the others. After examination, I plugged in the usb port to my laptop to see what would happen and the laptop didn't even see it. However, the flash lcd display lit up with all options (my guess is the port is for charging). Anyway, the lcd CLEARLY said "E-TTL".  Oops, this was a Canon flash...so I tested it on my wife's old 20D. Sure enough...a fully E-TTL capable flash for Canon. WTF

So I returned it for a full refund.  BTW, the manual also explains the E-TTL functions and nowhere in the manual is a reference to i-ttl.

Good luck to you...

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Gary C Millwater
Millwater Photography
Venice, Florida

OP _sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

abyssal20 wrote:

Yeah, I have some experience with this flash and none of it good. I purchased it as a compact emergency flash I could put into my limited space bag. On receipt, it looked like this hi-tech unit was going to fit the bill perfectly. I planned on using it manually on my D1x and i-ttl on my P7000, D200, and D2h. Believe it or not, it dissabled my shutter on ALL but the D1x. Using it "old school" on the D1x was as expected. But again, no matter what mode it was in, the shutters wouldn't event fire on the others. After examination, I plugged in the usb port to my laptop to see what would happen and the laptop didn't even see it. However, the flash lcd display lit up with all options (my guess is the port is for charging). Anyway, the lcd CLEARLY said "E-TTL". Oops, this was a Canon flash...so I tested it on my wife's old 20D. Sure enough...a fully E-TTL capable flash for Canon. WTF

So I returned it for a full refund. BTW, the manual also explains the E-TTL functions and nowhere in the manual is a reference to i-ttl.

So it must've been the Canon version. There's an Oly one too.

Paul80 Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

Hi all

I just tried one of these guns on my Lumix Cameras and got the same result on all 3 of mine G5, G6 and GX7.

TTL was total rubbish with totally over exposed images no mater what the compensation was set to.

It did work fine in Manuel, mode though.

Sent it back for a refund.

Paul

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Jestertheclown
Jestertheclown Veteran Member • Posts: 3,126
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

I'm going to go completely against the flow here.

I've been using one of these for just about every shot that I've taken during the last six months or so and I've had no problems with it at all.

Just don't expect too much from it in conditions where the light's really low.

"It's good to be . . . . . . . . . Me!"

OP _sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 5,033
Re: Meike MK-300 compact speedlight, any experience?

Jestertheclown wrote:

I'm going to go completely against the flow here.

I've been using one of these for just about every shot that I've taken during the last six months or so and I've had no problems with it at all.

Just don't expect too much from it in conditions where the light's really low.

"It's good to be . . . . . . . . . Me!"

I'm not surprised. The overexposure occurs mostly when flash is not really needed, while the underexposure when one expects it to be too weak. You might have a newer firmware (now they have an updated model MK-310, commander mode added).

Or you might be just less obsessed with good exposure. I haven't been as meticulous when using my old P&S (S60). Then I once used it to play with macro using the DCR-250 and a flash diffuser screen. Found that the flash had only three quite distinct power levels, which is quite a way worse than this one.

Regarding other travel flashes, I've recently spotted Nissin i40... not as compact and inexpensive, but more powerful and tilt/swivel.

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