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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nissin MF 18 ring-flash for Canon, 10 Oct. 2012
By 
D. Thomas (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
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I do quite a lot of macro-photography of plants & small animals (insects etc). Enough light is almost always an issue, & I've had good results using a pair of Canon 550EX flash guns mounted either side of my (currently) EOS 5D mk2 + 100mm macro lens. BUT 2 flash guns (plus supports etc) are heavy & I looked for a ring-flash to do the same job. After some quite thorough market research I settled on the Nissin MF18, and I am absolutely delighted with it. What amazed me was that the Nissin MF18 had not been reviewed (when I was looking in August 2012) by anyone on Amazon.co.uk or on [...]: this gave me some pause but I'm glad that an objective view of the specs over-ruled these qualms. So, why am I pleased with this product?
1. The MF18 produces good results! There is a somewhat disconcerting reddish look to flashed images when viewed on the camera's LCD screen, but this is corrected when I download images to my computer for editing using Apple Aperture, so I'm no longer bothered by this.
2. The MF18 is extremely easy to use: controls are simple, & navigation between the various modes (Auto, Manual, TTL*, macro) is very straightforward. The instructions (on line, printable) are brief, but quite sufficient because everything is so intuitive and easy. *The Canon-version of MF18 supports Canon E-TTL operation.
3. The MF18 is versatile: output from the 2 flash tubes (A & B) can be adjusted independently by ±3EV in manual or TTL modes, which allows you to avoid the very flat lighting of older ring-flashes. Macro-mode reduces flash power overall, but output of A & B are still independently variable within the available power range. Also (though I have not used this feature yet) the MF18 will act as the master-unit able to control other (appropriately specified) slave-flashes.
4. Nissin emphasise that settings on the flash are supplementary to settings on the Canon EOS body: presumably (though I have not tried this yet) this means that (for example) flash exposure bracketing set on the body will work with the MF18 as with Canon flash guns.
5. The LED modelling lights are really handy when trying to focus under low-light conditions (I caught a busy beetle rushing around in the dark!), & they also allow you to check the effect of different outputs from the 2 flash tubes (though in practice it's probably easier to just take the pic & review it on the camera's LCD screen).
6. The 2 flash tubes can each be moved outwards to avoid/reduce vignetting problems which might occur with lenses having a big-diameter front element &/or are set to a wide aperture.
7. The MF18 clips quickly & easily to a grooved ring which is screwed in to the lens's filter thread. A big plus is that the MF18 comes with about 6 of these adapter rings as standard (for a range of common filter sizes) so you do not have to spend more on adapter-rings.
8. The MF18 is light-weight: about 550g all-up. Compared to each of my Canon 550EX's at 410g plus the weight of brackets to support them & the controller to drive them, this saves me weight. Also, the MF18 is much less unwieldy than a pair of flashes supported off-camera.
9. The MF18 is absolutely excellent value for money: it cost me just half of the cost of a Canon MR-14EX Macrolite plus the 2 adapter-rings I would have needed to use it with the 2 lenses I've used with my MF18.

What are the disadvantages of the MF18? A small niggle is that it does not come with a protective case, which I think is safer (even with a good camera bag): however my wonderful wife quickly ran up a nice well-padded bag for the ring-flash & controller on her sewing machine, so problem solved! Otherwise, I have yet to find any disadvantages after using my MF18 quite busily for 2 months.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Macro Flash ever!, 25 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
No user manual because you do not need one! The most simple out of ALL avaliable products (Canon, Sigma and Metz) but at the same the most flexible/adjustable flash. Solid build, simple yet flawless design. There are no CONS! This is it. Look no further!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great macro flash, 3 Sept. 2012
By 
Mr David Waring (Leek, Staffordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
Having previously purchased the Nissin Di 866 Mark II which I found to be a superb flash gun, I decided to experiment with macro photography (never done before) which is the reason for buying the MF18. The flash arrived promptly from Carmarthen Cameras but unfortunately it arrived with a faulty display. I contacted the retailer which they then sent a currier to collect and it was replaced within 3 days with a functioning unit. Having only had the flash gun for a short while I have found it very easy to set up and has a large amount of adjustment so its great for portraiture and extreme closeup work. Extremely pleased with the MF18 and I would recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent flash - a real boon to Macro Photography, 24 April 2013
By 
A. W. Gegg "Andy" (Cornwall, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
Item arrived promptly and well packaged. It comes in a rather natty box inside a cardboard sleeve. The adapter rings supplied should fit most macro lenses. I need to photograph glass jewellery which has always been a real problem because of reflections; this doesn't completely eliminate the problem but greatly ameliorates it. For more conventional macro photography it gives an excellent 'flat' light - I've not yet tried the modelling functionality, adjusting the two sides to different strengths. Two things to note: it really is a macro tool and is pretty well useless if the subject is a metre away; connected to a Canon DSLR you need to set the flash to E-TTL not auto. The flash does not have an instruction manual - there is something on-line but it's not brilliant - but once I realised I needed the E-TTL mode it really is very straightforward.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My personal experience, 11 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
Had to be replaced (not repaired) under warranty as the gun failed using ETTL metering after about 30 rapid exposures in a focus stacking session. Gun overheating? Apart from this it is an excellent product.
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4.0 out of 5 stars but very happy with it, 25 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
Only have it a short time, so have not used it very much, but very happy with it. Also comes at a very good price, compared to some others. Good spec. Although it is so so easy to use would appreciate the comfort of having user manual. Think it makes a continuous very very low noise when on, does that disturb insect. Don't think it does, but just to be aware of it. Also gives red eye if too close to a person, now that I'm aware of that can deal with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest flash for macro and portraits, 5 May 2014
By 
Demetris Christodoulides "DeC" (Thessaloniki, GREECE) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
Don't throw your money around stupid flash rings or the very expensive flash ray gun whatever's called. This is the thing you need, granted it's expensive, but you won't believe the flash quality, halo in eyes and flash ring around your subject (soft and halo-ish). Great stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent flash, 3 Feb. 2014
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
Definitely better than the Canon one. The shape of the flash distributes the weight equally when you hold your camera. Nice display features.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great alternative to the others, 4 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
I bought this as a cheap alternative to the other ring flashes and so far it seems to be good, im just having to get used to it as compared to ‘no flash’ it makes the end on the lens a lot heavier which is problematic with macro, great that it comes with all the adapter rings instead of extra costs to buy separately, and the case it comes in is great – very secure and protective, arrived on time but yodel messed up the delivery as usual so that spoilt it a bit
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon (Electronics)
doose what it says on the box
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Nissin MF18 Macro Flash for Canon
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