Good day to all.

Even at school, I became inter­est­ed in film pho­tog­ra­phy, and since then, no, no, yes, and my hands are reach­ing for the cam­era. After buy­ing a dig­i­tal cam­era, I still couldn’t get a flash, but late­ly a sit­u­a­tion has arisen more and more often when the built-in one is not enough. So once again, after think­ing, I decid­ed to buy this device, which is undoubt­ed­ly impor­tant for pho­tog­ra­phy. To begin with, I decid­ed to opt for a man­u­al flash, and if I lat­er buy TTL, then this one will not dis­ap­pear either, I will use it to illu­mi­nate the back­ground when shoot­ing indoors.

I bought a flash on TaoBao at the time of pur­chase, the price was $ 31.

Deliv­ery of the par­cel took a month and a half, tak­ing into account the time for the for­ma­tion of the par­cel by an inter­me­di­ary.

The flash came to me in a brand­ed card­board box. Addi­tion­al­ly, the sell­er put a plas­tic dif­fuser cap.

Brief char­ac­ter­is­tics of the flash:

Char­ac­ter­is­tics:

  • Com­pat­i­ble cam­eras: uni­ver­sal
  • Type: Man­u­al with­out TTL.
  • Guide num­ber: 33
  • Min. reload time: 0.4s
  • Max. reload time: up to 5 s
  • Pulse Width: 1/1050
  • Pow­er con­trol: 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128
  • Modes: M, Mul­ti, slave first sec­ond pulse
  • Dis­play: yes
  • Dis­play back­light: yes
  • Mount: hot shoe
  • Min. num­ber of oper­a­tions from one set of bat­ter­ies: 90
  • Max. num­ber of oper­a­tions from one set of bat­ter­ies: 650
  • Bat­tery type: AA x 4 pcs.
  • Aut­o­fo­cus light: no
  • Swiv­el head: yes
  • Up Angle: 90
  • Hor­i­zon­tal rota­tion angle: 270
  • Auto Zoom: No
  • Wide Angle Dif­fuser: Yes
  • Man­u­al pow­er adjust­ment: yes
  • Front cur­tain sync: depend­ing on the cam­era
  • Rear cur­tain sync: cam­era depen­dent
  • Mas­ter flash mode: no
  • Remote flash mode: yes
  • Dimen­sions: 18x 7.5×4.8 cm
  • Weight 350 g

Inside the box, in addi­tion to the flash itself, there is also an instruc­tion in Eng­lish and Chi­nese, a war­ran­ty card, a soft bag for stor­age and car­ry­ing, and a stand for mount­ing on a flat sur­face or mount­ing on a tri­pod.

Out­ward­ly, the flash looks like a pro­fes­sion­al one and has almost all the para­me­ters that more expen­sive flash­es have, with the excep­tion of its main dif­fer­ence, com­plete­ly man­u­al con­trol with­out any con­nec­tion to the cam­era. But the flash will work with almost any cam­era that has a hot shoe, even with an old Zenith.

The only excep­tion is Sony cam­eras, which have a very spe­cif­ic hot shoe for­mat, but you can use this flash with them if you use the appro­pri­ate adapter. Since the flash is man­u­al, its hot shoe is extreme­ly sim­ple, one cen­tral con­tact, and a small pin for fix­ing in the sock­et. There is a plas­tic ring around the shoe, by twist­ing it you can addi­tion­al­ly fix the flash on the cam­era, or fix it where there is no place for a pin.

On the left side of the flash, behind a rub­ber plug, there is a con­nec­tor for con­nect­ing an exter­nal pow­er flash or a bat­tery pack and a round con­nec­tor for con­nect­ing a sync cable. The entire right side is occu­pied by the bat­tery com­part­ment. The flash is pow­ered by four AA bat­ter­ies, it is pos­si­ble to use both alka­line bat­ter­ies and recharge­able bat­ter­ies, the lat­ter is prefer­able, since the flash has a sig­nif­i­cant con­sump­tion and one set of inex­pen­sive alka­line bat­ter­ies can take no more than 20–25 frames at full pow­er.

On the back of the case is a dis­play and but­tons to con­trol the flash.

The flash head can pop up 90 degrees and rotate 180 degrees to the left and 90 degrees to the right. Thus, the flash can be eas­i­ly direct­ed in almost any direc­tion.

The flash can work in three modes:

man­u­al mode — when the shut­ter is fired, the flash gives one pulse of a giv­en pow­er. Pow­er can be set from 1/1 full pulse to 1/128 of full pow­er, 8 steps in total. When switch­ing pow­er, there are addi­tion­al­ly two inter­me­di­ate val­ues ​​between steps of ±0.3 and ±0.7, so 22 pow­er val­ues ​​are obtained. In my opin­ion, such a num­ber of steps is some­what redun­dant and would make sense with the sup­port of TTL mode, but not at all with man­u­al flash.

Slave Mode — in this mode, the flash fires as a slave, I use my light trap to set fire to it. When choos­ing the Slave mode, it is pos­si­ble to set whether the flash will fire on the first pulse or skip the eval­u­a­tion pulse and fire only on the sec­ond (main) pulse of the mas­ter flash. , when the trap is ori­ent­ed towards the object being filmed and at a dis­tance of 7–8 meters, when the trap is fac­ing the cam­era.

Strobe mode — allows you to make a series of sev­er­al puls­es of a giv­en pow­er with the spec­i­fied equal inter­vals between them. The num­ber of puls­es in a series depends on the set pow­er and the time between, the stronger the pulse and the short­er the time, the short­er the series will be. The strobe mode is often used for shoot­ing at slow shut­ter speeds and allows you to get very beau­ti­ful pho­tos.

For exam­ple, this is how it looks in pro­mo­tion­al pho­tos on the prod­uct page on TaoBao.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this mode does not work cor­rect­ly for me. To work out the stro­bo­scope, it is nec­es­sary that the cam­era con­tin­ues to keep the con­tacts con­nect­ed in the shoe all the time while the shut­ter is open. And my Pana­son­ic does­n’t do that, so instead of a strobe, I get just one pulse. I don’t know if this is a fea­ture of my cam­era or flash, but, alas, it exists as it is. For­tu­nate­ly, the strobe works, there is to hold down and hold the but­ton for the test flash release, so I man­aged to take at least some pic­ture with the strobe, and although it does not shine with genius and beau­ty, it quite allows you to under­stand the mean­ing of the mode.

The man­u­fac­tur­er in the man­u­al writes that the flash has aut­o­fo­cus illu­mi­na­tion, but in fact it does not. There is a but­ton, when pressed, the flash emits a series of puls­es that prac­ti­cal­ly merge into one, a cou­ple of sec­onds long, of course, it can be used for back­light­ing, but it is ter­ri­bly incon­ve­nient to do this, you have to press the but­ton on the flash with one hand and the shut­ter release on the cam­era.

And its one draw­back that I noticed when using the flash, it has a rather nar­row beam angle, so when shoot­ing at close range, the light spot bor­der is very sharp, the dif­fuser helps to cope with this a lit­tle, but not com­plete­ly.

A few words about deliv­ery. Since TaoBao does not direct­ly deliv­er goods out­side of Chi­na, I had to look for an inter­me­di­ary. I must say right away that deliv­ery from Chi­na is not at all cheap, for 1 kilo­gram of a par­cel, includ­ing the weight of the pack­age, they ask from $ 20 and this is not count­ing the ser­vices of an inter­me­di­ary. For me, the Yoy­Buy web­site act­ed as an inter­me­di­ary and deliv­ered my par­cel with a total weight of 1.3 kg — the deliv­ery price, includ­ing inter­me­di­ary ser­vices, is $ 30. Flash weight 350 grams includ­ing pack­age weight. When order­ing, you could save a lit­tle if you refuse car­go insur­ance, the cost of insur­ance was $ 3, for new users there is a $ 10 dis­count coupon.

Small con­clu­sion: In gen­er­al, I got exact­ly what I expect­ed, the work upset me a lit­tle, or rather, not the work of the strobe, but I was not going to use it often. The flash, of course, is not at all intend­ed for reportage shoot­ing, or for pho­tograph­ing any dynam­ic scenes, but it is quite suit­able for home pho­tog­ra­phy or even for a small stu­dio as a sec­ondary light source. It can even be used as the main flash, but only if there is con­fi­dence that it will be pos­si­ble to make a sec­ond, third, fourth and … take.