Jinbei have released the MF-200 Speedlite, a redesigned and more powerful version of the current MF-100 Speedlite, this time with a HSS function.
Godox may have some competition on their hands, as the MF-200 is clearly aimed directly at the current AD180 Witstro 150Ws units.
The current MF-100 has a guide number of 60 meters at ISO 100, which in real terms equates to a fairly uninspiring light output lucky to match a regular speedlight.
The new MF-200 should be around double the power though (or a stop more light), with a guide number of 98 meters at ISO 100. Which is around what the Witstro AD180 produces.
The Caler MF-200 Speedlite now features a much more contemporary interface, and the whole flash is more of an original design than the MF-100, which copied most of the styling from Quantum’s Trio. And props to Jinbei for moving to an original design.
The big feature of the MF-200 is a HSS ability, for shutter speeds up to 1/8000th with Canon and Nikon cameras. Unlike the Witstro AD180 where the HSS function is only available off camera using a radio transmitter. Unlike the MF-100, the MF-200 do not have any built-in radio receiver. This also means remote power control through a radio transmitter is not possible like the Witstro units either.
Jinbei appear to be stating the MF-200 has an automatic AF Focus Assist light though, which would mean it would need to have Canon and Nikon specific TTL pins on the flash foot. In which case its highly possible HSS would be available when mounted directly on the camera hotshoe. This could set the MF-200 apart from the Witstro by providing a more functional on camera option.
The MF-200 does not have any TTL function, its manual only with power setting from 1/128 to Full in 1/3rd stops.
Recycle time for the MF-100 was a rather fast sub 1 second at full power. So the MF-200 could be around 1.3 seconds, similar to the Witstro AD180 (when using an optional 2 into 1 power cord).
The MF-200 Speedlite does not have any batteries inside, so power is via an MF-35 or MF-44 battery pack. Although it seems to get misquoted a lot, as far as I understand the MF-44 is supposed to be a Lithium-Ion pack, and not NiHM like the MF-35.
The MF-44 is 11V 4400mAh, providing around 1000 full power pops with the MF-200, so again similar to the Godox PB960 in capacity. These packs are also compatible with Canon-Nikon speedlights etc.
There is a big demand for bare bulb speedlights like the Witstro AD180 at the moment, the only thing that’s holding those back is the fairly high entry price for non professionals.
The cheapest I think you will find the Witstro AD180, they are still at the top end of what many regular strobists and enthusiast are prepared to pay (particularly for a few of them). UPDATE August 2014 – Prices have now finally reduced quite considerably.
So it will be very interesting to see how the MF-200 price pans out, as these may provide the in-between solution many people have been waiting for. The current MF-100 sells from around $370 with the MF-44 pack.
I wouldn’t expect the solid build quality of the Witstro, but for light use that may not be so critical. The MF-200 may even bring some more competitive pricing to the excellent Godox units.
The only details currently available on the MF-200 are on Alibaba listings.