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Nissin MF18 Ring Flash Review

Nissin MF18 Ring Flash Review


Ring Flash for Canon & Nikon



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I received my New Nikkor Nikon 105mm f/2.8 MC S Macro Z lens just in time for bug and dragonfly season. What better way to celebrate than with a new MF18 Ring Flash from Nissin.

Updated: The Nissin MF18 is Now compatible with the Nikon Z Mirrorless cameras with the latest Nissin Firmware update.

I have several flash systems from Nikon, SB-700, SB-900, SB-910, SB-5000, and of course, the R1C1 complete system. Why did I pick up a Nissin MF18 Ring Flash? The answer is simple - I am a Nikon shooter, and the Nissin MF 18 can remote fire my other Nikon flashes, such as the SB-R200, to give me even more flexibility in my macro photography work when a flash is needed.

Updated: Nissin's new firmware corrects compatibility with Nikon Z cameras. That said, how well does the Nissin MF 18-Ring Flash work? Pretty good if you have a compatible camera (see the compatible list here). Just because your camera may not be fully compatible does not mean it is a bust. I use a Nikon Z7 II and Z9 with good results if you set the flash to manual mode.

Overall I find the Nissin MF18 to satisfy my macro photography pursuits with excellent results.  If you have a fully compatible camera, the Nissin MF 18 Macro Ring Flash has no competition with the many features the MF18 offers: Full Automatic Mode, TTL Mode, Manual Mode, Fine Macro Mode, High-Speed Sync Mode, 1st curtain/rear curtain sync - with the ability to set flash compensation for A or B sides - the MF 18 has two independent flash tubes left and right (A/B) + a modeling light for focus assist in dim lighting.

Build Quality: Very well-made and robust.

Flash Features and Flexibility: Excellent, + you can customize many settings such as exposure compensation, and the flash memorizes your settings for that mode. 

Manual Mode: The MF18 offers Manual power from 1/1 to 1/64 in 1/3 EV steps, Fine Macro power from 1/128 to 1/1024 in 1/6 EV steps, TTL compensation -3.0 to +3.0 in 1/3 EV steps

Full Auto: Let your compatible camera adjust the flash output for the situation

TTL Mode: Yes, for cameras that support TTL or variations of it the MF18 will work seamlessly with your camera and provide proper exposure.

High-Speed Support: HIGH-SPEED SYNC (HSS) TO 1/8000 - With high-speed sync, you can shoot with larger apertures for a shallow depth of field, even in bright sunlight, i.e. f/2.8 @ 1/8000 second

External Battery Support: Great news, the Nissin MF18 supports Nikon SD-9 or the Nissin external battery pack

The Nissin MF18 is an essential lighting tool for professionals who require precise light control and consistent 5600K color.  Its well-diffused ring produces a soft, balanced light that wraps around your macro subjects.

  • A: B (left: right) adjustment in Manual or TTL shooting modes
  • TTL compensation -3.0 to +3.0 in 1/3 EV steps
  • Manual power from 1/1 to 1/64 in 1/3 EV steps
  • Fine Macro power from 1/128 to 1/1024 in 1/6 EV steps

The Nissin MF18’s precision control, diffused and balanced light, and consistent 5600K color distinguish it from other macro ring flashes and have helped to make it the preferred solution for macro professionals, engineers, forensic photographers, and commercial product photographers.


  • Excellent Macro Photography results
  • Many, Many Features and adjustments
  • Reasonable Power Output Guide Number of 16m
  • Comes with 52/58/62/67/72/77mm. adapter rings
  • Uses standard AA batteries

Cons: Large and heavier than my R1C1

I carry my MF18 on my Macro outings, even on sunny days, along with one SB-R200 for complete creative Flash Control - If I have good lighting and flash is not required, I simply turn it off and shoot in natural light, but when I need some extra light for deeper depth of field I switch it on and it is ready in less than a second.

In Summary: If you are a Macro/Product/ Portrait photographer, I would suggest you give this unit a serious look. As a portrait flash, this could be used as a fill flash and set to trigger your other flashes.

Recommendation:  I recommend you purchase one from Amazon using my Associate link, and if it does not meet your needs, you have 30 days to return it.  Links below.

Nikon Link

Canon Link

Buy an SB-R200 from Amazon as your remote Macro flash

The cost to run this website is several thousand dollars a year - you can support it using my embedded Amazon Associate links.


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