Most helpful critical review
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
When it worked, but then it didn't
on August 10, 2011
The flash worked moderately well when it did, which at first was more often than not. A misfire here and there, chalked it up to cycle time. Then it started getting worse. Then E-TTL mode stopped working altogether, so I used it on full manual. It was actually pretty good that way. Then finally, it quit altogether. I didn't use it very heavily, not in harsh conditions, unless you count my indoor studio and camera bag as harsh conditions.
The display panel for the unit is not great. The screen read-out is extremely cryptic, and had me going back to the manual for quite some time before I came close to being comfortable to operate without it nearby. The mounting rings are in some ways very good. The way the ring screws onto the lens means it's secure and they make adapter rings for just about every major diameter. The downside is the clip mount for the flash itself, whilst well secured, allows the flash head itself to rotate freely in a plan parallel with the lens mounting ring. If the ring flash has a mind, it will rotate around based on how the chord is feeling that day. It makes adjusting the balance of the left and right cells a bit, well, odd, as they can end up as more kind of, top-left and bottom-right cells.
The flash mount on the EOS 50D in general seemed rather weak, so there is probably some fault with Canon on this one. I've read reviews of other flash systems and chords having connection problems also, though those I've used didn't come anywhere near as severe as this unit. Looking at the price, it is cheaper than the equivalent Canon unit, but I have to wonder if the price gap between this and that is really large enough to justify dropping down to this unit. Whilst I haven't tried that unit itself, it seem like it's unlikely to be worse than this that I wish I'd plunked down a few extra dollars for it instead.
Some simple improvements could make this a strong product: improved back display, solid connectivity, and locking notch on the mounting ring or similar. In it's current state, I would neither buy again nor recommend to anyone.