Menik, a Chinese studio lighting manufacturer, has developed a new portable bare-tube flashgun that’s the spitting image of a Godox Witstro AD360. The Menik SJD200 is a portable “professional quality” 200Ws speedlight that powered by a lithium-ion battery. It is described as “a new development in lighting, combining the convenience of a flashgun with the lighting power of a studio lamp.”
This is not quite a Witstro knock-off, though. While cosmetically it looks like a clone, it actually works quite differently: the SJD200 has an internal (user-replaceable) battery, making it a completely self-contained device without any trailing cables or dangling external packs. This makes it more like a cross between the Witstro (bare-bulb flash) and Ving (Li-ion speedlight). What’s more, you can charge the battery while the flash is in use, or run the light from an AC adapter with no battery inserted at all, effectively making it an AC/DC studio light.
Since the battery is squeezed into the flash head, you get a light with the form factor of the AD360 (quite beefy) with the power more like the AD180, but since you don’t need to make space in your bag for cables and external power packs, it could be a more portable lighting solution overall.
Like other bare-bulb flashes, you can use a range of different lighting accessories designed specifically to mount on the flash itself, or you can put it on a bracket and fit full-sized softboxes with (e.g.) Bowens S-fit mounts. And because it also has a hotshoe, you can use it (carefully) on-camera or on your favourite radio triggers.
In common with their Godox rivals, Menik has an optional plug-in radio module that grants wireless triggering and remote power adjustment from a camera-mounted transmitter. The WT-4 transmitter will communicate with your SJD200 when you plug in a USB receiver to the port on the side of the flash. According to Menik, this transmitter should grant you “high-speed sync” as well.
- 200 Ws flash head
- Manual power control from 1/1 to 1/128
- Recycles in 0.05–3.5 seconds
- LCD control panel
- 2500mAh lithium battery provides up to 350 full-power flashes
- Tilt and swivel head
- Stroboscopic (multi-flash) mode from 1 to 99Hz
- User-replaceable flash tube
- S1/S2 optical slave modes
- 3.5mm sync port and PC jack
- Optional WT-4 radio triggering
- Optional wireless high-speed sync to 1/8000 second
- Net weight 980g
UK retailer Bessel will be launching its own-brand version of the SJD200 at The Photography Show, priced £279.99. (The WT-4 radio trigger will also be available.) For reference, the various UK-based Godox AD180/AD360 rebrands currently go for -/£370 (Pixapro), £300/£400 (Lencarta) and £350/£450 (Interfit), or £180/£270 under the OEM brand (eBay) when sold with the external battery pack. So the Menik/Bessel is reasonably competitively priced.