Review: The innovative GODOX MF12 Mini Macro Flash – First Impression

Review: The innovative GODOX MF12 Mini Macro Flash – First Impression

This review / test can hopefully help you if you are thinking about buying the Godox MF12.

Why did I add the Godox MF12 Mini Macro Flash to my gear for Macro Photography?

Well, there are only a handful dedicated true Macro flashes on the market.
It is mostly either the twin flash, a ring flash or the classic on/off camera speedlite with additional diffuser.

Godox just released a unique new Macro flash, that is extremely versatile, modular and promises to be a true innovation.
The brand has been offering a strong range of powerful flash guns with features you would normally only find on much more expensive products in the past.

The new MF12 Macro Flash fits the range perfectly and due to its versatility it can be used in different ways.
Let us take a first look at what makes the Godox MF12 special and what makes it stand out from its competitors, especially when it comes to Macro Photography.

For this first-look review i only had 1 unit of MF12 and could not test the usage of 2 or more units simultaneously yet.
I also did not have a radio trigger to fire it. One of the many strengths of this tiny flash though, is that it offers a range of methods to fire it.
For the testing it was controlled by a Godox V350O and Godox V1 being the masters and the MF12 being a slave unit.
Triggering it via Secondary Optic Triggering (in M mode) would have also been a solution.

Uloborus plumipes (Feather legged spider) photographed using a Godox V350O and the new MF12 Mini Macro Flash for subtle fill and rim light.

First Impression and Contents

The MF12 comes in a cubic nylon-design carry case with zipper. It is sturdy and packs all contents in two chambers.
Like the flash itself, all additional components are of high quality and feel great.

With the flash you will get:

  • 1x Diffuser Cap
  • 1x Flash stand
  • 1x Cold Shoe adapter (with metal thread)
  • 1x Positioning Adapter for the Multi Flash Adapter for the Lens filter thread
  • 1x Type-C USB Charging cable
  • 1x Color Filter Holder
  • 1x Color Effects Set MF-11C
  • 1x Color temperature Adjustment Set MF-11T
  • 1x Soft Case for the 2 Filter Sets

The MF12 has an Angle adjustment bracket, which can either be clipped on the multi-flash adapter ring if you own one, or connect to the Cold Shoe (and optional the Stand).
You could also just position the flash on the ground using the bracket as well.

The workmanship is high-quality: everything fits perfectly, there is no wobbling and threads and screws are made from metal instead of just simple plastic.

The unique and innovative Features of the MF12 Mini Macro Flash

Modular System

The MF12 is both a single unit flash and also part of a modular system.
You can clip on up to six MF12 flash units to the lens adapter which creates a ring of flashes around the lens axis.
Together with a Radio Trigger (like the Godox XPro, X1, X2) one or more MF12 can be fired wirelessly.

Being such a compact and small flash it combines a wide range of features you would not necessarily expect from it.

Built-in High-performance Lithium Battery

The built-in battery supports up to 500 flashes with full-power.
The recycling time varies from 0.01-1.7 seconds.
What i like a lot, is that you do not need an extra charger for the flash but can simply use a USB-C cable.
This means less cables to pack and carry, as many mobile phones and laptops also use USB-C cables – an absolute bonus, especially while traveling.

Modeling light

By pressing a simple button you can turn on the modeling light of the MF12.
For general use, this is a great support to get an idea of the actual flash lighting in the final photo.
regarding macro photography, it can light up a scene in diffucult lighting conditions or even function as a focusing light – especially during night sessions in the field.
It is basically a little torchlight, a great little extra since you have the flash with you anyways.


After some photographing I really like the flexibility of the Mf12. The sum of features for many possible use cases, makes it very versatile.
Besides being the main light source, it can be used for different lighting scenarios, like rim or back lighting.
You can mount it on the lens filter ring and combine multiple units.
Even the single flash alone can be positioned in many different ways.

Thanks to the adjustable clip, you do not even need the flash stand do do this.

Example Photos

Uloborus plumipes is a tiny spider, known for its distinct feather-like legs.
Since it is a very calm species which is not very skittish it was a perfect subject to test a few lighting variations with the MF12.
The main light was a Godox V350O on camera, while the MF12 was used as either fill light or backlight/rimlight and moved around for that purpose.

I will update the review with more photos, as soon as I find time to use the MF12 as single, main light source as well.

The Specifications

Guide Number16′ / 4.9 m
Flash Duration1/1200 to 1/34000 Second
Recycle TimeApprox. 0.01 to 1.7 Seconds
Exposure ControlTTL via Separate Commander, Manual
Power Range1/1 to 1/128
Secondary IlluminationModeling Light
Wireless OperationRadio (TTL/Manual)
up to 30 m / 98.4′ (Slave)
Wireless Channels32
Wireless Groups5
Lens Compatibility49mm/52mm/55mm/58mm/62mm/67mm/72mm/77mm Filter Threads
Dimensions (W x H x D)81.0 x 76.5 x 64.3 mm / 3.2 x 3.0 x 2.5″
Weight144 g / 5.1 oz
Internal Power1 x Built-In Rechargeable (500 Full-Power Flashes)
External Power Pack CompatibleNo

Summary and Conclusion

When I first heard and read about the MF12 (in the multi-unit version) i thought that it is just another multi-unit macro flash, that will be too close to the subject, that is too small using a single unit – yes, i just did not see any justification for just another flash system on the market.

But i was wrong!
The MF12 is so versatile and can be used in so many variations and situations, that it is now one of the best additions to my flash gear.

With the many features like the modeling lamp, the USB-chargeable internal battery, the small size, the wireless control options, it is the perfect companion and addition for my Godox main flashes (V1 and V350O).

I will mainly use it for back lighting and trigger it wirelessly. The Modelling light will come in handy as well.
Since the MF12 Flash is so small and portable it is an absolute multi-functional tool.

Most probably I will get at least one more unit and the multi-unit ring for full flexibility in the future.

The Godox MF12 is available as single unit and also as a two-light kit.
For the official product page check out the Godox Website here.


Godox just released the MF-CB, a round adapter to mount the light shapers from the AK-R1 kit, which we know from the Godox V1 Flash already, on the Macro Flash MF-12.
You can find more info on the MF-CB on the official Godox Website here.

I also reviewed and tested these products from Godox:

  • Wolf Amri
    Posted at 12:18h, 10 August Reply

    Great review!
    I also just bought a Godox MF-12 for macro photography. I won one on their youtube channel and then bought two more units to end up with three. That helps with lighting ratios and to not get that ring-light look despite it not being all that apparent with this flash.
    What I just found out and what is kinda sad is that the MF-12 doesn’t support HSS. I would have loved to see that to help freeze the wings of insects in flight.

    • wildmacro-chris
      Posted at 16:04h, 10 August Reply

      hey Wolf,
      thanks for your feedback – good to read you are liking the MF12s.
      I know what you mean regarding the ring light – i never use flashes for macro photography without using a diffuser around the lens-front, so that counters the ring-effect properly as a side-effect.
      Regarding the freeze-effect: you don´t ultimately need HSS for that – the flash is enough. Try to use as little flash power as possible while still exposing the subject properly – this will give you the best burn-rate for the flash, which will freeze the motion – at least to some degree.

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