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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 25 Mar 2016 (Friday) 09:21
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Seriously---so many choices--help please.

 
Hatch1921
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Joined Mar 2006
Phoenix AZ
Mar 25, 2016 09:21 |  #1

So... here I sit going over the threads here and on FM, the choices for a location/studio kit are truly overwhelming. I suppose this is a good thing, as there are a number of options to choose from.

Godox/Cheetah
Interfit S1
Rovelight
Baja4/6
Elinchrom ElB 400 with HS head
Profoto B1

and the list goes on and on....

There are no perfect kits ... and that is to be expected . I'm in the market for a nice strobe which can do HSS to help get me away from using ND filters. TTL doesn't interest me as I've always shot manual anyways. I sold my Ranger RX/AS to get away from the weight of the kit. With the new Elinchrom trigger out... I've read mixed reviews doing HSS with the "S" head so... I let it go.

The budget is $3k, that being said, if I can spend less and still walk away with a nice setup... I'm very open to giving another brand a try. I can put the money saved towards a lens.. or something else.

So.. if you had $3k to spend... wanted to mainly shoot location work... use HSS on occasion... what strobe/s would you buy? Is there a "best bang for the buck" option out there?

An Cheetah kit would run me about $900 with some extra stuff in the mix... the 600ws strobe.
Interfit S1 would put me at $1300 with the strobe/trigger and speed ring for the Eli deep octa I have.
The ELB and some extras would run around $2500
The Baja B4 x2 and some extras put me at $2k ish...
Profoto.. ouch... $2k for the head...

So... if you have experience with these products... or think there are better options out there.. I'm all ears. :)

Thanks,
Hatch


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umphotography
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Joined Oct 2007
Gig Harbor, Washington
Mar 25, 2016 09:37 |  #2

Im all cheetah.

I have 2 CL360's and a CL180. Bulletproof. I have decided to get a 3rd CL360 and use 3 for bright daylight conditions v/s getting the 600.....360's work for 90% of my needs. the other 10% will require a 3rd light...My opinion it there is not a better trigger system on the market then Godex and the new triggers give you the ability to add speedlights into the mix easily.

the new 860C is $200.00

a Canon 600 is $545.00

same power output but with godex triggers I think is a far superior option. especially for wedding photographers and Run/Gun shooters


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Hatch1921
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Mar 25, 2016 09:48 |  #3

umphotography wrote in post #17948049 (external link)
Im all cheetah.

I have 2 CL360's and a CL180. Bulletproof. I have decided to get a 3rd CL360 and use 3 for bright daylight conditions v/s getting the 600.....360's work for 90% of my needs. the other 10% will require a 3rd light...My opinion it there is not a better trigger system on the market then Godex and the new triggers give you the ability to add speedlights into the mix easily.

the new 860C is $200.00

a Canon 600 is $545.00

same power output but with godex triggers I think is a far superior option. especially for wedding photographers and Run/Gun shooters


Many thanks Mike. Nice work btw.. had a look at your site.

With the CL360...are you using them in softboxes/octas? Any issues with setup/performance? Again... not all that interested in e-ttl/ttl ... but.. HSS is something I want to use. Have you made use of HSS for your portrait work on location?

Thanks again,
Hatch


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agv8or
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Midwest
Mar 25, 2016 11:57 |  #4

I have been in search of the perfect lighting system for many years and right now Godox has the most diverse and as fully integrated of a lighting system as they come. Their Speedlites aren't the best but their new AD600 and X1 transmitter are my favorite of any flash products I have ever used. The new AD360II shows a lot of promise if they fix a few issues. Godox has a ways to go before every one is going to be happy but they have come a long way in just the short few months that their new "X" 2.4G wireless system has been on the market.

Last night I was testing the AD600's "Masking" feature (at the request of POTN memeber "feeda") and the Hensel "Free Masking" system has nothing on what Godox has produced. You do not need a special transmitter as everything is done at flash level so if Godox were to update the AD360II to have this feature then for those people that want "Masking" to either speed up their shooting without the long recycle waits or they want to use multiple flash exposures for masking subjects in post, the AD600 "Masking" feature is awesome.


Rand

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Hatch1921
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Phoenix AZ
Mar 25, 2016 14:18 |  #5

agv8or wrote in post #17948207 (external link)
I have been in search of the perfect lighting system for many years and right now Godox has the most diverse and as fully integrated of a lighting system as they come. Their Speedlites aren't the best but their new AD600 and X1 transmitter are my favorite of any flash products I have ever used. The new AD360II shows a lot of promise if they fix a few issues. Godox has a ways to go before every one is going to be happy but they have come a long way in just the short few months that their new "X" 2.4G wireless system has been on the market.

Last night I was testing the AD600's "Masking" feature (at the request of POTN memeber "feeda") and the Hensel "Free Masking" system has nothing on what Godox has produced. You do not need a special transmitter as everything is done at flash level so if Godox were to update the AD360II to have this feature then for those people that want "Masking" to either speed up their shooting without the long recycle waits or they want to use multiple flash exposures for masking subjects in post, the AD600 "Masking" feature is awesome.


It looks like the new 600 will ship in a month... in limited quantities. I appreciate the info about the strobes/brand.

Thanks again,
Hatch


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PhilF
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by PhilF. 2 edits done in total.
Mar 25, 2016 14:43 |  #6

Are you planning to do a multi light setup? Like mixing it up with other brands....like speedlights perhaps.

check out this video with the Interfit S1 AND their Interfit Speedlights

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=COMRe9fYH64 (external link)


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Hatch1921
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Mar 25, 2016 14:46 |  #7

PhilF wrote in post #17948386 (external link)
Are you planning to do a multi light setup? Like mixing it up with other brands....like speedlights perhaps.


At this moment... I have a few speedlights I could use... but.. to be honest... I can't see me using them often. So.. if I needed another strobe I would buy one at a later date if it's not all that expensive ($1k or over)...

Hope that makes some sense... lol

Hatch


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feeda
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Mar 25, 2016 18:28 |  #8

Could you describe what sort of lighting conditions you'd like to shoot in? I've found that 300Ws through a BD/small octa isn't quite enough to overpower late-afternoon "open shade," so that might help you cut down one or two of your options (Elinchrom and perhaps the Godox AD360).

I'll echo what Rand said about Godox's triggers; it's the best-executed system under $400/transmitter (Profoto) that you'll find today. If you aren't interested in TTL but want HSS, the AD600BM (M for Manual-only) is shipping today, and it's a bit cheaper than the Dynalite Baja. It is significantly cheaper than the Interfit S1, whose major feature on top of the other strobes is TTL.

I would've recommended the Elinchrom for its light weight and compactness, but it is too expensive IMO.




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Hatch1921
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Mar 25, 2016 20:03 |  #9

feeda wrote in post #17948660 (external link)
Could you describe what sort of lighting conditions you'd like to shoot in? I've found that 300Ws through a BD/small octa isn't quite enough to overpower late-afternoon "open shade," so that might help you cut down one or two of your options (Elinchrom and perhaps the Godox AD360).

I'll echo what Rand said about Godox's triggers; it's the best-executed system under $400/transmitter (Profoto) that you'll find today. If you aren't interested in TTL but want HSS, the AD600BM (M for Manual-only) is shipping today, and it's a bit cheaper than the Dynalite Baja. It is significantly cheaper than the Interfit S1, whose major feature on top of the other strobes is TTL.

I would've recommended the Elinchrom for its light weight and compactness, but it is too expensive IMO.


Thanks for the info. I'm looking to do location shoots mainly. I've taken a few years off from photographing people/client work and I'm going to start back here shortly. Elinchrom is expensive and within the budget however, if I can save a few $$$ and still have a nice setup for location work, I'm all ears. I'm based in Phoenix... sun..sun..and more sun. So.... I'd need something at least powerful enough to shoot HSS while the persons back is to the sun... and properly light them.

I just want to avoid having to us a ND filter... I'm sure there will be times I will still might need to use one depending on the lens and f/stop.

Thanks again for the input.
Hatch


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Wilt
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Mar 25, 2016 22:17 |  #10

Hatch1921 wrote in post #17948029 (external link)
I'm in the market for a nice strobe which can do HSS to help get me away from using ND filters. TTL doesn't interest me as I've always shot manual anyways.


First of all, you need your expectations adjusted a bit. HSS and eTTL go hand in hand...it is the abilty to accept eTTL commands from the camera that permit HSS to be commanded from the camera.

There is a mode from one radio remote vendor, called Hypersynch, which is the ability to increase the max speed compatible with stodio strobe, which entails some 'timing games', but does not truly provide the same capability as HSS. Folks mix up these two all the time because, simplistically speaking, 'both allow me to shoot with studio faster the the usual Xsync speed of the camera'

It IS true that a 1 or 2 studio units recently which can support HSS, yet not support the light output automation normally associated with eTTL.


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Hatch1921
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Mar 25, 2016 23:18 |  #11

Wilt wrote in post #17948922 (external link)
First of all, you need your expectations adjusted a bit. HSS and eTTL go hand in hand...it is the abilty to accept eTTL commands from the camera that permit HSS to be commanded from the camera.

There is a mode from one radio remote vendor, called Hypersynch, which is the ability to increase the max speed compatible with stodio strobe, which entails some 'timing games', but does not truly provide the same capability as HSS. Folks mix up these two all the time because, simplistically speaking, 'both allow me to shoot with studio faster the the usual Xsync speed of the camera'

It IS true that a 1 or 2 studio units recently which can support HSS, yet not support the light output automation normally associated with eTTL.


Not replying in a hostile tone :)

My expectations are to purchase a strobe which can do HSS and allow me to shoot past my 1/250th sync speed.... several brands are able to do this. I'm simply asking others to share their thoughts about the strobe they are using and if they feel it's worth the investment. When it comes to e-ttl/ttl, however the "voodoo" happens between the camera and the strobe... doesn't matter to me as long as HSS is achievable :) If it gets me away from using ND filters and produces nice light with a decent recycle time ... and is dependable... sign me up. :)

Good times!
Hatch


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feeda
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Mar 25, 2016 23:34 |  #12

Hatch1921 wrote in post #17948769 (external link)
Thanks for the info. I'm looking to do location shoots mainly. I've taken a few years off from photographing people/client work and I'm going to start back here shortly. Elinchrom is expensive and within the budget however, if I can save a few $$$ and still have a nice setup for location work, I'm all ears. I'm based in Phoenix... sun..sun..and more sun. So.... I'd need something at least powerful enough to shoot HSS while the persons back is to the sun... and properly light them.

I just want to avoid having to us a ND filter... I'm sure there will be times I will still might need to use one depending on the lens and f/stop.

Thanks again for the input.
Hatch

Ah yes, I hear the motto in Phoenix isn't "f/8 and be there," but rather "f/45 and be there" :-P

Although I haven't had the chance to use most of these strobes myself, I would recommend you have at least 500-600Ws on hand, maybe more if you'll be using the deep octa. Many photographers have high-efficiency (Magnum-type) reflectors for outdoor use. Are you intending to shoot at a relatively wide aperture, hence the need for HSS/Hypersync/etc.? (Otherwise, you could just close down the aperture as much as necessary and throw more flash energy at the problem.)




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Hatch1921
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Mar 25, 2016 23:38 |  #13

feeda wrote in post #17949020 (external link)
Ah yes, I hear the motto in Phoenix isn't "f/8 and be there," but rather "f/45 and be there" :-P

Although I haven't had the chance to use most of these strobes myself, I would recommend you have at least 500-600Ws on hand, maybe more if you'll be using the deep octa. Many photographers have high-efficiency (Magnum-type) reflectors for outdoor use. Are you intending to shoot at a relatively wide aperture, hence the need for HSS/Hypersync/etc.? (Otherwise, you could just close down the aperture as much as necessary and throw more flash energy at the problem.)


lol Shooting here is like shooting under a magnifying glass :) It's not all that bad really... I can't recall ever needing to go above 500ws or so on the Ranger when shooting on location using ND filters. So... I think 400-600ws would be plenty. Now it's just a matter of brand/system to purchase.
Hatch


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feeda
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Post has been last edited over 1 year ago by feeda. 2 edits done in total.
Mar 25, 2016 23:58 as a reply to Hatch1921's post |  #14

Alright, I'm buying two additional pairs of sunglasses to stack together if I go down there, or maybe two 58mm 8-stop ND filters connected by a wire :lol:

Keep in mind that simply enabling HSS will reduce the effective flash output dramatically, so it's not always going to be a direct comparison in terms of Ws to a non-HSS flash. I don't know the gritty details of this as well as some other members might, so I'll let them fill us in.

I think the Interfit S1 and Profoto B1 are higher along the price/performance curve than the Rovelight and Godox strobes, with the Dynalite somewhere in between. Assuming you don't mind the ergonomic deficiencies of the Rovelight (e.g., no ability to change power settings from the transceiver), it looks like the best value for the money. The Godox has a nicer transmitter than the Dynalite and Rovelight, but you may not be able to find the AD600 from a US dealer for another month or so (at which time your eBay order from China will have just come in).




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Hatch1921
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Mar 26, 2016 00:08 |  #15

feeda wrote in post #17949037 (external link)
Alright, I'm buying two additional pairs of sunglasses to stack together if I go down there, or maybe two 58mm 8-stop ND filters connected by a wire :lol:

Keep in mind that simply enabling HSS will reduce the effective flash output dramatically, so it's not always going to be a direct comparison in terms of Ws to a non-HSS flash. I don't know the gritty details of this as well as some other members might, so I'll let them fill us in.

I think the Interfit S1 and Profoto B1 are higher along the price/performance curve than the Rovelight and Godox strobes, with the Dynalite somewhere in between. Assuming you don't mind the ergonomic deficiencies of the Rovelight (e.g., no ability to change power settings from the transceiver), it looks like the best value for the money. The Godox has a nicer transmitter than the Dynalite and Rovelight, but you may not be able to find the AD600 from a US dealer for another month or so (at which time your eBay order from China will have just come in).


8-) shades required :)

Yes.. I agree with you about HSS and the flash output. Lots of options out there... I like that the Interfit S1 can be used on battery or with the included A/C adapter/cord. Several nice reviews about the strobe. Not certain which direction I will go just yet. Choices!


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Seriously---so many choices--help please.
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