Review: Nissin MG80 Pro Flash Is an Appealing Option

June 2020 issue Tech

A lot of companies make a range of TTL controllable battery-powered electronic flashes with built-in radio receivers, but Nissin does things a bit differently than most. When you pick up a Nissin hot shoe mount flash like the MG80 Pro, you notice that it’s heavier and more solidly built than its competitors.Turning on an MG80 Pro or MG10 flash wakes up a unique feature of the Nissin flashes: an electromagnetic mechanism moves the Fresnel lens to match the angle of view of the camera lens... Continue Reading >

Product review: Westcott FJ400 Strobe and FJ-X2M Trigger

January 2020 issue Tech

When you work on location with strobes you need consistent color temperature, dependable batteries, and control of your light output. New from Westcott, the FJ400 Strobe (400Ws) and FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Flash Trigger is an impressive duo that dominates in all three areas.© Betsy Finn I noticed no color temperature variance across any of my images.The best part is the trigger’s compatibility with many cameras so you’re not locked into a brand or model. The FJ400 strobe and the... Continue Reading >

Get a natural look from off-camera flash

January 2020 issue Tech

I think a lot of photographers view flash as ugly and the opposite style of natural light. The truth is flash is just light you have total control over. You can make it look as natural as you’d like while having the added benefit of that control.© Vanessa JoyThis shoot was for the cover of my upcoming book, which is about how to use off-camera flash in 32 specific scenarios. I didn’t want the cover to be an obviously flash-based image. I wanted it to emulate natural light and be an... Continue Reading >

Highly focused LED Fresnel

June 2019 issue Tech

© Courtesy NanLiteThe NanLite LitoLite 8F Focusable LED Fresnel is compact and suited for use on-camera, on a light stand, or on a tripod. It’s easily portable at only 0.7 pounds and offers powerful, flicker-free light output in a range from a 10-degree spotlight to a 60-degree flood, dimmable from 0 to 100 percent.It uses high-efficiency LEDs that produce up to 560 lumens of illumination, comes with warming (3,200K) and cooling (6,500K) filters, barn doors, and a case, and also has an... Continue Reading >

Cord free: Interfit Badger Unleashed wireless strobe

January 2019 issue Tech

I’m always on the lookout for products that offer an innovative solution to common problems. For instance, we all want studio quality light when we’re on location, but no one wants the hassle of cords and extra weight. I take a studio strobe and external battery pack with me on all location sessions, so when I heard about the Badger Unleashed TTL/HSS 250Ws wireless strobe, I was intrigued.© BETSY FINN Before my first trial run, I fully charged the batteries, which takes 90 minutes.... Continue Reading >

eVOLV 200 Output Tests

July 2018 issue Tech

The Adorama Flashpoint eVolv 200 TTL Modular Strobe fills a niche when you need more power than a speedlight but don’t want the hassle or bulk of a monolight. It’s only slightly larger than a hot shoe flash and smaller, lighter, and faster to set up and use than a monolight. It also has a built-in R2 radio remote. I measured output with the eVolv 200 set for manual operation, using a Sekonic L-758DR meter set for ISO 100, 1/250-second shutter-speed, and the incident dome in the retracted... Continue Reading >

Review: Adorama Flashpoint eVOLV 200 TTL Modular Strobe

July 2018 issue Tech

Why would you want the Adorama Flashpoint eVolv 200 TTL Modular Strobe with built-in R2 radio remote? Because there are times when a speedlight isn’t powerful enough and a more powerful monolight is too much hassle. The eVolv 200 has some sophisticated features yet it’s simple to use. In Adorama’s Flashpoint R2 family it fills a power niche between three larger and more powerful siblings—the Xplor 600, the Xplor 600 Pro, and the StreakLight 360Ws Flash TTL monolight—and the Flashpoint... Continue Reading >

New Bees: AlienBees DigiBee DB400 and DB800

February 2017 issue Tech

It’s been a while since Paul C. Buff Inc. has introduced a major new product, and the DigiBees are the first to be released since Paul C. Buff’s death last year. Though they lack the power of the popular Buff Einstein and AlienBees B1600 flash units, the DigiBees hit a price point between the two and offer their own innovations. One innovation in particular sets the DigiBees apart from their cousins.As a user of several of the original AlienBees, I was first taken by the relative small... Continue Reading >

Natural light is not enough

November 2016 issue Profiles

SCOTT DETWEILER ON THE BENEFITS OF ADDITIVE LIGHTINGMany a photographer has built a business on making images with little more than their camera and sunshine. But is natural light photography enough?“I would argue that even if you’re shooting entirely outdoors, the ability to augment the light is critical,” says Scott Detweiler. “It’s so important to be able to create different looks in different lighting conditions and be able to re-light things to achieve the appropriate... Continue Reading >

Powerful, packed, cable-free

September 2015 issue Tech

Priolite MBX monolightsIt isn’t often that a new company delivers a set of innovative products in its debut line, but Priolite has. Headquartered in Germany and founded by a former director at Hensel, Priolite has introduced a line of self-contained monolights that are powerful, feature-packed, heavy-duty workhorses for studio and location portrait photographers, wedding photographers, and fashion photographers.I’m fairly comfortable with a freeway of cables running around my sets, but... Continue Reading >