ranking the lighting systems

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by chuasam, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. gossamer

    gossamer TPF Noob!

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    I just bought two Flashpoint XPLOR 600's from Adorama. I have a D500 and a 24-70mm f2.8 and use it for portraits and now product photography, both mostly at the amateur level, just for fun, but also have some paying gigs.

    As I was browsing the site looking for lights, I noticed the price was $629, where everyone else was charging $749, including amazon and B&H. A few minutes later, and Adorama's price was also $749!! I got on a live chat with a customer service rep, and they confirmed the price just increased! I convinced them to honor that price for both, and I then knew it was a good deal, even though it's *way* more than I'll ever need :)

    I wanted a light that would be portable for both indoor and outdoor photgraphy. When I saw it supported HSS, wireless and came with a free wireless transmitter that supports HSS, supports 700 flashes on a single charge, I was really stoked.

    I also bought two Manfrotto 1004BAC light stands and two Parapop 38" octoboxes. Now just have to figure out how to use it all!


     
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  2. gossamer

    gossamer TPF Noob!

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    Oh, I also wanted to ask a question. Many of these monolights come with gloves to install the bulbs, but mine didn't. Can I just use a soft cloth? Do you otherwise have any recommendations?
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    YES, a clean cloth or clean paper towel or a clean,new napkin will work. One does not want ANY finger oils on quartz-halogen type modeling lamp bulbs! The oil can cause early failure of the bulb, so make SURE the bulb is clean, and free from any finger oils before using it. I've actually cleaned the lamps with alcohol and a cloth a few times before, with no ill effects.

    The flashtube usually has a Pyrex outer shield/protector around it, and is less-sensitive to finger or cooking oils, in my experience (I've left flash units set up in my apartment for months on end, and cooking oil particulate can be airborne in many cases: love me some deep-fried foods!)

    If your flash uses a lower-temp modeling light than a quartz-halogen type, I would not worry much about oil on the lamp's outer surface, but still, there is no harm in installing a modeling lamp bulb with a clean cloth or paper napkin.

    Congrats on the XPLOR 600 light units: those look VERY nice to me. I have watched several videos on them...it's a NICE and very modern monolight option, and the HSS and transmitter and portable battery power--all those things are 21-st century type flash features, something the old-line brands are for the most part, way behind in.
     
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  4. gossamer

    gossamer TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I meant to mention that as the reason for using gloves, thanks.

    Thanks so much, and thanks for your help in getting to this point! I'm super excited to be able to get so involved with this - it's so far beyond anything I ever expected when I bought my D300 like 10 years ago and started with photography, lol.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    yeah--the XPLOR 600 is one hell of a modern-era technological marvel! I bought my first studio flash gear in '86, a Speedotron D1602 Brown Line power pack, and three M11 flash heads, softbox, umbrellas, 11.5-inch metal reflectors, and a 16-inch reflector, and a barn door set for the 11.5-inch; very,very OLD-fashioned by comparison to the XPLOR 600 with TTL and remote raido-triggering and battery-powered status,etc..

    I will tell you two accessories to get: a honeycomb grid set, one with three grids, like a 10-degree, 20-degree, and a 30- or 35-degree grid and a 2-door or 4-door barn doors set.

    Adorama sells a generic, wire-snap grid/gel holder/barn doors accessory for a modest amount. I have one...it's "okay", and vastly,vastly better than nothing! It works on 5.75 to 8-inch reflecvtor sizes, and would work on the XPLOR 7-inch metal reflectors, for certain.

    I see the Xplor 600 here at Adorama for $549 US dollars--BUT it's the NON-TTL model and it has no transmitter at that price...Flashpoint XPLOR 600

    I love,love,love the Speedotron 7-inch Mylar clip-on diffusers, 4 or 5 of them too! These are similar to the Flashpoint 7-inch clear model ( SKU: FPLFXP004).

    A studio flash head, with a metal 7-inch or 11.5-inch reflector, fitted with a 10- to 35-degree beam resticting honeycomb grid PLUS a mylar diffuser AND a barn door set is a very valuable lighting tool! They key is using the honeycomb grid PLUS the mylar diffuser!!!!! Or two diffusers!

    Mixing softbox light or umbrella light is much easier if your hair light, or accent light, is being restricted by a honeycomb grid; adding one or two diffuserrs to that small, 7-inc to 11.5-inch source, makes the small-source light look MORE-equal to the light from a bigger umbrella or softbox; the barn doors and the grid abllow you to narrow the beam, to restrict the beam and help prevent lens flaring when the hair light is aimed back, toward the camera.

    Honeycomb grid + mylar diffuser + barn door = professional light-shaping method seldom talked about on today's internet or YouTube. Softboxes and umbrellas throw big swaths of light; the grid/diffuser/bardoors setup give some variety, some accent, to the lighting.
     
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