Bare Bulb Strobes – Polaroid Jumps In The Game?

Hot shoe flashers don’t have it easy when it comes to using bare bulb strobes. Generally speaking, it has not been trivial. You either have to hack the flash electronics (BTW, Lumopro, what about the promised LP180?) or eat a bunch of light using an Omnibouce or (DIY waxfen) or any other yogurt-cup-light-eating solution.

But if you wanted a good solid bare bulb strobe that you can use with your big gun light modifiers choices were limited. If you wanted bare bulb speed light, you could have looked at the Cheetah Light, but that ran off a dedicated battery pack, and not off standard AA batteries. (+ it is about $420).

Bare Bulb Strobes - Polaroid Jumps In The Game?

Amazon is now selling a Polaroid PL-135 which has a Nikon Flavor and a Canon Flavor which have corresponding contacts on the hotshoe and TTL systems for about $110 a piece.

Unlike the LP160 hack we featured on the beginning of the post, those strobes need no hack and the package contains both a “standard” reflector and a bulb case which can be used to protect the flash bulb.

Bare Bulb Strobes - Polaroid Jumps In The Game?

Here are the specs as shown on the Amazon page:

  • Guide Number: 52M (ISO 100, 105mm)
  • Circuit Design: Isolated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT)
  • Flash Mode: TTL, S1, S2, M, Multi
  • Zoom Range: 18, 24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 85, 105, 135, 180mm
  • Bounce: 0 to 90 Degrees
  • Swivel: 0 to 360 Degrees
  • Circuit Protection: Automatic Over Heating Shutdown
  • Typical Recycle Time: About 3-sec (using AA alkaline)
  • Wireless Trigger Distance: 20-30M (66-98-ft) indoors
  • Wireless Trigger Distance: 10-15M (33-49-ft) outdoors
  • Power Source: (4) AA alkaline batteries
  • Battery Life: 100-1500 flashes (using AA alkaline)
  • Color Temperature: 5500°K
  • Flash Duration: 1/200-sec to 1/20,000-sec
  • Dimensions: 7.87-in x 2.95-in x 2.24-in
  • Weight: 12-oz (less batteries)

This Is Weird

One weird thing tough, I went to Polaroid site and looked for the product to get more info and could not find a reference there.  On the other hand the strobe has a very prominent Polaroid logo.

I shot Polaroid a mail about this. Will update once I have more info.

Update: just got a brief notice from Polaroid. They say that “It is made by one of our licensees“, which to me reads that it is a Polaroid sticker.
Or as reader Matt Wagg said: “Polaroid as a company no longer exist. The name polaroid was bought up by some holdings company to use on all kinds of products in the future. So this will be something from Youngnuo or one of the other Chinese manufacturers just rebaged with a new logo. It certainly won’t have the true company’s R&D or QA behind it.”

[via Nikon Rumors]

  • Manuel

    seems a rebranded Triopo TR120, here are more info http://www.lightingrumours.com/triopo-tr120-bare-bulb-flash-ttl-3722

  • Twicky

    I just ordered one a few days ago. We’ll see how long it lasts.

    • http://www.diyphotography.net/ udi tirosh

      Would love to hear your impressions

  • RA Johnson

    WANT!

  • Lyle

    By the time I looked there were none left on amazon.com but one Canon type left on Amazon.ca, the Canada site. Too bad I’m Nikon.

  • Lizzy

    This one is really amazing! Polaroid has an interesting history…Instant cameras became commercially available in America in the year 1948…Check out this link to find out more http://www.become.com/hub/camera-photo/other-camera-photo/classic-pinhole-and-polaroid-camera/

  • Dan

    “So this will be something from Youngnuo or one of the other Chinese
    manufacturers just rebaged with a new logo. It certainly won’t have the
    true company’s R&D or QA behind it.”

    This is getting bad reviews and I highly doubt that this unit is coming from Yongnuo. Yongnuo would likely use one of their existing flash housings and would badge it as a Yongnuo. In fact, I hope Yongnuo makes one of their own as I use their products and love them. I use them all the time for paid gigs with no fear of failure.

    • http://www.bhalleyphotos.com/ Brandon

      I second Yongnuo’s quality. I use Yongnuo YN560II’s and am extremely content.

  • Shawn Noone

    So does anyone have any feedback on the unit?