Light is vital to photography. Without it, we wouldn’t have photographs. Our sensors would just be recording blackness. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of making my own light. Mostly with flash, and mostly on location. This has meant that I’ve had to dip into the world of high speed sync a lot.
Dealing with flash sync speeds has traditionally been a bit of a pain if you’re shooting outdoors on location. Until fairly recently, most strobes just can’t handle those high speeds. The instant you go past 1/250th (or whatever your camera’s sync speed is) you start to see black bars. Neutral density lets you lower the outdoor light levels to shoot within sync speed.
But is that still needed in 2018? Flash tech has come a long way, and there are quite a lot of powerful strobes out there now that support high speed sync. Photographer Manny Ortiz explores the topic in this video, and gives his thoughts. I’m not surprised that he seems to edge towards high speed sync.
Pentax users seem to have been neglected when it comes to the world of flash. There’s been very little 3rd party support at all. Pretty much their only option, if they want TTL or High-Speed Sync is to go the Cactus route if they don’t want to go with Pentax branded speedlights. Ok, you could go with Metz, but your options become even more limited with those if you want to combine it with strobes.
It seems, though, that Godox may have listened to the cries for help from Pentax users. According to a listing on the Godox UK online store for the dual AD200 kit, Pentax TTL support is coming sometime in June. Yes, this month. Or, maybe next year.
I wrote about the announcement of the new Rotolight Neo 2 a couple of days ago. Looking at the specs, I wasn’t really all that impressed for my own needs. I have Spekular and Aputure lights for video, as well as Nikon & Godox lights for stills (all of which support HSS). So, for the cost, and limited power, the Neo 2 just isn’t worth it for me. So, I didn’t pay much more attention to it.
Photographer Rob Hall, though, has had a couple of days to really consider the specs of these lights and what they mean for photographers. Are they really the revolutionary product that the fancy marketing would lead us to believe? Or is it all (low powered) flash and no substance? Rob, at least, doesn’t seem particularly impressed, if this video is anything to go by.
This was a bit of an unexpected announcement. At least, it was for me. Although, I admit that I haven’t really followed the world of LED lighting that closely since setting my sights on getting a set of Spekular lights. The LEDs I do tend to look at are generally more aimed toward video than stills. While LEDs can be great for certain photography applications, they’re not that useful for what I want to shoot.
The new Rotolight Neo2, though, designed in collaboration with Elinchrom, is squarely aimed at stills shooters. An industry-first, all in one, High Speed Sync flash and continuous on-camera LED light. The unit boasts compatibility up to 1/8000th of a second and 85,000 full power flashes on a set of AA batteries. It also feature a built in 2.4Ghz Elinchrom Skyport receiver.
Profoto are calling the B1X the “new benchmark for on-location lighting”. And if it’s true, then it’s about time. Given that the $600 Godox AD600 seemed to keep up with the triple-the-cost Profoto B1 just fine, they sure needed to do something. And so they have.
The new Profoto B1X has a bigger battery, brighter modelling light and increased power range when shooting high speed sync. And it keeps the same price as its B1 predecessor.
One of the reasons I love shooting with Sigma camera bodies is the combination of the Foveon sensor that delivers great color and image detail with high quality and large aperture lenses like the Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 “Art.” that let me isolate a subject while turning the background into dreamy bokeh-filled canvas like this shot of my daughter.
Trying to overpower the sun seems to have become a popular thing again lately. The go-to technique for these results is a fast shutter speed and high speed sync. But the limited power available in speedlights often falls a little short. Now, with more powerful HSS-capable strobes on the market, like the Godox AD360II and AD600BM, it’s become a more common look.
This look has been available for a long time, though, with the use of neutral density. These would allow you to shoot wide apertures in the daytime while keeping your shutter speed below the flash sync. In this video from photographer Levy Moroshan of sector5films we see how that technique works. Balancing the bright daylight with the flash, to make our subjects stand out with a shallow depth of field.
Godox flashes have become wildly popular over the last couple of years amongst Nikon and Canon shooters. They’re relatively inexpensive, very well built, and offer a full range of lights from speedlights to 1200Ws of strobe power. What makes Godox’s products really stand out, though, is that they can all be controlled from the same trigger. Mix speedlights and strobes, in the studio or on location, and have complete remote control.
Sony shooters were also given support for these flashes last year. But that’s about where official brand support ended. With the three biggest names. Now, though, Serene Automation have released a new Beta firmware for their RoboSHOOT MX-20 radio triggers. This adds Fuji X camera support to the range of Godox products.
The Godox AD200 is the newest flash in the Godox line up. Around the world it’s sold under various brands. In the USA it’s the Adorama eVOLV 200. Here in the UK it’s the Pixapro Pika 200. Whatever it’s called, it’s been getting a lot of attention since it was initially announced. Last month we showed you Robert Hall’s quick hands on review.
Now, they’re out in the wild, shipping and being delivered as I type. One photographer who’s got his hands on one is our friend Francisco Hernandez. Francisco lives in South Texas, where the sun’s often brighter than average. As a consequence, he’s a big fan of high speed sync. So, he put the Adorama eVOLV 200 against the bright Texas sun to see just how well it performed.