Gear Check: Elinchrom ELB 400 + HS Head – Unboxing

I’ve just added the new Elinchrom ELB 400 and Skyport HS trigger to my photo kit for portraiture and sports photography work. Let’s take a look inside the box and find out more abut this incredible new piece of technology!

Flash Manufacturers, You’re Doing It All Wrong – Profoto B1

A few weeks ago lighting specialists Profoto put out a teaser on their website that something big was coming, something new.  Could it be…..?  Was a major flash manufacturer finally going to deliver what I’ve been waiting for…….?  In a word; no. Profoto announced the B1 Air 500.  Essentially a D1 with a li-ion battery in it and TTL capabilities.  It certainly seems to have caught people’s attention judging by all the e-mails I’ve gotten about it. First I have to talk about the TTL which they proudly put at centre stage.  What photographer who spends $2000 on a flash …

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Canon’s 90EX Flash As Portable Macro Flash

Here’s an interesting little setup which Many people haven’t considered.  I’ve been shooting a lot with the little EOS-M , Canon’s mirrorless camera and it came packaged with the little Canon 90EX flash.  It’s powered by just two AAA batteries and that means that it is decidedly pocket sized !  Whilst it’s marketed as a flash for the EOS-M , it works just fine with any Canon camera that has a hot shoe.  If you use a 5D , a camera with no built-in flash, then it can also be a handy accessory for general shooting and at $150 it …

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Paul C. Buff Einstein Flash Review

Over at ProPhoto Coalition I have written up something about the Enstein flash system and why and how I have been using it for the past year.  I know a lot of people have been asking for my feedback on this particular product.  Please head on over to read my thoughts.  

Affordable Stuido Gear From Impact

The fine folks at B&H Photo were kind enough to send me some of their studio gear from the house brand Impact.  I’ve written a little review about each individual piece and this post is designed to be the index. If the prices of studio support equipment usually makes you wince then you should definitely take a look at the Impact brand.  Please do take a look at the reviews as there are some caveats with some products but over all I’ve been pretty impressed.

Impact Super Collapsible Background 8×16′

Not everyone has the luxury of a proper dedicated studio space so what do you do when you need to set up a quick backdrop for a shoot ?  The answer could be to use a pop up backdrop similar to the reflectors that most of us have probably used, only MUCH bigger!  Impact makes what they call an 8×16′ background which is actually an 8×8 popup square with an 8×16′ fabric extension sewn onto it to use as your ‘infinite’ background. When you are done your shoot, the whole thing folds flat into a bag for easy storage in …

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Impact Multiboom Lightstand & Reflector Holder

There’s a reason that this Impact product has a long name, it’s designed to do a lot of stuff! To begin with, it looks like a light stand and of course, you can use it in this way but, to be honest, its strengths are in other areas and there are better light stands.  The spigot on the top seemed to be an odd sizing when I tested it with my Einstein strobe, there was a lot of play in it and the metal was very soft and easily damaged with the screw clamp.  More so than other stands that …

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Impact Air Cushioned Heavy Duty Light Stand 13′ (4m)

The first thing of note about the Impact 13′ light stand is that it’s actually not that heavy.  Heavy-duty yes, but not that heavy.  Sounds odd right?  Well, all I can say is that when compared to some of my small light stands it’s a comparable weight BUT it extends to a much larger height!  I was so happy to see this that I immediately threw it in a bag and flew off to a photo competition taking place in Austria.  Weight is important when you are trying to fit all your gear within the requisite baggage limits but I …

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Impact XL Digital Light Shed Review

If you ever shoot a lot of still life or product photos then chances are you have looked at buying some sort of light tent or shed before.  They offer a quick solution for softening you strobes or continuous lights and they tend to pack down small enough that storage is no issue.  I was sent the Impact XL Digital Light Shed to take a look at and I’ve used similar products in the past to shoot images for product reviews or small products for catalogs. This particular Light Shed has a lot of options and accessories to get you …

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5D MK3 & Canon Wireless Flash System

I’ve just taken delivery of my own Canon 5D MK3 and also the new 600 EX RT flash with ST-E3 Radio trigger.  I’m really excited to try these things out on some upcoming shoots.  I made a quick video yesterday with some first impressions on the flash and the new trigger.  Stay tuned for more in-depth thoughts in the coming days and weeks.

Pushing flash X-sync to the limit

For people that shoot fast moving action with strobes like myself, we are always worrying about sync speeds and flash durations.  Today I’m going to talk a little bit about flash sync and give a quick example of how you can push the boundaries of what can often seem like a very limiting factor with DSLRs.

One of the first questions people ask when they start experimenting with flash is “why does my camera not allow me to use a shutter speed higher than 1/xxx second?”  If you scan through the specifications of a camera you will see one called x-sync.  Typically listed as between 1/180 and 1/250 of a second, this is the fastest useable shutter speed of your camera when using flash. The best way to get to grips with it is to understand exactly what is happening in that split second after you press the shutter button.

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Elinchrom Quadra review and comparison to Ranger RX

For the last three years I have been using the Elinchrom Ranger RX for the majority of my strobed work.  Sometimes I use some Nikon speedlights for fill, but the Ranger is my key light.  I have used it in the rain, in blizzards, in -32 degrees Celsius and it has traveled around the world to Alaska, Japan, New Zealand twice and everywhere in between.  I can depend on this strobe, and it has never let me down.  I have the RX version which is slightly lighter weight than the RX Speed.  For me, recycling time is not such a …

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