After I first began taking photographs, I solely used pure mild. There have been too many issues already to consider with my digital camera; I couldn’t toss stuff else into the combination.
After just a few years, I acquired snug with the fundamentals of my digital camera, and I needed to have extra freedom on the place I may shoot. Issues actually began to open up once I realized the right way to use flash. I used to be not caught having to take care of the obtainable mild. I may take photographs in nearly any state of affairs.
Prior to now two years, I’ve began utilizing flash much more, and now it’s turn into extra about creativity than simply fixing unhealthy lighting. I now use flash to create dramatic portraits that stand proud of the remainder.
I’ve an assortment of flashes and equipment I exploit in numerous conditions. I’ve already written evaluations about the eVOLV 200 and the Zoom Li-on, and these flashes are superior, so I believed it made sense to put in writing the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Evaluate. It is the final a part of my lighting trifecta. It’s the massive daddy of all of my lighting tools.
Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Evaluate
Most of you might be in all probability pondering, “Do you really want all of that lighting tools?” Belief me, I’ve thought of that too! If I may discover the right piece of apparatus for all conditions, then I might go for it, and my life could be rather a lot simpler. From what I’ve discovered, although, I would like completely different flashes for various conditions. Generally I would like an on-camera flash (Zoom Li-on). Different occasions I would like a extra highly effective off-camera flash for portraits or lighting a dance flooring (eVOLV 200). Then, there are occasions the place I would like one thing highly effective sufficient to overpower the solar and likewise use huge modifiers (Flashpoint XPLOR 600). As I discussed within the eVOLV evaluate, there’s a chance that two of these flashes will substitute my Flashpoint XPLOR 600. As of proper now, I discover that the XPLOR 600 is faster to arrange and works nice in lots of conditions.
What do you get?
There are a number of choices for the XPLOR 600. The primary huge choice is whether or not to get the TTL model or the common model. Some folks love having TTL and others by no means use it. I ended up getting the TTL model as a result of it was on sale, however I’ve solely used it just a few occasions.
One different choice is you can get in a bundle is the transmitter. Shopping for them collectively will prevent round $15. They’ve completely different transmitters, however I choose the Flashpoint R2 over the R2T as a result of it has a scorching shoe on high.
Your subsequent actual choice is about equipment. Adorama has a line of softboxes and modifiers that go together with the adapter in-built. I purchased a Glow softbox that was cheap, however I nonetheless don’t like setting it up. I have a tendency to make use of my Westcott Speedy Field Octogonal greater than something. Additionally they have completely different mount adapters when you’re closely invested in a single model. The accent that most individuals will need is the extension head. This lets you get the sunshine into completely different locations with out all the burden of the physique. Now you can have somebody maintain it or put it on a growth with out points. It’s solely $80, so I feel it’s effectively value it.
The XPLOR 600, like all the opposite Flashpoint flashes I’ve used, is strong. They won’t be the costliest model, however they undoubtedly don’t skimp and promote low high quality merchandise. The XPLOR 600 is huge and heavy, similar to most studio strobes, so that you received’t need to carry it round all day. That does restrict its use considerably nevertheless it additionally lets you realize it’s not going to interrupt. I even have had it fall over earlier than from about 7 toes excessive (wind caught the umbrella), and it survived. The purple plastic masking the sensor popped off, however I simply snapped it again in and went to work.
The entire interface is very nice. You have got a light-up LCD that’s simple to learn and buttons and one dial. The buttons are just like those within the different flashes. They really feel strong and it’s simple to inform when you’ve gotten activated it. I do know it appears foolish to speak about buttons a lot, however when you’ve ever needed to take care of a poorly made button, you’ll perceive. It’s extraordinarily annoying to need to push a button 10 occasions to make it work. The dial can be very clean and simple to make use of to make changes.
One factor that actually impressed me was the flash tube. Generally on studio strobes I really feel like every small influence will crack the tube. Not on the XPLOR. The flash tube has tremendous thick glass. I can’t actually describe how thick it’s, however when you flicked it, your finger would harm!
I’ve solely had two points with the construct. The primary was the reflector. I dropped it as soon as and the diffusion entrance broke on the tab that holds it on. In comparison with the whole lot else, this diffusion piece felt like cheaper plastic. A alternative is just about $10, however I’ve simply been taping it on for now.
The opposite subject had was with the elective head extension. All the things has been good about it besides the adjustment knob for the angle of the pinnacle snapped off. It was form of a weaker feeling plastic, and I actually needed to tighten it to maintain the pinnacle from transferring. One time I used to be adjusting it and it simply snapped off. I did discuss to Adorama they usually have been prepared to exchange it, however the price of transport it again didn’t appear value it in comparison with the price of shopping for a brand new one. I’ve nonetheless been capable of regulate issues, however now I simply need to twist the little circle half it the lever connected to. It’s not enjoyable, nevertheless it nonetheless works.
Portability and energy does include a price. Strobes are fairly costly generally, however including a battery pack into the equation often makes issues a lot worse. The primary moveable strobe I purchased was the Profoto Acute B2 Air. I acquired it used a number of years after it got here out, and it nonetheless was round $1000. The Profoto B1 took issues to a brand new degree with constructing the battery into the strobe, nevertheless it goes for $2000. The XPLOR 600 is similar to the B1 with out the loopy excessive price ticket.
As I discussed, there are two completely different variations, TTL and NON, they usually have a unique worth. I’m truly slightly stunned on the distinction in worth. The non-TTL is $549 and the TTL is $749. $200 looks as if a fairly large leap only for that function.
If you have already got a Zoom Li-on, you should use it as a distant for the XPLOR 600, but when not, you possibly can add the transmitter to your bundle for $50.
It looks as if these go on sale fairly typically. I do know I spent round $600 for the TTL model with a transmitter. There’s a new model popping out quickly so I think about the worth will drop.
$549 or $749 does nonetheless appear to be rather a lot in comparison with smaller flashes, however in comparison with the Profoto variations, that is actually a fantastic deal. Bear in mind, you’re getting all that energy in a transportable bundle and also you don’t even need to lug round a battery pack!
The principle cause I bought the Profoto after which the XPLOR 600 is as a result of I needed to have the ability to take portraits exterior and overpower the solar and have stunning backgrounds. I’ve seen loads of folks get contraptions that maintain three speedlights and do it that means, however that appeared like extra of a ache. I needed one thing that was made with energy.
The XPLOR 600 undoubtedly has energy. At max energy, it produces 600 watts. I’ve used it in a number of conditions to overpower the solar, and get these stunning backgrounds. Generally I’ve been capable of get away with 1/16th energy, and different occasions I’ve needed to go all the way in which as much as 1/1 when it was actually robust daylight. Both means, it has labored.
Recycle velocity could be a difficulty typically. On the decrease powers it’s immediate, however while you stand up to full energy, it’s 2.5 seconds. Possibly I’m simply anticipating an excessive amount of, however in some conditions, I need to hearth off just a few photographs, and it simply hasn’t saved up. Once more, that’s in all probability simply being unrealistic on my half.
The XPLOR 600 has the identical options I really like within the different flashes and does precisely what I would like. It has Excessive Pace Sync (HSS), which I exploit for each out of doors shoot. That combined with the excessive energy have actually helped me create some great photographs. I really like that it has a in-built battery. First, this lets me take it out of the studio and go wherever. Additionally, I don’t need to take care of the extraordinarily heavy battery packs.
One other plus is that each one of my Flashpoint gear works collectively. If I actually needed to, I may put the XPLOR on group A, eVOLV on group B, and Zoom Li-on on C. Then, I may management each and use them unexpectedly. Additionally, the Zoom can be utilized as a transmitter if one thing occurred to my R2. That’s fairly cool!
There are just a few different options I don’t use typically, however are good to have. The model I’ve does have TTL. After I did use it, I discovered that it wasn’t good, so I all the time follow handbook. There’s additionally a stroboscopic mode, which I preserve telling myself I’m going to make use of. I actually love these photographs of athletes transferring and frozen all through. There’s additionally a in-built modeling mild. I’ve used this within the studio to assist with focus, however open air, it wouldn’t assist until it was at evening.
Ease of Use
All the Flashpoint flashes have been simple to determine and use, which is superior. I hate having attempting to determine issues, and I even have to have the ability to make modifications shortly in my world.
The XPLOR 600 has been nice. For probably the most half, I’ve used the transmitter to manage the whole lot. With just a few pushes, I can change the mode, energy, or activate the modeling mild. If I needed to, I may make these modifications on the physique itself. That may be tough with the flash up excessive, but when I exploit the pinnacle extension, then the physique is low the place I can attain it.
Not too long ago I wanted to place it into slave mode. It took solely about 2 minutes to determine, and I didn’t need to learn any form of directions. That’s how I prefer it.
Prior to now three months, I’ve observed one subject. The flash has been misfiring with the transmitters. At first I believed it was one thing flawed with the transmitter, perhaps the batteries have been low, however then I used the transmitter with my eVolv 200’s and I didn’t have a difficulty. That tells me it’s the XPLOR 600. I messed round with issues, and it seems that the difficulty had one thing to do with the pinnacle extension. I’m unsure if it was the connection to the physique or perhaps the flash tube into the pinnacle. After I put the flash tube into the physique, it labored superb. After I reconnected, the pinnacle extension and put the flash tube into it, issues began working. With all that mentioned, sure, there are points typically, however that’s to be anticipated with a bunch of connections. I went about 6 months having no points, so I’m hoping this can be a one time occasion.
As I mentioned with the Zoom Li-on and the eVOLV, one in all my favourite issues about each is the in-built battery. I hate working out of energy and having to cost AA batteries!
I haven’t actually pushed the XPLOR’s battery that tough. I primarily use it for studio shoots or portraits at a marriage. I feel the longest time has been about three hours. In all of these shoots, I’ve by no means needed to fear concerning the battery working out.
Most individuals received’t ever run out of energy on a shoot. The XPLOR is rated at 450 full energy flashes! One other good thing is you possibly can all the time plug it in and proceed taking pictures when you have an outlet obtainable in these longer studio shoots.
I actually love the XPLOR 600! Ever since I acquired it, I’ve been utilizing it within the studio and at weddings as a substitute of the Profoto Acute B2 Air. It’s simple to setup and use, and it the ability and HSS helps me create dramatic portraits.
I assume time will solely inform if I preserve this flash or substitute it. I are typically a little bit of a gear head, so I’m all the time in search of the higher choice. For now, although, I plan on nonetheless utilizing the XPLOR 600 every day. If this Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Evaluate was useful or when you already personal one, I’d love to listen to about your experiences.