Once I first began taking pictures, I solely used pure gentle. There have been too many issues already to consider with my digital camera; I couldn’t toss something else into the combination.
After a number of years, I received snug with the fundamentals of my digital camera, and I wished to have extra freedom on the place I might shoot. Issues actually began to open up after I realized the best way to use flash. I used to be now not caught having to take care of the out there gentle. I might take pictures in virtually any state of affairs.
Up to now two years, I’ve began utilizing flash much more, and now it’s turn out to be extra about creativity than simply fixing dangerous lighting. I now use flash to create dramatic portraits that stand proud of the remaining.
I’ve an assortment of flashes and equipment I take advantage of in several 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 jot down the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Overview. It is the final a part of my lighting trifecta. It’s the massive daddy of all of my lighting tools.
Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Overview
Most of you might be in all probability considering, “Do you really want all of that lighting tools?” Belief me, I’ve thought of that too! If I might discover the proper piece of apparatus for all conditions, then I’d go for it, and my life can be lots simpler. From what I’ve discovered, although, I want completely different flashes for various conditions. Generally I want an on-camera flash (Zoom Li-on). Different occasions I want a extra highly effective off-camera flash for portraits or lighting a dance ground (eVOLV 200). Then, there are occasions the place I want one thing highly effective sufficient to overpower the solar and likewise use large modifiers (Flashpoint XPLOR 600). As I discussed within the eVOLV evaluate, there’s a risk that two of these flashes will exchange 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 large resolution is whether or not to get the TTL model or the common model. Some individuals 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 a number of occasions.
One different possibility is which you can get in a bundle is the transmitter. Shopping for them collectively will prevent round $15. They’ve completely different transmitters, however I favor the Flashpoint R2 over the R2T as a result of it has a scorching shoe on high.
Your subsequent actual resolution 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 Fast Field Octogonal greater than something. Additionally they have completely different mount adapters in the event 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 load 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 price it.
The XPLOR 600, like all the opposite Flashpoint flashes I’ve used, is stable. They won’t be the most costly model, however they positively don’t skimp and promote low high quality merchandise. The XPLOR 600 is large 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 it’s not going to interrupt. I even have had it fall over earlier than from about 7 ft excessive (wind caught the umbrella), and it survived. The crimson plastic overlaying the sensor popped off, however I simply snapped it again in and went to work.
The entire interface is very nice. You will have a light-up LCD that’s simple to learn and buttons and one dial. The buttons are much like those within the different flashes. They really feel stable and it’s simple to inform when you’ve activated it. I do know it appears foolish to speak about buttons a lot, however in the event 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 also be very easy and simple to make use of to make changes.
One factor that basically impressed me was the flash tube. Generally on studio strobes I really feel like all small impression 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 in the event you flicked it, your finger would damage!
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 every thing else, this diffusion piece felt like cheaper plastic. A alternative is simply about $10, however I’ve simply been taping it on for now.
The opposite subject had was with the elective head extension. Every little thing has been good about it besides the adjustment knob for the angle of the pinnacle snapped off. It was sort of a weaker feeling plastic, and I actually needed to tighten it to maintain the pinnacle from shifting. One time I used to be adjusting it and it simply snapped off. I did discuss to Adorama they usually have been prepared to switch it, however the price of delivery it again didn’t appear price it in comparison with the price of shopping for a brand new one. I’ve nonetheless been capable of alter 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 normally, however including a battery pack into the equation normally makes issues a lot worse. The primary transportable strobe I purchased was the Profoto Acute B2 Air. I received 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 stage 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 distinct worth. I’m really a bit of shocked on the distinction in worth. The non-TTL is $549 and the TTL is $749. $200 looks like a fairly large bounce only for that characteristic.
If you have already got a Zoom Li-on, you need to use it as a distant for the XPLOR 600, but when not, you’ll be able to add the transmitter to your package deal for $50.
It looks like 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 value will drop.
$549 or $749 does nonetheless appear to be lots in comparison with smaller flashes, however in comparison with the Profoto variations, that is actually an amazing deal. Keep in mind, you’re getting all that energy in a transportable package deal and also you don’t even need to lug round a battery pack!
The primary cause I bought the Profoto after which the XPLOR 600 is as a result of I wished to have the ability to take portraits exterior and overpower the solar and have lovely backgrounds. I’ve seen loads of individuals get contraptions that maintain three speedlights and do it that means, however that appeared like extra of a ache. I wished one thing that was made with energy.
The XPLOR 600 positively 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 lovely backgrounds. Generally I’ve been capable of get away with 1/16th energy, and different occasions I’ve needed to go all the best way as much as 1/1 when it was actually sturdy daylight. Both means, it has labored.
Recycle velocity will be a difficulty typically. On the decrease powers it’s prompt, 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 a number of pictures, 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 like within the different flashes and does precisely what I want. It has Excessive Pace Sync (HSS), which I take advantage of for each outside shoot. That combined with the excessive energy have actually helped me create some fantastic pictures. I 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 every one of my Flashpoint gear works collectively. If I actually wished to, I might put the XPLOR on group A, eVOLV on group B, and Zoom Li-on on C. Then, I might management every one and use them . Additionally, the Zoom can be utilized as a transmitter if one thing occurred to my R2. That’s fairly cool!
There are a number of different options I don’t use typically, however are good to have. The model I’ve does have TTL. Once I did use it, I discovered that it wasn’t excellent, so I at all times follow guide. There’s additionally a stroboscopic mode, which I preserve telling myself I’m going to make use of. I actually love these pictures of athletes shifting and frozen all through. There’s additionally a in-built modeling gentle. I’ve used this within the studio to assist with focus, however outside, it wouldn’t assist until it was at night time.
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 adjustments shortly in my world.
The XPLOR 600 has been nice. For essentially the most half, I’ve used the transmitter to manage every thing. With a number of pushes, I can change the mode, energy, or activate the modeling gentle. If I needed to, I might make these adjustments on the physique itself. That may be troublesome with the flash up excessive, but when I take advantage of the pinnacle extension, then the physique is low the place I can attain it.
Lately I wanted to place it into slave mode. It took solely about 2 minutes to determine, and I didn’t need to learn any sort of directions. That’s how I prefer it.
Up to now three months, I’ve seen one subject. The flash has been misfiring with the transmitters. At first I believed it was one thing incorrect with the transmitter, possibly 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 problem had one thing to do with the pinnacle extension. I’m undecided if it was the connection to the physique or possibly the flash tube into the pinnacle. Once I put the flash tube into the physique, it labored superb. Once I reconnected, the pinnacle extension and put the flash tube into it, issues began working. With all that stated, 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 it is a one time occasion.
As I stated with the Zoom Li-on and the eVOLV, considered one of my favourite issues about every one is the in-built battery. I hate operating out of energy and having to cost AA batteries!
I haven’t actually pushed the XPLOR’s battery that arduous. 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 in regards to the battery operating out.
Most individuals received’t ever run out of energy on a shoot. The XPLOR is rated at 450 full energy flashes! One other great point is you’ll be able to at all times plug it in and proceed capturing when you have an outlet out there in these longer studio shoots.
I actually love the XPLOR 600! Ever since I received 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 suppose time will solely inform if I preserve this flash or exchange it. I are typically a little bit of a gear head, so I’m at all times in search of the higher possibility. For now, although, I plan on nonetheless utilizing the XPLOR 600 every day. If this Flashpoint XPLOR 600 Overview was useful or in the event you already personal one, I’d love to listen to about your experiences.