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Thread: Portable Strobes

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    Portable Strobes

    i have recently played around with off camera lighting (currently speedlights), and i must say that i am really enjoying it, i would like to eventually focus on environmental portraits (usually in weird and wacky areas) ad was wondering about different strobes. whilst i am not planning on getting any just yet, i would like some advice for when i actually decide to.

    would i be better off getting some cheaper ones off of ebay? or would it be more beneficial to save up and get some decent ones straight off the bat? i shoot quite a bit of fire (fire spinning, fire performances, fire breathing etc) so require something more powerful than speedlights, and i have noticed that some of the more decent strobes allow for high speed sync, which would be incredibly helpful for firebreathing.

    like i said, i am not planning on buying anything for a while, but am interested in what other peoples opinions are.

    thanks in advance for the advice.

    Steven
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    For portability and power consumption it would be worth looking at some of the LED Panel options. They do not need huge battery packs or generators to give you plenty of light over a period of time.

    Some of the ones off Ebay etc are quite good quality, others are not. It is a bit hit and miss. Whereas going with a known brand you can be assured of better quality, better support if there are issues and a whole range of accessories that can be used.
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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Ideal would be the Profoto B1 but Jinbei make an HD600 which is a 600W portable strobe with the battery pack integrated into the head at a more reasonable price ($2500 vs $700 for the Jinbei). Obviously the quality won't be as good but it still seems to be decent from some of the independent reviews I've seen. I was planning on renting one to try it out.

    From what I understand, the Jinbei comes with a high speed sync transmitter.
    Last edited by MissionMan; 17-01-2015 at 7:31pm.
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    Ausphotography Regular Brian500au's Avatar
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    It can also depend on how portable you want to be. The speed lights are the ultimate in portability but do have some drawbacks. I personally use the Elinchrom Quadra (which is enough power for what i need) but if you are after more and higher refresh rates then you can look at the Elinchrom Ranger series. These are quality lights without breaking the bank (around the $2k mark) and there are a few around on the used boards. The beauty of the Quadra set is true portability - i can fit it all in a small case and carry it on a plane as hand luggage if i need. There are a huge range of modifiers for the lights (genuine and aftermarket).

    I do sometime mix cheap eBay mono lights, speedlites and Quadra's all in one shoot - depending if i am in studio or on site. Even on site weight to me is important as sometimes I will walk for 15 mins just to a location to set up.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    Ideal would be the Profoto B1 but Jinbei make an HD600 which is a 600W portable strobe with the battery pack integrated into the head at a more reasonable price ($2500 vs $700 for the Jinbei). Obviously the quality won't be as good but it still seems to be decent from some of the independent reviews I've seen. I was planning on renting one to try it out.

    From what I understand, the Jinbei comes with a high speed sync transmitter.
    I looked up this Jinbei strobe and i'm liking it a lot.
    Was looking for something portable and this will certainly fit the bill. HSS is a nice bonus too.
    And I don't mind that its not a Profoto strobe. I long lost the desire to own the most expensive gear.
    My 580 and 600ex do a good job in most situations, but there are times I needed a bit more umpf... but hated the idea of cables and power packs.
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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    My local does rentals of them for next to nothing and they have a better battery life than the Profoto at 500 shots vs 200 although obviously that comes with a weight penalty.

    I figured I'd test them first with a rental.

    The only down side with them (and the Profoto) is due to the weight being in the head, they're top heavy in windy conditions so you have to weigh them down appropriately

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    If you can't afford Profoto B1's (and I can't), the next best is the Godox600 kit. Issue is that cheaper portables don't have the grunt to overpower the sun and that's the main reason you want portable strobes anyway, right?
    Waz
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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Jinbei is 600w and Profoto is 500w and Profoto claim the b1 can overpower the sun. I'm confused...

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    Member Morgo's Avatar
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    I'd also check out the Paul C Buff Einstein E640 and Vagabond Mini Battery Pack
    Last edited by Morgo; 19-01-2015 at 12:29pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    Jinbei is 600w and Profoto is 500w and Profoto claim the b1 can overpower the sun. I'm confused...
    ...consistently. Issue with cheaper strobes can be their higher nominal wattage but failure to realise that consistently in use, especially in a quick succession of shots. I have a pair of 1000w studio strobes but I'd swap them any day for a Profoto B1 ... JMHO of course.

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    I have 3 x Jinbei HD600.









    To me they are very consistent and very handy. It doesn't have the Profoto B1's (appear) intuitive interface and device (and I don't have that kind of $$ to burn anyway), nor the ETTL. But for met the HD600 are easy enough for me to use.
    Last edited by andylo; 28-01-2015 at 1:27pm.

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    Anyone tempted to try the Phottix Indra 500? It appears to have many of the features of the Profoto at much less a price (except that the battery is not built in).

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Nope. It looks so pretty interesting

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