UPDATE January 26 2018
I’ve recently written a post about my use of the xPLOR600/eVOLV200s with several different modifiers for a session. You can find that post here.
UPDATE October 20 2017
My client has incorporated some of my publicity imagery into their marketing campaign. All images were lit using Godox/xPLOR600 lights.
UPDATE October 19 2017
The most challenging lighting I’ve done to date was to recreate the Dutch Masters type lighting for a client with 90 musicians, props and instruments on stage. I used four xPLOR/Godox 600s to successfully light the scene. You can read that post here.
UPDATE October 2 2017
I have written a post about a dance session I conducted that uses these items. You can view that post here.
UPDATE September 10 2017
I recently posted an article on my use of all Godox units in one session. The article includes the use of this product. You can view that post here.
UPDATE: July 29 2017
I have written an article about how I achieved using the Xplor/Godox 600 and 200 strobes in HSS with my Pentax 645Z. You can read that article here.
UPDATE July 17 2017
I recently wrote an article about using all of my Xplor/Godox lights in one shoot including the eVOLV200s. You can view that post here.
I’m an early adopter on lighting gear. Always have been. And like all early adopters I run into the quirks and problems associated with early development of gear. I always test gear before I use it commercially, but sometimes my testing is not exhaustive enough to anticipate every situation. And as any working pro knows, something ALWAYS goes wrong on every shoot no matter how much you plan. It’s just part of the deal.
I was one of the first adopters of PCB’s Einstein 640ws strobes. Excellent t1 performance in a small package was enough for me. I’ve used Einsteins for over 7 years exclusively in studio from the time they were released. When Adorama released their Flashpoint 600ws Rovelight I was intrigued. Rather than having to haul an Einstein and a Vagabond II, the CyberSync triggers on location the Rovelights have a built in battery and receiver. So I bought several, tested them and took them out on a commercial shoot. I ran into issues during that shoot with the trigger’s lack of range. I wrote an extensive evaluation of them and complained with others to Adorama. An friend of mine (NASA!) who is an electrical engineer dismantled the transmitter and showed me the issue which caused the poor range. In the end I sadly returned all of my Rovelights to Adorama. Subsequent to the trigger issues Adorama had them redesigned and developed a RMA program to replace the original triggers to early adopters. As a working pro warranties and customer service are key. It’s one of the reasons I stayed with PCB for so long, excellent customer service. The fact that Adorama took the initiative to replace triggers is one of the reasons I respect them. I respect those that DO much more than those that SAY.
People often ask me why I don’t use Profoto gear. I think they produce great gear and one of the advantages is every rental house stocks their units so renting in different cities is not an issue. But I find them to be a poor value today. Elinchrom and Priolite (which I own) are also great units, but too are pricey compared to Chinese units. And you should know that I tend to be brand agnostic. I shoot with and use the right tools for the job. That includes owning gear from Canon, Pentax, Fuji, PCB, Priolite, Adorama, CononMark, Elinchrom, CheetahStand, Westcott, blah blah blah, you get the point. Clients pay me for a compelling image, not an image of a histogram or stat sheet.
Which brings me to the Godox line specifically their AD600. As an early adopter I purchased four units. HSS instead of Hypersync (Priolite), battery and receiver incorporated AND the innovative feature of an upcoming remote head AND the ability to gang up multiple AD600’s into a 1200 and 2400ws head! Genius in my mind. As of this Musing (Sept 2016) I have yet to purchase a 1200 ws head because it has yet to be released. One thing that always haunted me as an early adopter is the lack of customer service since I purchased my units off of eBay from retailers in China. Great shipping and average pricing, but being able to use/test the units early was the attraction. Now that Adorama and CheetahStand carry the units I no longer purchase them from China.
Out of the blue Helen from Adorama contacted me and asked if she could send me a Flashpoint XLPOR 600 TTL due to all of the issues I had with my Rovelights. I initially had some reservations about accepting her offer until I spoke to my business partner. “Mark, you are always concerned about customer service. Hell it’s one of the things about our own brand you are so proud about. They (Adorama) are offering a unit for you to see how it performs after your experience with the Roves. How would it hurt?” “But I’m not a TTL guy!” “Then use it in manual you idiot…geesh!”
So I wrote back to Helen to accept her gracious offer and in a week or so the unit arrived. I was expecting the same units as I had received from eBay sellers, the strobe, a bulb, a cover and the charging brick and cord. Instead when I opened the box there was a nice case with strap, a 7 inch cone reflector, a matching diffuser for the cone and several dividers. What a nice surprise! So I added the unit to my other four AD600s and started using it for sessions. Below are my results on a recent on location ballet shoot I conducted using the XLPOR 600 TTL and one AD600 along with the Flashpoint Portable Extension Head 600.
Both the main unit and the remote flash head worked flawlessly during this two day session. I did NOT charge the battery between days simply because my experience using them has shown me battery life is stellar. Now keep in mind I’m NOT a ‘spray and pray’ shooter meaning I try not to overshoot, but simply ‘get the shot’ in a short number of shutter releases. I estimate to have shot about 400 images each day and the battery indicator still showed three bars. Have I compared the battery life of the Godox unit to the XPLOR’s? Have I measured the bulb output of both units to compare. Nope and I don’t plan to do so. I’m not a test site, I’m a working pro. I write these things to help others. If you are worried about hair splitting great, test them yourselves. I like to spend time creating compelling imagery, not being a fucking gear head or forum troll. Enough said….
Two reasons I would purchase additional units from Adorama in the future:
- Their demonstrated customer service and warranty period
- The extra items they offer with their units
I plan on trying the TTL function on the unit and will add it to this review at a later date. All of the shots were done in manual mode.
If you are wondering why forum trolls are so irritating and have to be ‘right’ here’s an example of a troll and my response. Oh and it’s always so interesting one never gets to see their work other than a test shot if that:
I rest my case about forum trolls as I just got this email from email@example.com today in response to my response to his original email. OH and he sent a subsequent one ‘informing me’ that he has blocked my email address. HAHAHHA as if I would ever write to him! People who remain ‘anonymous’ are so brave at a keyboard. As you can see he’s quite the idiot. I love IP address trails.