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Rovelight HSS and the Godox/Adorama Streaklight 360s

UPDATE 9-21-16 

Adorama’s Flashpoint XPLOR 600 TTL Review

UPDATE: June 22 2015

Sadly I can no longer recommend Adorama’s Rovelight. Click here for my reasons. I still highly recommend the Streaklight 360.

UPDATE June 16 2015

I had the opportunity to use both the Flashpoint 360 and Rovelight in combination today during an on location dance session. I again ran into inconsistent firing of the Rovelight with the CellsII-C HSS trigger. I have yet to determine the root cause of this inconsistent misfiring outdoors. In studio they perform better than outdoors even at moderate distances.

Streaklight 360 with a Bowens Maxlite 8" modifier.

Streaklight 360 with a Bowens Maxlite 8″ modifier.

Original Article

I recently had the opportunity to utilize a pair of Adorama Rovelights as well as a Godox AD360 and a Adorama Streaklight 360 bare bulb strobe on a commercial assignment. All four of the units are capable of High Speed Sync (HSS) when triggered by a CellsII-C trigger

My assignment was to create imagery of ballet dancers in and around the Dallas area. The art direction conveyed to me was to place the ballerinas in recognizable venues in the Dallas area. In order to achieve imagery with production value required me to shoot at higher than normal sync speeds to greatly reduce the ambient light. For all of these shots I utilized my Canon 5DIII rather than my 1DX to obtain the maximum resolution since the images will be used for posters with an option to create billboard size media materials. I would have liked to use my Pentax 645Z MF camera, but at that time HSS options were not available. As recently as June 10th 2015 I discovered a possible solution to the 645Z’s slow sync speed, but have not yet tested these units. Alex Munoz has done extensive testing on the Priolite strobes which seem very promising

One of the fantastic benefits of using Rovelights with the variety of 360 bare bulb flash units is the ability to use one triggering system, the CellsII-C. As illustrated in the photo below placing the Rovelight’s trigger on the hot shoe of the CellsII-C allows simultaneous triggering in HSS of both the Roves and the 360’s.

CellsII-C trigger which allows HSS with the Rovelight trigger attached to its hotshoe.

CellsII-C trigger which allows HSS with the Rovelight trigger attached to its hotshoe.

The sessions did not go without some angst. One of my Rove’s would not fire consistently and it became frustrating. In one case I replaced the Rove with one of my Streaklights as to not interrupt the flow of the session. I was able to do so because the session was later in the day when I did not need the power of 600WS. I will test that Rovelight further to determine if it is the CellsII-C trigger or the actual Rove. In addition adding smoke to a shot in windy conditions and trying to ‘control’ the direction of the smoke is akin to herding cats! What was I thinking?!

I’ve explained each of the images below in regard to what was used for the shot. All in all I am very pleased with the performance of these light separately as well as in combination. More to come.

How the infinity pool appears with natural ambient light. This was around 7:30am CST.

How the infinity pool appears with natural ambient light. This was around 7:30am CST. Two Rovelights with two Bowens Maxlite reflectors and one Streaklight 360 was used for this shot.

As you can see using two Rovelights facing one another to give the dancers a rim light and one 360 as a backlight to illuminate the water texture proved effective for this shot.

As you can see using two Rovelights with two Bowens Maxlite reflectors  facing one another to give the dancers a rim light and one 360 as a backlight to illuminate the water texture proved effective for this shot.

How the 'wings' appear in natural ambient light. Two Rovelights were placed to illuminate the wings and the talent. The AD360 was used to light the water spouts.

How the ‘wings’ appear in natural ambient light. Two Rovelights with two Bowens Maxlite reflectors were placed to illuminate the wings and the talent. The AD360 was used to light the water spouts.

The final shot of the talent in front of the wings.

The final shot of the talent in front of the wings.

A very small room in the graffiti room. I wanted some dramatic light here, so I decided to place one Rovelight outside the room shot through the only window to create a diagonal beam of light. No modifier was used on the Rove to create a defined shadow and beam of light.

A very small room in the graffiti room. I wanted some dramatic light here, so I decided to place one Rovelight outside the room shot through the only window to create a diagonal beam of light. No modifier was used on the Rove to create a defined shadow and beam of light.

Final shot of the ballerina as she jumped in the beam of light.

Final shot of the ballerina as she jumped in the beam of light.

An extremely cool graffiti barn as seen with natural ambient light. Because this was indoors I used two of the bare bulb 360 units, one a Godox the other a Streaklight. The key light was placed above the wooden box to the right where the talent posed. I used a gridded cone reflector for the key light. The second 360 was place about 30 feet away from the box pointed toward the Humor word but pointed at the ground. I wanted some illumination to the background and to cast shadows on the floor.

An extremely cool graffiti barn as seen with natural ambient light. Because this was indoors I used two of the bare bulb 360 units, one a Godox the other a Streaklight. The key light was placed above the wooden box to the right where the talent posed. I used a gridded cone reflector for the key light. The second 360 was place about 30 feet away from the box pointed toward the Humor word but pointed at the ground. I wanted some illumination to the background and to cast shadows on the floor.

Final shot of my 'ballerina in a box' concept.

Final shot of my ‘ballerina in a box’ concept.

As seen with natural ambient light at Santiago Calatrava‘s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

As seen with natural ambient light at Santiago Calatrava‘s Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

The final shot using a single Rovelight in HSS at 1:1 power. As you can see its ability to reduce ambient in bright light is remarkable.

The final shot using a single Rovelight in HSS at 1:1 power. As you can see its ability to reduce ambient in bright light is remarkable. It was damn bright there and the AD360s just would not have had enough oomph to overpower the ambient in the manner I wanted. The right tool for the right job….

An incredible sculpture at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas. It was later in the day and the sun was behind the buildings in the background. This was a test of the Rovelight's ability to illuminate the smoke which I would eventually add to the shot. Having high wind made for a VERY difficult shoot here with the smoke.

An incredible sculpture at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas. It was later in the day and the sun was behind the buildings in the background. This was a test of the Rovelight’s ability to illuminate the smoke from my portable smoke machine. Having high wind made for a VERY difficult shoot here with the smoke.

Final shot with the talent, the smoke and the light. Because I was having difficulty with the Rove, I ended up using two 360s, one for the smoke illumination and one as the key light for the talent camera right. And NO the smoke was NOT added in post, but in camera.

Final shot with the talent, the smoke and the light. Because I was having difficulty with the Rove triggering consistently, I ended up using two 360s, one for the smoke illumination and one as the key light for the talent camera right. And NO the smoke was NOT added in post, but in camera.




10 thoughts on “Rovelight HSS and the Godox/Adorama Streaklight 360s”

    • really appreciate your art works, I really love that style also!! Great to see that the rovelights with 600 watts are enough for overpowering the sun. want to give it a try with my sony A7R, but then with Hypersync not HSS,

      • Keep in mind that as is the transmitter is a very weak part of the system and may not function every time.

  1. Regarding your Pentax 645Z, the PrioLite solution surely is very nice but it isn’t very cheap. A more affordable option is to use Cactus V6 triggers either in combination with an HSS-capable flash as a trigger source, or using a remote shutter release cable with a delay defined for the flashes / strobes. You only need strobes like the Rovelights or flashes like the RF60 which can be manually set to either provide a long flash pulse (-> HyperSync) or a burst of pulses (-> HSS). BTW, it seems the PrioLite strobes provide a version of HyperSync rather than HSS.

  2. Hi again Mark – I eventually bought the PRIOLITE strobes from Germany which will synch with the 645Z up to 1/4000sec shutter speed! The company was set-up by a guy who was boss of Hensel Germany for many years.
    They just launched and they are a breakthrough with no need for an LS lens – will also work up to 1/8000sec on Nikon and Canon! – you just need separate on-camera radio controllers for each camera brand. They also have a US distributor. Rgds from England, Ian

  3. Not sure if you are aware but Adorama has had a recall on the trigger for the Rovelight 600 and will replace a v.1 trigger with a better v.2 trigger for free.

  4. I’ve been using a 600B for the last couple of years. I have the original transmitter, but I only use it to change the output and keep it in my pocket. I use external receivers exclusively (first pixel king and now godox). The 600b has never missed a pop and works perfectly in manual and HSS modes with Sony gear (A99, A99ii, and 6000). I’ve been very happy with it except for the short time to go into sleep mode. Maybe there is a way to disable that, but I haven’t looked since it’s only a minor issue given the way I shoot. I keep thinking I should get the newer model, but the 600b keeps working and fulfills all my needs. It has plenty of power with a 5-ft umbrella both indoors and outside using HSS. Seems to be built like a tank. Modelling light isn’t very bright, but it gets enough light out of the large umbrella to be quite useful indoors.

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