UPDATE December 9 2017
I recently conducted a two day session using two eVOLV200S mounted to an AD-B2 unit shot through a Cheetahstand Quick strip box. The strobes were used as second key lights combined with my xPLOR600 with remote head shot through a CononMark 120CM focusing octa modifier. The units performed well and the stopping power of the units is excellent. I shot all sessions using a Pentax 645Z whose sync speed is limited to 1/125th of a second. During jumping action shots the strobes froze the action of the talent jumping. I’m continually pleased with the performance of both the eVOLV and xPLOR units. It should also be noted that I was able to complete two full days of shooting without charging either the eVOLV or xPLOR units.
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 29 2017
I have written a post about the Flashpoint Silicone Skins for the eVOLVs. You can read 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 August 25 2017
Although this is not specifically about the eVOLV 200 you can see how I’ve used two with a Parabolix 35D for a recent commercial shoot. And although I won’t be able to share any images for about two months it worked fantastically!
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.
UPDATE July 13 2017
Over the next two days I will be shooting with the eVOLV units and wanted to see just how robust the umbrella holder is before taking it to a shoot. I was very skeptical before trying it that it could support anything other than a small umbrella. So as a test I used an 86″ PCB PLM soft silver umbrella with the eVOLV umbrella holder. I will now say I am confident that I can use this device indoors any time I want to use an umbrella. The PCB 86 is NOT light and the umbrella holder held it fine. No it’s not as secure as a regular screw down umbrella stem unit, but it’s darn good enough for most uses.
UPDATE July 10 2017
My client has released their season brochure where I exclusively utilized Flashpoint Xplor and Evolv strobes to create their imagery. You can view those final images and a short BTS video here.
UPDATE: July 7 2017
I had asked if anyone knew how the upcoming Flashpoint eVOLV Twin Head bracket attaches the eVOLV 200’s to the unit. Adorama sent me a photo of the rear of the product to show how they attach to the bracket. I’m very excited to use these units. It just gives even more flexibility to an exciting and wonderful eco system of strobes.
UPDATE: June 14 2017
I was recently hired to do a shoot of backstage activities for one of my regular clients. I had taken one light to conduct a shot at the end of the performance onstage. While in the backstage area two subjects were just too tempting to light for an impromptu portrait. One of a young man dressed as the Music Man and the other was a dance troupe. So using one Evolv 200 and a PCB soft silver umbrella I created the portraits below. I should mention that I used the bare bulb head for both of these images.
UPDATE: May 29 2017
This update has nothing to do with the light produced by the Evolv 200 strobe. Nope. It has everything to do with its size. This Memorial Day weekend I was hired by my client to photograph a world class conductor, Jaap Van Zweden at the Dallas Symphony. It was to be a very quick trip, fly into town and arrive at 3:30 (scheduled, but due to weather it arrived an hour late) and fly out at noon the next day. Most non pros have this fantasy that us ‘pros’ have everything perfect for our shoots. HA! So what I had to anticipate was a possible late flight (which happened), long lines at the car rental counter (yes to that too), you name it. It’s frickin Memorial Day weekend! In the morning just before flying out I was scheduled to do some portraits so that meant I needed strobes and modifiers. In addition to all that I had to rent a Aquatech Sound Blimp for my noisy as hell 1DX Mark II. You see shooting from the back of the stage, covered in all black means that I cannot make ANY SOUND the Maestro will hear….NOTHING. Have you ever used a sound blimp? I didn’t think so. They are BIG, HEAVY AND DAMN HARD TO MANEUVER! Plus they take up a ton of storage space. I could not risk a tight time frame to/from the airport with a lot of luggage so my only choice was to pack as efficiently as possible….and the Evolv200’s fit that bill.
So the fact that these little powerful units can pack so small is yet another reason I LOVE THEM!. And the portraits came out great….but NDAs mean I cannot show them right now.
UPDATE: April 26 2017
Today I ran into my first hiccup with these lights. It has to do with the barn doors. I love the build of the included barn doors but have noticed that the magnets which hold the gels onto the units are not all securely glued/fastened into the barn door unit. On both sets one or two of the magnets dislodged from the barn door assembly. Nothing a little glue can’t fix, but the manufacturer may want to do some QA on the units. Other than that though these strobes and their accessories are the bomb. I would never have imagined I would utilize the Fresnel head/barn doors as much as I have. Those two units allow me to NOT use cones for hair/rim lights.
UPDATE: April 18 2017
Today I used the eVOLV 200 for a client’s publicity session where I am not bound by an NDA. I utilized the unit as a hair/rim light using the Fresnel head/barn doors/grid on a boom arm. My key light was an Xplor 600 shot through an Elinchrom Rotalux modifier all shot with my Pentax 645Z. I normally use an Xplor 600 attached to a Flashpoint extension coned head as a rim light/hair light, but found that using the eVOLV with the barn doors and grid is an excellent alternative.
One of my final images. The client wanted a dark and mysterious look for this image. Using a rim/hair light is necessary to separate the talent from the very dark background.UPDATE: April 11 2017
Pie, who is a friend of mine is a through hiker. What that means is she hikes thousands of miles. Trails like the 2,659 mi Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to the Canadian border. Yes THAT kind of hiking. Anyway she is preparing to do the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail and my partner is doing a film about her journey. So she spent the night at my house and a while back I took her to my favorite donut shop, Apple Fritter. Of course she fell in love with their donuts which are the best! So I got this crazy idea to create an environmental portrait of her in front of their sign with her tent, a campfire and her banjo! So I tested my new eVolv 200 lights in HSS to turn day to night. Incredible performance!!!! Apparently my daughter drove by on her way home from work and saw me laying on the grass photographing Pie. Once she realized it was ‘her Dad’ she told me that she thought to herself, “Oh what he’s doing is HIS NORMAL weird thing!” LOL!!!!
Original Initial Review
Like with all gear I get I test it to my satisfaction prior to using it on the job. As a commercial shooter I just can’t afford to have something not perform on location. Things naturally go wrong on every set so being prepared and informed reduces the ‘unknown.’
When I read on Flashhavoc about the new 200ws strobe I was excited. I own and have used the Godox AD360 line and liked the power and portability. But after their AD600 came out my AD360s have had little actual use. Why? Because having to haul the light, the battery, the S bracket, the Y connector, the battery bracket, the USB receiver….well it just became a hassle. And more importantly the probability of me forgetting one of the items was high. And just forgetting ONE of the items renders the unit worthless on the job. I still use them, but not that much.
So the innovation of the eVOLV 200 with two heads, one being a Fresnel and the other a bare bulb just solidifies my opinion that Godox is the lighting company to beat. I now compare Godox and Sigma to others. In the past people including myself would turn up our noses at Sigma, but no longer. Combining their innovation with Adorama’s customer support and service in the US and for me it’s a wickedly great combination! So when two of the eVOLVs appeared at my door I was anxious to test them, but could not because I was out of state on location shooting! UGH!!!
This ‘review’ is initial and does NOT include any real photos. I have three upcoming commercial shoots in the next two weeks and plan to use them during two of those sessions. Because I will be tied to NDAs for those shoots I won’t be able to release the images for a few months. So if I have time I will do my own personal sessions with these lights to include later in the review. I don’t appreciate reviews without ACTUAL finished shots so I apologize in advance. But for now….
I modified the foam by cutting it so that it would accept the bare bulb head with bulb attached and a protective cover over it. It better suits my needs.Below are just some size and weight comparisons. If you’re wondering why I didn’t attach the bare bulb head with bulb, it’s because I’m lazy. You can measure it exactly for yourself, but this gives you a good idea.
Control Image: Scene in natural light. Fuji X100T 1/125th, f16 ISO 400
All of the images below were shot in daylight, Canon 1DX II EF24-70 II ISO 100 at f2.8. No adjustments were made other than for lens and camera calibration in Lightroom. eVOLV power all shot at 1/2 power. Sun used as a rim light on “Bob” camera right, 45 degrees elevation. The SMDV modifier was 3 feet from Bob with BOTH inner and outer diffusion panels installed. The bare bulb was pushed approximately 2.5 inches into the modifier.
At this point I changed the angle of my shot. eVOLV still at 1/2 power.
At this point I will simply say WOW. Such a small form factor, two heads and HSS that produces these types of results. Can’t wait to use them on a real shoot. Stay tuned…..