It’s always so sad to have promising new gear not live up to its potential. I have now used my Rovelights on three separate commercial shoots. In all three I have been very disappointed with the performance of their radio transmission. I should say that I purchased these lights for on location shooting specifically when I need High Speed Sync to freeze action in high ambient light. I use the CellsII-C transmitter along with the OEM Rove’s for HSS. And yes, before you ask I’ve tested the Roves with and without the CellsII-C to ensure it is NOT the CellsII-C issue.
Example 1 – Line of sight, 35 feet from Rove
I was hired to photograph a ballet company in and around the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I had tested the Roves with the OEM transmitter combined with a CellsII-C HSS trigger for my Canon 1DX. In testing the Roves performed well, but I had NOT tested them outside of a studio. On location I found that after about 40-50 firings the trigger would only fire sporadically and in some cases not firing as many as 20 times in a row.
The ballet set up. As you can see plenty of line of sight for this shot.
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.
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.
OCD, yup that’s me with light. This summer I have several outdoor dance shoots planned and in my normal way I’ve been obsessing about the light. The Rovelight was an answer to my prayers due to its HSS capabilities, portability and 600WS light output. But just the right modifier has escaped me up until today. I have been researching hard modifiers rather than octas, softboxes, umbrellas and such. You see where I shoot and what I love is wind. Moderate wind that makes hair blow back, wardrobe flow, all of those yummy facets in a photo that suits my shooting style. (Let’s not talk about my portable smoke machine, I don’t want to give any fire department fuel for my future trial…)
UPDATE June 12 2015: I have added more real world experience with the Rovelight’s HSS capabilities which can be found here.
Adorama’s Flashpoint Rovelight 600
I recently purchased the Rovelight and was able to utilize it today on an on location commercial shoot. I normally use PCB Einsteins combined with their Vagabond Mini system for portability. For in studio work, I use Enstein strobes exclusively. Because I will be doing on location commercial dance shoots this summer, I needed a system that would allow me to shoot fast action outdoors. Although the Einsteins have a fantastic IGBT and t:1 performance, when using them in situations where strong ambient light is present, their ability to freeze fast action is reduced.