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Friday, 12 September 2008


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When I started shooting digital, one of the first things to go was my trusty flash meter. After all, the histogram is a far better tool, right?

Well, maybe for gross exposure. But for checking flash ratios in a multi-light setup, or for flash/available light balance in a mixed setup, a flash meter is still a valuable tool. I've since gone back to using the flash meter on occasion, and my work is better for it.

I'm sure several thousand of your readers are jumping up and down yelling 'Strobist' at you, but just in case they aren't, may I humbly recommend my other favorite photog website:


A veritable cornucopia of off-camera lighting information.


Besides the light stand and umbrella, I assume you need a battery pack too? Or has it it's own?

Bought a pair of monoblock strobes a while ago because I was going mad and blind using standard small off-camera strobes ... mounting and positioning the things with adaptors, peering at dim postage-stamp size LCD screens with my aging eyes, and wading through layers of functions via teeny-weeny chicklet keys and controls while attempting to maintain contortionist style body positions.

No more!!

You stick the monoblock on the stand, poke an umbrella into the hole, and flip switches or grab and twist a dials that are designed for operation by humans, with legible labeling as well.

It's SOOO much easier. I respect the Strobist crowd for the ingenuity they apply to using those diminutive lighting units, but I'm afraid it's not my style.


Thanks for the answer!

Not meaning to hijack the post, but I just read on the Strobist.com discussion forums that MPEX photo is producing a low cost hotshoe flash inspired on the "Strobist" concept (small, all manual w/ multiple power settings, swivel/bounce, integrated optical trigger, etc.). They gave a time line of 8-12 weeks. Just something to keep an eye on if one is looking for affordable lighting.

P.S. - No affiliation whatsoever with Strobist or MPEX, just the usual reader of the blog.

I wonder what the shutter lag is like? Is it similar to that of a film camera? The article you recommended makes no mention of shutter lag.

Dave at Imaging-Resource (which I did link) talks a fair amount about shutter lag and focus times.

Mike J.

What about the reflector mount? Is it exclusive to Sunpak or is it compatible with one of the major brands? This could be important to people who want to mount a softbox or a larger reflector.

I'm also curious about the 60 watt modeling light. Is it bright enough for your needs? If not, can you substitute something brighter without damaging the main unit?

Finally, what about service? If it needs fixin', do you have to send it back to B&H? (Frankly, at this price, I wouldn't mind having to buy a new one, as long as the overally quality and reliability are decent to begin with.)

Please keep us posted from time to time on how your Sunpak is holding up. Inquiring minds want to know.

That looks exactly like my Electra brand lights that we get around here at twice the price you paid. Apparently they are made in Thailand at the same factory where Bowen lights are produced. Heard it from the shop where I bought them from. It's inconsistent but it sure doesn't break the piggy bank.

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