Just as the camera’s creative controls can help direct viewers’ attention, the creative freedom that comes with lighting your photography is the next step in designing your image.  Whether the goal is a “well-lit” product shot, or an avant garde portrait, the control of your image’s mood lies with you and your lights.  Sure, there are some basic principles to know, but beyond that there really are no rules.

    There are a ton of lighting systems on the market today, and while we specialize in professional lighting tools, there is sure to be a solution for everyone’s needs and budget.  Just as when buying a new camera system, it’s important to think about the long-term and the additional tools that are available for you “grow into”.  Power packs and heads are just the beginning, and there is a vast array of light shaping tools to enable precise control.


    Elinchrom makes a wide variety of lighting equipment including studio packs and mono-lights, but they are perhaps most notable for the battery powered packs like the Ranger and Quadra, and of course the infamous Elinchrom “Octa”.   
     For the portable shooter, there’s the 1100ws Ranger RX. It weighs in at only 17 lbs. including the battery.  Don’t let the light weight fool
you though, as this pack is capable of fairly fast recycle times and up to 250 flashes per charge.  The Ranger RX is available as a standard unit, or as a “Speed” model which offers faster recycle times and comes as either symmetrical or asymmetrical.
    If you need to be even more portable than that, and can sacrifice a bit of power, have a look at the Quadra.  Tipping the scales at a mere 6 lbs, the Quadra is perfect for the photographer on the move.  Sling it
over your shoulder, or even throw it in a backpack & you’ve got 400ws of strobe power at your disposal with LED modeling lamps!

    Either of these packs can be triggered wirelessly via the Elinchrom Skyport, and will even be triggered via iPhone or iPad via the app which will be available for download early 2011.  Elinchrom also offers two types of heads for each of these packs. The S-head, which is standard, and the A-head for faster flash duration and freezing action.


  
Of course we all know the name Profoto and recognize their sleek-looking power packs, and with so many solutions, it’s easy to find one that fits almost any application.  The Acute packs are their entry line, which have been around for quite some time now and are still going strong.  They are available as a 600ws battery powered pack, and 1200ws and 2400ws studio packs.  They come with or without Pocketwizard receivers built in for wireless triggering, and each of them accommodates three heads with the exception of the 600, which has one head outlet.
   
For infinite expandability, there are the new D1 mono-lights. Completely redesigned and compatible with the Profoto Air system, the D1s are available in 250, 500, and 1000 watt-second versions.  Even the 1000, being the largest, tips the scales at a measly 6.5 lbs., making the D1s ideal for the traveling photographer.
   
For those times when you can’t plug in, there’s the Profoto B1 and B2, which are powered by a new lithium-ion high performance battery and compatible with the Profoto Air system transceivers PLUS the option for TTL on either Canon or Nikon sSLRs.  The new battery technology boasts a significant weight savings and performance gains.  Bot
    If it’s a serious studio pack you’re after, have a look at the D4 and Pro8a. Each specializing in different tasks, both of these
lines of packs are up to the task of daily professional use.  The D4 is available in 1200, 2400, and 4800 watt second versions and are compatible with all 32 channels used by Pocketwizard as well as the Profoto Air system.  The four head outlets are arranged asymmetrically and are controllable individually via their own control knob in 1/10-stop increments. Recycle times are a little over 2 seconds at full power (2400ws), and flash durations stay reasonably short for most applications.
  
If the D4s sound appealing but aren’t quite fast enough for you, then the Pro8a is Profoto’s answer.  With blazing-fast recycle times and very short flash durations, the 8a is up to almost any task you can throw at it. With recycles times of less than a second at full power (2400ws) and flash durations of 1/12,000 (t0.5), these generators pack a serious punch.  The two head outlets are capable of up to 20 flashes per second, are individually adjustable in 1/10-stop increments over a 10-stop range.


    A perhaps lesser-known but equally impressive line of lighting comes from Broncolor.  If you’re unfamiliar with their equipment, it’s about time to take a closer look.  One of the most common misconceptions about Broncolor is that everything they make is prohibitively expensive.  While there are certainly premium products in the line, the entire range from entry-level to high-end is right on par with their competition.

  
The Broncolor Siros mono-lights, are an ideal introduction to the Broncolor system or as supplementary existing units.  They are available in 400 and 800 joules (watt-seconds) versions, and are controllable in 1/10-stop increments over a 9 stop range!  The digital display and push button controls make working with these units a breeze.  But it gets even better...The Siros are remote controllable via bronControl app for mobile devices and also the RFS2.1 transmitters.  Integrated Speed Mode for the fastest flash durations, sequences up to 50 flashes, bright 300 watt model lamp and more.
    The Senso A2 and A4, which are fairly basic packs at an easily justifiable price and offer 1200j or 2400j which is adjustable over 6.5 f-stops in 1/10-stop
increments. Senso is great way to step into the Broncolor line with a studio pack that can grow with you and your business.  The Litos heads are designed only with the Senso packs in mind, but conversely all other Broncolor heads are compatible with the Senso packs, as well.

    The Nano and Topas packs fit in the mid range of the system and offer a balance between value and features. Each are available in multiple power capacities and symmetrical and asymmetrical options.

  
For portable power, Broncolor flagship unit is the Move 1200, about the size of a standard camera bag, available in several location and outdoor kit solutions.  The Move 1200 is a 1200j battery powered pack with two fully controllable head outlets, up to 230 full power flashes per charge, and a control range of over 9 f-stops in 1/10-stop increments (thats an amazing 4.5 joules to 1200 joules range).  Integrated with the RFS2 radio transmitters.  A perfect companion for this pack is the Mobil LED head with LED model lamps for maximum efficiency, which is about the size of a soda can and is compatible with either it’s own line of mini-accessories, or with the full line of Broncolor light shapers. 
    So what if you’re work is 50% studio and 50% location?  For true versatility, there’s the Verso A2 and A4, which plug directly into the wall while working in the studio,
but also have their own “Power Dock” for battery-powered operation in the field. This modular battery allows for up to 450 flashes per charge and can provide 1.5s recycle times at 1200j.

   


For the serious studio or fashion photographer, there’s the unparalleled features of the Scoro A2s and A4s and Es’.  One of the most notable among these is the true asymmetry across all
three head outlets.



There are no limits to power settings regardless which outlet is used or in what configuration.  This means you could, if desired, set one head at 3j, another at 100j, and yet another at 3,000j... that’s a spread of over ten f-stops, controllable in 1/10-stop (or full stop) increments. Beyond this exceptional level of user control, the flash duration is an incredible 1/8000 of a second (t0.1), which is also controllable via the top LCD panel.  Recycle times are blazing fast, and the A4s is capable of shooting up to 50 flashes per second... That’s enough to shoot video!

    Color temperature consistency is maintained through Electronic Color Temperature Control (ECTC),  and desired color temperature shift can be easily controlled by the user. The Scoro packs are the ultimate in user-controllable, high performance.


...Whew! And we haven’t even talked about continuous lighting!  Tungsten, HMI, LED, HID, High Frequency Fluorescents... Please call us at Bear Images to discuss your lighting needs.  We’ll be happy to recommend the equipment that best meets your requirements.

 

These are just a few of the lighting systems we carry and recommend. If you’d like to discuss your specific requirements, please give us a call at Bear Images. 650-321-2327


Bear Images Photographic, Inc.  • San Francisco, CA. 94107  •  650-321-2327  •  support@bearimages.com

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