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Flashpoint Announces New R2 Radio Remote Lighting System

May 4, 2016 Comments off

New York, NY – May 4, 2016 Flashpoint, a leading manufacturer of professional photography and video equipment, has just has just announced the new Flashpoint R2 lighting line, featuring its R2 wireless radio flash system. The Flashpoint R2 system consists of five new products, compatible with Canon, Nikon and, coming soon, Sony: XPLOR 600, Streaklight TTL, R2 TTL Remote Transmitter and Receiver, Zoom Flash and Zoom Li-on Flash. Also new are Flashpoint R2 bridge units, which introduce R2 compatibility to older Flashpoint Streaklights and Zoom Li-ons.

Shop the brand new family of XPLOR studio lights from Flashpoint

Flashpoint’s R2 wireless flash system utilizes an advanced 2.4GHz radio to control a range of Flashpoint lighting products. The system unifies these products and allows for remote controlling with easy-to-use buttons, reliable channel triggering, group mode selectivity, HSS and LCD panels that clearly display the status of all remote R2-compliant lighting tools being used. It is the latest in remote lighting innovation and is the perfect solution for any photography situation.

Flashpoint XPLOR 600 All-in-One HSS Studio Flash
For the ultimate freedom in lighting exploration, choose the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 TTL all-in-one HSS studio flash with built-in R2 2.4GHz Radio Remote System (Bowens Mount) as a portable lighting solution controlled by remote, with no need for power cords and generators. This monolight is a 600ws strobe powered by an interchangeable, high-energy 11.1-volt Lithium Ion 8700mAh battery and is capable of over 450 full-power flash bursts on a single charge. With advanced settings like FEC, rapid stroboscopic flash, first or second curtain sync, LED modeling, a clear LCD display, upgradable firmware and new camera system compatibility, and 11 advanced options, the XPLOR is a portable powerhouse.

The compact XPLOR 600 TTL can be adjusted to a wide 9 stop range of power levels from 1/256 to full power in 1/3 stop increments. Recycle speed is exceptionally fast, from .01 to 2.5 seconds, with a built-in cooling fan to keep the unit cool and stable. The XPLOR 600 TTL can be triggered in four different ways: via the built-in wireless receiver that speaks with the R2 Transmitter, Optical Systems of Canon and Nikon Speedlights, corded sync, and optical slave.

Also available is the Flashpoint XPLOR 600 all-in-one HSS studio flash, a manual power only model with built-in R2 2.4GHz Radio Remote System (Bowens Mount).

Flashpoint R2 Streaklight 360 TTL
The R2 Streaklight 360 TTL is available in both Canon-compatible and Nikon-compatible models and is a hot shoe, portable bare-bulb flash suited for professional performance. It is also cross-compatible with all on-camera Canon or Nikon TTL controls through the Flashpoint R2 radio system, including automatic TTL exposure control, exposure bias, bracketing, second curtain sync, high-speed sync (HSS), EXIF recording, modeling flash and flash exposure lock. With a 270-degree swivel and a 105-degree tilt head, it provides powerful lighting at every angle.

Flashpoint R2 TTL Transmitter and Receiver
The R2 TTL Wireless Remote Receiver connects all strobes to any tool in the R2 family, including older Flashpoint monolights and strobe lights. The R2 TTL Transmitter attaches to the body of anyCanon, Nikon or Sony camera for full lighting control as well as TTL pass-through.

Flashpoint R2 Zoom Li-on Flash
The R2 Zoom Li-on Flash is powered by a revolutionary internal Lithium Ion battery pack and features TTL connectivity compatible with Canon, Nikon and Sony TTL systems. The strobe features exposure compensation, FV lock, HSS and an automatically zooming flash head to illuminate any situation. With a full power recycle time of less than 1.5 seconds and an advanced Li-on polymer battery, it is quick and powerful, and lasts approximately 650 full-power flashes per charge. A 360-degree rotation and 90-degree tilt makes it perfect for on- and off-camera use at any angle.

Also available is the Flashpoint R2 Zoom Flash, which is powered by AA batteries for flexibility while on the go.

Flashpoint R2 Bridge Receivers
With the R2 Bridge Receiver, any existing non-R2 Flashpoint Streaklight and Zoom Li-on Speedlights can be upgraded to receive signals from the new R2 Radio Remote System. Simply plug into the dedicated port and control remotely.

Pricing and Availability
All new Flashpoint R2 lighting tools are now available for preorder through Adorama:

  • The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 TTL All-in-One HSS Studio Flash is now available for preorder for $749.00 USD
  • The Flashpoint XPLOR 600 All-in-One HSS Studio Flash is now available for preorder for $599.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Streaklight TTL for Canon, Nikon or Sony is now available for preorder for $519.95 USD and ships with the BP-960 Power Pack
  • The Flashpoint R2 TTL Remote System is now available for preorder for $79.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Zoom Flash is now available for preorder for $119.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Zoom Li-on Flash is now available for preorder for $179.95 USD
  • The Flashpoint R2 Bridge Receiver is now available for preorder for $19.95 USD

About Flashpoint
Used by industry professionals who want superior results, Flashpoint produces the highest quality pro lighting and video equipment our market has to offer while maintaining true value, to help our partner photographers in today’s competitive market. Flashpoint’s most popular products include traditional and wireless/portable strobes and monolights, reflectors, flash modifiers, softboxes, light stands, on-camera video lighting, power packs, and camera and lighting accessories.

Flashpoint’s Power Station was recognized by Professional Photographer magazine with a 2014 Hot Ones Award. Available exclusively at Adorama, customers can visit the Flashpoint brand store online to shop: http://www.adorama.com/brands/flashpoint, or visit the Adorama Learning Center to learn more about Flashpoint products: http://www.adorama.com/alc/searchresults/flashpoint.

Shop Adorama’s extensive selection of private label brands.

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Flashpoint Introduces Four LED On-Camera Lights to Lineup – On Sale Now!

April 22, 2015 Comments off

Flashpoint 300 LEDNew York, NY – April 22, 2015 – Flashpoint, a leading manufacturer of professional photography and video equipment, is bringing the power of LED lighting to DSLR cameras with four new on-camera lighting units: the Flashpoint 300 LED (on-camera light with audio); the Flashpoint 198 LED (bi-color on-camera light); the Flashpoint 198 LED (VariAngle on-camera light); and the Flashpoint Reporter Super Compact 150 LED (on-camera light).

Light enough to go anywhere with enough light to go everywhere, the newest additions to the Flashpoint family are now available at discounted prices online at Adorama’s official website and at the Adorama superstore, located at 42 West 18th Street in New York City.

Flashpoint 300 LED: On-Camera Light with Audio – 20% Off
The large 300 diode LED gives action videographers and still photographers super bright, high-quality output. With auto light levels, stereo microphones and a signal flash mode, the 300 LED can sense lighting requirements and delivers automatic balance exposure as it passes from one environment to another, making it ideal for run-and-gun shooters looking for the most light on demand. The on-board stereo electret condenser microphones are also invaluable for traveling shooters, minimizing the need to cage-rig a camera for attaching an external microphone. The sensitive mics are distanced from camera sounds on either top corner of the light, delivering clean audio directly to the camera. All fitting comfortably atop a camera’s hot shoe or off-camera via the convenient stand thread, the 300 LED is a comprehensive package in a superior, sleek design.

Flashpoint 198 LEDFlashpoint 198 LED: Bi Color On-Camera Light – 20% Off
The 198 LED Bi-Color has the extraordinary ability to dial in exact color temperature to match or compete with its surroundings. The precision color temperature dial easily adjusts between 3200 and 5600K to provide quick solutions for shooters on the go, meeting every ambient environmental challenge possible. It provides visually accurate color temperatures and flicker-free output with no color shift when dimming. When used outdoors, the small, self-contained LED light produces enough light to alleviate deep shadows while blending available light to add modeling to subjects. Super lightweight, the 198 LED Bi-Color fits comfortably on DSLR hot shoes and off-camera via the convenient stand thread. Compatible with just about any capacity industry standard Sony or Panasonic lithium battery cells as well as universally available AA batteries, the 198 LED Bi-Color gives support where and when it is needed the most.

Flashpoint 198 LED: VariAngle On-Camera Light – 40% Off
The 198 LED VariAngle gives users the ability to focus light for a more precise spread. With a brilliant variable angle beam from a 25-degree spot to a standard 60-degree spread, it offers more versatile power than a normal LED. The unique variable light can deliver illumination beyond the 16 inches achieved with a 60-degree spread because of its light concentration of up to 4470 lumens at 25 degrees. Two additional interchangeable color panels give users instantaneous control between 3200 and 5600K for immediate results. Like its other Flashpoint counterparts, the 198 LED VariAngle is perfect for mobile and location photographers due to its lightweight frame and numerous power options including compatibility with almost any capacity industry standard Sony type lithium battery and universally available AA battery.

Flashpoint 150 LEDFlashpoint Reporter Super Compact 150 LED: On-Camera Light – 29% Off
Super compact and sleek, the Reporter Super Compact 150 LED is a favorite for short photo and video clip needs and interviews. It is designed to be as portable and mobile as a cellphone and even uses a cellphone charger. Ideal for reporters, bloggers, run-and-gun shooters, foodies, and users in need of a backup or emergency light, the Reporter Super Compact 150 LED is perfect for shots on any DSLR or HD camcorder with its 900-lux output. The included removable hotshoe mount with threads makes it easy to use on camera, on a stand or flex-pod, or even handheld. It incorporates a generous 60-degree spread and the added benefit of a pocketsize Smartphone footprint with a self-contained rechargeable battery to create a modern day solution for anyone looking to capture the latest story.

Pricing and Availability
All new Flashpoint LED models are available at steeply discounted prices. The Flashpoint 300 LED (on-camera light with audio) is now available for just 79.95 USD (20% off). The Flashpoint 198 LED (bi-color on-camera light) is available for 79.99 USD (20% off). The Flashpoint 198 LED (VariAngle on-camera light) is available for 89.95 USD (40% off). The Flashpoint Reporter Super Compact 150 LED (on-camera light) is available for 49.95 USD (29% off).

For more information on Flashpoint’s available LED models, or to see the entire Flashpoint lineup, please visit http://www.adorama.com/brands/flashpoint.

About Flashpoint
Used by industry professionals who want superior results, Flashpoint produces the highest quality pro lighting and video equipment our market has to offer while maintaining true value, to help our partner photographers in today’s competitive market. Flashpoint’s most popular products include traditional and wireless/portable strobes and monolights, reflectors, flash modifiers, softboxes, light stands, on-camera video lighting, power packs, and camera and lighting accessories.

Flashpoint’s Power Station was recognized by Professional Photographer magazine with a 2014 Hot Ones Award. Available exclusively at Adorama, customers can visit the Flashpoint brand store online to shop: http://www.adorama.com/brands/flashpoint, or visit the Adorama Learning Center to learn more about Flashpoint products: http://www.adorama.com/alc/search/node/flashpoint.

About Adorama
Adorama is more than a camera store – it’s one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers. Serving customers for more than 35 years, Adorama’s vast product offerings encompass home entertainment, mobile computing, and professional video and audio, while its services include an in-house photo lab, AdoramaPix, pro equipment rental at Adorama Rental Company, and the award-winning Adorama Learning Center and AdoramaTV.

Adorama is listed as one of the top five electronics retailers by Consumer Reports, “Best of the Web” by Forbes.com, Internet Retailers Top 100, and is the official Electronics Retailer of the NY Giants. Visit Adorama at http://www.adorama.com.

Using the FlashPoint 180WS StreakLight (Review)

April 2, 2015 Comments off

Flashoint 180WS StreakLight with Flashpoint Blast Pack

Flashpoint 180WS Streak Light
Adorama
$299.95*

Flashpoint Blast Power Pack BP-960
$249.95*

*Bundles available at significant discounts.

If you’re a professional photographer, you need great lighting. You tell stories with light, but you can’t always have the perfect natural light that you want when you want it. You have to use continuous or flash lighting. For flash lighting, there are a lot of options. However, for those field trips, you need something powerful, rugged, portable, and long-lasting. That’s where the pack narrows down to the leaders. Among the clear winners is the FlashPoint 180WS Streak Light (180WS).

[The 180WS stands for 180 Watt-Second — a standard measure of flash power]

The 180WS has to have a power source, such as the pictured Flashpoint rechargeable Blast Power Pack BP-960 (sold separately).

  • Powerful 180ws Guide Number 197 (ft ISO 100) with standard reflector
  • Super Soft and Even Light from Replaceable Bare Bulb
  • Stable Color Temperature
  • Fast Recycle Times from with Flashpoint BLAST POWER PACK or Quantum Turbo
  • Precise output from 1/128 to Full in 1/3 stop increments
  • Four Modes : Pure Manual [M], Slave Normal [S1], Slave Filtered [S2], Multi/Stroboscopic with calculator [RPT]
  • Auto Focus Assist Beam
  • Switchable Audio Recycle
  • Built in Optical Slave
  • Wireless Remote Control USB Port
  • 2 Sync Jacks PC & 3.5mm
  • Overheat Protection Circuitry
  • Vertical and Horizontal Head Adjustments
  • Umbrella Mount Adapter
  • Tough Secured Hot shoe Mount
  • Full Line of Optional Light Modifiers from Snoots to Beauty Dishes

Flashpoint StreakLight 180WS Rear ViewThe 180WS is a powerful flash unit, but it can also be “dialed back” to a mere 1/128 full power to give you just enough light to fill in those subtle shadows, even in bright sunlight.

Why it’s Frugal: The 180WS and Blast Power Pack are true professional tools at an extremely good price ($349.95 for the 180WS/BP-960 bundle). The 180WS Creative Collection is also a value at $549.92. This professional lighting model and power pack are frugal because they offer fully adjustable, immediate flash lighting at a very affordable price point. It would be a challenge to find the power and the features of this combination anywhere at twice the price.

The 180WS is easy to setup and to use from a tabletop standalone, to tripod mount, to on-camera hot shoe mount. It is surprisingly lightweight and not bulky nor clumsy to use. The handy belt clip on the Blast Power Pack is a nice feature, although you can also use the lanyard to hang it around your neck.

The 180WS is so powerful and so versatile that my videographer and I use it off-camera, mounted on a tripod using a wireless remote shutter to fire it. We have used it for more than 300 shots on all power settings, in a variety of situations, without ever having to recharge the Blast Power Pack. It never failed us nor did it ever hesitate to fire on demand.

Flashpoint StreakLight 180WS Specifications:

  • Strobe Output – 180 watt seconds
  • Guide Number – 60m/196ft for ISO 100
  • Power Supply – External Lithium Battery and compatibles*
  • Recycle Time – 0.05 – 2.6 seconds
  • Flash Duration – 1/300 – 1/10,000 sec
  • Recycle Indication – Ready Light and Switchable Audio
  • Light Coverage – Approximately 65 Degrees / 28mm coverage on 35mm full frame format
  • Vertical Angle – -15 to 90 degrees
  • Horizontal Rotation – 0 to 270 degrees
  • Slave Eye Sensitivity – Greater than 33 feet / 160 degree radius
  • Color Temperature – 5600K +/-200K
  • Housing Size – 8 X 3.55 X 2.75 in
  • Body Weight – 19.4 oz /1.50 lbs

The unit gives you the characteristic flash “beep” when the unit is ready to fire again. There was never any hesitation during any of our shoots. It consistently recharged immediately. Fire. Beep. Fire. Beep. Fire. Beep. In fact, the 180WS responded so well to our demands, I think we’re spoiled in never having to wait for a flash unit to power up again.

And I love the ability to adjust the power from 1/128 in 1/3 stop increments because it’s easier to bracket your shots. It’s great to get just enough light without blowing out the subject or the background when using it for bounced lighting.

The 180WS comes with a parabolic reflector and a set of two diffusers to further soften the light source, although the bare bulb delivers an even light coverage for objects that are as few as five or six feet away.

The flash head adjusts from horizontal to vertical and locks into place. The parabolic reflector also locks into place so that there’s no chance of it falling during movement if you have it camera-mounted. The head also rotates 270-degrees so that you can aim the flash to create any kind of special effect or bounce reflection that you want. You can also purchase an umbrella reflector setup for the 180WS so that you don’t have to have a separate umbrella light unit.

I really like working with the 180WS and the Blast Power Pack. It’s impossible for either of us to work with standard on-camera flash anymore after this experience. The 180WS is so versatile, usable, rugged, and powerful that every professional should carry one in his or her gig bag. Both units are small enough to fit into a carry on bag or into a standard camera tote.

Every time we pull out the 180WS to use, we get a universal “Wow” from whomever is within sight of it. During one video and photography shoot, we had several other photographers approach us to see what exactly it was that we were using. Of course, Joseph and I were only too happy to show it off and give our own demonstration of the product. For a moment, we both felt like we were selling the units at a trade show. It gave us a personal boost to show off the high end equipment we were using and I think gained us a little street cred in the process.

Don’t let me put you high-end amateurs or prosumers off, this unit would be great for team sports shots, school events, family photos, vacation photos, or even your first foray into the pro world. The combination is affordable enough for amateurs and pros alike. Amateurs will love the ease of operation and although the unit looks intimidating, it isn’t. It’s easy on, easy off, and adjustable with the touch of a single finger and fire, fire, fire, as fast as you can press the shutter button.

Honestly, this is the finest product of its type that I’ve ever used and I’ve used a lot of flash units over the past couple of decades. Quality really makes a difference. This unit is an investment that is a real winner. And you can take that from two guys who’ve eaten a lot of lemons over the years. The 180WS and Blast Power Pack are a winning combination.

Rating: 10/10

Recommendation: Pros: It’s a must have–you can’t afford not to have one. Amateurs: This could be exactly what you’ve been looking for to take your photography to that higher level.

Note: I will soon have our own video up demonstrating the 180WS and the BP-960. My camera battery went dead during my original video. Too bad it wasn’t powered by the BP-960.

New Photography Lightstands and Accessories From Flashpoint Now Available Exclusively From Adorama

February 19, 2015 Comments off

adorama

New York, NY – February 19, 2015 Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers, has released a handful of new products to complement its award-winning Flashpoint accessory line. The latest releases include the Flashpoint Auto Stand (in 7’ and 9’ models), the Flashpoint Telescopic Reflector Holder and two new Flashpoint Flip-Flash Brackets. All items are now available with complimentary shipping.

Flashpoint Auto Stand (7’ and 9’)
The Flashpoint Auto Stand, available in both 7’ (http://www.adorama.com/FPLS7AS.html) and 9’ (http://www.adorama.com/FPLS9AS.html) models, is a heavy-duty yet lightweight support with an ultra-quick setup, perfect for solo photographers carrying their own gear, as well as assistants helping with location changes. Setting up the Flashpoint Auto Stand is as simple as placing it on the ground, as the stand legs instantly extend outward. Automatically retracting legs make location changes easy and discreet – simply lift and relocate into those tight spaces where fitting an already-extended stand is impossible, like between church pews during a wedding ceremony shoot.

The 7-foot option adjusts from approximately 3.1’ to 7’ and folds down to 30” for storage and transport. The 9’ option adjusts from approximately 3.5’ to just over 9’ and folds down to 40”. Both options come with a reversible 5/8” stud, with a 1/4”-20 thread on one end and 3/8” on the other, which can be vertically or horizontally mounted as needed.

For more information on the 7’ and 9’ Flashpoint Auto Stand models, please visit:http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=flashpoint+auto+stand.

Flashpoint Telescopic Reflector Holder
The Flashpoint Telescopic Reflector Holder (http://www.adorama.com/FPXBKPR01.html) is designed to hold a 5-in-1 portable reflector (such as these models from Glow:http://www.adorama.com/searchsite/default.aspx?searchinfo=glow+portable+5+in+1+reflector+kit) at any angle. Specially designed for collapsible reflectors, the holder allows users to place light-shaping accessories in any position for maximum impact. The standard 5/8” stand receiver can be connected to light stands and booms, while the ballhead design allows for quick and precise positioning and locking.

After telescoping the aluminum alloy rod to the required reflector length, the balance can be adjusted easily by positioning the rod above the central axis using knobs. With an easy-pinch design and a large, adjustable handle, the Flashpoint reflector holder manages the mechanics while leaving the creativity to the user. Its lightweight design makes for flawless transportation while retaining the sturdy, solid frame Flashpoint is known for.

Flashpoint Flip-Flash Brackets
With two different Flashpoint Flip-Flash Bracket models to choose from, users can be assured that their lighting quality is perfect in every situation. The first of the two options, the Flip-Flash Bracket (http://www.adorama.com/FPXBKFL01.html), has a rotating arm that positions the flash farther from the lens while staying directly above it, regardless of the camera’s orientation. The second, the Rotating Camera Flip-Flash Bracket (http://www.adorama.com/FPXBKFL05.html), allows the camera to actually swivel inside of the bracket for ultimate flash manipulation. Unique to Flashpoint, both models have an integrated anti-twist plate on the platform that the camera rests on, to prevent the camera from twisting off axis during swivel motions.

Both Flashpoint brackets allow users to smoothly rotate flash and SLR cameras up to 90 degrees for vertical and horizontal shots while eliminating red-eye and side shadows. The speedlight flash support arm is designed with a 180-degree range of travel for creative flash effects. With a lightweight aluminum frame and a comfortable foam grip, both brackets are easy to hold in heavy use and at rest between shots, giving users the most control possible.

Pricing and Availability
All new Flashpoint models are now available for purchase through Adorama’s official website, or at the Adorama Superstore, located at 42 West 18th Street in New York City. The Flashpoint Auto Stands each retail at 49.95 USD (7’ model) and 69.95 USD (9’ model) – after a $10 instant rebate. The Flashpoint Telescopic Reflector Holder retails at 39.95 USD. The Flashpoint Flip-Flash Bracket retails at 19.95 USD, and the Rotating Camera Flip-Flash Bracket retails at 29.95 USD.

For additional pricing information, or to explore other exciting camera accessory options from Adorama, please visit www.adorama.com.

ADORAMA: More Than a Camera Store
Adorama is more than a camera store – it’s one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers. Serving customers for more than 35 years, Adorama has grown from its flagship NYC store to include the leading online destination for photography, video and consumer electronics. Adorama’s vast product offerings encompass home entertainment, mobile computing, and professional video and audio, while its services include an in-house photo lab, AdoramaPix, pro equipment rental at Adorama Rental Company, and the award-winning Adorama Learning Center, which offers free education for photographers in online channels such as the popular Adorama TV.

Adorama is listed as one of the top five electronics retailers by Consumer Reports, “Best of the Web” by Forbes.com, Internet Retailers Top 100, and is the official Electronics Retailer of the NY Giants.

Visit ADORAMA at www.adorama.com.

Discovering the 3Pod Flashpoint Flat-Folding P5CFH Tripod (Review)

January 27, 2014 Comments off

tripod_extended3Pod Flashpoint Flat-Folding Tripod (P5CFH)
Formal Name: 3Pod P5CFH 8X Carbon Fiber 5 Section FlatFold Tripod with K2 BallHead
Adorama
$149.95*
*This price is currently $199.95 with $50.00 instant rebate savings and free shipping.

There are a few things that you’ll never hear anyone say. One of those things is, “I have plenty of space, so adding another large, three-dimensional object to my overpacked car is fine with me.” You’ll also never hear a professional or prosumer photographer say that “Another 20 pounds of equipment that’s difficult to carry is no problem at all.” Nope, you’ll never hear those words from anyone. You know what you’ll hear from a photographer about the Flashpoint Flat-Folding Tripod? The word “Wow” will be part of what’s said. As for additional words of exclamation, superlatives, and odd sounds of joy–one can only speculate.

I’m still lugging around an old painfully heavy, bulky, noisy–yes, noisy tripod from the thrilling days of yesteryear–or the 1980s as some people call them. Obviously my old clunker is durable but it weighs a ton and only collapses so far. It’s clumsy to carry. It’s clumsy to work with. It is almost impossible to level. And it generally drives me nuts to use it.

So, you ask, why haven’t I bought something newer and better? Well, to this I can only say, it’s a mixture of laziness and of not wanting to spend $300+ for a bang up tripod that is probably not that much better than my old one is. The only part that might be better is that many higher end tripods have bubble levels on them so that leveling is easier. As for weight, forget about it. I don’t want to trade a bulldozer for a tank.

Tripod flatened for easy carrying or shipping Tripod with Ballhead extendedAdorama, of course, has the answer to my problem. Adorama has just the remedy in its lineup of affordable, lightweight, durable, sturdy, fully adjustable tripods that not only feature built-in bubble levels but they’re also flat when you fold them. Flat, as in two-dimensional. Yes, I know it sounds strange but it’s true. Flat tripods. The flatness aspect goes against everything you know about tripods, doesn’t it?

Well, these beauties fold flat and come with their own carrying cases. The whole thing looks like a soft sided Clarinet case. And it’s about the same weight as a loaded Clarinet case. All cased up, the tripod measures about 15″x7″x2.75″. The case is actually 7″ at one end and approximately 5″ at the other, so it really looks like a Clarinet case and not a tripod at all.

Inside the case, you’ll find the flat-folding tripod base, a K2 hydraulic Ballhead with standard 0.25″ screw mount, a shoulder strap for you shleppers out there, the user’s manual, tools (two hex key wrenches), and a velvet Ballhead cover to protect your bubble level. The case itself is a heavy duty nylon with reinforced double zippers–think expensive luggage style materials here. It also features internal padding and soft material on the inside to prevent damage from accidental drops and random mishaps during packing or traveling.

At its shortest, unextended height, the tripod is a mere 12 inches tall. The Ballhead adds another 14 inches to the height unextended. However, if you need to get down a little closer to the action, you can adjust the tripod legs downward so that the overall height is only 19 inches.

3podThe middle leg of the tripod has this heavy duty padded hand grip on it for easy manipulation and repositioning of the tripod. The Ballhead also has its own carrying strap so that you don’t have to carry the case on location, unless you want to carry it to and unpack at your destination.

carbonfiberlegs

Photographers and their assistants will love the quick setup of this tripod. The legs are quick release, quick tighten and have five height selectors. Fully extended Ballhead and leg angles at their maximum, the tripod stands at just over 56 inches, which means that even at my height (6’2″), a mounted camera is at a very comfortable eye level.

legsYou can position the legs at three different angles and all independent of one another. The same goes for the heights of the extensions. This can provide you with an almost infinite array of possibilities for unusual but stable camera shots. As is suggested by its name, the Ballhead can be used to place your camera at any angle from horizontal to vertical.

The whole assembly is handsome as well as sturdy. The equipment has been tested with camera and accessories at weights up to 20 pounds. That means that your camera, on board flash, umbrella, microphone, lights, or just about anything else you can think of will not be too much for this tripod.

Its strength comes from its carbon fiber construction. In case you don’t know about carbon fiber materials, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia on the topic:

“The properties of carbon fibers, such as high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high temperature tolerance and low thermal expansion, make them very popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, and motorsports, along with other competition sports. However, they are relatively expensive when compared to similar fibers, such as glass fibers or plastic fibers.”

spikesnfeetThe leg releases are easy to use in both directions and the feet are large and padded for added stability. However, if you don’t like the padded feet for use on turf, for example, remove them to reveal spikes. Although you’ll have to use a bit of force, the feet simply pull off, push on–no screwing and unscrewing.
The tripod also features a compass, 360-degree head rotation, two levels, and a removable quick-release plate with universal mounting screw.

This tripod does everything but snap the picture for you. Knowing Adorama, they probably have an accessory for that as well.

I consider this tripod to be for outdoors and for travel. It’s weight and capacity dictate that it will work well under just about any condition or application. Location photographers and filmmakers will like this little tripod. No, it’s not suited for large equipment but you really wouldn’t expect it to be for under $150, now would you?

Carbon fiber is well-suited to more extremes than any of your other equipment so don’t worry about environmental conditions causing you any problems at all.

The only problem I found with this tripod is actually one of its features: weight. I know what I said about weight earlier but the problem is that this tripod is so light that your camera is going to be a bit top heavy, which becomes more obvious when the tripod is fully extended. This won’t be a problem unless conditions are breezy. Then it gets a little “iffy.” It might be fine but I’m just too paranoid to let go, walk away and use a wireless remote in anything but a gentle breeze.

That said, you can adjust the legs to give a wider stance and provide more stability even in fairly high winds. It’s just a word of caution mostly to let you know that this is not a 30 or 40 pound beast that will withstand windy conditions. Additionally, the compass seems not to be great. I’d either leave it off or upgrade it a bit to be really useful.

The 3Pod P5CFH flat-folding tripod is a well-constructed, well thought out, versatile tripod that’s easy to travel with and easy to carry.

Why it’s frugal: If you have a need for multiple tripods in your travels, this one could cut that need down to just one. Frugal doesn’t always mean dollars saved but can also mean space, weight, and pain on those long walks to distance locations.

Rating: 8.5/10

Recommendation: If you need a light duty, durable, versatile tripod, this one is very good. Buy it but stay out of the wind.

Flashpoint 14″ Fluorescent Dimmable Ring Light (Product Review)

April 11, 2013 1 comment
fprlel_1

Front view showing reflective outer ring and adjustable pitch clamp.

Flashpoint 14″ Fluorescent Dimmable Ring Light Adorama Camera, Inc. Retail: $139.95 Adorama: $124.95 5500K 80W Bulb replacement $15.95 As an avid film and digital photographer, I know that lighting is very important. There are times when flash units just won’t do the trick. Portraits, products, stop motion video, movies and many more applications require a constant, shadow free light source. Light is everything to the camera. It is your palette and your paintbrush. The  Flashpoint 14″ Fluorescent Dimmable Ring Light from Adorama is a well-built, carefully thought out piece of photographic equipment. It’s hard not to be excited when you light up your subject with it. The perfect white light, the even tones and no shadowing or weird color shifts are what photographers and filmmakers long for in their quest to create their masterpieces.

fprlel_2

Rear view of the light fixture showing the adjustable clamp, the light stand clamp and power cable.

The light has an adjustable dimmer/brightener on it so that you can modulate the amount of light bathing your subject. The light is very bright but not blinding to your human subjects, although they will appreciate the ability to dim and diffuse the light a bit when you place the ring close. The ring light allows you to take photographs or film through the loop or from the side. The unit as described does not ship with a light stand. For this review, I used my own ProMaster Basic LS-1, which worked perfectly with the ring light. The ring light fixture is lightweight enough to be very mobile but sturdy enough to remain still in light breezes outdoors. For inexpensive studio lighting, I don’t think you can do much better than this light setup. I love it. From still portraiture, to product photography, to videography, this is one accessory that you need to add to your list. It comes with its own thick, padded nylon carrying case and a velcro-attachable diffuser. Below you can see two photographs I made with the ring light of my daughter. No Photoshop adjustments have been made to these photos. They’ve been resized to fit better into the space here but size adjustment is the only one made.

Maria1

Cropped photo through the ring light.

These photographs were taken with my Canon T3, auto focus, no flash setting. Note the bright but soft lighting effect with this ring light. The first photo is unretouched except for cropping to remove background details. It was taken through the ring light. If you look carefully, you can see the ring light in her eyes.

Maria2

Uncropped photo through the rear of the ring light.

The positional clamp on the light allows you to use a variety of angles so that you can not only position your light distance-wise but also from above, below or straight on. For these photographs, I positioned the light slightly above the subject’s eyeline.

I’m impressed with the overall quality of light, adjustability and flexibility of this ring light. I find no flaws in its workmanship or use. I really enjoyed working with this lighting unit and I think that it’s a worthwhile, yet small, investment if you even slightly serious about photography or videography. I highly recommend this product. The price is good, the replacement bulb price is excellent and you receive free shipping on this product from Adorama. What more could you want?

Review: 10/10

Stay tuned for an upcoming review of iStopMotion Pro and a stop motion video that I’m making using this light.

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