The Prince of Cheap here!
Today I’m droppin a short review of a lil gem I’ve been using for quite a while now. As you’ve all come to know I supply my studio with ebay everything! Its the worlds largest garage sale… how can any of you resist! The tool that I’ve fallen in love with here is a strobe. The SL-400 it falls in a very large family of strobes that are sold on ebay that come out of China. Its called the SL-400… are you ready for the price? $169.00 currently sold on ebay!
It comes with a Bowens “S” Mount (The advantage I’ve found is that there are BILLIONS & ZILLIONS of accessories made in that mount that are compatible with it like Soft boxes, Strip boxes, Octaboxes, Beauty Dishes, Snoots and everything else under the sun! Best part is all can be had for CHEAP (JUST THE RIGHT PRICE FOR ME!). It packs 400 watts into a relatively large body (size doesn’t matter as much when your looking for power). It has a steepless rotary dial on the back that dials it from 400 full watts (1/1 Full power) down to 50 watts (1/8th power) which is pretty good considering that 50 watts can be made pretty soft if its bouncing around in a soft box. Optical slave tripping which will fire the flash when light from another flash hits it. Audible recycle buzzer. Test button. PC-Stereo Sync (it comes with the cable). Modeling bulb comes uninstalled (simply push in an rotate clockwise till nice and snug just like a lightbulb). Lastly it comes with a “pretty much standard” 7in. diameter reflector.
Here we go. You wanna know what you get for roughly $200 across ebay? A flash that works in a mounting option that is readily accessible to the masses! The Bowens “S” mount is pretty much the Pentax K mount of flash mountings. Its everywhere and everybody makes stuff for it! Here’s my recommendation… Drumroll please. Until Britek releases a 22inch Beauty Dish with grid and diffusion sock and a ring light adapter like the Bowens system has… its my NEW PICK for cheap flashes! Nothing to take away from the Britek system… its just a cheaper price, more light shaping options and much more power.
If you’re starting out and have no lighting gear but you have your camera. Go for this. It comes with a 30 day warranty (not the best I know but tear it up for 20 days then send it back if your not satisfied!). You can get this along with a 60″ inch umbrella (king of the soft light modifiers for under $50.00) a light stand and go out and do a LOT of great photography damage! Its my new strobe pick for 2009!
Check out my work at www.davidgriffinphotography.com (That’s where I use all this cheap crap!)