Tips from theLoop: Fast Recycle Flash/ Strobes for Portable Use

As you expand your photography business, you don't know what you don't know. Asking questions on theLoop to expand your knowledge is a great place to start to learn about any area of photography! With 29,000+ PPA members behind you, there's bound to be someone who has been in your shoes and can offer a word of support or advice.

This month, we're highlighting the thread concerning fast recycle flash or strobes for portable use. Check out what your fellow Loopers had to say:

James Corbett: I shoot mountain biking events and use my Canon Speedlite 580EX II off camera in high speed sync mode with an external battery pack. Perhaps because of the overly dreary day this past Saturday and my position in a stream valley, the typically speedy flash cycle time was impaired. I think because of the need for maximum output every shot. This caused me to miss more than the typical trailing racers.  Any thoughts on options for something small and quick enough to pack into the woods?

John Lee, CPP: What's your budget?  If you want to use multiple speed lights, then you can bring each one to a lower power that'll increase your flash duration.  You can also use the HSS that'll kill the power output and battery life, but you're freezing with your shutter instead of the flash duration.  You're not freezing with your flash duration if there's too much ambient light, by the way.


To eliminate all of this,, I would suggest the elinchrom ELB 400 unit with the Hi-sync flash heads (you'll have to buy a remote for this that'll enable you to use Hi-sync technology though).

You can also use the profoto b2 for its HSS tech (also need a remote).  By spec, it's less power than the Elinchrom though.

The profoto B1 also has the HSS feature and it's 500 w/s.  With the right modifier (profoto magnum) you generally will not have a problem with the ambient light.  Or you can just use the HSS feature along with its remote.  Only drawback with the B1 iss you'll need a "beefy". nightstand for it, especially if you're placing it high and outside.  Definitely need sandbags also. The other 2 options, although a "beefy" nightstand is great, but the flash heads weigh nothing so it's not absolutely required, just sandbags.