Review: Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight (180WS)

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (1 of 8)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

Very few lights get us really, really excited. Admittedly, we were very skeptical when we got the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight in for review. We’re very aware of how housebrand products made in China perform due to our extensive field testing in the past. But the fact that the Streaklight combines a monolight and a speedlight into one is something that is bound to be appealing to lots of photographers–especially the strobists amongst us.

Offering a light output of up to 180 watt seconds, it’s bound to be replacing the current rigs of many photographers. But despite how good the light is, it comes with its flaws.

Pros and Cons

Pros

– Portable. Can fit easily into our modified camera bag.

– Lots of light output

– Very nice reflector

– Great and intuitive interface

– Power can be adjusted in thirds of stops

– Amazing battery life

Cons

– Need a giant battery pack

– Totally turns off when it overheats

– Wish it had an umbrella hole built in

Tech Specs

Taken from the Adorama listing of the product.

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

Gear Used

For this review, we tested the Adorama Streaklight with the Phase One IQ250, Fujifilm X Pro 1 with Zeiss 50mm f2.8, and Olympus OMD EM10. The flash was fired using PocketWizard Plus III transceivers.

Ergonomics

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (2 of 8)ISO 4001-80 sec at f - 4.0

Adorama’s Streaklight is more or less something like a speedlight and a monolight combined into one. Quantum has been doing this for a while as has CheetahStand. But the Streaklight is trying to do it at a more affordable price point. You’ll need the powerpack to make the best use.

The light comes with an umbrella reflector with diffusion panels that can be stacked to further diffuse the light output.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (3 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

When you want to use the light, you’ll need to turn it on via the battery or the flash itself. We often prefer to do it via the battery pack. This pack has a ton of battery life and during our months of testing with it once a week, we never needed to charge it. It’s truly amazing.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (4 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Coming around to the back, you’ll see the controls on the flash. These controls are buttons and a giant dial. They let you set the buzzing recycle sound, slave modes, stroboscopic mode, and power output.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (8 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.2

The front of the flash has IR sensors. This is the only part of the flash that we didn’t find so great–the IR sensors never really worked for us in our tests. Because of this, you’re better off using a radio transmitter.

Build Quality

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (5 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Usually, house brand products at any retailer aren’t the best quality–I would know! But the Flashpoint Streaklight has surprised me. I dropped it once and it didn’t suffer a single scratch. Additionally, we’re sure it won’t blow up on us because of the fact that the heat sensor will automatically turn off the power and not let you use it for a while.

This can be really frustrating at times if you’re on a shoot and even worse if you’ve decided to go fully manual with lighting as a wedding photographer.

In fact, that can be a very expensive mistake and can also earn you the official terrible photographer badge from a bride.

Ease of Use

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Phase One IQ250 portrait with Natalie (5 of 5)ISO 1001-320 sec at f - 4.0

There isn’t much to the Streaklight in terms of use. You plug it into the battery via the supplied coiled cord, turn the battery on, adjust your settings then shoot. Of course, you’ll also need some sort of radio transmitter: in this case we hooked it up to a PocketWizard Plux III using an audio cable. However, you can also do this via PC Port.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS product images (6 of 8)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 4.0

When you get the package, you’ll also need to screw in the bulb and add the reflector on.

But by far, one of the coolest things about this flash is that it can do stroboscopic shooting.

Light Output

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The light output from the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight is punchy, specular, bright, and overall soft when combined with the diffused reflector. The reflector can either be not diffused at all or it can utilize one or two diffusion panels that can be placed onto the front of the umbrella reflector.

We used the light over a period of months and tried to measure the color consistency along with output overall. Our findings are that the light’s color consistency matches that of (dare we say) Paul C Buff’s Einstein E640 light–one of my personal favorites.

The photographers that are bound to make the most of this light are portrait shooters, product shooters, and those that generally have the most control over their environments. They’ll be very happy with the use of the umbrella reflector included in the kit, but can also make great use of the light with a medium sized umbrella or softbox. The option of mounting the light in your camera’s hot shoe is also available, but we don’t really recommend it if you want to take the most advantage of what this light can do.

If you choose to mount it in the hot shoe, don’t use it with your typical flash modifiers. It’s best to use the included reflector.

Again though, we strongly urge you to not do this unless you really need to. You’re better off just holding the flash in one hand and your camera in the other.

You’ll love the fact that it can offer just a little bit of fill light or a ton of light to fill a dark room at ISO 400.

Here are some extra image samples.

Extra Images

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 50mm f2.8 Touit Review images (1 of 1)ISO 4001-160 sec at f - 4.0

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Capture One Edits IQ250 matts dark combat series 25

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Capture One Edits IQ250 eyes edited

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Capture One Edits IQ250 matts portraits

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Phase One IQ250 more with Nat (2 of 2)ISO 1001-100 sec at f - 5.0

Conclusions

The-Phoblographer-Editor's-Choice-Award-Logo

Likes

– Very lightweight and portable light source

– Extremely powerful

– Nice control

– Great reflector included

Dislikes

– Shuts down when overheats

– Needs a battery pack

Phoblographer-Star-rating

The Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180 WS receives our coveted 5/5 star award.

During our months of testing the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight, we were quite impressed with not only its light output but also the fairly good build quality. If lumopro were to make a competing product, we’re sure that it would be made more sturdy. But with that said, the Streaklight isn’t terribly built. Somehow or another though, we can’t shake the feeling of all these parts together somehow or another possibly breaking on us. Then again, they haven’t in the months of countless shooting that we’ve done with it.

And for that reason combined with the excellent light output, we’re awarding the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight our Editor’s Choice award.

The Flashpoint StreakLight 360Ws is available now for $549 USD or bundled with the Blast Pack battery for $749.95 USD. The Flashpoint StreakLight 180Ws is available now for $405.95 USD or bundled with the Blast Pack battery for $599.95 USD.

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