5 Items for the Strobist Photographer Just Starting Out

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Phottix Indra500 TTL images Canon 5D MK II (2 of 5)ISO 1001-320 sec at f - 4.0

One of the best ways to step up your photography is to use off-camera flashes. Off-camera flashes quite literally let you create light in a scene and work to your benefit because they let you become more creative with your photos–providing that you use them creatively. When you’re starting out as a strobist (a photographer that uses lots of off-camera lighting) you’ll need a couple items to harness this light and help you actually achieve your vision.

Here are some of our favorites for the Strobist Photographer.

LumoPro LP-180

lumopro-lp180case

 

Looking to start somewhere affordable yet durable? The Lumopro LP-180 is the flash that you want. It was seemingly designed for the strobist due to the light stand screw on the side of the flash, simple controls, and amazing amount of power output potential. In fact, it can fire around 180 watt seconds of power–which is much more powerful than most speedlights.

In our review we state:

“After a month of testing, we have no reason not to give the LP-180 our Editor’s Choice award for best afford Strobist flash. Its build quality can surely stand the test of time, the fact that you can shoot at ISO 100, 105mm at 10 feet away at f11 is also blowing our minds just a bit. Then mix into all of this the portability and the reliability.

We just can’t see us using other flashes. Sure, Yongnuo has some more affordable options, but they’re not as tough or as powerful as the LP-180.”

Read the Review.

Buy Now: Amazon

PocketWizard Plus X Transceivers

PocketWizard Plus X Transceivers

While these radio transmitters aren’t the most affordable out there, they’re some of the most reliable. Unlike their bigger brothers the Plus III triggers, these triggers are fully analog with no digital readout. That means that the battery life will last forever. It’s also super easy to use them by twisting the knob and simply hooking them up to the light.

In our review we state:

“Let’s conclude: for $99 you get a transmitter and a receiver in one. This particular model is designed for use of monolights via PC port or 3.5mm jack but can also be used with hot shoe flashes via PC port. Unfortunately, there is no hot shoe mount–which is what many people wanted due to the versatility that those small flashes can provide.

These triggers seem designed for the person that wants to set up a small studio and needs something extremely simple to use. And in many ways the Plus X is the most simple trigger out there. It boasts the build quality to boot. But the only problem is that there are much more affordable triggers coming out of China right now, and they are also reported to be quite reliable though they don’t have the range of the Plus X.

In the end though, a single bad thing can’t be said about these products–but we still wonder who would purchase them.”

Read the Review.

Buy Now: Amazon

Pro Tip: Use an umbrella with a light hidden inside to create a really cool effect. Model: Bec Fordyce

Pro Tip: Use an umbrella with a light hidden inside to create a really cool effect.
Model: Bec Fordyce

Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180WS

Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180W

Though we don’t usually like to promote house-brand products because of the way that dillute the market, we have to give it to the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180WS. Capable of outputting the same amount of power that the LumoPro LP-180 transmits, this flash has a bare bulb with an umbrella reflector that makes the light output look even better than a regular flash.

In our review we state:

“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.”

Read the Review.

Buy Now: Adorama

Phottix Luna Octabank

Phottix Luna

Octabanks are a combination of beauty dishes, softboxes and umbrellas in their shape, light quality, and design. They’re mostly used for fashion work, but we’ve seen them used at weddings.

In our review, we state:

“The Phottix Octabank does the job that it is intended to do. And if you’re looking for this particular look, then it will satisfy you to no end. The American Apparel, Terry Richardson, and direct flash look is very highly prized by many folks and editors. But for our uses, we prefer something a bit more versatile. This is why we love parabolic umbrellas so much.

Comparing the two is like apples and oranges though, and if you need the high fashion look, then this Octabank will do wonders for you.”

Read the Review.

Buy Now: Amazon

Impact Five in One Reflector

photography reflector

Every photographer can really use a reflector; but if you’re going to get one then do it right. A large five in one reflector can give you a multitude of looks. In fact, when you combine them with a flash, they can act like a softbox or a reflective surface.

See how.

Buy Now: B&H Photo