The Truth About Constant Light vs Flash for Photographers

Which side are you on with Constant Light vs Flash?

If you are struggling to use more than just natural light, we’ve got just the thing. Many people these days reach for constant light. Tons of YouTube videos show you how to use it. But proper photography needs more than that. Does this mean you can’t shoot great photos with Constant light? You totally can! I don’t know about you, but I can’t name any lifelong photographers who’ve only used constant lighting. I’ve even seen the great Peter Hurley use strobes. But I can name a ton who’ve used flash! And in this cheat sheet, we’ll break constant light vs flash down further for you.

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A Constant Light That’s Built Like A Tank: The LitraPro LED Light Review

Photographers in search of a constant light that is well built and waterproof will want to check out LitraPro. Just make sure you’ve got deep pockets.

Beginner photographers are often intimated by stroboscopic flash. As a result, those just getting their feet wet with photographic lighting often look to constant lighting as an alternative. Consequently, we’ve seen plenty of LED constant lighting options come to market in recent years. Their overall quality has improved as well. The LitraPro is one such example. It combines a waterproof aluminum housing with a maximum light output of 1,200 lumens and the ability to use a variety of light modifiers. That all sounds great on paper, but is the LitraPro up to the task under real world conditions? Find out in our full review.

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Review: Nissin MG80 Pro (A Solid, Well Built Flash for the Money)

The Nissin MG80 Pro is a flash we initially weren’t sure of, but it grew on us and now we like it.

This past year I’ve been looking at small flashes again, and the Nissin MG80 Pro has seriously caught my attention. Years ago, I reviewed the Nissin MG8000, one of the company’s first flashes to use a Quartz bulb. I liked the results, but the interface was a tad odd. Fast forward about seven years, and I’ve got the Nissin MG80 Pro in my hands after a previous announcement. This flash still uses a Quartz bulb and has enhancements that I really like. To be in line with the needs of the modern photographer, it has a modeling lamp that can be used as a small constant light. The zoom head’s quality can be confusing until you realize it’s removable. And one will also be very impressed with the battery life. But, if you want to use it off-camera, then be sure to pair it with the Air 10s transmitter correctly. If you do, you’re going to get one of the best flashes you can buy for the Canon system.

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Can You Use the Constant Light Built Into a Strobe for Photography?

Some photographers want to use a constant light while they learn how to light their photos, so does a strobe’s LED really work?

Admit it; if you’re reading this then you probably don’t know a lot about lighting. That’s okay. We can supplement the fact that you suck at lighting with a strobe’s constant light, right? This light is called the modeling light and it’s designed to give a preview of what your flash’s output will look like. Lots of photographers want to know if it’s really worth it. The truth is it’s a very complicated answer. There are lots of times when it’s just easier to use an LED constant light. But more often than not, that’s because photographers don’t know how to light. I have to admit, considering what I know about using a strobe, it was actually harder for me to use a constant light than it was a strobe. Here’s what happened.

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Lighting Review: Fositan FL-1×2 Rollable LED Panel

Fositan’s FL-1×2 Rollable LED Panel is an affordable yet flawed alternative to Westcott’s premium Flex series of LED Panels.

A huge variety of LED lighting has been making its way onto the market in recent years. A lot of photographers have begun utilizing LED lighting as a part of their constant lighting kit thanks to LEDs having power efficiency, increased light output, and generating little to no heat compared to legacy constant lighting options like incandescent or CFL bulbs. Westcott was arguably the first to introduce flexible LED panels to the photography market and, shortly after the Flex series of LED panels were released, a number of knockoffs began flooding the market at lower price points promising similar performance. Fositan’s FL-1×2 Rollable LED panel is one of them.

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Tutorial: When to Use Constant Lighting vs. Flash

Knowing when to shoot with constant light vs. flash is one of the most important lessons to learn if you’re keen on doing studio photography

When you’re shooting in a studio, you’re typically also working with different lighting equipment which is often either constant light or flash. The key to making great shots in the studio is knowing when it’s best to use one over the other. Learn how the pros do it in an in-depth lesson from Adorama TV‘s On Set with Daniel Norton.

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Review: Interfit Honey Badger Monolight (NSFW)

off-camera lighting

Today, Interfit is announcing their new Interfit Honey Badger Monolight that is designed to function as an affordable option for someone that needs both a monolight and a constant light. In fact, we’re talking about a $299 price point with a softbox included. Now, the Interfit Honey Badger doesn’t have a built in battery–which would put it over the top. But if you’re right by a power source it shouldn’t be that difficult to work with. Instead, the Interfit Honey Badger will appeal most to the photographers who work in a given studio location that doesn’t really change vs those who do location work. To add extra value to the Interfit Honey Badger the light can be controlled with their transmitter wirelessly and also act as a constant light. It doesn’t offer TTL output and only has a flash duration of 1/900th; but if you’re shooting in a studio then you’re doing everything you can to control the light output as it is.

So let’s dive into this review.

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Review: Westcott Flex Bi-Color Mat

There has been a growing trend in photography leaning more towards working with constant lighting vs strobe; and the Westcott Flex Bi-Color mat seems to really cater to that thought process. I mean, just look at lots of the photography out there and how much it’s involving the use of neon lighting with a portrait subject these days. There’s sure a look there that isn’t very easy to do with strobe. Though for what it’s worth, the Flex Bi-Color isn’t really designed to deliver “that” look. Instead, think of it as a giant Rogue Flashbender with LED Lights built in, a very solid frame, and a very simple control interface.

Then consider that the light temperature works in the same way that color temperature works with none of the tinting abilities and absolutely no reasonable way to gel the light.

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A Photographer’s Take: Why Work With Constant Lighting Vs Flash

One of the debates so many photographers have with themselves when trying to evolve is whether or not they should work with constant lighting or flash. They’re both used by professional photographers often, and they’re both capable of delivering beautiful images. But they’re also both very different, not only in the look that they can deliver, but the way they are used. For what it’s worth too, the cost differences can be vast.

Here’s a quick introduction on constant light vs flash.

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