After six months having had the Pixapro EF-Mount Optical snoot I was really getting to know all the down sides of that piece of kit. My evaluation was that it wasn’t really suitable for my set up. I would have to get a light that would work better with it. Researching more, I discovered that since I now have a Dedolight meant that I could attach a projector to that light.
And when I say doing research I mean watching YouTube and this one has been the most helpful.
So instead of spending about £350 on a new light I could spend just over £100 in getting a projector unit from Godox. It makes more financial sense to do this. So finding a used version of the Godox SA-P Projection Attachment for sale at a below £100 price made even more sense to get it.
The box that this unit came in was tiny compared to the box the Pixapro® EF-Mount Optical snoot came in.
And when you put them side by side the size difference is pretty clear.
A big part of me is regretting buying the Pixapro® EF-Mount Optical snoot. But there is a part of me thinking that if I hadn’t got it then I wouldn’t have known what I wanted out of a projector for my lights.
I think Andrew Lock, the presenter of Gaffer & Gear said that the shutter blades for the Godox SA-P weren’t very good and he is right. They are extremely fiddly to make them work which is the opposite of what you need when trying to make a precision cut of light.
Will I get rid of my Pixapro® EF-Mount Optical snoot? I don’t think I will. I might need a projector which has a Bowens mount and if I move to the Nikon Z system, I will have plenty of spare F mount glass to use with it.
Rotolight have launched an Indiegogo for their NEO 3 PRO and AEOS 2 PRO lights.
From what I can tell, this version of the light there are minor bumps in specification. The light output has been boosted and it can be used with more remotes in flash mode. It is able to work with Godox, Elinchrom, Pixapro, Neweer and more importantly Profoto remotes. There are also some changes to the materials used on the PRO model. Gone are some of the plastics for metal.
Part of me wishes I had waited for this model to come out before buying my NEO 3. But would Rotolight have created this version if people had not purchased the first version. I doubt they would have put in the research and development if nobody was interested in that first version.
There aren’t enough new features in the NEO 3 PRO for me to consider getting one. I’m not planning to use my NEO 3 as a flash unit. It would be nice to have a brighter light output but nothing I have seen excites me about the PRO version.
In my original testing I was hanging the optical snoot very close to the front of the light.
As you can see there is quite a lot of space when the optical snoot has the Profoto mount attached to it. So to get the most light means pushing the units together as far as they can go. This will then allow the front of the light to be as close as possible to the back of the chamber in the optical snoot.
What worries me about this set up is how much heat is being generated that can’t escape and will this might end up damaging the light? Do I want to risk having to repair a very expensive light?
The optical snoot did come with a Bowens mount, which has a much lower profile than the Profoto mount.
My thinking is to take the Profoto mount off and then get a continuous light with a Bowens mount. An Aputure LS 60d retails for around £367 inc VAT which is much less than having to replace the B10 or B10 Plus.
Speaking of batteries, it is amazing how they have changed over the years. From left to right is a power bank from around the year 2000 to a V Mount battery purchased this year.
The V Mount battery has USB C, so in theory can charge one of the latest Apple MacBook. I don’t have one to see if this is correct but that is what it says on the spec sheet. While the oldest power bank was designed to top up a non smart mobile phone.
Power is one of those things that is easily forgotten when talking about modern technology. The advances aren’t as sexy as mega pixels or processing speed. But without it that new piece of equipment is just an expensive door stop.
I purchased a Hedbox RP-DC50 for my NPF batteries and thought that instead of having the same type of battery in both slots I would get a plate for my Nikon D850 batteries. Putting one of the D850 batteries in the charger and leaving it for a bit, I returned to the charger to tell me the battery was now at 100%.
Except this was a lie. Putting the battery into the camera showed that it wasn’t at 100% but 10% lower.
Charging the battery with the charger that came with the camera gave me a full reading.
Now I’m wondering if the RP-DC50 is charging my NPF batteries correctly. Maybe there is something to be said for dumb chargers.
I wish I had got one of these in early 2020 rather than now in August 2022 to practice my lighting techniques with. Obviously it isn’t exactly like the real thing but having something to try out the theory on without having to worry about their reaction is a good way to hone my skills.
There is a trend for new lighting equipment to have the ability for them to be controlled via your phone.
To be able to control your lights standing next to your camera rather than having to physically access your lights, especially if you have taken time to position the light at a precise angle is a big tick in my book.
The issues I have at the moment with working from my phone is that each manufacturer has a propriety app and with the connection problems if the phone and light decide they don’t want to talk to each other.
Jumping from app to app in your phone, if you have more than one manufacturer of light, quickly gets annoying. Granted, if you are only have one brand of light this isn’t going to be a problem.
Wasting time trouble shooting a phone not connecting with a light is super annoying. Especially when you have no idea what you did differently to make it work.
At this stage I’m not considering running lights via DMX control. My set up isn’t complex or large enough to warrant that type of investment. So in conclusion, until I don’t have to download multiple apps and they are 100% reliable will I be staying away from my phone.
I was watching this YouTube video by MarkusPix and it made me question my current obsession with high end equipment.
If you scroll through the articles on here it is all about the top end expensive kit and very little about the entry level products that my wallet would appreciate.
First of all I have to say that there is no right or wrong in equipment choice so long as it does the job. The majority of people looking at a photograph, watch a film, listen to music or visit an art gallery will not have at the top of their minds what tools were used to produce it. Most people will just enjoy what they are consuming.
So what are my reasons for splashing the cash? I wouldn’t be honest if there was an element of snobbery. But the main reason is that in my day job the procurement process for equipment isn’t simple. I can’t go into details but I often end up with the mid to entry level products that have to be pushed hard to get the best out of them. It is like sitting on a hard wooden stool. So in my spare time I would much rather recline in a soft leather sofa than be uncomfortable.
The little time I now have to do my personal photography I would like to enjoy using the equipment I own. For now, that means no compromise in getting what I consider the best of the best.