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iLUX RD 300 SERIES FLASH HEAD first impressions

iLUX RD 300 SERIES FLASH HEAD first impressions

Got the new iLUX RD 300 SERIES FLASH HEAD today, and have a brief report to share.

This is the fella:
http://www.photomart.co.uk/Catalogue…H-HEAD-ILRD300

ilux1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is a very competitively priced studio flash head, coming in at £144 all in for a 300W strobe.

This is a Bowen S fit head.

First impression opening the box is it wasn’t really packed that well. It was bubble wrapped but packed with seemingly random pieces of polystyrene, and topped with random cardboard boxes as packing.

The tiny booklet manual, mains lead, and sync cable were just in the box with it. Not causing any harm or damage, but not in your typical polystyrene compartment, etc.

Anyway, beyong that, let’s get it out!!

The head is self is rubber clad aluminium, and smells lovely, LOL. Feels nice too.

Very similar in design to the Lencarta EP300 I have but quite a bit shorter. Doesn’t have the tripod pan handle style tilt handle the Lencarta does, but perfectly fine without it.
The mains cable looks to be about 4metres. I think the Lencarta one is longer, but the one with this is long enough.

Modelling lamp screws in and looks a lot like the Lencarta (only studio lamp I have to compare)

The rear panel is digital, which I like, and has the typical controls. Most buttons have blue LEDs above them. Straight on, these could guide jumbo jets into land. Definitely better not looking at those direct on!

ilux1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash output power adjusts in 0.1 steps from 1.0 to 6.0, So I guess 0.1 stops per 0.1 on the LCD.

The modelling light is interesting. Essentially 4 modes, one being off, one being fully on.
Then you have proportional to the flash, increasing or decreasing the flash output power brightens or dims the modelling lamp proportionately.
This is actually much much better than the Lencarta EP300. On that doing the same varies the modelling lamp from what appears to be max at max flash power, to about 95% at minium flash power, detectable, but hardly any different.

On the iLUX RD 300 the modelling lamp goes from very bright to very dim. Nice.
The 4th modelling lamp mode control the lamp brightness manually. It is a nice function, but in that mode you cannot access the flash power to change it. I probably won’t use that mode.

Has the usual beep on or off, optical slave cell (which works). The beeps beep each time you press any button too. I could live without that, but no biggie.

When I have the light meter handy I will compare the power of the two, which should be pretty similar!.

Overall, for the money, and features, initial impressions are very favourable compared to the more expensive Lencarta EP300.
I MUCH prefer the better proportionate modelling lamp, and the digital flash power will help me repeat setups I am sure.

Yongnuo YN-622C ETTL wireless flash triggers review

Accessing speedlight control

The below shows the menu options to get to the speedlight controls when using the Yongnuo YN-622C ETTL wireless flash triggers.

These images are taken from a Canon 5D2. Other cameras may look slightly different.

7th menu from the right, External Speedlight Control:
menu1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then Flash Function Settings:
menu2

 

 

 

 
Takes you to this screen. Here you can set the zoom of the flashguns. I think they all have to be set to the same zoom, not found a way to separate them.(yet)
menu3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrolling down there are more options:
menu4

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going into Wireless Set. gives you this. This is where you can set up the control of the flashguns.
Here is is default A+B+C setting.
menu5

 

 

 

 

 

 

From here we can do all the fun stuff.

Yongnuo YN-622C ETTL wireless flash triggers review

Having a few of the Yongnuo RF-603 wireless flash triggers, which are manual control only, I was happy to find out Yongnuo had released some E-TTL versions. So I as my birthday was imminent I had to have some.

This is them:
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These are wireless flash triggers that can transmit E-TTL information from your camera, to control compatible flashguns such as the Canon 430 EX II, Canon 580 EX II, and Yongnuo YN 565 EX.

Compatible Cameras and flashguns.
Cameras compatible with using the Camera Flash Control menus:
1D III, 1Ds III, 1D IV, 5DII, 5D III, 7D, 40D, 50D, 60D, 450D, 500D, 550D, 600D, 650D, 1000D, 1100D, SX201S, G12

Cameras that can control by camera buttons:
1D, 1D II, 5D, 10D, 20D, 30D, 300D, 350D, 400D

Flashguns that are fully controllable compatible:
Canon 600EX-RT, 600EX, 580EX II, 430EX II, 270EX II, 320EX, Yongnuo YN-568 C
Yongnuo (No HSS) YN-465 C, YN-467 II C, YN-468 II C, YN-565EX C, YN-565 II C

They have three groups, A, B and C, which will be controlled by the camera’s group controls, and 7 channels (yet to test).
The blurb from Yongnuo themselves is quoted below.

Each trigger requires 2 AA batteries.
In normal operation you need one trigger for the camera, as a transmitter, and one for each off camera flashgun.
I’ve yet to test using one as a remote trigger for firing the camera, but I have piggy backed an RF-603 on top of the 622C and remotely triggered the whole lot.

The power switch is accessible when the flash is fitted, which is a step up from the RF603.
It’s dead easy to choose groups with button on the side.
The test button on one in the hand will fire them without firing a frame (yay)!
They have the screw down style lock for keeping them in the hot shoe.
Top and bottom hot shoe mounts are metal.

I have set up a Canon 430 and 580 EX II, and a Yongnuo 565. Each one a different group.
From the camera I can set zoom of the flash, though the 430 on group C (as I had it-images below) wouldn’t zoom, but I think it was something to do with the flash itself.
All flashes zoom to the same zoom, doesn’t seem to be a way round that.

You can change the power ratio of A and B from 8:1 through to 1:8 in steps of 2, so 6:1, 4:1,etc.
C can be flash exposure compensated from – 3 to +3. Compared to the flash on 1 (metered power) that was practically off to over powering both the A and B flashes.

Now to the interesting bit. Out with the RF603s.

A Yongnuo 460 on an RF603 and one more RF603 on top of the 622 on the camera.
All 4 fired. Yay!
This means I can control 3 flash guns from the camera, manually or via E-TTL, and also control more flashguns manually using the RF603 triggers.
For example, I could set two manual flashes up to light a white background on RF603s, and use the YB-622C triggers on key light, fill, and hair light on a subject, controlling the subject lighting as I go, and leaving the background lights as they are.

Add the lead from the RF603 to the shutter input on camera, and another RF603 hand held as a remote shutter release.
Flash!
Everything works!! Woohoo.
The set of flashguns on the YN-622Cs fire, along with the flash on the RF602 trigger.

All in all I am so far very pleased with these units. For me they do not supercede the RF603 set I have, but they vastly improve my set up and compliment the RF603s nicely.
Very happy they have brought these out.

4 of these triggers were £110 on free delivery from UK shipping point of Chinese Ebay merchant, which is a fraction of the cost of pocket wizards for example.
They are available from many sources on Ebay.

My brief star rating (based on initial impression so far).
overall build quality 8x
ease of use 9x
value for money 10x
features 10x

More information from http://www.hkyongnuo.com: