Portraits To Go With JTL’s Mobilight 300
Wireless Triggering For The Location Photographer Page 2
In The Field
Unlike many lighting products I've tested, you can actually take the Mobilight into a field--any field. The Mobilight 300, DigiFirer Radio Trigger and Radio Receiver have a "build quality" that far exceeds what you might expect from their affordable price. Fit and finish is to a high standard as befits more expensive lighting units. Light stand mounting and adjustment fixtures are rugged and intuitive to use. A slot, complete with locking knob, is provided for umbrellas or the F.J. Westcott (www.fjwestcott.com) Apollo and Halo light banks I used during testing.
Controls work in a logical fashion. The Mobilight's big, round variable
power output knob has click stops, which was a big help to me because of the
way I work. After taking a meter reading, I use a flash unit's variable
power controls to change exposure rather than adjusting anything on the camera.
This ensures that my chosen depth of field and balance between flash and ambient
light remain the same. Having click stops on the Mobilight 300's power
control makes it easy to increase or decrease exposure by one or two "clicks"
to hone in on my preferred exposure, which these days I determine by looking
at the histogram on my digital SLR. Other controls include modeling light and
built-in slave on-off buttons and an illuminated ready light that also functions
as a flash test button.
Because of these lights' solid heft, you're gonna need a real light stand, not that cheapie, spindly thing you bought at Crazy Charlie's Flea Market. I use the 9-foot Manfrotto (www.bogen imaging.us) model 3333 and it fits the Mobilight 300 like a glove, although JTL manufactures some nice light stands at attractive prices.
Attaching the DigiFirer Radio Receiver is a snap using the elastic strap that hugs the Mobilight like a toddler on his first day of preschool clinging to his Mommy. Two tips on making sure that the DigiFirer works the way it should: 1) Make sure you put the Radio Trigger on the camera's hot shoe so that the controls face you. If not, the unit may not make full contact with the hot shoe's electrical contact. 2) Use new batteries. JTL includes batteries for both units, but if they are not fresh, the system may trip intermittently. I installed a pair of brand-new Energizer lithiums in the Radio Receiver and it worked like a champ. These batteries are a good choice for cold weather use, such as when shooting outdoors in Colorado during November.
JTL DigiFirer Wireless Flash Triggering System
|Radio Trigger||Radio Receiver|
|Power Supply||1.5v (button battery included)||1.5v (2-AAA
|Sync Speed||1/500 sec||1/500 sec|
|Range||120 ft||120 ft|
|Radio Channels Available||8 (0-7)||8 (0-7)|
|Channel Display||(Unmarked) Channel Wheel||Digital Display|
|Weight||0.8 oz||1.5 oz|
|Price (Per Set)||Less than $200|
JTL Mobilight Monolights
|Monolight 110||Monolight 200||Monolight 300|
|Maximum Power Output||110 ws||200 ws||300 ws|
|Power Supply||DC Battery Pack||DC Battery Pack AC 110-130v/60Hz and 220-240v/50Hz (multi-voltage)||DC Battery Pack|
|Flash Tube Life||8000 cycles||15,000 cycles||15,000 cycles|
|Sync||Slave, sync cord, test||Slave, sync cord, test||Slave, sync cord, test|
|Built-In Slave||up to 33 ft||up to 33 ft||up to 33 ft|
|Flash Duration||1/600-1/1000 sec||1/600-1/1000 sec||1/600-1/1000 sec|
|Recycle Times||1.5-3 seconds||2-4 seconds||2-4 seconds|
|Modeling Lamp||No||150W-110V AC, 10W-5V DC||150W-110V AC, 10W-5V DC|
|Modeling Lamp Base||No||E27/screw||E27/screw|
|Power Settings||1/2, Full||1/8- Full Continuous||1/8- Full Continuous|
|Guide Number (ISO 100)||105||180||200|
|Weight||21 oz||3.3 lbs||3.8 lbs|
|Flashing capacity (when fully charged)||180 flashes||150 flashes||120 flashes|
|Cigarette Lighter Adapter||Included||Included||Included|
|Weight||2 lbs||3 lbs||4 lbs|
Whether shooting indoors or out under all kinds of wired and wireless conditions,
the JTL Mobilight is a great package for the location photographer on a budget.
While you might consider the battery pack and DigiFirer wireless trigger to
be accessories, their purchase prices make them a no-brainer; they are must-have
options for on-location portraits.
For more information, visit JTL's website at www.jtlcorp.com