Adorama’s Second-Generation Flashpoint II Monolight

Adorama’s Flashpoint lighting line was designed from the outset to offer a level of quality, functionality, and versatility. Adorama has achieved this by basing its Flashpoint system on the monolight, an elegant solution to studio lighting.

Traditional studio flash heads must be connected to a separate power pack, which in turn must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, Adorama’s monolights incorporate both head and power supply in a self-contained, stand-mounted unit. All the controls a photographer needs are integrated into the moonlight itself.

The power choice is yours: Plug straight into an outlet, or power the monolight with Adorama’s dedicated NiMH battery pack. Compact and highly portable, the new battery pack lets you take Flashpoint II monolights to locations without electricity and still light your subject with professional sophistication. The pack measures about seven inches square in height and length, and is only three inches thick. It weighs a mere 2.65 pounds.

Flashpoint II AC/DC monolights come in three versions: the Flashpoint II 320M, a 150-watt/second unit; the Flashpoint II 620M, a 300-watt/second unit; and the Flashpoint II 1220M, a 600-watt/second unit. The 320M delivers up to 180 full-power “pops” on a single charge, the 620M up to 100 full-power pops, and the 1220M up to 65 full-power pops. If you dial back the power you can get hundreds more pops—but extra batteries can be swapped in and out of the pack as needed, and the supplied cigarette-lighter charger/adapter lets you recharge them on the road. (Extra batteries are available at Adorama.)

All the Flashpoint II units offer stepless output down to 1/32 power, ideal for achieving precise lighting ratios in portraiture. Also important for portraits, the new monolights’ recycling time can be less than 1.5 seconds depending on the model, and is even shorter when AC power is used. All three models have a built-in slave that can be turned on for cordless triggering. And a 100- or 150-watt modeling light offers proportional control with AC power, useful for previsualizing the effect of your lighting setup. All three units are built with a solid metal housing, and the 620M and 1220M incorporate a quiet cooling fan—features typically seen only in more costly units. Indeed, Flashpoint II prices come in under $200 for the 320M monolight and one battery pack. And these outstanding units accept a full range of Flashpoint light-modifying attachments, including softboxes and beauty dishes.

Flashpoint II models are available in a variety of kits, from a single light with one battery pack (as described above) to wedding kits that include two monolights, two battery packs, two ten-foot air-cushioned lightstands, two 40-inch white umbrellas, a snoot attachment for narrowing the light beam, and a case to carry it all. The Flashpoint II 320M wedding kit sells for $560.