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Author Topic: Dynalite Baja experience  (Read 5459 times)

Harold Clark

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Dynalite Baja experience
« on: March 16, 2016, 09:25:49 am »

I am in the market for a couple of battery powered mono lights, the Profoto B1 meets all the specs except price. I have used Dynalite equipment since 1980, and their new Bajas are very appealing. The recycle time unfortunately is almost 4 seconds on full power, which is too long for people photography.

The B4 is rated at 400 W/S, and the B6 at 600 W/S, although there are reports that the B6 is actually a stop brighter than the B4. Could someone who has used the B6 comment on recycle time when dialed down 1/2 and 1 stop? The B6 may provide a sufficient combination of output and recycle time, at the cost of a bit more bulk and weight.

Rumours are that Hensel has a similar unit in the works, but no announcement yet, It seems plausible that Elinchrom would be thinking of this too. While the Quadra is well regarded, it still involves connecting a cable and hanging the pack on the light stand. I find the concept of a self contained light which can be quickly set up very appealing.

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RobertJ

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 01:53:20 am »

I was interested in the Bajas, but the dim modeling lights turned me off a bit.  Then I saw the Interfit S1 units.  I might pick up one, or two, or three, and report back.
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Harold Clark

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 10:55:31 am »

I was interested in the Bajas, but the dim modeling lights turned me off a bit.  Then I saw the Interfit S1 units.  I might pick up one, or two, or three, and report back.

Please keep us posted. The Interfit S1 is an interesting looking light, I believe it runs on AC as well which the B1 lacks. The Godox AD600 has some interesting specs, 2.5 sec claimed recycle time. Also, it has remote head capability where the unit itself can be connected via cable to the flash head when required, keeping the weight off the stand or boom.

It would seem feasible for Elinchrom to repackage their Quadra, it has fast recycle and light weight which could be incorporated in a monolite format one would think.
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David Eichler

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 02:21:23 pm »

I am in the market for a couple of battery powered mono lights, the Profoto B1 meets all the specs except price. I have used Dynalite equipment since 1980, and their new Bajas are very appealing. The recycle time unfortunately is almost 4 seconds on full power, which is too long for people photography.

The B4 is rated at 400 W/S, and the B6 at 600 W/S, although there are reports that the B6 is actually a stop brighter than the B4. Could someone who has used the B6 comment on recycle time when dialed down 1/2 and 1 stop? The B6 may provide a sufficient combination of output and recycle time, at the cost of a bit more bulk and weight.

Rumours are that Hensel has a similar unit in the works, but no announcement yet, It seems plausible that Elinchrom would be thinking of this too. While the Quadra is well regarded, it still involves connecting a cable and hanging the pack on the light stand. I find the concept of a self contained light which can be quickly set up very appealing.

Will you be earning your living with these what is the absolute maximum that you can afford?

There is a very limited selection for self contained monolights. Functionally, the B1s are far superior to any other options in pretty much all ways. If you must have at least 500ws with fast recycling at or near full power and battery power, and you can't afford the B1s, then I think that separate flash and battery packs are your only alternatives.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2016, 02:26:46 pm by David Eichler »
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Harold Clark

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 09:34:41 am »

Will you be earning your living with these what is the absolute maximum that you can afford?

There is a very limited selection for self contained monolights. Functionally, the B1s are far superior to any other options in pretty much all ways. If you must have at least 500ws with fast recycling at or near full power and battery power, and you can't afford the B1s, then I think that separate flash and battery packs are your only alternatives.

I do earn my living full time from this. Most of my assignments are large scale industrial and architectural projects which don't involve any lighting. When I need lighting, I have been using Dynalites which I like very much, and prefer to use them where AC is available and I am not moving the lights around much. I have Buff WL for quick set ups. I would use the battery lights for editorial style portraits, small groups and occasionally for interiors. Finding convenient AC is time consuming and the cords can present a trip hazard as well. Also, I once wiped out the computer, fax, modem etc. in an office when my strobe shorted out. ( Fortunately Speedotron paid the invoice for that ).

It is hard to justify the expense of the B1 for only occasional use. Godox now has a 600ws unit with very similar specs for about a quarter the price of the B1 for the non TTL version, but I am leery of the reliability and consistency. I have heard good things about their smaller battery pack units though. Your point about a separate monolite/battery is a good one, either with the WLs or something more modern. Although less convenient it may be the best compromise at present.

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Ellis Vener

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 12:55:15 pm »

The Phottix Indra500 TTL gives the Profoto B1 a really good run in terms of light quality and cost half as much, but some users have reported a color shift (to a slightly lower color temp, about -200˚K) at the very bottom end of its power range when in TTL mode.  It also has the advantage over the B1 of having both battery (which is external) and AC  (also external) power options. And the Phottix Odin /Stratos  transceiver system allows you to include either the Mitros+ flashes or other brands of hotshoe mount flashes with an Odin or Stratos transceiver attached to the lights' hotshots.

But if you already have Dynalite mount light modifiers,my advice  as a fellow working photographer,  is that you go with the Baja over any other brand.

Alternatively use a Vagabond Extreme Lithium to power your existing Dynalites or AB monolights.

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Harold Clark

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 03:40:39 pm »

The Phottix Indra500 TTL gives the Profoto B1 a really good run in terms of light quality and cost half as much, but some users have reported a color shift (to a slightly lower color temp, about -200˚K) at the very bottom end of its power range when in TTL mode.  It also has the advantage over the B1 of having both battery (which is external) and AC  (also external) power options. And the Phottix Odin /Stratos  transceiver system allows you to include either the Mitros+ flashes or other brands of hotshoe mount flashes with an Odin or Stratos transceiver attached to the lights' hotshots.

But if you already have Dynalite mount light modifiers,my advice  as a fellow working photographer,  is that you go with the Baja over any other brand.

Alternatively use a Vagabond Extreme Lithium to power your existing Dynalites or AB monolights.

Thanks Ellis for your thoughts. I like the idea of a self contained unit rather than a separate battery since it is simpler and faster to set up. I bought my first Dynalites in 1980 and have been very happy with the brand ( have updated the equipment a couple times since then of course ). The Baja, aside from the recycle time would probably fit the bill. I believe the Baja uses a Bowens mount though, but a couple of speed rings would probably be all I need so no big deal.

Hensel sells for considerably less than Profoto, especially important in Canada where the B1 price has ballooned to nearly $3000. I understand Hensel is working on something, but it hasn't been announced yet. You make a practical suggestion re the Buff VLX, I will probably go that route for now. When I eventually buy battery monolites, the VLX will still be very useful with the Dynalites. ( Useful during power failures as well ). If I were using these every week a case could better be made for the cost of B1s, but I doubt I would use them once a month on average.
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David Eichler

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 07:09:35 pm »

I do earn my living full time from this. Most of my assignments are large scale industrial and architectural projects which don't involve any lighting. When I need lighting, I have been using Dynalites which I like very much, and prefer to use them where AC is available and I am not moving the lights around much. I have Buff WL for quick set ups. I would use the battery lights for editorial style portraits, small groups and occasionally for interiors. Finding convenient AC is time consuming and the cords can present a trip hazard as well. Also, I once wiped out the computer, fax, modem etc. in an office when my strobe shorted out. ( Fortunately Speedotron paid the invoice for that ).

It is hard to justify the expense of the B1 for only occasional use. Godox now has a 600ws unit with very similar specs for about a quarter the price of the B1 for the non TTL version, but I am leery of the reliability and consistency. I have heard good things about their smaller battery pack units though. Your point about a separate monolite/battery is a good one, either with the WLs or something more modern. Although less convenient it may be the best compromise at present.

Over the past year or so, I have been using some Godox speedlites and Quantum knock offs to supplement my larger lighting kit (which includes a couple of B1s), and I have found them to work well so far. The only trouble I have had is that a couple of the speedlite lithium batteries did not last very long (which I suspect was a defect), but the rest are going strong. So, the only concern I have with them, vis a vis standard monolights or pack systems is ruggedness. However, I don't think this is any more of a concern than with speedlites and Quantums in general, which are of lighter weight construction because of the need for extreme portability. That said, I cannot speak for any other Godox flashes.
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andyptak

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 05:55:30 pm »

Harold - Buff won't ship  to Canada.
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Harold Clark

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 09:50:29 am »

Over the past year or so, I have been using some Godox speedlites and Quantum knock offs to supplement my larger lighting kit (which includes a couple of B1s), and I have found them to work well so far. The only trouble I have had is that a couple of the speedlite lithium batteries did not last very long (which I suspect was a defect), but the rest are going strong. So, the only concern I have with them, vis a vis standard monolights or pack systems is ruggedness. However, I don't think this is any more of a concern than with speedlites and Quantums in general, which are of lighter weight construction because of the need for extreme portability. That said, I cannot speak for any other Godox flashes.

Thanks for the information, from my research it seems that Godox is quite well regarded in general. I wouldn't be putting them to heavy duty use, they might see service once a month. I always use Dynalites when AC is available, a day's worth of corporate portraits for example.

Unfortunately B&H doesn't carry Godox, they have very inexpensive shipping to Canada, or free if over $99.00. Very nice work on your website, by the way. I presume you use B1 and Godox quite a lot there.
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Harold Clark

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2016, 09:54:15 am »

Harold - Buff won't ship  to Canada.

Actually they will ship to Canada, I have bought from them in the past. They may not ship outside of US/Canada though. The problem was they only used UPS which is a very poor choice for cross border shipments. Apparently they now use Fedex ground as well which would be much better.
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andyptak

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 05:29:07 pm »

Thanks Harold. Good to know.

I considered their products before until I found the no Canada notice. Glad that things have changed.
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douglevy

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Re: Dynalite Baja experience
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2016, 08:00:56 pm »

I know you said you wanted integrated, which (to me) at the moment means buy the profotos, they're great units. But if you're open to a pack/head system, the Elinchrom ELB is fantastic and light, and the older original quadra units are also fantastic and can be had used for a good rate. They're not super heavy duty (i.e. won't support a beauty dish or huge octa), but Elinchrom makes an inexpensive adapter that you can mount them with and firm that up as well.

-Doug
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