What is the Interfit Strobies 180?
The Interfit Strobies 180 is a portable flash unit, much like a speedlight but a whole lot better! It offers 180 watt seconds of powers, is adjustable in 8 1/3 stop increments and has a battery that never seems to die. Did I mention that it is also capable of HSS (High Speed Sync)? In a nutshell the Strobies 180 is a speedlight on steroids. It’s portable, lightweight, compact, and powerful.
So why do I think it’s awesome? Let’s see!
1. Lightweight and Compact
It’s no secret that most of my photography work is on location or composites. The above image is a composite image, but how and where I used my Strobies 180 is really what helped make this photo. We had a plan of doing this shoot over two days, one day where I captured the golf course and one day where I photographed our golfer Paul. Because we did the shoot with Paul during a break from his day as the training pro at his home course, I wasn’t shooting in a studio. This was the first commissioned shoot that I used the Strobies 180 on and it performed beautifully. The battery is light and was able to hang off of my light stand without any troubles. The flash unit itself doesn’t take up a lot more room in my bag than a standard speedlight does. This meant that I could carry everything I needed for the shoot in my camera bag with the addition of my light stands and modifiers. This is essential for me as I often travel on the tubes in London and have to bring my entire arsenal of equipment with me. If I had used something other than the Strobies 180 or speedlights I would have most likely had to carry another bag of lights, and for me that is often not something I want to do.
I have worked the last 4 years as a professional photographer that shoots on location, no studio of my own. I have done this with purely speedlights over that time. I have worked on major advertising campaigns and editorial features in magazines using this equipment without any real problems. However, recently I have started wanting a little more power when I am shooting outside in the middle of the day; as I was in the above photo. It doesn’t look terribly bright in the photo, but it was and it was shot around 2pm in September. Had I not been using my Strobies 180 I would have been using a speedlight on full power and therefore burning through batteries. With the Strobies 180? Half power and still shot at f5.6, which for me was a lot more power than I ever had with speedlights.
3. It fills a softbox properly
One of my biggest complaints with speedlights is that they focus light forwards. This is not their fault, it’s what they were designed to do and are perfect for being used on camera or for bouncing off other objects. However, this design does not lend itself for use off camera in modifiers, especially bigger modifiers. I have a very part 42″ octobox that I use in almost every shoot that I do, and not only did my speedlights lose a lot of power filling it, there was always a very noticeable hot spot. The Strobies 180 has a protruding flash tube that provides 360 output around it. This completely fills any soft box and eliminates that hot spot.
The above photo was taken using my Strobies 180 and my smaller 19″ portable beauty dish as my key light. It provided a very soft, consistent light.
4. Battery Power
Part of my work involves my Extraordinary Portraits brand and creating unique, funny, and awesome family portraits. The process for creating these portraits is quite long and therefore requires a light with a long lasting battery. Part of this is down to me never turning my lights off when I am working, but with the Strobies 180 I didn’t have to worry about that! This shot was taken at a holiday home where this family was staying on a trip from Holland. It was shot in pieces with each person or group of people being shot on their own and then I combined them in photoshop. The key to these photos is that I take a LOT of photos of each person or group allowing me to choose the absolute best and perfect image of each person for the finished image. In the days before I had the Strobies 180, I would have changed batteries in my speedlights a few times. Not here! Half power and shooting a couple hundred photo (never mind down time where it was just left on) and it didn’t even come down by 1 bar on the battery!!
5. It simply rocks!
I love taking self portraits, and using the Strobies 180 through my beauty dish proved awesome for so many reasons. Long battery, beautiful and consistent light, lightweight and compact. All of these elements made taking this self portrait much easier. I could move my lights around with ease and never had to worry about battery life and misfires.
6. Bonus!! High Speed Sync
Though I haven’t had an opportunity to use it yet, the thought that I have High Speed Sync excites me. Really bright days means that I can increase my shutter speed to kill ambient light. It also opens up a world or creative options for when I photograph skateboarders or other sports!
If you are in the market for a new, portable flash solution consider the Strobies 180. Price wise it’s cheaper than a lot of speedlights and is more powerful. It’s a bit more expensive that other portable flash when you look at power (i.e. you could spend a couple hundred more and get 400+ watts). Personally, most of the more powerful options lacked in the size, lightweight, and portability of the Strobies 180. They have recently launched a Strobies 360, but I can’t find anywhere to buy it in the UK just yet. When I can, I will be purchasing that.
If you come along to any of my future training workshops or 1-2-1’s you will get to see and use the Strobies 180 hands on as well! 😀