Nearly a yr in the past Westcott expanded on its new wi-fi flash lineup that began with the FJ400 by providing new sizes and energy outputs. After listening to consumer suggestions, it launched the FJ200 as a extra compact and travel-friendly gentle system… and it’s superior.
This moveable strobe is accessible as a part of a one-light backpack package that we took a take a look at as a part of this Showcase, sponsored by Wescott. It consists of a number of modifiers, the FJ-X2m common wi-fi set off, and a backpack that’s able to carrying all of it in addition to a private laptop and extra digicam gear.
I used to be tremendous excited to check these lights as a result of they actually complimented my on-location capturing fashion. For me, it’s all about being moveable and having the pliability for quick preliminary setup in addition to the flexibility to make fast modifications whereas on set. Proper out of the field, the FJ200 appeared to be an ideal mixture of these options.
The FJ200 gentle gives up a 200Ws energy that weighs solely 2.53 kilos (with the battery and lightweight stand mount hooked up) and might put out over 450 full-power flashes per full battery cost. If that isn’t sufficient to spark some curiosity, the backpack package consists of the FJ-X2m common set off, a five-inch 70-degree steel reflector, a 30-degree honeycomb grid that has a magnetic mount constructed to additionally maintain gels (six are included with the bundle), a battery charger, a snoot and grid combo for much more inventive lighting management, and the Westcott Speedy Field Change Octa-S. All of that is packed neatly into the included backpack with loads of room for a laptop computer, pill, and several other different private objects.
FJ-X2m Common Set off
Certainly one of my favourite issues about this combo is the inclusion of the FJ-X2m common set off. This distant will work out of the field with Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony cameras, with solely the Sony techniques requiring an extra $19.90 hot-shoe adapter. Whereas this will not be a giant deal to most photographers, as somebody who opinions quite a lot of cameras in addition to typically works with company shoppers who normally present their very own cameras on set, this makes it extremely straightforward to at all times make certain I’ve the best distant for no matter system is in entrance of me; that’s one much less factor I want to fret about.
The set off itself boasts a variety of roughly 985 ft, has Bluetooth compatibility, and has a battery that may final for about 200,000 pictures. Full disclosure, I’ve not been able to check the total vary (distance and shot depend), however from my brief time with this gentle combo, it was capable of hit each shot with ease. Along with the above options, control-focused creatives will probably be happy with the 16 channels and 6 teams obtainable for precision gentle controls. Having labored with shoppers who want a number of seems with solely minutes or seconds obtainable, this management could be very helpful and permits me to shortly swap between setups to get completely different seems on the fly.
Modifiers And Equipment
There is no such thing as a scarcity of inventive modifiers obtainable for photographers with this package. The instruments included are helpful for every thing from product pictures to portraits, with an included snoot and elective grid to create a good beam of sunshine helpful for style and wonder work, rim lighting, and plenty of extra particulars.
Moreover, there’s a silver reflector that’s helpful for enhancing the sunshine out of the naked bulb. This reflector connects to a magnetic grid and gel holder the place you need to use any of your individual gels, or one of many six supplied with the package, all magnetically clamped into place. This holder can be utilized with or with out the grid for added management of the sunshine unfold for inventive capturing.
If house is a matter when transporting the sunshine between shoots, the sunshine mount of the FJ200 will be indifferent and saved individually, which frees up more room when it’s wanted for smaller baggage, or permits you to match the sunshine in a pocket whereas shifting. The mount itself additionally has a slot for connecting an umbrella and might tilt 180-degrees.
Lastly, we have now the Speedy Field Change Octa-S which sits in a lineup of modifiers that dwell as much as its namesake. The RapidBox modifiers are a number of the quickest softboxes I’ve ever used to arrange and tear down, making them a few of my favorites to make use of (I really personally personal three completely different Speedy Containers for my location setups). The Octa-S is a 26-inch octabox that comes with a white diffuser that secures to the modifier with a number of velcro panels, and so they keep seated safely even in fairly windy conditions when capturing open air.
Every considered one of these modifiers will be shortly opened, arrange, put in, after which eliminated to swap with one other with very minimal effort, making them an excellent mixture for photographers who’ve to maneuver quick. The one trade-off with this speedy system is a number of the supplies will be damaged in case you are not cautious. This received’t be a problem for many photographers as we are inclined to child our gear, however remember the fact that a drop onto a tough floor may break the adapter rings or puncture the softbox supplies slightly simpler than some bigger, heavy-duty modifiers.
The FJ200 Gentle
The FJ200 gentle itself is small and light-weight and, as talked about, is able to dispensing 450 flashes at full energy (200w) with a full battery, which takes roughly two hours to cost absolutely as soon as depleted. Because the flash tube isn’t lined with a frosted glass layer, photographers will get slightly extra out of the flash energy than different techniques with the identical energy ranking. The system has a recycle time of 0.5 to 1.3-seconds (with the latter being the total energy output) which makes it one of many quickest 200 Ws lights available on the market, guaranteeing its usefulness in motion settings ought to the necessity to use Excessive-Velocity Sync (HSS) and freezing movement come up. The FJ200 can shoot with sync speeds of as much as 1/8000 of a second, works with entrance or rear curtain sync, and might seize as much as 20 frames per second (at diminished energy after all).
The again of the sunshine reveals a big LCD panel that shows the ability settings in giant numbers with a number of buttons on the again for controlling the check flash, turning modeling lights on or off, adjusting the ability, and scrolling by way of the menu. The FJ200 even helps TTL ought to the necessity for fast setting modifications current themselves. The aspect of the sunshine has a USB-C connection for updating the firmware, and the alternative aspect has a sync cable port for wired capturing. The underside of the sunshine behind the mount is the place the battery is housed, solely barely elevated from the system as soon as related.
Additionally it is price noting that the modeling gentle will be set to auto or proportional, which is able to match the output energy of the flash in order that photographers can get a preview of how the sunshine will fall as soon as popped, growing or reducing in depth in proportion to the ability output chosen to shoot with. Moreover, over the course of a number of lengthy bursts of capturing, the colour temperature confirmed no important variation between bursts with a comparatively constant shade temperature of 5500K.
Utilizing The Gentle
For a lighting system as small and compact because the FJ-200, it was surprisingly versatile. I discovered it able to creating dramatic portraits in a small studio and, maybe much more impressively, it’s robust sufficient to compete in opposition to the solar whereas utilizing high-speed sync in an outside mid-day life-style shoot. The 200-watt system had a really quick recycle time, making it very straightforward to maintain up with my mannequin having a mini dance celebration on set, not to mention the “precise” poses in opposition to the mid-day solar. The images beneath are examples of the place the strobe overpowered the solar, which is powerful sufficient to blow out my mannequin’s hair:
The best way I usually shoot on an outside session is to back- and side-light my topics with the solar and use the strobe to fill in any onerous shadows or distinction zones to try to make it really feel slightly extra pure. The FJ200 by itself is greater than able to reaching that look, and with its small dimension, it’s even gentle sufficient straightforward to hold with out an assistant in a rushed state of affairs. With the best way the sunshine stand mount is designed, it’s even doable to handhold the sunshine whereas capturing (if wanted) to get some fast guerrilla-style pictures in difficult areas.
Shifting indoors for a studio setting, I discovered the FJ200 to be an excellent gentle for a small room portrait. Since I presently don’t have entry to a full-sized studio, working with the FJ200 makes it straightforward to shoot in tight quarters. For the photographs beneath, I merely propped up a V-flat and stool in my eating room and positioned the strobe up good and near my topic to create a moody single gentle portrait. Looping again to how fast it’s to work with these lights, I went from setting as much as taking portraits in a matter of moments.
The Westcott FJ200 Lights Are Simply Enjoyable To Use
I actually fell in love with this method over the course of capturing with it. Given the low value of the FJ sequence of lights, the FJ200 One-Gentle Backpack Equipment with Common Set off and Speedy Field Change Octa-S stands out as a pacesetter in its class for energy, ease of journey, reliability, and affordability. Whereas there could also be extra highly effective gentle techniques on the market, the FJ200 package gives a versatility and artistic choices for $749.
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