Skip to main content

Options: Monoblocks & Battery Packs

Lesson 46 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

Options: Monoblocks & Battery Packs

Lesson 46 from: Location Lighting 101

Lindsay Adler

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

46. Options: Monoblocks & Battery Packs


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Principles of Light


Speedlights vs Strobes


Compressing the Scene


Location Lenses and Lenshoods


Metering Modes and Back Button Focus


Natural Light Reflectors


Lesson Info

Options: Monoblocks & Battery Packs

here we have the pro photo be one which is pro photos montel block location lighting solution now the b one is self contained and it also has an interchangeable battery that you can see here this head is five hundred watt seconds with nine stops a variable power it's six point six pounds including the battery and as a recycle time appoint one two two seconds now for this battery you get two hundred and twenty full power flashes and that is actually also with the modeling light on one of the main features that separates this particular system from other system is yes it's a studio strobe but it also gives you t t l capabilities if that's how you prefer to shoot you can either shoot manual or tt l depending on the remote you have at the time of this recording there is on ly the tcl capabilities for cannon but I know that they already have the nikon remote ce and capabilities in production the benefits of this particular solution are that first what has wireless tt l if you so desire in f...

act if you said on tt l and you go ahead and just grab an exposure and then switched to manual actually hold that exposure so for using it to kind of gauge where you need to be that is a benefit the next thing is that it has a pretty small footprint because it's a model block it doesn't also have a pack and a head solution and said it is just ahead itself one of the reasons that many professional photographers might opt for this option is that of course this fits all the pro photo modifiers so if you're already shooting pro photo in your studio all of the modifiers you already have will integrate perfectly with this set up because it has an led modeling like I can use the modeling light for much greater lengths of time because it's not going to be drained the battery like an incandescent light would be so this allows me to use a that modeling light either for shooting for stills video or simply to help me shape the light on the face if you already have the pro photo studio solution the d ones they be one is very very similar similar in the way it functions and then also in the user interface if you can change the power output by one tenth of a stop on the back of the lcd panel a downside of this solution is that it doesn't have an a c option so you can use the battery on lee and you cannot plug it into the wall another downside might be that is a model block system so although the head is not very heavy it's still a little bit heavier than you would have in a pack and head solution and the price is a downside another benefit of this model block system is it's easy to use in her face so the centre dial I can change the power output by one tenth of a stop very simply on the right hand side I can go ahead and change how this particular set up is sinking I can actually sync it using the d want a remote that you might already own for your studio set up I can separate the heads into groups and then different channels as well could easily turn on and off the modeling late and then also changed the power of the modeling light so for example I can have the modelling might be a full power or set it proportionally looking at this transmitter I have the ability to change the channels as well as the groups now a huge benefit of these transmitters is that even if this particular light is up on a boom are out of reach I can turn the head on and off khun turn the modeling light on and off and I can also adjust the power output of this light so for example if I hold the energy button in if I hold it in it increases by full stops if I simply click up or down it increases or decreases by tense of the stop making very very simple for me to adjust the power output off this model block another thing you might consider is this b won tt l remote this allows me to use the b one as a t t l strobe I can control the exposure compensation for this light increasing or decreasing the power output while using tt l and I can also control the power output if I choose issue in manual I can also control the ratios and output off multiple be once droves right now this tt l remote is only available for cannon however they have the nikon ones in production the battery is very simple to remove I can also check the amount of charge held in that battery by hitting the czech button and it's very simple to replace simply snaps in place ready to go the b one is going to be a great solution for photographers that already shoot pro photo because they can already use their pro photo modifiers and also for photographers that are interested in having that tt l capability but would like to have the output of a studio strobe but the teetotal capabilities that usually only available when you have a speed light here we have an alien be eight hundred to start off with I want to let you know that name seems a little bit confusing it's not actually a hundred watt seconds it's going to be three hundred and twenty watt seconds of power now the alien bees is made by the policy buff company which is the same company that's producing the vagabond battery packs and this head is very common for photographers looking to get into their first studio strobes there are some limitations but if you're looking for an entry level studios drove its s also has a lot of great benefits and one of the big benefits of is of course the price it is going to be one of the most affordable studio strobe options available on the market the next thing is the weight it is less than three pounds so it is very very lightweight which means if you want to turn this into a location lighting solution is going to be great because it's portable and then also easy to move into different locations while the power output is three hundred twenty watts it also has a six thought variable power output range which is which is very decent for this type of unit because then instead of having to always have full power you khun dialled the power down to just give a little kiss of light in a small studio situation or when you're out on location in a couple of the things you might want to consider is well is the recycle time so the riga cycle time when plugged into the wall is about one second but when you're plugged into another battery pack thiss does decrease so the recycle time isn't great another thing to consider about studio strobes that are a little bit less expensive is that often you're losing consistency of color temperature as you are improving recycle time so if you're shooting quickly often what you'll see is changes in the color and your photograph and so that's something to be aware of if color consistency is really important to you so it is perhaps a downside really looking at it the pros the benefits of this are the price the fact that it's very lightweight and also the policy buff company makes a lot of really affordable modifiers especially if you're just trying to get into studio photography which grade as well if you're going on location with this you have the bag of on made by the same company you can simply plug the alien be into this solution and you have location lighting taking a look at the back of the alien be here it's pretty rudimentary system that allows you to dial the power up and down you can turn the modeling light on and off other systems are going to let you modify power output by tenths of a stop that's not something that you're going to get with an alien being but again that's one of the ways that you're able to save price it's very simple very easy to use pretty simple user interface a couple of downsides three hundred twenty one seconds is okay but perhaps if you're trying to light a large group of people or trying to light a very break scene three hundred twenty one seconds might not be enough but of course you can opt for an alien be or another solution of higher wattage also it does not have a great flash duration so if you're photographing a lot of action or movement this might not be the option for you and sometimes there's some color inconsistencies but for the photographer that wants to get into studio lighting without making a huge investment this is going to be a really good option especially if you're photographing controlled studio environment or you simply want to experiment we're trying to get a light out on location paired this alien be eight hundred with a vagabond pack and it's a great inexpensive location lighting solution the policy buff einstein is a six hundred forty watt second model block while many photographers starting out with the studio strobe often start with an alien be an einstein is kind of the next step up it gives you several additional options that are going to give you things like better color accuracy as well as more watt output so let's take a look at a couple features of this particular head so first of all it is still extremely lightweight and on lee weighs four pounds which is great when you're thinking of this for your located location lighting solutions at six hundred forty watt seconds it also gives you a little bit more power output further more you have nine stops a variable power output which is going to give you a lot more control when you're lighting on location in the einstein also has an optional trigger which is going to allow you to control the settings and the out put off your strobe directly from your camera so for looking at this particular set up the benefits are going to be the price it is still extremely affordable it also is extremely white light weight another benefit is that it's using policy buff modifiers which is also very affordable something that's really interesting about the einstein it has some modes let you make choices about how this drove is functioning so in one mode you're opting opting for the best color accuracy and you're doing this often at the expense of flash duration so maybe you want really fast flash duration well you can't always get the color accuracy want so you can choose do you want a faster flash duration or do you want more accurate color so that is an option that you're not going to get with some of the less expensive strobes and it gives you a little bit more control over what's important to you during that specific shoot paired with a vagabond whether it's the vag amon mini lithium or the vagabond lissy um extreme this is going to be a great way to simply get your studio out on location so taking a look at the back panel of the einstein and you have a lot of different options here and actually gives you a lot of information one of the very top section were reflected you can see the color temperature that that flash is going to be out putting and also the watt seconds so at six hundred forty watt seconds you can see the color temperature it even goes so far as to tell you flash durations you can see how everything is related what's nice is I can adjust this intense of a stop and it shows me what my wat second output is so the stroke goes all the way from six hundred forty one seconds to two point five watt seconds and you can see the changes in the effect that it's having on color temperature and flash duration okay so if we hold in the function button the next thing we're going to do is we're going to be able to make some changes to the modeling light we can change whether the modeling lights on or off also whether its full power or proportional the next item of interest is right here where it says color I have an option here to tell the flash of the strobe what's more important to me the color accuracy when firing or the flash duration so have two options either color or action I'm letting the stroke no which preference I would like to have that I want it to have really fast illustrations or really accurate color so can change either of those action or color this job is going to be best for the photographer that wants a little bit more control they want more color accuracy or they want to be able to choose a faster flash duration but they also don't want a very huge expense they get more power output with this than an alien be a lot more control than an alien b but of course it's still going to suffer compared to some of the higher end options so this is great for the photographer that's just looking to get into the studio strobe but wants a little bit more flexibility here we have the bones gemini five hundred pro and this is a model block system and I want to be clear that this system on its own is not location lighting you do need the bowens travel pack but to act as a battery source for this model block so let's take a look at a couple features of this model block first of all it offers you five hundred watt seconds power with five stops variability of the power output it weighs seven point seven pounds and again this is about the battery pack but using the large travel pack you get close to three hundred full power flashes from this model black you can use a pulse are trigger or a pocket wizard in order to fire this system the biggest advantage of this particular lighting solution is that you can use it as your studio lighting solution plugged into the wall or a c or you could take it out on location plugged into the bones travel pack and use it as your location lighting solution another nice feature of this model block or it's very easy to use dials you can increase by full stops and then again intensive a stop so it's very very easy to use and change the power output another thing to mention is that when plugged into the bones travel pack this gemini five hundred pro will not have a functioning model it modeling light you can't actually use the modeling light wild plugged into the travel pack instead you'd have to be plugged into a sea wall outlet the major downsize would be of course the weight it's seven point seven pounds just for the model block and then you also need to carry the battery another downside would be the flash duration if you're photographing ah lot of movement or flying particles this would not be the ideal solution this solution is going to be great for photographers who already used bones in their studio because then all you simply need to do is to go ahead and buy the bowens travel pack and then you can take your studio set up right on location here we have bones battery pack solution it's the bones travel pack b w seventy six ninety four and in fact it actually comes in two sizes there's a larger size which is going to give you even more full power flash outputs and then also a smaller size this particular set up is simply a battery all it is is an energy source so it's not a pack you don't change power settings from it but instead you can plug in the bowens model lights you already have directly into this pack in acts as a power source some of the features of this pack are that it can handle up to two fifteen hundred watt second lights at a time it's recycled time ranges between one and two seconds and you can get about three hundred full power flashes with the five hundred watts second strobe now the benefits are the price it's a very reasonable price for being able to take your model blocks that you already own out on location another benefit is that it has the ability to use two heads at once and then of course that you can already use the studio strips that you have whether it's the bones gem in eyes or other bones stroke solutions there are some downsides however one of the downsides is that the battery recharge time is eight hours also it's pretty heavy at thirteen point eight pounds and that is purely for the battery pack that does not include the weight of the head and another downside is that even though it's a battery pack it on ly work with bones so if you have another studio waiting solution you cannot simply plug it into this battery pack and use it as a battery source taking a look at the features of this battery pack quite simply you can monitor the amount of battery charge you have available and also you can change the recycle time too fast or slow fast is going to give you the fastest recycle time possible but when he switched slow it actually make sure that you're getting the most out of your battery life meaning you're going to in the end get more full power flashes from that battery this location lighting solution is best for photographers that have already invested in bowing montel aid solutions because now simply they could take their studio out on location with this relatively inexpensive battery solution the vag amon siri's of battery packs by policy buff has been a favorite amongst photographers because of his versatility here we have the vagabond lithium extreme and this battery pack is just that it is a battery pack a source of energy it's not a power pack that you plug heads into but instead it's a battery pack that basically functions as if you were plugging the light directly into a wall it's a power inverter with the a c outlets here and so why photographers love it so much is that it acts as a battery source for no matter what system you have is long is it khun plug into these outlets so whether you have a pro photo head or you have an alien be it can work with this system let me talk a little bit about some of the features of the vagabond lithium extreme it weighs six pounds and it can give output between four hundred and thirty two hundred watt seconds now the recycle times as well as a full power flashes are going to very drastically depending on what you plug into this particular battery pack so for example let's talk recycle times if you were using a six hundred forty watt uh strobe recycle time would be two seconds whereas if you're for some reason using a thirty two hundred watch drove it would be ten full seconds for a recycle time so clearly the output of the stroke is going to make a huge difference on recycle time this is just a battery pack from where it is sucking energy out of k the next thing is the full power flashes let's say that you're only using three hundred twenty watch strobe you can get about a thousand full power flashes with that but if you're going to thirty two hundred probably less than about ninety so these factors are going to very drastically and you'd have to test it out yourself however if you're using a policy buff product like a einstein or an alien b you can actually get the specific specs to compare up and see how they would function with the vagabond battery packs there are a lot of benefits of this battery pack so for example you can use it with any strobe system that you could plug into a wall another benefit of this particular system is the price in fact this battery pack is significantly less than any of the competitors on the market another thing to consider is also the weight at six pounds it's it's a bit heavy for a battery pack but what a lot of people do is they actually use this mount to mount it to the leg of a stand and then it becomes similar to a sandbag so it becomes dual purpose we're looking at the capabilities of these battery packs really there's one huge detractor which is the recycle time will have significantly slower recycle times then if you were working with a pack and head system or even another model black something you should watch out for is with this battery pack you're not going to want to use your modeling like especially for isn't incandescent ball because it will very quickly drain the battery another thing that I do like about this pack is that actually has an outlet for a u s b so you can charge your phone or any other usb powered devices this solution is going to be great for photographers who already have a studio lighting setup and they just simply want to be able to go out on location but not invest in entire other location lighting solution so this battery pack does just that it let's unplug it and it becomes an energy source no matter what lighting solution and using in the studio here we have the vagabond mini lissy um and so this is a battery pack the back of on siri's of battery packs has been very popular among photographers because it lets them plug in any lighting solution they have that could plug into a wall or in a c outlet directly into this pack so it acts as a power source know better what lighting setup that you have of course it can work with alien beans and einstein's which are made by the policy buff company but whether using pro photo or using bowen's if it can plug into this a c outlet it can work with the vagabond so this is the mini the benefit of the midi is definitely the weight it is on ly three point five pounds so it is extremely light something could easily put over your shoulder carry it with one hand so when it comes to portability the mini has that benefit its power output can be anything from four hundred thirty two hundred watt seconds but depending on what light or what system you have plugged into this pack it is going to make a drastic difference on recycled time and the number of pull full power flashes per battery so keep that in mind when you have a lower wattage you're going to get more full power flashes for battery and a faster recycle time when you're using a higher wat a second output is going to drastically decrease the number of full car flashes per battery and it's also going to really drag on that recycle time you know for example if you were using thirty two hundred watt seconds in this particular battery pack it would take almost twenty seconds to recharge but of course if you're using a lower watt seconds like a smaller of the alien bees you could still have relatively reasonable recycle times basically this pat can act just as if you were putting your strobe into an outlet you can plug it in here but another benefit is that it also has a place to charge via usb so you can sure charge other devices that charge through the usb port looking at the benefits of this particular system a huge one is the weight extremely lightweight the price is extremely extremely affordable if you just want to be able to get your stroke out on location quickly and inexpensively it works with any model block and it's also flexible there's a lot of different uses you can use for this particular battery pack the vagabond mini lithium is great for any photographer that want something really lightweight to able to take the model blocks of the strobes they already has and take them on location here we have the quantum turbo three which is a battery pack no quantum makes its own strobe system it's called a cue flash which is made for this particular battery pack yet with adapters you can actually use this as a battery solution for other speed lights including cannon and nikon let's take a look at some of the specifications of this very portable battery pack first of all it is on ly two pounds what is extremely lightweight which makes it easy to even just carry on your hip tow act as a battery solution for your location lighting it all depends on the light that you have plugged into this battery pack however depending on the power of the strobes you can have full power flashes anywhere from three hundred fifty all the way up to well over a thousand so some of the benefits of the turbo three are that you can use it with the cue flash and then also with some other brands like canada nikon also it's very portable very very lightweight when you're using it with these other strobes or these other speed lights it helps improve your recycle times instead of just having regular batteries something nice about this particular set up is that it has two outlets you can actually run to strobes from this one battery pack one of the big downsides however is its price for being simply a small battery pack it is relatively expensive this is going to be a solution for a photographer that perhaps wants to use a q flash because of kyu flash has higher output than most speed lights and they want to build a have fast recycle time and longer battery life it's also going to be great for the photographer who's shooting a lot of events and doesn't wanna have to worry about changing out their batteries they can simply have this attached to them plug in their speed light or their cue flash and uses as their main battery source here we have the quantum t five d r which is also often referred to as a q flash flash is kind of a general referral to all of the quantum flashes this particular one is the t five d photographers often like this particular location lighting solution because it has a lot of similarities to a speed light but then higher output which is more similar to a studio strobe so it's kind of the in between of speed light and strobe so let's take a look at some of the benefits or some of the features of this particular piece first of all it has an output of one hundred and fifty wants also it is extremely lightweight the head itself weighs just about one pound now if you're using one of the quantum battery packs like the turbo three you can get up to about six hundred full power flashes and if you're using lower power you can get over a thousand flashes for this particular charge battery this going to be great if you're shooting a lot of events where you don't want to have to be constantly changing your batteries and you want to have fast recycle times some of the features of this particular flashes that it does have ti tl it does have manual has stroke aske opic and also has a trigger called the copilot which allows you to operate and change the settings from your camera the benefits of that it has pretty consistent output it has higher output than speed lights it also has a fast recycle time when it's teamed up with one of the quantum battery packs you can also remove the reflector to use the strobe as bare bulb or apply other modifiers including beauty dishes or other types of reflectors also interesting about this rope is that it does have a modeling light so you can see the pattern of the light on subject you're photographing so all in all the main benefit of this particular piece is that it's very portable and has more power output but also fast recycle times when teamed up with the turbo three what the downside is the price something interesting about the slashes that it cannot be used without being powered with a quantum battery pack so it actually doesn't even turn on until you have it plugged into for example a turbo three or other kwan quantum batteries solution there's a pretty easy to use you can change the mode from manual to auto teo and disturb aske opic also you can pretty simply change the power output starting from one to one power and decrease as necessary also listed right on here are the guide numbers if you choose that to help judge your exposure the quantum t five d or other q flashes are going to be great for photographers shooting events where they need a little bit more power output and still need fast recycle times but also don't want to have to constantly be changing batteries

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

This class was amazing. Lindsay Adler is a great presenter...I learned so much.....I love that she spoke about natural light..strobes and speedlites. Wonderful information. I purchased this and I am glad I did. Great job Lindsay. Jean


Lindsey Adler is one of the best and most engaging photography instructors in the USA. I highly recommend this lighting course. It felt more like a 101 and a 102 course than just a basic course. She teaches in a way that makes learning alot of fun and the amount of time & effort that she puts into her video and class presentations are second to none. Her classes are well worth their weight in gold and you will walk away with a wealth of knowledge!


Lindsay is amazing , I love the way she explains everything!! This course is filled with GREAT information and helps you better understand natural lighting,strobe and flash. Thank You Lindsay, please keep your classes coming!

Student Work