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White Lightning X-Series Monolights

5 star rating
                      5 / 5 (2 Reviews)
MSRP : $0

Product Description

The X-Series monolights are self-contained flash units which plug directly into standard 110V wall outlets via the supplied 15' power cord. No heavy power packs are needed. Switch-selectable Dual Power Modes of "1/4 Power" and "Full Power" provide up to 7 f-stops of continuously variable flashpower range.

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Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by polarbearphoto a Expert from Linden, NJ

Date Reviewed: May 29, 2003

Strengths:    They give you the most for your money.
Very well built, lots of accessories. Easy to use. Very good Customer Service.
I've compared light output to other systems and the X3200s deliver the most bang for your buck. f/16.8 barebulb @10ft/ISO 100.

Bottom Line:   
I have 2 X3200s and I think they are great lights. I also own 2 Ultra 1200s.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $669.00

Purchased At:   Paul Buff

Similar Products Used:   Elinchrom

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by paulrumohr a Professional from Glendale, CA USA

Date Reviewed: April 21, 2003

Strengths:    Extremely durable build- extruded aircraft aluminum
Intelligent easy to understand control panel- stepless slider beats the pants off dials and switches
Built in slave
Inexpensive modelling lamps and flash tubes- a fraction of what you would pay for Euro (trash) flash (about $20 for 250W Model lamp and $35 for a UV Flash Tube)
Can be remote controlled
Excellent warranty and customer service
Consistent flash output
Built in fan activates when unit begins to overheat
Compact size but tough
Ships with reflector and all cords (power and sync) and lamps- the unit is ready to go right out of the box, unlike other systems that make you buy these accesories

Weaknesses:    Well this review would seem very biased without anything in this box.

If there are any weaknesses to the unit that I'd like to see improved they would be:

I'd like an audible beep when the unit was recharged to let me know I could shoot
(currently you can set the lights to dim and come back on during full recharge, but I like to shoot with my lighs always on)

I'd like slightly more consistent color temperature readings when the unit is set to fractional power settings (like Broncolor- although boy, how much of a premium are ya gonna pay for this feature!)

The White Lightning's color temp reading drops 100-150K, everytime you drop the power 1 stop. This results in a warmer look on film (specifically transparency) but is NOT an issue if you are shooting color neg.

If you are shooting slides, use a color meter and correct with LB (81, 82 Series filters) and CC (magenta/green filters)

FYI The color temperature issue stands for almost all flash manufacturers- high end pack systems included. It is a dropping voltage issue.

Bottom Line:   
While I work in professional commercial adverising photography now, I had the good fortune to come accross White Lightning working as a photographer's assistant back in 1991. At the time these units were only at the Ultra stage of development, but I was amazed at how hardy they were as our photo teams used them over and over again. I witnessed first hand as an assistant how these units would keep going and going- school portraits, high school reunions, weddings, and all manner of high volume event people photography without ever going down.

Today, when I shoot my own assignments, I shoot White Lighning Ultra and X-Series (yes, my Ultras are still going). I have some pretty glam assignments that most photographers might feel uncomfortable shooting with anything less than a lighting system with a pedigree, like Profoto, Balcar, or Elinchrom.

While I am sure that some other photographers might scoff when I pull the White Lightnings out of my bag to shoot these major jobs, these brand snob needleheads are the only ones who notice. I have never had an art director come up to my lights to inspect their vintage because no one who has a stake and really cares about the image gives a d*** about what is used to create it.

I have used my White Lightning Ultras to freeze jumping models in studio and freeze water splashing against them. I have used them extensively in rough location situations.

Their affordability when I was just starting my career was instrumental in the success of my early understanding of and attempts in lighting. I could not afford any of the pack systems, except maybe as rentals, and then the limited amount of tlme I would have had with the lights would have been insufficient to really learn about lighting.

They continue to be outstanding value in my opinion. Your local dealer may steer you away from them because they have refused to sell through dealers like other monolight manufacturers like Photogenic.

Why? Because they don't have to. White Lightning has an estabished customer base and an excellent customer service system. On the rare occasion I have had my unit serviced, the unit is back to me within a few days at most. Because White Lighning refuses to cut dealers a profit and to pass on savings to customers they are often berated by local dealers who want to sell you a product they can make a cut on.

I highly recommend this unit to people wanting to learn about studio photography and working pros who need a lightweight, reliable and powerful monolight system.

Please support a value priced, innovative and friendly company in our industry- buy White Lightning!

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $669.00

Purchased At:   Directly from Paul C

Similar Products Used:   Profoto
Calumet Traveller

Type of photography:   People

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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