Review, Adorama Flashpoint 180 – Portable Flash Unit

I have a new portable flash unit in-house for testing. It is the Flashpoint 180 – a highly portable, lightweight unit that produces up to 180 watt/seconds of output. It comes complete with portable battery pack and charger, a diffuser dome, a reflector, a shoot-through white umbrella, a brief instruction manual, and a carrying case.

180 1

According to the manufacturer’s specs, it is capable of up to 700 flashes at full power. Flash duration ranges from 1/400 to 1/1100 of a second, depending on power output selected. Specifications state that color temperature is 5500k +/- 200k, which is reasonable.

The battery pack consists of two Sony rechargeable units housed in a plastic case; these are removed and charged via external charger. The manufacturer provides two charging units. Good news is that 700 shots should get you through a full day’s shooting. If you are shooting consistently outdoors in bright light or direct sun, depending on your needs you may want to get two of these, one of the 180 model, and another of the 400 model, using one for key lighting and the other for fill or add-on.

Overall, this is a lightweight unit, favoring portability over bullet-proof construction. The controls are sturdy and well made, and should hold up over time. Most of the flash body is aluminum, and a diffuser dome does double duty protecting the flash tube and LED-based modeling light. This is definitely not water-proof, so I would take care outdoors in mist or rain.

180 2

Power output is controlled via a stepless rotating knob, providing about 5-stops range. A slave sensor is also provided, along with an on/off switch for a triggering audio signal.

An LED modeling light is provided, but it’s anemic at best. Not too surprising, as many people will leave it turned on throughout a shoot, and that will drain batteries quickly.

Adorama also provides a short padded handle which can be inserted into the mounting socket – it’s easy to carry the unit around in the field – you would just clip the battery pack to your belt or carry it in your off hand.

Like any other studio flash unit, time to recycle depends on power output selected. This ranges from 1-5 seconds; not surprising at all on a battery-powered unit supplied by a lower-voltage power pack.

I also like that the unit is Bowens-compatible. As I own some Bowens gear, that’s a big plus in my book. I can use their light modifiers on this flash unit, for example.

Overall, a good, lightweight unit, highly portable and suited for use in the studio or just about anywhere you want to go.

Link to the Adorama page:

Fuji X-E1 review by David Saffir, published in Photo Technique Magazine

Full text of the review I wrote published on Photo Technique web site:

From the E-X1

From the E-X1

Photoshop CS6 Beta test started today…

I just downloaded the CS6 Beta version. Going to be working with it this week and next. Stay tuned as I report my ups and downs, likes and not-so-likes (?!?) in the next week or so. My goal is to post something interesting at least every other day.

PS – one observation: sure looks like Adobe continues to move toward harmonizing the editing controls and tools in Photoshop and Lightroom….

Answers About the New iPad and Color – from David Tobie’s Blog

After receiving an iPad3 today, I tested its color gamut, whitepoint, brightness, and screen detail against an iPad2. The graph above shows the increased color gamut. It also represents what I would call a “normalized” color gamut, in that the primaries are now more closely aligned to what we expect red, green, and blue to be.

read more on David Tobie’s blog here

Workshop – Basic Landscape Photography

Basic Landscape Photography

Tuesday, January 31st – 6:30pm to 9:30pm
David Saffir instructor $79
Location: Santa Clarita Valley Center for Photography

Go beyond snapshots and lets get into photographs that really get that “wow” reaction! This workshop is about learning to make the right selection. Whether it is picking the correct location, the right time of day, or just the correct camera settings. We will also discuss basic composition guidelines and what might be the best angle or point of view. Please bring your camera, but it is not required.

TO REGISTER: Call Mell Carll, 661-904-2092

Photography Quote of the Day – June 28


A photograph  is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.  ~Ansel Adams


Join us in our upcoming workshop:

Photoshop Selections and Compositing Made Easy
Wednesday, June 29th – 6:30pm to 9:30pm

New Free Webinar: David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

New Free Webinar: David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

from the press release:

“Join X-Rite and Nik Software for an hour with David Saffir, internationally recognized, award winning portrait, commercial photographer and fine art printmaker. He is the author of the book Mastering Digital Color: A Photographer’s and Artist’s Guide to Controlling Color, published by Thomson. His second book, focused on his photography, is titled The Joy of Discovery, and was published in Spring 2009.

This webinar will teach fundamentals of end-to-end workflow for creative photographers, from pre-visualization through color management, capture and selected image editing techniques.

We will focus on landscape and scenic imagery.  Using the latest tools from Nik and X-Rite,

© David Saffir

David will demonstrate his workflow using X-Rite i1 Pro solutions and his techniques with Nik’s Viveza 2 and Silver Efex Pro to achieve the best quality from his images.

Who Should Attend:

• Landscape and Nature Photographers

• Commercial Photographers

• Environmental Portrait and Wedding Photographers

• Fine Art Photographers

• Anyone interested in a creative, color managed workflow

Two sessions will be held on the same day.

Register for your choice of times. Be sure to register today and arrive early for the webinar. Space is limited and they will fill up quickly.

David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 9:00-10:00 AM PDT (check your time zone!)



David Saffir’s End-to-End Workflow for Creative Photographers

Wednesday,  July 13, 2011  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PDT (check your time zone!)


Learn more about David Saffir at