Jinbei HD610 at the crag
Finally had the chance to drag the HD610 out on a climbing trip on Saturday. This is probably going to be the last of the cool weather before the dreaded Australian summer descends upon us, which means bouldering activities will be at a minimum. I couldn't pass up this chance to try out the HD610 on some climbing photography, so we headed out with climbing and photography gear in tow.
Again, it was a rather cloudless Aussie spring/summer day and the sun was so bright that if I tried to do this with my one speedlight, I would have just resorted to shooting available light. Even then, the dynamic range between the sun lit areas and shadows would be so great that the images would have been either blown out or under exposed. Now, I have done this with the Godox RS-600 before and could make it work quite well with a 5 stop ND filter, so I was keen to see if the Jinbei HD610 made much of a difference.
First things first, it was a bit more difficult to lug the gear up. With the RS-600, I could stuff the flash head into my camera bag and stuff the battery pack into my crash pad, which means I only had my crash pad and a camera bag to carry up. No such luck with the HD610 as it is a bigger unit. I had to bring the carry case up the mountain with me together with my camera bag and crash pad. I did get a free Inception lighting backpack together with the HD610, so I might try and see if I can fit all my camera gear into that backpack as well. It was a lot easier to set up the HD610 though, as I didn't have to deal with cords and battery pack etc. I just left the monobloc on the stand and carried that around with me to the different boulders when I got there.
Shooting-wise... OMG! No ND filters, and HSS just made my day. After seeing the first image pop up on my screen, I was giddy with excitement! Not worrying about flash sync speed is probably the biggest draw card for me. I can just set the aperture and ride the shutter speed dial and all this without worrying if I had enough power to light the scene. The unit was recycling fast enough to keep shooting climbing action eventhough I was shooting at 1/2 +0.7ev. The radio transmitter worked flawlessly even when I was shooting from a good 10 to 20 metres away with the flash hidden behind rocks and trees. This is probably one of the best purchases for my photography hobby this year!
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