Sunday, 1 May 2016

Know Your Lights (Part 3)

Interfit Stellar Extreme flash head used bare bulb.

In this post we will look at the results from using the Interfit Stellar Extreme flash head (with no light modifiers) to see what it can achieve. I bought this light several years ago and at the time it represented quite an investment for me (I think it was about the £300 mark back then) - not an inconsiderable amount but I wanted something with more power than a speedlight and capable of taking more light modifiers.
One very important consideration when I bought the flash head was that it must be battery powered, as I knew I'd be taking out on location; cost was another factor and this was about the cheapest battery powered flash head out there and there was no way I could afford the likes of Bowens, Elinchrom or Profoto.

The Interfit unit has served me well over the years, and has survived a fairly heavy fall when the wind blew the unit over on to tarmac whilst photographing a classic car! It's a big, fairly heavy unit at the top of a lighting stand - perhaps I'll do a review of it in the future with a comparison against the Profoto.

The Lighting Setup

Anyway, back to the matter at hand... here's a quick reminder of the lighting setup before we talk about the light quality from this unit.

Lighting setup used for the comparison between different bare bulb strobes.

The Results

The Interfit flash head has produced relatively hard shadows, nothing like as contrasty and harsh as the speedlight, and definitely a big improvement over that light. We've still got detail in the shadow areas. but the shadows are still quite clearly defined. This is because although it's still a small light source, the flash tube is considerably larger than the Nikon speedlight, with the result that it doesn't produce the same very harsh shadows.

The Stellar Extreme is a definite improvement over the small Nikon strobe, but it's still a much harder light source when compared to the Profoto AcuteB head.

The colour temperature hasn't shifted as much as the speedlight either.

In the last post, we'll put the three images from this comparison shoot together and then we should really see the difference.

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