LumoPro LP160 Manual Flash – Product Description:
The LP160 Quad-sync flash builds on the success of previous models, like the LP120, giving amateur and professional photographers even more features. Today’s digital photographers are looking for powerful, small flashes that are reasonably priced and well constructed. The LP160 is the flash that delivers the power, features and price point to meet that need. As with previous projects, LumoPro crowd-sourced the additional features from the Strobist community, a popular online group of photographers devoted to working with small, battery powered flashes. This creative and sophisticated group led the developers to create the tool to meet the demand. Improvements included in this new model are impressive and built to fit the needs of today’s working photographers. The LP160 features twice the power and quicker recycling for faster shooting. The Full to 1/64th power setting and digital optical slave make the flash more usable under low light situations. A 7degree tilt, metal hot-shoe, electronic zoom, and improved body construction add to the long list of features for professionals. All other features from the popular LP120 are present, including the Optical slave, PC and Miniphone syncro ports, and manual power adjustments. The power output of the LP160 is equivalent to the top of the line flashes from camera manufacturers such as Canon and Nikon. An exciting new feature will allow even more integration with existing flash systems: the new digital optical slave will ignore the ‘pre-flash’ – a common feature of TTL flashes for obtaining exposure information. This important addition enables photographers to manually control the LP160, in conjunction with their TTL flashes, without transmitting a TTL signal or exposure information, or having the LP160 flash when the pre-flash activates.
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LumoPro LP160 Manual Flash – Review:
A VERY NICE AFFORDABLE BASIC YET POTENT OFF-CAMERA FLASH!
I’ve used this flash along with my Canon 430EX and Vivitar 285HV for several months now, and I really like it. If you don’t know what you’re looking at, this is a FULL MANUAL flash, meaning it will not communicate with your camera to do any sort of automatic TTL metering. You have to tell the flash exactly what you want it to do. (LumoPro left out some common features to keep the price down.) I love the manual control of this flash, but it’s not for everybody.
I like using this flash. It works very well. I wish I had another one! It’s great for off camera work with any number of modifiers. The power level is supposed to be similar to that of a Canon 580EXII and the equivalent Nikon flash, but I haven’t tested that. I’ll take their word for it.
The LP160 will sync by any of 4 methods, and I’ve found them all to be useful at one time or another. (This is why the LP160 is called the “Quad-Sync Flash.”)
First is the optical slave. It’s very sensitive, and will trigger the flash very reliably. It can be set to ignore the pre-flashes of other flash units on TTL mode if you’re using them, and only fire on the main flash. If you want to get fancy and shoot TTL second curtain sync, the LP160 on TTL sync mode will work correctly all the way down to a 1/10th second shutter speed.
Second is the hotshoe. Set the flash in your camera’s hotshoe or any hotshoe-based off-camera wired or wireless triggers and it will fire.
Third is the PC sync plug. Works fine, like any other PC sync plug. This is for any PC-based off camera trigger systems.
Fourth is a 1/8″ plug. I’m not sure how common these are in wireless triggers today, but it’s there if you need it. As a bonus, the LP160 comes with a short PC to 1/8″ cable for syncing to wireless triggers.
The flash can be set to full power (1/1) or 1/64th power or anywhere in between, in full stop increments.
The manual zoom head can be set to 24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 85, or 105mm.
There is one button to scroll through all the power settings and all the zoom settings. This makes it very simple, but if for example you want to go from 1/4 power to 1/2 power, you have to press the power button several times to scroll down through all the power levels. Same deal for the zoom: it’s a single button operation, but if you want to go from 50 to 35mm, you have to scroll through all the zoom settings first.
The flash is very simple to use, there are only 5 controls: power on/off, test fire, optical slave setting (off, normal, TTL), power setting, and zoom setting.
The flash head tilts 90 degrees up, 7 degrees down, and rotates 180 degrees to the right and 150 degrees to the left. It points just about anywhere!
The build is all plastic, but it feels plenty solid and it has a metal hot shoe.
My only complaint about this flash is that with fresh batteries, it takes 4 seconds to recycle from a full power flash. That’s not terribly slow, but when my 430EX recycles from a full power flash in about 2 seconds even on well used batteries, it feels a little handicapped.
If you need an affordable manual off camera flash and you don’t mind not having a superfast recycle time and fancy features like TTL, the LP160 is a great deal.