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01-06-2019, 01:27 PM - 1 Like   #1
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The Three Wise Men, EC-200 and flash bracket revisited

Hello,

I hope you enjoyed Christmas. Here in Spain, The Three Wise Men bring presents to kids during the night of January 5th (Noche de Reyes - Kings' Night/Epiphany). This year they brought me an authentic Godox EC-200 extension cable , can you believe it?

Of course I have been testing it during the day. I could get a possible work where I could need a simplified lighting setup (not my usual setup with up to four flashes) and I was thinking about a solution with a single flash that could be, at the same time ,a main PTTL flash but also a powerfull flash for shooting outside on a light stand if needed (classic flash + ambient setup), a good battery and something that allowed me to change quickly from main PTTL setup to outside-stand-type setup, radio operated, etc. Yes, this thread seems really similiar to one that BruceBanner opened some months ago.

Initial impression: it works! Yes, you have just the same functions with or without the cable.
Second impression: the 'head' is strong. You can only tilt (-15 to 90) but every position is firmly locked, that means that your 'flash' is not going to bend, never, so no problem if you plan to use heavy flash accesories.

Mounting the AD200 on a light stand: there are maybe hundreds of ways of attaching your AD200 to a stand. The idea is to attach the AD200 (body) on the low part of your stand to gain in stability. In one of the pics you can see that I used the walimex pro clamp (really guys, this clamp is soo good, really firm/strong and well made) and the umbrella holder that I put usually on top of my stand. I can see the AD200 display this way. I know, I can improve/simplify this setup, but you get the idea. The gaining in stability is really noticeable. The Godox AD-S7 octabox can be a portable solution for your stand if you need a softer light, no issues with the EC-200.

Mounting the AD200 on a flash bracket: I still have my Demb bracket, maybe no the best bracket, but strong and light enough; it allows to put a flash on axis in vertical or horizontal position. You can see the two ways I mount the AD200's head with this bracket: bracket bar on right camera side (as designed to be) or left. With the bar at right I can position the flash head just on axis. Notice I have the standard AD360 reflector (and bulb head) with the traslucent difusser. It spreads the light nicely, covers 17mm without issue and is several times bigger than a standard flash head (softer light). If you mix ambient and flash you'll get a decent light with this accesory.
As I have a peak design capture V2 I can put the AD200 on my waist with the display looking at me. This is not possible if you put the AD200 on your pocket. Notice I have two different plates on my AD200 now: one for the stand, and other for the Capture Clip.
This setup is more comfortable for me than having a normal flash on this bracket, its lighter and less cumbersome. Yes you have this big cable and of course having only a camera with a small flash is lighter, but this is not a minimalist setup, but a do-it-all-with-only-a-flash setup.

AD200 on your waist and the head on your hand: this is a third possibility, just detach the flash head from your bracket, hold it with your left arm while keep your camera with your right arm. Not recommened during long time but you can 'aim' your light without an assistant. And remember that you have PTTL.

Missfires: no missfires during my tests.

No issues with PTTL. This light is still maybe too powerfull if you plan to light a person from a small distance (I'm talking about the preflash). Maybe using the H200R head can be a better option for main PTTL flash on camera (it's a less powerfull light), and bulb head + standard reflector for outside... more options... more money to spent .

I will keep testing this setup during the following days. Sorry for the mobile pics, I'm really tired today...

Regards.

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01-06-2019, 06:29 PM   #2
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Nice write up. Looks interesting.
Here in New Orleans we start carnival. We have 4 parades. I missed the Joan of Arc parade thinking it started at 7 not 6.
01-06-2019, 06:45 PM   #3
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Thanks, yes, interesting and a very versatile range of choices there. I'm not familiar with Godox gear .... does that Power pack always remain separate, or does it attach to the flash itself also? If so, what are the advantages of removing it, or indeed having them as one?
01-06-2019, 10:57 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
. does that Power pack always remain separate, or does it attach to the flash itself also?
It's not a "power pack", it is the flash unit (AD200) proper.

The AD200 stock comes with two heads, one Fresnel head (fixed "zoom" level) and one bare bulb.
The fact that one can exchange heads on the AD200 opens up the possibility to alternatively use a round head (H200R), or the EC-200 extension head.

The EC-200 extension head is essentially just replicating the AD200's mounting plate and features a cable (plus swivel mechanism) so that you can place a very lightweight head anywhere, independently where the main body of the flash is.

In my view, this extension cable approach, which gives you a "pack & head" system instead of a "monolight" system, makes far more sense with heavy units like the AD600 PRO. A large and heavy monolight can be a liability on a stand or difficult to balance on a boom arm, so an extension cable can be a much welcomed accessory.

The AD200 is so compact and light that it hardly makes any sense, IMHO, to separate it from its head.
A separated AD200 doesn't do much as a weight for a lightstand, for starters.

I can see two applications:
  1. Using the AD200 as an on-camera flash. The AD200 itself does not have any hot-shoe mounting system and although its weight is comparable to that of a regular speedlight, it is nice to remove it from the camera.
  2. Making the life of VALs (voice-activated lightstands) easier. At the end of a long hand-held boom arm, an AD200 can produce some noticeable torque due to the long lever. But then the EC-200's cable isn't long enough to make the most out of this potential advantage.


01-06-2019, 11:43 PM   #5
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Thanks, I think I see what you are saying .... No, truth is I'm not. I'll have to research the product on their website to really understand it, it's hard to understand exactly how it fits together from the photos here. Obviously a versatile little thing!

Hang on, I think I've got it now ... It's the Pack, the Head and the Cable .... Those are the three wise men, is that it?
01-07-2019, 04:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
The EC-200 extension head is essentially just replicating the AD200's mounting plate and features a cable (plus swivel mechanism) so that you can place a very lightweight head anywhere, independently where the main body of the flash is.
Thanks Class A for explaining it properly. If you don't know about the AD200, my post can be unclear. My 'pics' doesn't help too, but there are better and clearer pics if you search at Godox site or in Google.

The strongest point for me with the EC-200 is that it allows you to put the AD200 'on your camera' and have TTL with the XProP. Also think that you put less stress on your camera's hotshoe. So you have your AD200's head on flash bracket, XProP on camera's shoe, AD200's body on your waist and then the EC-200 connects AD200's body and head. It feels better than you can think.
If the main use of the AD200 is outside on top of a light stand maybe it has so many advantages, because yes, I agree that the AD200 is light and portable as is. Anyway, if you have a lightweight light stand, consider to use the AD200's body as a kind of sandbag at the bottom of your stand, and just put the AD200's head on top of the light stand, you'll have more stability. Another case: imagine that you are using the AD200 as a 'flash on camera' with the EC-200, AD200's head on flash bracket, etc, then you go outside and you want to detach your AD200 from your waist and flash bracket and put on a light stand, can have more sense to put everything on your stand without removing the EC-200 cable.
Think that you can use all the Godox modifiers on camera. With the fresnel type head you can also use other modifiers from Magmod, Rogue... also there is the strong swivel mechanism that will support any modifier without bending.

QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Hang on, I think I've got it now ... It's the Pack, the Head and the Cable .... Those are the three wise men, is that it?
Good point Nigel , I didn't think this way. Sorry for my confusing post, I think I was talking more to forum members that knew about the AD200 and wanted to know about the convenience to use this extension cable.

Regards.

---------- Post added 07-01-19 at 12:51 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Nice write up. Looks interesting.
Here in New Orleans we start carnival. We have 4 parades. I missed the Joan of Arc parade thinking it started at 7 not 6.
Interesting, thanks. Still about one month before carnival here, always a week or so before Lent. Regards, and don't miss the next parade!
01-07-2019, 07:16 PM   #7
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Please excuse my silliness! I have a sister-in-law who lives in Spain, and has a small child, so I have heard about the Three Wise Men ... (we always thought he got spoilt enough at Christmas though!). Thanks for the informative post, and the main thing is that it generated more discussion and information for those of us not familiar with the Godox equipment. Certainly its prompted me to look further and think about the utility of such a versatile design.
01-08-2019, 09:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Thanks, I think I see what you are saying .... No, truth is I'm not. ...
Do these help? (Pics from flash havoc website).





The AD200 is in two parts: a battery pack, and the interchangeable head. There are, at this time, four different heads you can use: the fresnel head (like a typical speedlight head) and bare bulb head (which both come as part of an AD200 standard kit), and the accessory add-on round head, and LED head.

The extension head is basically just the head/battery connection on an extension cord, if you wanted to lighten the load for use on a boom arm or flash bracket.

Then there's the twin-head bracket...

01-09-2019, 12:22 AM   #9
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Thanks for the links Inkista.
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