Hey guys, thanks for checking out the blog once again. Here’s a little test shoot that I did with Alex, and the Einstein + Vagabond system that I acquired earlier this year in Los Angeles. I don’t think I’ve done a post about this lighting setup before so here we go: holy CRAP these things are amazing. These are possibly the best lights on the market right now. There I said it. I virtually stopped using my pair of Profoto D1s ever since I got my single Einstein and Vagabond set. WTF?? That’s right, the pair of high-end lights that cost me over $2000 have been replaced in my bag by this diminutive single flash head that has a retail of only a fraction of the price.
You like that disgusting iPhone photo of all this sexy swag on a bed (next to some junkfood to boot)? Mmmm such glorious, gluttonous lighting prOn. If Broncolors are the Victoria’s Secret Angel equivalent in the lighting world then the Einstein is like the plain next door neighbor who’s actually really pretty when you look closer and never lets you down when it comes to special occasions (not yet, at least). Oops. I think I’m pushing the metaphor a little too far. But you get the idea. Here are a couple of the main reasons why I just love this Einstein system.
1 – Weight. The Vagabond lithium battery + the Einstein flash head weigh roughly the same as a single D1 head. Sure, the material quality and the design of the Einstein doesn’t score as high as, well, almost any other pro flash manufacturer (except, maybe Elinchrom – *snicker*) but they are super lightweight, compact and portable, which means a damn hell of a lot to a Tokyo editorial photographer who uses all manner of crowded transport to get from home to location. Lightweight = easy to work and travel with and that makes me less cranky at the end of the day. Whether the build quality holds up at the end of the day is something I’ll have to see after an extended period of use, but for now it works perfectly.
2 – The Vagabond IS AWESOME. How can I possibly stress this more. Firstly – it’s tiny. It’s light. Did I mention how important that is to me? It charges without any fuss. You can bring it on a plane. Even in the US, where I’m chronically afraid I’ll be cavity searched! Wowsers, traveling with big lights just got a whole lot easier. You want to know what I used on a power-less location before I had the good fortune to get a Vagabond? A Profoto Batpac. Here’s the thing – it’s literally a car battery, although it weighs 3 TIMES MORE (roughly 12 kgs)!!! It comes with backpack straps which is meaningless because it’s impossible to lug it anywhere (although that might be because of my weedy Asian frame), and, you cannot bring it on a plane, though not that you’d want to because it weighs so friggin much. The Profoto Batpac is too solid, too much of a heavy duty solution for just a simple editorial photoshoot. The Vagabond fits into this role nicely.
Mind you, my Profoto gear still gets taken out for the big shoots with the budget to factor in more convenient transport – they are still excellent excellent lights, but for affordability and portability, as well as the consistency (which is also super important), the Einstein trumps pretty much everything I’ve seen.
Ok, that’s my rant done for now – here’s a short set of photos shot with the Einstein + Vagabond set, plus a Lastolite tri-grip and the fantastic Photek Softlighter, which is another light-related accessory everyone should own (hey, even Annie Leibowitz has one). I also used the D800, which is another recent piece of kit that I need to have a rave about. Hope you enjoy and thanks for checking out the blog!