I wanted to take a moment and tell you what’s so special about these LumoPro flashes that you may have heard me talking about, starting with this LumoPro LP180.
Full disclosure – LumoPro did send me a bunch of their gear after I reached out to them. I have had it for a few months now and since I received it, I have gone out and bought more LumoPro gear and lithium-ion battery packs to go with them all out of my pocket. I really love these strobes.
LumoPro builds flashes for photographers who really care about lighting. Their strobes are solid workhorses that are easy to use, extremely reliable, and they even have a great sense of humor, which I’ll tell you more about that at the end of this article. These LumoPro strobes have been endorsed by the likes of David Hobby and Zack Arias. If you’re using speedlights and you don’t know who these two guys are – shame on you.
Let’s start with the build quality. This thing is built solid. It looks solid, feels solid weighing in at 15oz without batteries. After just a few seconds in your hand, there is no doubt that you are holding a piece of equipment that has been well designed. Not to mention that LumoPro offers a TWO year warranty on this flash. How many speed light manufacturers do you know of that offer a two year warranty?
The LumoPro LP180 is a manual-only flash. They refer to it as a quad sync flash because there are four different ways that you can fire the flash: the standard hot shoe, a 3.5mm 1/8” miniphone port, a PC port, and a built-in optical slave that can be set to ignore the pre flashes from TTL strobes. Between the hot shoe, mini phone port and the pc port you can fire this flash with just about any wireless radio trigger on the market. And that is part of what I love about this flash – it’s not tied to Canon or Nikon or any specific camera brand. In five or ten years when those companies decide to change how their flashes fire, I’ll still be able to use this flash because it is not tied to a specific camera system and I have four options for firing it.
Another really cool feature that LumoPro builds into all their flashes is a ¼”-20 side mount that will allow you to mount your flash closer to the center of the umbrella than a traditional hot shoe mount will allow you to do.
It also comes in handy if you forget your swivel mount, as most light stands have a ¼”-20 thread on top. If you forget your light stand, you can mount the flash to a tripod in a pinch or if you have an assistant, you can make a voice activated boom with a simple monopod.
Like most speedlights, the LumoPro LP180 works on four AA batteries. At this point there is no reason to use alkaline unless it’s an emergency. LumoPro specs say that the flash will recycle in four seconds at full power with the nickel metal hydride batteries. My tests had the flash recycling in about four seconds with alkaline batteries at full power. Four Nickel–metal hydrides were completing the recycle in about 2.5 to 3 seconds. The LumoPro LP180 also has a high-voltage battery port that lets you connect an external battery pack for longer use and faster recycling times. The flash uses the Canon style cord and with an external pack you can get your recycle times down to one second at full power. I purchased the Godox PB820 and it works great.
You can even get a splitter cable and run two strobes off a single battery pack.
Understand that when you start recycling any speedlight at one second, if you shoot too many shots too quickly you run the risk of overheating the flash and causing damage. Most speedlights just stop working until they cool down to prevent damage. The LumoPro LP180 is equipped with a thermal cutoff that will slow recycling to protect internal components, but still allow you to shoot.
The LumoPro LP180 also has an audible flash ready tone which is great when working with people because you don’t have to look away from your subject to see the ready light. You can keep your focus on your subject.
The LumoPro LP180 is basically equivalent in power to the top-of-the-line Canon and Nikon flashes. It has a GN of 110 with the zoom head set to 105mm. If you’re comparing it to monolights, it comes in somewhere between 55 and 60 watt seconds.
The zoom settings range from 14mm with the wide angle diffuser in place and without it from 24mm to 105mm.
The head will swivel 180 degrees in either direction which gives you a full 360 degree total range.
The bounce tilt will go from a -7 degrees up to a full 90 degrees.
The manual power settings range from full power to 1/128th power and can be adjusted by 1/3 of a stop increments.
The flash has a built-in gel holder so you don’t need scotch tape or another piece of gear to hold your gels. The little grips on the edge of the flash head bow the gels out and away from the flash head to avoid melting or distorting the gels’ shape.
The hot shoe is metal with a sliding latch and drop down pin as well as a weather resistant cover.
And possibly the best feature of the LumoPro LP180… the controls. This flash is just plain easy to use and the menu is easy to read on the backlit LCD screen.
The easy-to-feel keys are simple and intuitive which is really useful when you are working and in a hurry to adjust the flash.
In the Box
The LumoPro LP180 comes with a heavy duty soft case that has a belt loop and velcro pouch on the outside and an inside pocket that holds the small flash foot stand and the two sets of precut Rosco Colored gels. One set is for color correction and the other set is for color effects. Also included is a 3.5mm Miniphone to 3.5mm Miniphone Short Sync Cord
And last but not least, the instruction manual which is totally worth the read. It is without a doubt the funniest instruction manual I have ever read. Right down to the warning that you should not use the flash as a tanning device unless you are prepared to use a lot of AA batteries and the warning that attempting to use the flash’s components to build a time machine will void its warranty.
So there you have it – a true workhorse of a flash. It’s well built, well designed and easy to use. All for a wallet friendly price of $149.99 If you’re like me and you want equipment that is durable and easy to use, I highly recommend the LumoPro LP180.
I hope you found this information useful. Now go pick up that camera and shoot something! Because – “Your BEST shot is your NEXT shot!” — Joe Edelman