If you’re after power combined with control and crafty tricks aplenty, these pro-spec flashguns have a lot to offer. We put them to the test and deliver our verdict
Four top flashguns are put to the test this issue – which one should you consider when you need controlled lighting?
At a glance, it might seem outrageous that a top-end flashgun from the likes of Canon and Nikon costs considerably more than an entry-level DSLR from the same company, complete with a kit zoom lens. Delve a little deeper, however, and it soon becomes apparent that these flashguns are highly technical pieces of kit, wrapping advanced features and top-level specifications into premium-grade construction.
For starters, all of the flashguns we’ve chosen for this group test boast a powerful maximum output, ranging between Gn 55 and 64 (‘Guide number’ at ISO 100 in metres). They have bounce and swivel heads with motorised zooms that stretch to match a focal length of 200mm at the long end, when used with a full-frame camera. Advanced flash modes are supported in every case, enabling you to fire the flash multiple times during a long exposure.
As well as fully dedicated flash with automatic, through-the-lens metering, there’s something of a feast on offer when it comes to wireless connectivity for off-camera flash. All of these flashguns offer infrared master and slave modes, for triggering multiple flashguns with the option of assigning them to separate groups. Better still, the Canon and Nikon models on test feature RF (Radio Frequency) as well as infrared connectivity, enabling a greater range and the ability to communicate through obstacles or around corners.
Despite undercutting both of the camera manufacturers’ flashguns for cost in most world regions, the Hahnel literally doubles up on flash potential and comes complete with a dedicated RF transmitter and triggering system. Let’s take an in-depth look at all the options.
“These are highly technical pieces of kit, with advanced features and top-level specs”