Posted by Garry Tyler on June 22, 2015
So this weekend past we held our very own open day here at Viewfinder Photography. We invited guest down for the day to have their chance to shoot with some of our gear.We also invited Chris Burfoot from Broncolor down. Chris brought along with him the Broncolor Siros 400s and 800s combined with a Para 88 and a 100x100cm softbox.
Knowing that the Broncolor are built to shine bright and provide an accurate colour reproduction every shoot, with high speed flash durations and unbelievable recycle times, I thought we needed somebody here to help show the powers these lights have.
So we introduced a theme to our day as well, I needed something that we could do in the public eye that would represent the speed these lights can work and the colours they can produce.
My theme was set, selecting a choice of brightly coloured sweets and fast moving bubbles, with beautiful colour reflections and refractions on them, I thought I had set Chris a challenge that the lights would be hard pushed to work with. Boy was I wrong and impressed!!!
With my camera shooting at 9fps the Broncolor had no problem keeping up right though the power range. With ambient light pouring from windows strip lights spot lights and other general room lights (typical open day lighting) i thought we would be running them at high power slowing the recycling times down, nope still the lights didn't even break a sweat.
So with the props pretty much sorted I decided that the model must also include some vibrant bright colours. Our model for the day Valentina went all out and and produced a fantastic look, coupled with some stunning makeup from the days MUA Alie Alexandra.
So everything was in place the day went without a hitch, we had plenty of people through the door, people enjoyed the chance to chat shop with like minded photographers, learn a few settings from the different studio techs we had in store. I Garry Tyler was there to offer assistance on any of the viewfinder product range, Chris Burfoot was here as for mentioned to offer advice and assistance on the Broncolor range, Whilst Curtis Jaques helped and added assistance on framing composition and shooting ideas. The day was full of energy (maybe all the sweets), and the lights fired seamlessly all day from many cameras. We tested the recycle times, they are fast, we shot against the white vinyl and the black. This image is pretty much straight out of camera (sharpness and contrast tweaked in LR).
With no adjustment to any other levels, I could see the colours on screen just like I could in real life. I was blown away.
So lets really see if they can do as they claim I thought, and keep this accuracy and power even when running at 9fps. So I quickly handed the all the balloons to Valentina and switched the drive mode on my camera. Chuckling to myself, I thought they were going to miss at least 2 frames and have a little fluctuation in colour. But once again the Siros continued to perform keeping colour and power identical in each flash. As you can see from the results to the right, (again only tweaked contrast and sharpness in LR and resized into this layout quickly in PS) 8 frames in less than a second the lights didn't miss nor did they falter on output or colour balance.
On top of this, I found the control system on the units intuitive, a simple glance at the back of the head told me exactly how it was set up and which channel it was on, reaching into my pocket to get my smart phone then allowed me to access and control that head using the bronControl app, I was able to make adjustments to all the heads, which were nicely colour co-ordinated with the small LED panel on the back of each unit.
With additional features like strobing, where the unit will produce from 1 - 50 flashes at a single triggering and a speed mode which will sacrifice colour and power to ensure you have the fastest possible flash duration for the unit. With 9 stops of variable power in tenth stop increments from 2-400 joules of power the Siros 400S unit is a fantastic piece of kit designed to make your live as the photographer simple.
With some great results coming from those that attended appearing on our facebook thread and twitter feeds, I believe my opinion on these versatile lights is matched by all those that arrived.
With such a great turnout and positive response from our open day, we shall look at doing more and more of these events, so keep your eyes peeled to get your chance to pop down and check out our show day offers.