Studio Monolight Review

Studio monolights are quite an investment, and not something you’ll generally buy until you have an excellent understanding of how light works both naturally and artificially. Given their expense, they are used almost exclusively by professionals, but should you be shopping around for one, you may find this review helpful. The video compares 3 monolights, 500 watts each, though at different price ranges. Since the specifications are so similar, the video shows how they all perform in a water splash test. The speaker, Alex Koloskov, does an excellent job going over their features in the first video, then giving them some hands on action in the studio during the second.


Here’s a quick look at the interface for each monolight: monolight_back Alex starts with the basics. A great monolight will be the foundation of your studio, and as such, you should choose carefully. To give you some specifications on each light, the Elinchrom BRX 500 costs $670, and has a flash duration of 1/1500 sec at maximum power. The Photogenic PL1250 500W/s PowerLight Monolight (UV) costs $600, with a flash duration of 1/1300 sec at max power, and the Profoto D1 Air 500 costs $1200 with a flash duration at 1/2600 sec.

In the testing, it was made obvious that these are all great strobes, however none are designed for high speed photography, as they all failed to completely freeze motion. In the end, the Profoto is selected as a favorite for its faster recycle time and slightly shorter flash duration of 1/2600 sec. Though at twice the price of the others, it might not be the best option for some. Alex stresses that these are only the base of a studio and they still rely heavily on light modifiers as well as the knowledge and experience of the photographer. water-splash On another note, this last video doubled as a partial splash tutorial with some small tips. If you’re wanting to get into splash photography, you should notice the reflective surface underneath the glass of water, a non stick pad to keep it from going off the table, the diffuser behind the set helping to create a natural focal point for the glass, as well as the experimentation and practice involved in getting the final shot. Lastly, if you’re looking to get a shot like this perfectly frozen, you may want to invest in a specialized monolight like the Broncolor Grafit A4 that was used in this last image. [VIA: Photigy]

CREDITS: All photographs by Alex Koloskov and  are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.