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Caler (Jinbei) EII 250w Studio Flash Kit 1 Review & Setup Guide

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Welcome to the second post dedicated to the Caler EII 250w Flash kit.

The EI250w kit is a lot like the ECv kit reviewed in my last post, however it does have some awesome perks that actually might make me favor it over two!

For a start it’s VERY compact, it packs up so small I could take it on the tube. I’s pretty light too you’re not going to strain anything if you have to hike anywhere with it.

The additions inside the bag are a great variety. In a normal flash kit you tend to get two of the same thing but in this bag you get a mix of modifiers. This is a really nice change. If you’re new to photography or Flash then this is going to help you understand your lighting and push you to try new styles.

So the bag..

It’s surprisingly deceiving. You get so much out of this thing. Again like its older brother (500w)it has everything you need in a lighting kit bag; dividers, wheels, a handle and straps so you can carry it.

The whole thing is fantastically portable. If you ‘re a photographer who’s always moving your studio about, this kit is for you.

Here is everything laid out, for you to see exactly how much is in that bag.

You get 2 stands, 2 250w Caler Flash heads, trigger and receiver, a 60cm Octobox, a 50-70cm Softbox, a white umbrella diffuser, 2 cables and 2 modeling bulbs. (the flash bulbs are already in place on the lights)

So in the whole kit you get three different flash modifiers!

The white umbrella diffuser, this is a really simple modifier and most versatile way to produce a nice even soft light. You have the option to shoot through the umbrella, or bounce your light back off it. By “shoot through” I mean your flash is still pointed into the center of the umbrella and your subject is the other side of the umbrella letting your light be diffused and travel directly through the umbrella. If you want to bounce your light back simply turn the flash and umbrella around so the flash is still facing into your umbrella but the umbrella is now facing away from the subject. This will create a slightly harsher light, depending on the distance between flash and subject.

The softbox is the very best in modified lighting with the kindest and softest of light on a subject. The bigger the better when it comes to softboxes. Although it should be said the size of the softbox won’t actually increase the coverage/distance the light will go, it will only effect the quality and diffusion of the light. Softboxes can light bigger subjects more efficiently than the umbrella creating soft light that spreads out evenly. *When using a softbox instead of an umbrella the light will be less scattered and you will need less exposure from the same light source, which is a plus!

The octobox is basically an eight-sided softbox. They are slightly more versatile than the original softbox, as there shape makes them easier to use. They will also give a round catch light in the models eye instead of the standard square a softbox will give. I like to have a circular catch light on models; it resembles the sun and a square catch light on product as it resembles light from a window. This is personal preference so I suggest you try both!

So I want to run through a quick step by step guide to setting up your Caler Jinbei flash kit.

Lets start with the stands.

As shown in the image you want to extend your stand so that the base level is level with the ground. This ensures your stand is at the sturdiest angle.These stands are not the most industrial; if you are shooting on location I would suggest using weights to make sure everything stays in place.

Now lets attach the flash heads. To do this simply place the light on top of the stand and tighten using the adjustment screw.

You can adjust the angle of the light.

To do this use the toggle shown in the next image.

Another cool adaption that I like about these lights is the red signal light on top of the flash heads. This lets you know the flash is on and has gone off, if your shooting tethered this is really handy (also if like me you get annoyed by the beeping, its another way of knowing they’ve gone off without having the sound effects).

Now remember the bulbs you got in the pack? Lets put those to use. These bulbs are you’re average light bulbs technically called modeling bulbs. They are constant, and will light up the subject and give you a feel for how your light will fall.

Simply take them out of the packaging and fit them in the front of the flash head like a normal light bulb.

Your flash will now look like this.

This is a bare flash. If you want to create beautiful attractive light in your images then you will need to add a modifier!

In the previous post I walked you through setting up a softbox so today we will do the octobox.

This is everything you need for the octobox.

Start off by laying the speed ring (the plastic ring) on a suitable surface. Now place the black/silver octobox material on top of it, silver side up.

These are called struts. They will form the shape of your octobox. Now these things are pretty strong so don’t worry about putting too much pressure on them. You need to lace each one along an edge and put the ‘thin’ end into a pocket on the end.

Now place each strut into its holder in the speed ring. The pressure will build as you go from one to the next.

You’re octobox should have now taken form.

Now attach the inner diffuser. You will need the smaller piece of white material. Use the metal hooks and attach them to each white tab

Finally attach the outer diffuser or cover.

Next mount the octobox to the light. The 250w Caler Jinbei Kit has a particularly easy fit. Just slide it all the way back.

Notice that the case has Velcro openings along each edge. This is so you have easy access inside. Make sure all these flaps are sealed to prevent any light leakage.

Next you want to attach the trigger first and then the cable into the back.

You are ready to go!

Next time I will put both kits against each other to see the real difference in performance!

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