My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view

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MichaelFrederickPhoto
MichaelFrederickPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 453
My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view
1

I have been fascinated with the idea of the FV series being the hybrid LED and strobe for my headshot business.  I am having a fairly successful year for my standards and was looking add to my lighting system.  Currently I use the AD200’s for my Key & Fill with a MS300 in a strip for hair.  MOST headshot sessions I am shooting F 7.1 1/160 ISO 100.

I LOVE using the modeling light on the ADB2/AD200 but it does kill the battery so I created a custom rig with a LED 100W bulb on a bracket inside the softbox.  I wanted something more professional.  I am not at the revenue level that I can add 2-3 AD400 PROS with ac adapters.  I did consider going to the PCB digibee 800/400 system but their triggers suck as of now for Canon.  For 80% of my shoots I don’t need a battery based system,  I wish the AD200 had a power cord option like the Westcott FJ200.

So I grabbed the Flashpoint FV200 on sale for $350 to test out.  I figured worst case scenario, it could be a great fill light in the lower strip when I get to the AD400/600 budget.  I have read several comments on here about the flash power just not being strong enough but this is MY findings.

I did a series of test shots last night using a 25in BD, a 36in SB and a 65in umbrella.

25in BD:  At 1/1 power,  MORE than enough flash power at the above mentioned settings.  I didn’t shoot much with the BD but I was way over exposed when I tethered.

36in SB,  again at 1/1.  Placed 3ft infront of me,  I ran shots F5.6-6.3 1/160,  I found that I get great results going to ISO160/200.  Now in this rig,  I used a 16x48 curved strip with the AD200 at 1/32 for fill and it was a perfect balance.

In the 65in,  Placed at 7ft away,  I shot at F2.8 1/160 ISO 200 I was getting great light.  I have a newborn shoot coming up in 3-4 weeks and those can be 2-3-4 hrs depending on the baby so being able to stayed plugged in and not worry about the battery is awesome.

Now for the modeling light when in flash setting.  Holy damn,  is that bright.  I found that 20% was really ideal and plenty bright.  I tried 50% and I saw white dots!

So then I took some test shots with just the LED on at 50% in the 65in and needed to lower the shutter to 1/125 but everything else the same,  was fine.  I am not on the constant light for headshots bandwagon so not sure I would use that but as a fill light for more natural light shots,  I see it working GREAT.

NOW LET ME CLEAR.  This is not a replacement for an AD400/600 or even an AD200 but for someone who wants a powered strobe,  with a great modeling light and enough power to do headshots,  newborn photography, and food photography,  I think this is a GOOD choice but not great choice.  At $350,  I feel it’s a good value for MY needs.

If my results are what I am hoping for with the newborn shoot,  I will add a 2nd one for my fill light.  On more artistic shoots I will use them as side lights with the dual AD200’s as my main.

This is the light at 50%

This is the ML at 20%

Don’t mind the ugly model and yes the auto tracking AF missed my eyes.  This is F5.6 1/160 ISO 160 SOOC no edits.

I hope people find some value in this.

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https://www.instagram.com/michaelfrederickphotography/
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Canon R6, Canon 16-35 F4, Tamron 45mm 1.8, Sigma 105 1.4 and Tamron G2 70-200 2.8

tugwilson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,452
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view
2

Thank you, That's the first entirely positive review of that light that I've see. It obviously fits very well with your workflow.

For those not familiar with the light it's this one.

You are shooting in a studio with mains power available. I'm rather surprised that you are using AD200s. Presumably you have them so that you can use them on location?

Did you ever consider a DP400III which at $199 would appear to be a pretty cost effective solution?

MichaelFrederickPhoto
OP MichaelFrederickPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view

Thank you,  its a GOOD light but not perfect and lets be honest there are many people on here with very high expectations!   I would not pay the normal $450 but at $350 I am ok with it.

When I did my research on it,  Rob Hall had this at 1/1 being equal to the AD200 at 1/8th power,  I shoot my AD200 at 1/16 +3 so I knew I was covered.

I did look at the DP400 series as I have dual MS300’s as well.  I hate the tungsten ML and wanted the 5600k LED as the MS300 light gets very hot as well and sitting in my chair,  they can feel it.

I use the MS300 in my 5ft trip box mostly.

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https://www.instagram.com/michaelfrederickphotography/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/159695193@N02/albums
Canon R6, Canon 16-35 F4, Tamron 45mm 1.8, Sigma 105 1.4 and Tamron G2 70-200 2.8

tugwilson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,452
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view
1

MichaelFrederickPhoto wrote:

Thank you, its a GOOD light but not perfect and lets be honest there are many people on here with very high expectations! I would not pay the normal $450 but at $350 I am ok with it.

When I did my research on it, Rob Hall had this at 1/1 being equal to the AD200 at 1/8th power, I shoot my AD200 at 1/16 +3 so I knew I was covered.

I did look at the DP400 series as I have dual MS300’s as well. I hate the tungsten ML and wanted the 5600k LED as the MS300 light gets very hot as well and sitting in my chair, they can feel it.

I use the MS300 in my 5ft trip box mostly.

I have a couple of MS300s too. I haven't noticed them getting very hot but then mine are 240V versions and I don't use the MLs a lot.

Cidannoris New Member • Posts: 3
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view

Hi Michael, I want to say that you have done a lot of work. Of course, the result is not perfect, I think there is still work to be done, but as soon as we take into account the budget ... there were huge problems with the subsequent editing of the footage. At first, until I began to understand various photo editing applications myself, I had to contact the professionals, if I'm not mistaken, the guys from https://photoeditingindie.com helped me in editing photos with bad light. I want to thank you for such a useful article, it was very informative to see how others do it)))

MichaelFrederickPhoto
OP MichaelFrederickPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view

The self picture was to show the power of the light,  its not in focus nor is it edited.  That is not the level of work I give my clients.

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https://www.instagram.com/michaelfrederickphotography/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/159695193@N02/albums
Canon R6, Canon 16-35 F4, Tamron 45mm 1.8, Sigma 105 1.4 and Tamron G2 70-200 2.8

MichaelFrederickPhoto
OP MichaelFrederickPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view

So I ended up returning the light as the AD400PRO went on a $200 off sale so that was only $100 more than the FV200 and more to my needs but I do stand by my review that it does fill a niche!

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https://www.instagram.com/michaelfrederickphotography/
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Canon R6, Canon 16-35 F4, Tamron 45mm 1.8, Sigma 105 1.4 and Tamron G2 70-200 2.8

tugwilson Veteran Member • Posts: 3,452
Re: My FV200 review from a headshot/portrait shooter view
1

MichaelFrederickPhoto wrote:

So I ended up returning the light as the AD400PRO went on a $200 off sale so that was only $100 more than the FV200 and more to my needs but I do stand by my review that it does fill a niche!

I think that's a very sensible move. Lights like the FV200 may well indicate the future od photographic lighting but the AD400Pro is, in my view, the most generally useful of the Godox lights at the moment.

Take a look at the Godox mount softboxes. If you need to transport kit a lot they are lots easier to pack than Bowens mount ones. I have one and the build quality is pretty good.

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