I first heard about this light when it first came out about a year ago but was busy with other aspects of my business to learn more about this new amazing technology. It certainly sounded like the answer to my needs. Unlike the Profoto b1x, this light would work with my existing Canon system of speedlites (including using TTL and HSS, High Speed Sync) for a third of the price!
This Summer I needed more power on sunny days than my Canon flashes would produce so I decided to buy the Orlit monolight (a rebranded Jinbei HD 610) from Adorama after a lot of online research.
Advantages of using this monolight:
This flash will keep a constant color temperature of + or -150 Kelvin over its power range. That is something I heard its competitor, the older Godox 600, was not very good at as one top pro I know switched from using the Godox to the Profoto system for this very reason.
Ok, a little bit of my geekness is showing here, so bear with me.
To be able to use any trigger I own for my existing four Canon 600ex flash with this light is a big plus! No other light system that I know of allows this. That saves me a lot of time and money. I don’t have to sell my existing flash systems and buy some other brand that will work with the monolight.
For me I have an existing set of four photogenic monolights that can be used inside. I can use my Canon flash system outside. But to use both inside or out I find I need to carry both systems! Not convenient! Combining the Orlit with my existing Canon flash would fix this problem at a bare minimum cost.
Adorama ships the The TR-Q6 trigger separately from the monolight. It fits in the hot shoe of your camera and has two modes RT and RF. Set the TR-Q6 to RF mode when using it exclusively with the Orlit lights. I set the light to channel 01 And also do the same on the trigger ID.
For use with my Canon flash I needed to set the channel to 00 as well as on the trigger ID which was for RT mode.
Personally, I found using my Canon 600EX flash was more useful and less glitchy when I had it as the trigger than I did using the TR-Q6 in RT mode. The TR-Q6 worked better when using it with the orlit system only in RF mode. The RF mode allowed for 1/10 stop increments where in RT mode I could only use 1/3 stop increments for changing the power setting.
Why does Orit have two different modes you ask?
Apparently, they came out with other monolight systems (after the 610 was created) that use 1/10 stop increments and needed a special mode to be used exclusively with them.
When using the TR-Q6 it is a little confusing to know which mode RT, or RF you are in as the only indication is a blinking CH number when looking at the trigger’s display. If it does not blink you are in a different mode than when it does blink (quite frankly I forget which does which?). More importantly, sometimes the system does not respond as set? Doing a power reset (powering both the the trigger and the light off and then back on) fixes the problem.
I much preferred using my Canon’s ST-E3 trigger with the unit as I found the TR-Q6 AAA alkaline batteries (recommended) to run down after about 8 hours of use! Rechargeable batteries seem to work but then the power indication on the trigger will show less charge even with a full charge on them.
Pushing the big knob (to the right of my thumb) allows you to switch between 1/10 and full stop increments. Then just turn the knob to continue with increasing or decreasing power.
I found the light to be very well made and love the case that it comes with. The fact that it comes with a 2 year warranty from Adorama is a plus. It had plenty of power to knock down the sun outside and the high speed sync feature is quite accurate and works well. As I shoot TTL a lot it was great to be able to use this feature or switch to manual flash mode if I so desired.
This light does not have the TCM (TTL Convert to Manual) mode that Profoto and Godox systems have (where you can shoot TTL flash and with a button convert it over to Manual flash at the same power level). Still, I found using the Orlit in TTL flash mode was all I really needed to speed up getting my exposures quickly.
What I didn’t expect was how top heavy the light was (having a long body for its case), as I found it required a heavy light stand to counter this possible tipping effect (I felt it wanted to tip over outside when using one of my lighter stands on a slight grade or hill). Because of this, the added weight made it very difficult to carry in one hand outside.
Though it was a little quirky and complicated to use, switching between the RT and RF modes, I liked its low price and it would have made a great addition to my lighting system were it not for the shallow mounting hole. The light tended to rock in any of my stands, even after tightened down! I feared it would not hold up under the test of time when used outside.
Adorama did a good job of helping me to return the light. I ended up purchasing a Flashpoint Xplor 400 Pro monolight from them instead. It cost quite a bit more and I lost a key feature mentioned earler. But I feel good that this light has a solid mount on it!
Given all that was mentioned, I have no doubt the Orlit monolight would hold up fine for inside use. And at its current price would be excellent for taking advantage of the new TTL and HSS technology that are now available in modern strobe systems.