Amazon Basics Speedlights - $27.99 - Back in stock

Rick Waldroup

Regular
Apr 8, 2012
43
Texas
Thanks for the link, Andrew. The price is unbelievable if the quality is anywhere being decent. I don't often use a flash, but when I do (usually for meet-and-greet situations), it is always in manual mode and almost always off camera. Hey, let us know your opinions on it after you receive it. A couple of these as second and third lights would be great at this price.
 
Last edited:

Rick Waldroup

Regular
Apr 8, 2012
43
Texas
I went ahead and ordered one. I had a few bonus points saved up on my Amazon account and that dropped the price down to $18.00 with free shipping. You can't beat that for a deal. Andrew, let's compare notes later on and Antonio, we'll let you know how things turn out.
 
I went ahead and ordered one. I had a few bonus points saved up on my Amazon account and that dropped the price down to $18.00 with free shipping. You can't beat that for a deal. Andrew, let's compare notes later on and Antonio, we'll let you know how things turn out.
Absolutely! I will put my other blog posts on the back burner and get these things reviewed once I get them in! :D
 
Ok...initial impression time!

They arrived today in a plain brown box with an Amazon Basics sticker sealing the box. Words in different languages reads "Electronic Flash for DSLR Cameras"

Opening the box and you get a manual with instructions in 8 languages. The flash unit itself, a ripstop-like pouch for the flash and a little hot shoe stand. Everything wrapped up in that anti-static type plastic.

The flashes are big. A few millimeters taller and wider than a Nikon SB-26. My SB-28 and SB-600 are much smaller in comparison.

It takes 4 AA batteries. Used Eneloop Pros for the initial test and the flash fired up almost instantly and just popped away, even at 1:1. Manual claims that it could take up to 3 seconds to recharge after a full power pop.
Guide number is listed at 33 @ ISO 100. Power is rated from 1:1 through 1:128 in 1 stop increments.

The flash has a power port for external power, the standard one with 3 metal pins. It also has a PC sync port for off camera triggers. On the back part of the fresnel is a built in wide angle diffuser and a white bounce card.

It states in the manual that the flash will sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity, but can be woke by pressing the test button or by turning on the camera. I will have to test if this will power on by half pressing the camera or by waking the remote flash trigger.

A bit of a shocker, but the hot shoe is metal. I was expecting plastic. While we are on the subject of plastic...this is one of the small let downs of the unit. The plastic seems flimsy, but not sure if that is because of the quality of the plastic or if it is just not supported well with an internal frame of some kind.

All the buttons have a positive press and are labeled well.

There are 3 modes. Manual (M), Slave 1 (S1) and Slave 2 (S2).
Manual is what you expect it to be. You trigger the flash and it goes off.

The slave modes are the interesting part. S1 is a built in optical slave. It fires as soon as it sees another flash fire off.
S2 claims to understand TTL signals and in theory ignores the TTL preflashes and only fires at the "correct" time. I did a quick test with my Ricoh GR II in TTL flash mode and it appeared to do as advertised. I will need to test this a bit more to see if it really does work.

The head does swivel and tilt, however, there is no lock. If you have a heavy mod on the flash, it will not be able to lock into an angled position or stay straight.

I tested the optical slave as well as remote triggers. Radio triggers of choice were the Radio Popper JrX. Flash fired every time with no failures, probably did 20 low power pops and 10 full power pops.

I'll use them on my next photoshoot, report back on that experience and if there are any specific questions, fire away! :D
 

Rick Waldroup

Regular
Apr 8, 2012
43
Texas
Thanks, Andrew. Mine arrives tomorrow.

I am interested in the fact that you used radio poppers to fire the flashes. I was under the assumption the flash would only fire optically. I do not have any gigs coming up in the next few weeks, so if you use them at your next photoshoot, by all means, let us know how it went.
 
Thanks, Andrew. Mine arrives tomorrow.

I am interested in the fact that you used radio poppers to fire the flashes. I was under the assumption the flash would only fire optically. I do not have any gigs coming up in the next few weeks, so if you use them at your next photoshoot, by all means, let us know how it went.
Yep, they can be fired from the hotshoe or from the PC sync port on the side as well as optically. Color me pleasantly surprised! :D
 
Yesterday, I had a chance to finally use the Amazon flashes on a job.

I eased into it slowly, as the last thing I want to do is compromise the integrity of a client paid shoot. What this means is that I used my Alien Bee's as a key and accent light and relegated the AmazonBasics Flash to hair light. I'll post a few sample pics either tonight or tomorrow from the shoot. I've not yet begun processing the images yet.

So, how did it perform? Very well! Synced with the AB's just fine, very quite. I realized that there is no whine of the capacitors when it recharges, at least nothing in the same level like my Nikon SBs. I can appreciate the simplicity of the interface as well. I just needed to power it on and click the power adjuster. Ready to go.

When I first did a test, I connected the Amazon flash to the hot shoe activator on my Radio Popper trigger. That worked fine. For this shoot, I needed to use the older RP trigger that requires the use of a cable. The PC sync port is tight and has a nice click to it. Unlike the older Nikon SBs where the cable can sometimes pop out...that is not going to happen with teh Amazon flash.

So, real world test number one = success!
 
Man...got busy! Finally had a chance to finish up the portrait session post processing.

Nothing earth shattering, but here are three images. A lot of subjects had darker hair and the black background was eating their hair, so I used the AmazonBasics Flash as a hair light.
This is the setup I used, quick cell phone snap:






 
Here are 2 images from the father/daughter dance I shot. Only used 2 AmazonBasics Flashes at 1/4 power. Powerex 2700 mah batteries. same light mods as the portraits from above, which are umbrella boxes.

Shooting info, 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 320

Around 100+ flashes over an hour and a half time frame, no failures with consistent power output. The flashes do go to sleep after 5 minutes of non-use, but a quick test button press from the transmitter wakes them up and they are ready to go.


 

Latest threads

Top Bottom