Photography News Issue 71

First tests

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PRICE: £169

HAHNEL.IE

Is this small speedlight the ideal flash for mirrorless cameras? Hahnel Modus 360RT

SPECS

› Price £169 › What’s in the box Modus 360 RTwireless speedlight, HLX-MD2 Extreme 2000mAh battery, USB poweredMD2 ultra- compact charger, USB cable, carry case › Power output GN36 at ISO 100, 105mm › Power output range 1/1 to 1/128 › Flash exposure compensation +/-3.0EV › Number of flashes 400 full power per charge › Groups/channels 3 groups with digital channel matching › Wireless triggering RF up to 50m › Modes TTL, multi andmanual › Flash duration 1/350 to 1/20,000sec › Recycling 1.7sec full power › LED light 110lx at 1m, approx 5600K › High speed sync Yes, to 1/8000sec › Power supply Rechargeable li-ion battery › Dimensions (wxhxd) 50x64x105mm › Weight 310g including battery › Contact hahnel.ie Hahnel quotes 400 full power flashes, but of course you will get thousands if you’re using the lower settings. An extra battery will only set you back around £40, so that’s a great option. Recycle time at full power was definitely around the 1.7secs specified and also pretty much instantaneous at 1/4 and below. KS

as you’d expect light falls dramatically. It didn’t function when the electronic shutter was engaged. The flash has solid build, and a robust head that doesn’t wobble or sag in use, even when the camera is shaken. There’s a decent range of movement, with -7º to 90º vertical and 270º horizontal, missing the 90º from the rear left. The mounting lock is good, too. Instead of using a screw or friction lever, it locks in place and has to be pressed and turned to release, while a red dot shows you it’s connected. The screen is small, but not overly burdened by icons, and everything is clear; flash power on the left, zoom and other settings on the right. It illuminates in orange, making it easy to read in the dark. The Fujifilm version should be green, of course, but you can’t have it all! Button layout is also clear, with the Mode, Zoom, Sync and Group inputs below the screen, and Test and Power below. In between the latter is the Set and a dial. A dab of Set in TTL mode brings up flash compensation, controlled by the dial. Mode can be cycled between manual, TTL and multi. In multi mode, pressing Set toggles the dial between power and frequency of flashes.

CAMERAS ARE GETTING smaller, especially the mirrorless variety, and a new generation of flashguns is shrinking tomatch them. One such unit is the Hahnel Modus 360RT, available in Canon, Nikon, Panasonic/Olympus (MFT), Fujifilm and Sony versions. We tested the Fujifilm version with an X-T2. Smaller flashes generally mean lower output, but the 360RT balances its size with a li-ion battery, giving a guide number of 36, and other benefits, too. Power is more predictable and consistent than when using AAs, so it doesn’t tail off or extend the recycle times as it runs towards empty. Testing the full power output with a Gossen Digipro F2, with the flashmanually zoomed to its maximum 69mm (105mm equivalent) setting, this gave us f/22 at 1m, ISO 100. In practice you’d likely bounce off a white ceiling or through a diffuser, so power is sacrificed. To get a better idea of the 360RT’s usefulness, we fired into a ceiling about 1moff, this time getting f/4 at 1m, ISO 100. Considering that you can then raise ISO, or use a faster aperture, it’s plenty of power for portraits. TTL exposures with the X-T2 were good, and the HSSmode worked perfectly right up to 1/8000sec, though

you get a very obvious vignette from it up to about 35mm, a 50mm full-frame equivalent. It’s very ‘on axis’, but again, that could be used creatively. Flash coverage was good with the head zooming automatically, and when set manually at 16mm it showed only minor fall off at 1m from a wall. You can force vignetting by shooting wide and manually zooming the head, of course. There’s also a tiny catchlight panel and wide-angle diffuser taking the zoom to 12mm, and softening light more.

In a bit of a design twist, the 360RT also uses an LED ‘video light’ on its front. This is activated by holding Set for two seconds, then pressing again for on/off, with the wheel controlling power between five settings. With the light meter set to ISO 800 and 1/60sec, we got around f/2.8 at 1mdistance, so it could be useful. It can also be used as the flash fires for slow sync effects and to add catchlights. The spread of the LED is not huge, and on the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-f/4 lens I was using,

Verdict This is a small, well-built flash, which is great for saving weight and space.Aguide number of 36might not sound likemasses of energy, but just as the 360RT’s formmatches smaller modern bodies, those bodies have improved ISO performance.The result? Less power is needed.As the 360RThas a built in 2.4GHz receiver and transmitter, a Hähnel Viper TTLcan be added for off-camera set-ups, or it can be used as amaster.

PROS Good build and handling, wireless options, price CONS Small head made fitting some accessories awkward

IMAGES The Hahnel Modus 360RT uses a li-ion battery and features a built-in LED video light, which can be used to create various video effects

46 Photography News | Issue 71

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