Years ago, flashes were simple. They were designed to provide more or less power.
In fact, Vivitar had the 283 and 285 flash contained one dial that literally controlled the power of output. In recent years, Vivitar tried to recreate one of the most sought after flashes of all time. However, it failed David Hobby’s test – big time.
This is where LumoPro steps in with the LP160, a fully manual flash that will work on any hot shoe.
The flash I picked up for the Leica M9 has only one center pin, which means no matter what TTL system your camera uses, this flash will work…manually. While comparable to some of the most popular modern flash units, this is more than half the price.
LumoPro LP-160 Specs
- Guide number: 140 (at ISO 100, feet) which is equivalent to the Nikon SB-900 and Canon 580 EX II
- Remote function: Optical Slave, Digital Optical Slave, PC syncro port, miniphone (3.5mm) port
- Shoe: Standard ISO, screw lock, single pin, metal construction
- Power settings, Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64
- Zoom Settings: 24, 28, 35, 50, 70, 85, 105mm
- Wide-angle adapter: Included (although I wish it was a Sto-fen style dome)
- Swivel: 270 degrees
- Tilt: 187 degrees, -7 degree tilt for macro photography
- Flash ready light: LED front and back
- Minimum Recycling Time, Full power: 4 seconds with AA Ni-MH
- Power source: 4 type AA batteries, Including Alkaline-manganese, Lithium, NiMH.
- Optional Power Supply 3rd party: Quantum Battery 1+, 1C and 2 with MB5
- Dimensions (flat): Aprox. 2.6 x 3.1 x 7.2 in. (66 x 79 x 183 mm)
- Weight: 12.8oz (0.8lbs, 362grams)
- Supplied accessories: Wide-angle diffuser, Miniphone to PC syncro cable, flash stand.
- Warranty: 2 years from date of purchase.
LumoPro LP-160 Performance
I did a bunch of tests with the LP-160 and the Leica M9.
Even with the extremely high ceilings, the flash had no problem putting out the power to make the room light up.
The next test was a night portrait, also off-camera using a PocketWizard. This photograph of my friend Gevon, was taken during the Battery Park Photowalk with Trey Ratcliff.
In this photograph, I wanted the light to be subtle on Gevon. I wanted him to stand out from the city, but not too much. The flash easily listened to my commands (as did the human light stand) Some shutter speed adjustments and the shot was exactly how I wanted it to be.
My most recent test was during a vacation with my wife’s side of the family. We stayed down the shore, about 30 minutes from where I live, at a bed and breakfast. We were only one street from the beach, so one evening we decided to walk on the beach way after dark. When I say it was dark, I mean it. If I didn’t have a flashlight, it would be bad news.
So when you see this photograph, remember that it was pitch black and the flash at to illuminate the entire family.
More About The LumoPro LP-160
You can read more about the LumoPro LP-160 on their website or pick one up for yourself from MPEX. I believe it’s worth consideration. Especially for Leica shooters, or anyone who wants a fully manual flash without the frills of the camera brand units.
Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
PS. As LumoPro likes to say, “Take Control and Shoot Manual“.