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Dynalite revamps power pack lineup, releases high performance 1600ws pack  
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 | by Rob Galbraith
dynalite_road_rp800.jpg
Location Ready: The Dynalite Road RP800 (Photo courtesy Dynalite)
Lighting maker Dynalite has announced a revamp of its entire Road and Roadmax power pack lineup.

Going forward, both series will be comprised of 400ws, 800ws and 1600ws packs. The top model is a new addition to each series, while the other two are slightly less powerful - but better performing - versions of the 500ws and 1000ws models that made up these series previously.

The company has also officially unveiled a new high performance 1600ws pack. Available in both Studio SP1600 and Arena AP1600 variants, the new unit promises fast recycle times and exceptional flash duration and is aimed at photographers who need to freeze action and work quickly.

The revamped Road and Roadmax series

The RP400, RP800 and RP1600 that make up the Road series incorporate three head sockets in two banks, a full/half/quarter capacitor switch plus two-stop variator, symmetrical or asymmetrical power distribution, optical slave, modeling light toggle, test button with ready light, audible recycle beeper (which can be turned off) and 1/4 inch sync jack. The Roadmax MP400, MP800 and MP1600 utilize the same flash components and offer the same performance as their Road series equivalents, but add a fourth head socket and built-in 32 Standard channel PocketWizard module.

Reducing the power of its existing 500ws and 1000ws packs by 1/3 stop, says Dynalite president Peter Poremba, enable the new packs to deliver faster flash duration and quicker recycling times in a smaller, lighter case.

rp400_duration_table.jpg
The new 400ws RP400/MP400, for example, is specified to be 1in/2.5cm shorter and 1lb/454g lighter than the 500ws model it replaces. The 400ws model can also recycle in 1 second at full power, which is 60% faster than the previous 500ws version, says Poremba.

The table at right shows the official t.5 flash duration numbers for the RP400/MP400 paired with Dynalite's MH2050 head, at the pack's full (400ws), half (200ws) and quarter (100ws) rocker switch positions.

All Road and Roadmax packs come in 120VAC input versions only.

The new SP1600 and AP1600

The Road and Roadmax series are geared towards shooters who want a relatively compact, lightweight and affordable entry into the world of power packs. The new SP1600 and AP1600, which are effectively the same 1600ws pack under the hood, are for photographers who want the best performance possible in a Dynalite product.

While the two are follow-ons to the 2000ws SP2000 and AP2000 packs, Dynalite did more than just turn the output down a bit. The SP1600 and AP1600 employ a new capacitor design that's purpose-built for short flash duration, the packs operate internally at 760 volts, up from the 700 volts of the previous models and which contributes to shorter flash duration, plus certain other internal components have been beefed up too.

ap1600_duration_table.jpg
All this contributes to a full power flash duration specification of 1/3300 (t.5) with an AH4000 bi-tube head attached. Full power recycle time is similarly impressive, at 1.2 seconds. Flash duration and recycle times become shorter still when the pack is set to lower power levels. The table at right shows the official t.5 flash duration numbers, for the pack paired with both AH4000 and MH2050 heads, at the SP1600/AP1600's full (1600ws), half (800ws) and quarter (400ws) rocker switch positions.

The AP1600 features three head sockets in two banks, a full/half/quarter capacitor switch plus two-stop variator, symmetrical or asymmetrical power, test button with ready light, audible recycle beeper (which can be turned off) and 1/4 inch sync jack. The SP1600 sports the same flash components and offers the same performance but adds a fourth head socket, built-in 32 Standard channel PocketWizard module, optical slave and modeling light control.

Mr. Freeze: Basketball lit by beta Dynalite AP1600 + custom AH4000 head combo. Click to enlarge (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)
We've been running beta units of this pack for some time, primarily to shoot university sports, and wrote about that in a July 2009 article.

The full production packs are essentially unchanged from the beta units and have the same short flash duration capability, says Poremba. He indicates that internal operating voltage is slightly lower, and that recycle time is slightly faster, relative to our beta fleet, but the real world impact of these differences on flash performance is negligible.

Also, the length and gauge of the production AH4000 bi-tube head's cables is different than the custom-built AH4000s we have. The production unit's cables reduce the stress on the pack, to enable it to work reliably at higher power levels, says Poremba, though at the expense of a slightly longer flash duration compared to what we reported six months ago. Though, as you can see from the table above, flash duration with the production AH4000 head and production SP1600/AP1600 pack is still very sweet.

For more, check out Taking it to 11 with the Dynalite AP1600 (the relevant section is about halfway down the linked page).

The SP1600 and AP1600 come in 120VAC input versions only.

Price and availability

dynalite_price_table.jpg
The Road series RP400 and RP800, Roadmax series MP400 and MP800, Studio series SP1600 and Arena series AP1600 are all slated to ship to Dynalite dealers this month.

The RP1600 and MP1600 are scheduled to be released in March 2011.

The table at right shows the U.S. Minimum Advertised Price (MAP), which is usually a pretty good indicator of street price, for the new Dynalite products as well as the AH4000 bi-tube head.


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