September 19, 2014, 04:20:03 PM

Author Topic: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt  (Read 2284 times)

jaayres20

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Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« on: January 28, 2014, 04:37:11 PM »
I am a wedding photographer and for the last two wedding seasons I have been happily using 3 600ex-rt flashes.  One on camera and two off.  I used to set my on camera flash to ETTL and both off camera flashes to manual mode.  I controlled the output via group mode on my master flash.  For a while now I have been setting all of my flashes to manual because I can get more consistent light and the batteries last longer.  The only time I would use ETTL on my on camera flash is if I for some reason had nothing but air above and around me and needed to point my flash straight ahead. 

Like I said I love the flashes but I have run into a few areas that I call "dead zones" where the radio signal gets screwed up but those times have been very rare.  My biggest complaint is that even at low power settings like 1/32 or 1/64 I find that my slave flashes will go into thermal protection mode which cause all three flashes to stop working.  It really doesn't take much for these guys to stop working.  I don't ever remember my 580exII and pocket wizards ever doing that.  The only way to correct the problem is to turn off the slave flash that is "overheated" and then turn it back on.  Often this happens at a very inconvenient time where I can't go across the crowded room and make the adjustment.  But I have learned to deal with this.

A few of my friends have dropped their flashes which has caused the radios in them to stop working so I have been looking into getting backups for my 3.  Instead of just buying three new 600s I got to thinking that I really don't need a backup ETTL flash and that I would actually probably prefer just three manual flashes with a simple trigger.  As nice as the 600ex flashes are, they are more than I need feature wise.  However, they do lack in power sometimes. 

After a little research I came across these cheetah lights:
 https://www.cheetahstand.com/A-New-Bare-Bulb-Flash-Arrives-p/cl-180combo.htm

They seem like they would do everything I need them to do at a wedding reception and outperform the 600ex flashes in terms of power.  The only downside would be the lack of ettl which I hardly use and the added extra trigger mounted to my camera since it won't be in in the flash.

Anyone have any experience with these flashes? 

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Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« on: January 28, 2014, 04:37:11 PM »

BoneDoc

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 05:14:46 PM »
I have their 360 and it's awesome.  It roughly the Sam power output of 3-4 699ex-rt, and it's a true bare bulb flash

If you need a speedlite type, then consider their v850.

The good thing with the Cheetah is that you can also trigger them as slave 1(master on manual) or slave2(master on Ettl).  Of course that's assuming there aren't tons others firing their flashes.  Powe can be remotely controlled and changed as well, so that's nice.

jonathan7007

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 07:17:56 PM »
Is full loss of *all* flashes an intended design trait of the 600RT system when one is thermally "challenged"? (I use Odins with 580's and 550 but have always followed the 600 series capabilities so I'd know what I was missing.)

RGomezPhotos

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2014, 12:52:01 AM »
When I saw those Cheetahs...  I started salivating! Big power in a Speedlite form factor.

I have read nothing but glowing reviews on those units. Especially from wedding photographers. I'm going to wait a while and see if Phottix will come out with something similar. I don't want to use multiple radio systems and I love my Phottix gear. Putting a bare-bulb into a softbox always looks better than a speedlite.

Have you tried using different batteries in your lights? Say NiHM vs Lithium. How about taking them in for service?

Good work and website BTW  ;D
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jaayres20

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 11:09:18 AM »
Have you tried using different batteries in your lights? Say NiHM vs Lithium. How about taking them in for service?

I have always used rechargeable batteries.  Now I use the Powerex AA 2700mAh NiMH Rechargeable.  I never had an issue with my old 580exII or 430exII overheating and I used to shoot a lot faster when I used those flashes.  I am more deliberate now with my shots and it sill can overheat on me if I am not careful.  I am just very upset that when one of three flashes goes into thermal protection mode it causes all of the flashes to stop working.  Whoever made that happen has no idea what kind of panic that can send a wedding or event photographer into.  I have been put into some bad situations when that happened unexpectedly.

It would be nice if I could find a way to override or trick the flash into not going into thermal protection mode.  I mean I would think a 600ex should be able to shoot at 1/32 all night without any issues.  I would understand if I had cranked them up to 1/4 or 1/2 power.     

echelonphoto

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2014, 04:23:59 PM »
Hi...I am going to invade this thread because we have a lot in common....I just got the Cheetah 180 and also have two 600rt's...I have been using the rt's as fill flash on camera via ttl and triggering the 180 with my old photix stratos triggers which allow you to mount the on camera flash in normal operation. The system works great and I actually do 3 light commercial shoots like this...on camera fill (ttl)...kicker light (600 rt on manual) and the Cheetak
with an umbrella as key light. The one thing I was missing was the ability to do HSS with the 180 outside..so I invested in 2 Yongnuo 622c triggers. I was able to get hss from the cheetah, but it really did not give me any signifcant power gain in HSS...plus my 600 rt's won't play well with ...I lose the ttl adjustment...just does not work.

Still trying to figure this out...probably will have to wait until the Yongnuo rt's are available.

BoneDoc

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 05:19:18 AM »
I have the 360 and it's about 2 stops more than the 600EX RT.  If you don't venture beyond manual much, then it's a great option.

Another great and less costly option is the V850, or the V860 if you need some TTL.  For the price of 1 600EX RT, you can get 3 V850, and not have to mess with batteries, and battery packs.

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2014, 05:19:18 AM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2014, 07:32:54 AM »
These look a lot like Q-flash without the hefty price tag.

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Re: Cheetah Light CL-180 vs Canon 600ex-rt
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2014, 07:32:54 AM »