Hands-On with the New Radio Controlled Lumopro LP180R

Photos and words by Spencer Lookabaugh.  Check out his website and hit him up on Instagram.

Model: Missy Moziejko.

Lumopro surprised the photographic community in 2013 with the release of the LP180 speedlight. This successor to the LP160 offers amazing performance for a relatively low price compared to competitors. With a guide number of 110, the LP180 is powerful enough to use outdoors  for portraiture, and even automotive photography.

If the LP180 was a game changer for many people due to its accessibility and performance, Lumopro has outdone itself with the new LP180R.

Introducing the LP180R!
Introducing the LP180R!

The LP180R is the latest and greatest piece of gear from Lumopro. For users of the current LP180, there is little to no change with the layout of the new unit – the change lies within the flash. The LP180R has a wireless receiver built in to the unit, much like Canon 430 EXIII’s and Canon 600EX RT’s. The key difference, and what I think separates these new LP180R flashes from their competition, is the integration of a Phottix Odin receiver. The built-in receiver allows Canon and Nikon users to remotely control the power, zoom and mode of the flash from their cameras with the use of the Odin transmitter. The built-in receiver also gives the LP180R a TTL option and allows the flash to be triggered remotely by an Odin transmitter.

Phottix Odin TTL transmitter
The Phottix Odin works together with the LP180R, providing not only remote power control, but also full TTL capability.

I decided to put the Lumopro LP180R to the test with a fitness shoot. I worked with my friend and fitness model, Missy, as she was back in town for a few days. We quickly decided that we would shoot in her regular gym. Since we could not block out a time slot, we were forced to work while the gym was open. This presented a problem, as I needed multiple lights to achieve the effect for which I was looking. I did not want to lug around several monolights or a battery pack system, as they are heavy and I did not have an assistant for moving or setting up the lights. The LP180R’s really came in handy here, as I could bring small and light 10-foot stands; as opposed to heavy, less portable C-stands. It was also easier for me to move the lights around quickly during the shoot. Luckily, we had most of the day to work, so there was not a huge rush. The only thing that hampered our progress was having to work around the gym members. We did most of the shoot in the free space in the corner of the gym so as to avoid that issue.

Photo by Spencer Lookabaugh

Shot using the Lumopro LP180R speedlight.

These images were shot on a Nikon D800 using the Sigma Art Series 24mm and 50mm, and the Nikon 85mm 1.4G. These three lenses not only gave me a wide variety of perspectives, but also the flexibility to work in tight spaces like the squat rack, or longer open areas like the free space where we created the bench and tire flip shots. My lighting setup for most of these shots was simple: I had one flash on each side of Missy, and two flashes in the 3’x4’ softbox in order to fill it evenly.  Because I could separately control each back-light to create a more dramatic fill, the Odin transmitter gave me a huge amount of flexibility. Also, I could easily shut one light off if it did not add to the shot. The key light in the 3’x4’ softbox was boomed high overhead, which would have made adjusting the power and zoom much more difficult without the control from the Odin transmitter.

A photographer could set up several LP180R flashes around a reception room at a wedding and have full control of the flashes in manual (1/1 to 1/128th power) or flash exposure compensation from -3 to +3 in thirds of a stop on TTL mode for run-and-gun shooting. The built-in receiver adds a huge level of versatility and control over each individual unit. The Odin transmitter also allows for three groups to be made on any given channel. This feature came to be quite helpful when I was shooting the series of fitness images that are shown. The back lights were on groups B and C, so that I could adjust them individually and balance my fill light better. The key light, which was in the Lumopro 3’x4’ softbox, was set to channel A. The remote adjustments allowed me to shoot quickly and efficiently, as I could make any changes I needed to without having to move an inch.

Photo by Spencer Lookabaugh.

While the introduction of a receiver built in to the unit is extremely advantageous, it would be a gimmick if it did not work well. Lumopro certainly delivered here, as the flashes never failed to fire during the 6 hour shoot, in which we shot almost 500 frames. The lack of reliability has often been an issue that I have had with off-camera flash units in the past. The LP180R impressed me continually throughout the day as I never had to stop the model or slow the shoot down due to equipment problems.

Photo by Spencer Lookabaugh

These are all features that a professional flash unit should deliver and the LP180R fits the bill perfectly. Not only did they give a beautiful quality of light, but the reliability of the triggering system made my experience as a photographer much easier! As a Nikon user that shoots a lot of off-camera flash portraiture, I can see many LP180R’s in my bag in the near future.

TJ Hansen

Photographer at MPEX.com

10 thoughts on “Hands-On with the New Radio Controlled Lumopro LP180R

  1. I own and use LP180s and no question they are good units. I use Phottix Odin for TTL triggering with my Sb-910s. I also use Profoto B1s and a B2. I’m frequently outdoors and find uses for high speed sync shooting at 1/500th. And faster. It’s a tool I use often. The Lp180r doesn’t support HSS with Nikon. Lumopro supports Canon though. I just don’t care for vendors that are too lazy to implement full support across the board. I was pumped to hear about the LP180R because it would open up some cool options with my speed lights but then buried in the news is the fact that Nikon is not fully supported. Well I’m not supporting Lumopro then either. No more pushing their products with students or other photographers. I’ll keep and use my 180s but just for accent lights supporting the SB-910s and B1/B2 lights.

    1. Wally, the LP180R with the Odin, does, in fact, support Nikon’s High Speed Sync! Nikon doesn’t call it HSS, though- they call it Nikon Auto FP mode, and not all camera bodies in their line support that function. If your camera body supports Nikon Auto FP mode, than you have HSS with the Odin and the LP180R! If you have any more questions about how to make Nikon Auto FP mode work with the LP180R email support@lumopro.com! Keep shooting and keep learning!

    1. Let me rephrase my question. Can i use other transmitters to trigger the new Lumopro lp180R and still have full power capability with mt Fuji Xpro1???

      1. Duns,
        The way that the Odin is designed to work does not allow for power control of the flash unless it is connected to the TTL system of a camera. So, a Canon-programmed Odin has to be in the hot-shoe of a Canon camera to give control, and the same with the Nikon-programmed Odin. The best deal for Fuji is the original LP180 for manual control and some money savings! Feel free to email support@lumopro.com for any other questions about compatibility!!!

  2. Wow, I have to say. Wow, how come nobody came across your post before. I have always been wondering what else can REST service do and you have just answered that.

  3. How do you get the Odin to control the power of the LP180R? I just received mine and while it triggers the flash just fine, it will not adjust the power in either TTL or M. I have the flash set to RX-C and M. The Odin is set to M for the group the flash is in. It fires it just fine, but power won’t adjust. Any hints?

    1. Kevin,
      To have manual power control, the Odin receiver needs to be set to TTL mode, as does the LP180R. The TTL system is what allows for manual and auto power adjustment. You can then change each channel individually to ‘M’ or standard TTL, M giving you manual power control, standard TTL will allow auto-power adjustment. Your Odin is set up correctly, you just need to put the LP180R into TTL mode.

      Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, you can always email support@lumopro.com and they will be happy to answer any questions you have also!

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