EX 400 battery powered Monolight

I know it’s been a while and i need to get back into blogging. Some of you may have seen this on our studio blog. So to help get me back into the swing I thought I would re post my blog here


EX Series portable monolight  is available in 400wWS and 600WS versions and are designed for outdoor shooting, there is also a EXR 400 Ring flash available. I bought the 400WS flash from China (via e-Bay) for €240.00 + € 12.00 postage + €24.00 tax. The change in aperture is less than 0.1 of an f/ when the exposure timing is between 1/60s and 1/500s.

The kit contains:

Flash head with handle *1 PCS
Power pack *1 PCS
Battery pack *1 PCS
Charger *1 PCS
Wireless remote trigger RT-02 *1 set
Aluminium case *1PCS
Translucent cap *1 PCS
Sync cord *1 PCS
1.5-meter power cord *1 PCS
Vehicle cigarette lighter cord *1 PCS
Power pack bag *1 PCS


Technical Data:

Original manufacturer: Unknown, but it is re-braded and sold by several distributors (easily found online)
Model: EX400
Max power Output: 400WS
Power variation: 9 steps in 1/3 (not yet verified with a flash meter)
(ISO100)Guide Number: 52
Bayonet: Bowen/Aurora
Modelling Lamp: 12V 20WS halogen
Recycle Time (Full Light): 1.8s @ full power
Illumination Angle: 65
Rated voltage of the Charger: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz
Battery: Rechargeable nickel-hydrogen battery
Battery Charge Mode: Exclusive Charger
Battery Loading & Unloading: Built-in (replaceable)
Full Charge Indication: Green light


The manufacture claims more than 180 times flashes with full power (600WS), I got 160 flashes on one charge using the 400WS unit. Battery recharging can be done using a vehicle cigarette lighter. Next I will be ordering a second battery pack as 160 shot is just too limiting.


First impressions

As it only took 4 working days to get delivered from China (to Germany) I can only say that even before opening I was in a positive mind frame. The first battery charge took about 3 hours. As it’s a “made in China” e-bay product I was sceptical about the quality and planed to resell it quick if it wasn’t up to my expectations. I’m glad to say the important parts, flash-head, power pack (base unit), battery and charger of an acceptable quality. But the cheap trigger and metal case are IMHO just a waste of space (I guess the metal case is OK for storage). There is also a convenient shoulder bag for the power pack that i use a lot more than the metal case.

First Problem

It has a lot of power, when set its minimum power it light up a 4mx6m room (bouncing it off the roof) @ f5.6 ISO100 1/250th and full power felt like a nuclear apocalypse. Fortunately if for outdoor use so there is a lot more space to work with, making it easier to create a shallow depth of field.

Second Problem

Built into the flash head is an umbrella holder but the hole way to small to fit any of the shoot through or silver umbrellas I own, rendering the function useless. Fortunately you can remove the pistol grip, which is attached by a standard tripod 1/4″ thread. So I attached a spigot and umbrella holder, as I’m no that interested in hand holding the flash its not a major problem for me either.

Third Problem

When you adjust the flash power down it doesn’t automatically adjust the output. You need to fire the flash once before the changes take affect

The Positive points

Even though I haven’t said a lot of positive things about it I actually like it. It’s cheap, light weight and uses the popular bowens bayonet (which I have a lot of light formers for). As long as you know its limitation and can work with them it’s a great unit that delivers results.


About shotbyscott

Just another photography blog.. I also like all kinds of accessories
This entry was posted in I have seen the light and the dark side, lightGIANTS, pimp my camera, wow thats flash and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to EX 400 battery powered Monolight

  1. Julie says:

    Would love to help you use the equipment 😉

  2. Thanks for the tip. Very usefull

  3. Pingback: EXR 400 Ring Flash review | shot by Scott's Blog

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