The quick and successful search for an affordable and feature rich monolight. Why and what.

Neewer Vision VC-400 HS.

Last year I got rid of a lot of old, battered and obsolete monolights. It was a clean sweep. I got rid of ancient Profoto units as well as orphaned Elinchroms and a pair of Photogenic monolights. It felt good to push out stuff from the "early" days of studio flash lighting, to streamline my studio space and to rationalize the inventory. I don't regret the "massive purge" for a second. 

And while I'm happy shooting most portraits and non-moving subjects with a brace of Aputure LightStorm LED panels there are times when I do need to use flash to do some of my work. After a bit of dancing around on Amazon.com I came across a product from a company called, "Neewer" that seemed to fit the bill. It was the Neewer Vision 4 and it had features I wanted at a price just about anybody could afford. At the time the light was $289 but I noticed (probably due to a decline in general interest in lighting) that recently they've been priced as low as $189. A full featured monolight for a fraction of what we used to pay for a brand name, hot shoe flash. 

I bought one Vision 4 to try it out. Here's what I liked: It doesn't have a power cord, all power comes from a big rechargeable lithium ion battery that's nicely incorporated into the body of the flash. The interchangeable battery is rated to provide up to 700 full power flashes. Nothing to sneeze at since