Since Walimex Pro in 2008 introduced the Visico-produced VC Excellence series of studio flashes, a couple of other series have been added: the VC Plus series and the VE series – and now Walser, the company behind the Walimex Pro brand, has introduced the latest addition to this growing universe: the Newcomer series. All clearly made by Visico (or China Vistarfoto Co. Ltd., as the company is also called) even though Walser doesn’t mention this anywhere. Walser was, however, formally a Visico distributor before introducing their own brand.
A Full Range
With the latest addition, Walimex Pro covers all but the smallest needs. The Newcomer series is priced from around 99 € to 149 € (including VAT) for each monoblock flash unit, and this for a nicely designed, small and light, radio controlled unit with a Bowens S-mount for light shapers. The main products have so far been the VC series with its professional specs, such as a very short recycle time, and the VE series that is slightly slower but also has a smaller price tag. VC Plus, the most advanced of them all and introduced in 2012, seems to have lived a more quiet life, however still being sold in numbers.
The total range now covers everything that could be expected within a traditional range of studio flashes, with reasonable flash duration times and all other features at levels where there is definitely nothing to complain about. Only products missing are TTL and high-speed devices, as well as battery operated devices. Visico does produce such devices but Walser seems to have decided not to market them, for the battery operated devices focusing on their GXB-series as well as some Godox Witstro OEM models, called Light Shooter or Powershooter.
Newcomer Main Features
These flashes are quite small, so not suitable for larger photo studios. They are, however, very suitable for smaller studios, and more so because they can be adjusted down to 1/32 (five stops), allowing for a very precise light adjustment.
There are four models in the range, covering 100 Ws to 300 Ws. The similar series from Visico, called VE Plus, also has a 400 Ws model, but Walser didn’t take that one in. This means that the light output is in about the same range as you will find with the most common system flashes (typically around GN 32 – 58 for the various common models on the market). They are not completely identical to the comparable series from Visico, btw. (which the VC and VL series are) – while the technical details are 100% identical, the visual design is somewhat different, Newcomer having the Walimex Pro orange line design.
All units are delivered with everything needed for being put into action, apart from a tripod. But several packages/sets are available that will give you these as well as various light shapers, and some of them are also including a handy remote control.
The below table shows the specifications, as provided by Walser:
|Newcomer 100||Newcomer 150||Newcomer 200||Newcomer 300|
|Power Output||100 Ws||150 Ws||200 Ws||300 Ws|
|Guide Number (2m/ISO 100)||30||40||50||60|
|Recycling Time||0,3 ~ 1,2 s||0,4 ~ 1,3 s||0,5 ~ 1,8 s||0,6 ~ 2,0 s|
|Flash Duration||1/800 ~ 1/1200|
|Modelling Lamp Output||150W||150W||250W||250W|
|triggering Methods||Slave Sensor, Synchro Cable, Test Button, Radio Controlled|
|Flash Tube||“Plug- in”, User Replaceable|
|Power Supply||AC 220-240V/50Hz|
|Accessories||Protection Cap, Reflector, Power Cable (4m), Synchro Cable (4m), Model Light Bulb, Instruction Manual|
|Weight||0,75 kg||0,85 kg||0,9 kg||1,0 kg|
|Dimensions (w/o Reflector)||ca. 20 x 12 x 12 cm||ca. 20 x 12 x 12 cm||ca. 20 x 12 x 12 cm||ca. 20 x 12 x 12 cm|
|Protection Class||IP 20|
|Frequency, Built-in Radio Receiver||2,4 GHz|
How This Compares
It is worth noting how small these units are – in fact, measured without the external reflector, they have exactly the same size as many of the market’s smallest flash units, such as the König KB-SF200 that we will soon be reviewing. These smallest flash units typically have a “universal mini” mount and a small built-in reflector, and they are not as versatile as the Newcomer. Still, the Newcomer has a price tag which is clearly comparable. And when comparing the Newcomer to other small Bowens mount flash units, such as those from Jinbei or Godox, both specs and price actually speaks for the Newcomer.
Compared to the other Walimex Pro series, the Newcomer has a slightly slower recharge speed (taking twice the time of a comparable VC) – and a much smaller physical size. It lacks the solid handle that the other models have but actually it does have kind of an integrated handle: there are some deepenings on the side of the flash body near the rear end that let you easily hold your fingers there (consider the small size if the unit) and basically use the whole body of the flash unit as a handle. The mount for the spigot is of a more simple type, not with the quick release type handle for adjustment as the other Walimex Pro models have. As something very practical, the cables are attached underneath of the unit, making it easier to strap them to the tripod, which can be quite useful in a small studio space (your living room, for instance), where people will walk around close to the equipment and you don’t want them or yourself to cause any accidents.
All four series from Walimex Pro share the same 2,4 GHz remote control – and this means that you can mix the different models in your studio and still enjoy the advantage of regulating both model light and flash light from one small remote control that also doubles as the camera mounted flash trigger. In fact, the settings possible in the units are exactly the same across the range, meaning that you can setup delays and on which flash in the row the slave sensor should react, etc., and you can arrange your units in four groups over 16 channels, allowing for several studio setups close to each other that will not interfere with each other. The remote control works well and we will get back to it in an up-coming review of the VC-series.
Compared to Visico VL Plus, the Walimex Pro Newcomer has a more powerful model light: delivered with 150W or 250W light bulbs, it is distancing the 75W of the VL Plus.
Compared to most other small studio flashes with a Bowens S-mount, the included reflector adds to the value of the flash unit. Such a reflector usually costs anywhere in the range of 12 – 30 € and is a very useful accessory, even if you will not use it for every job. It allows for the unit to be used right out of the box, even if you haven’t yet bought any other light shapers.
In short: this is a very attractive product that should appeal to all home users and to those who want/need smaller flash units to bring with them on location. The flash units are sufficiently fast and powerful for most common tasks, apart from large group shootings. I can imagine that this model will cannibalize on the sales of the other Walimex Pro studio flashes but also on the competitors’ sales, as the Newcomer simply is a better product than most others.
However, for HS or TTL uses, there are other brands and models to go for – but not in this price range.
Check out the new Walimex Pro Newcomer series studio flashes and flash sets at Amazon in the UK.