You may know Hähnel from their wide range of accessories for cameras. For instance batteries and chargers. One of the especially interesting product lines Hähnel offers are the Extreme batteries. That’s a line of very durable and powerful replacement batteries for professional cameras. It’s only logical Hähnel has chosen to base their new speedlights on an Extreme battery. Instead of using normal (rechargeable) AA batteries you use one powerful Extreme battery in the speedlight. Later on I’ll tell you more about the battery, but there is more that makes the Hähnel Modus 600 RT stand out:
Powerful (60m range at ISO 100 and 200mm);
Powerful Extreme battery (more than 500 full power flashes on one charge and just 1.5 seconds recycle time);
Full TTL support, both on and off camera (using Viper TTL transmitter);
Support for Nikon, Canon and later also Sony;
High Speed Sync (up to 1/8000th of a second);
Big, illuminated, graphical display on the back of the Modus 600 RT;
Small, illuminated display on the Viper TTL commander;
Wireless connection using 2,4 Ghz. Band for long range and stable connection;
The Modus 600 RT speedlight can be used on camera, as an optical slave, wireless 2.4 Ghz slave and can be used as a master to command other Modus 600 RT speedlights. You can also use the Viper TTL commander;
Comes with protective soft-pouch, stand and has a built in bounce-card and wide-angle diffuser;
USB-port to install future firmware-updates;
A single Hähnel Modus 600 RT costs a little less than 300 euros. That makes it about the same price as an original Nikon SB700 speedlight. The Hähnel Modus 600 RT has got more functionality, but what surprised me the most is that the Hähnel seems to be better built. The Hähnel Modus 600 RT feels very sturdy. The buttons have a nice feel to them and give good feedback, and adjusting the head feels good and it ‘clicks’ in to place at every stop with a nice sound. You don’t have to unlock it with a button before you can adjust the head, making it fast to use. Even so you don’t have to worry about it changing positions unwanted as the stops offer more than enough resistance. The mechanism in the head feels nicer than with the similar priced Nikon speedlight. It offers 360 degrees horizontal adjustability and 90 degrees in vertical direction making it work in just about any situation.
The only downside I can find on the Hähnel Modus 600 RT is the locking mechanism you use to attach it to your camera. Hähnel has chosen to use a simple but effective screw to lock it in to place. That works fine and is durable, but it just isn’t as nice as the lever Nikon uses or the button other brands use.
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My name is Rick Roeven, I live the Netherlands. I’m an amateur photographer, tech and gadget lover and I've started this blog to share my passion with others. If you have any questions, feel free to post a reply or send me an email at rick (at) ricksreviews.org