Review: Orlit Rovelight RT610 with transmitter TR611C

Buying experience

Anastasiya Mitr in a lovely dress designed by Marie Bonner from an October 2017 photo shoot.

Now that I’ve actually put the Orlit Rovelight RT610 and its companion transmitter TR611 on at least 2 on-location shoots, I feel I can objectively say what I like and dislike about it.

I originally purchased it through Amazon but due to poor quality control, blame either Adorama or the manufacturer, I received a unit that was DOA (dead on arrival).

Katt Varga and Rachel Mullins in dresses designed by Marie Bonner were lit by the one Orlit Rovelight. I used the High Shutter Speed Sync mode so I could shoot wide open at 2.8 with my 80-200 zoom. The Rovelight was fitted with 1/4 color temperature orange gel.

I had to go through all kinds of hassle to get a replacement. Amazon didn’t assist me with getting a replacement. I had to contact Adorama to get a return shipping label. Only after it arrived there, did Adorama ship out the replacement.

As for my refund? Well, that was only processed by Amazon after the DOA item arrived  at Adorama and they communicated. Loss of time about 4 weeks total. A good thing I didn’t count it for a job.

Worth noting is this: on Amazon, it appears Orlit is bundling the Rovelight with a different control other the one I received.  See the ad on the left.

My Lighting kit

Anastasiya Mitr amongst he lavender lit under ‘normal’ mode 1/160 sec f2.8 ISO 100 Canon7DM2 50mm lens.

My current lighting kit comprise 3 600EX-RTs, 1 STE3-RT transmitter, 1 Yongnuo 600EX-RT and 1 Yongnuo YN E3-RT transmitter.

Before I placed my order, I must have researched the various monolights that are out there at the moment for at least a few months.

There is good news for those thinking of getting some sort of monolight that is a battery powered because there are so many, it’s enough to make your head spin.

If it isn’t obvious why I mentioned my lighting kit, it’s simply this: whichever strobe I buy, I want to be sure I can get it to work with my existing Canon Speedlites.

Nothing worse than buying a monolight which uses a separate triggering/tansmitter/control system not compatible with the Speedlites I own. Whenever I shop for equipment, I want to make sure the system is scalable. Meaning if I buy other flash units I want to make sure at the minimum they will at least fire when I need them to fire. If I’m not able to control the output of that flash unit, it’s not such a big deal because I can always manually set the power.

The Monolight

From the side, this 6lb monolight is a beast compared to a speedlite but it is 11x more powerful.

This Rovelight 610 weighs about 6 pounds with the battery installed, The unit itself isn’t that pretty or ugly and its appearance shouldn’t matter. It does feel plasticky so it’s a foregone conclusion that it’s not designed like Paul C Buff’s White Lightning’s line of monolights.

The back view LED display is bright. It’s nothing special because the controls that are on its companion transmitter is what’s important. You can adjust just about everything from there.

As I write this,  I can already feel the body has some part that feels loose after this short time of use. I have to make a mental note to be extra careful about throwing it around inside my car.

It’s very tempting to do a review right off the bat when I get a piece of equipment but there’s no good way to simulate working conditions.  It’s only through actual use can you encounter the problems and figure out its shortcomings and then hopefully find workarounds.

I’ve never used the more expensive Profotos so I can’t speak to how well those work against this much cheaper strobe. I believe the difference is about $1K.

Compatibility

Orlit’s TR611 transmitter that offers radio control to the Rovelight 610 and Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite. In the back is Canon’s STE3-RT which can also control the Rovelight 610.

The Yongnuo’s that I mentioned above DO NOT WORK with this monolight.

It’s strange because the Canon can co-exist and plays nice with the Yongnuos but for whatever reason, the Orlit Rovelight 610 doesn’t work with the Yongnuo 600EX-RT Speedlite or its companion transmitter YN E3-RT.

The display for the TR611 is small as you can see. It’s not very big for those folks who have difficulty reading small text. The GUI is not very intuitive.

The Rovelight 610 seems to be compatible with my Canon 600EX-RTs. By that I mean the Canon OEM transmitter the STE3-RT will fire the unit and vice-versa. The Orlit TR611 transmitter will fire and control my Canon 600EX-RT speedlites.

That being said, the unit doesn’t allow me to simultaneously use my STE3-RT with the TR611. So I have to choose one or the other. Is that a deal-breaker, not really. However, I sometimes shoot with 2 bodies and having 2 transmitters is a great convenience.

The range of the transmitter and the unit is sketchy. When I was working inside an empty 1500 square feet interior of an abandoned building, I lost the radio connection several times and had to turn everything off and on again to get it to work. It’s an annoyance which really shouldn’t happen since I never encountered this with my Canon Speedlites.

Conclusion

Katt Varga amongst the Oleanders also lit by the Orlit Rovelight 610. Plenty of power for high shutter speed sync 1/800 2.8 ISO 100
Amy WIneberg amongst the lavender at dusk ISO 100 1/16000 sec f2.8 Canon 7DM2 Orlit Rovelight 610 HSS mode

For about the same price as a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, the Rovelight is 11 times more powerful than the Speedlite but I don’t believe this product is reliable enough. It has quirkiness like the phantom modeling light that comes on mysteriously and stays on when you least expect it. That is important to note because it is a drain on battery life.

The manufacturer points out that there is a mini usb port on the unit for firmware updates etc.

My feeling? If the product was finished and polished for the market, there needn’t be something like that so the quality control is definitely suspect as are many of these products made in China. I can only give Rovelight 610 a lukewarm 3 stars out of 5.

If you’re in the market for a monolight compatible with your Canon 600EX-RTs hold off or test another brand. I still need to run some tests to determine if the color temperature of the unit at various power settings is acceptable and will update this review.
Peter Phun Photography

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3 thoughts on “Review: Orlit Rovelight RT610 with transmitter TR611C”

  1. Hay Peter how are you this morning? I was reading your review on the Rovelite 610. Did you try stacking the canon trigger on top of the Rovelite trigger? My friend does that with his yongnuo trigger on top of his Godox Xt1c trigger. That way he is able to firer his Godox ad200 and his yougnuo flashes.

    1. Good morning Terriss,
      Thank you for that suggestion. I never thought of that but I will give it a try. I’m going to keep an open mind even if it looks ‘weird’ it is worth a shot. I’ll let you know lol

      By the way, the Orlit Rovelight 610 ‘supposedly’ works with Nikon, Canon or Sony. You just have to purchase the transmitter for the brand of your camera. I say ‘supposedly’ because I don’t have the transmitter for Nikon or a Nikon body to test this.

      1. If it uses the same transmitter that the godox use it will work. My X1Ts will fire any of the godox/flashpoint/chetastand flash units.
        And yes it does look strange with stack transmitters

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