new novatron power pack

The year was 1985.

My photography equipment case had a 240 W/S Novatron power pack and two flash heads.  It was the first job I took after graduating from photography school. The lighting system we used was kept very simple. One light for the subject and one light for the background. That was it.  

I've been using Novatron lights ever since.  Ouch, that's over 30 years.  Here is a video on How to Use the Novatron V400-D.

Novatron v400 power packMy New Novatron V400-D

It's not because this is fancy or expensive lighting equipment.  

That company I had worked for had a big contract to supply over two hundred photographers in offices spread out all over the country. They chose Novatron because of the price and the portability. 

the novatron 240 watt-second system

Novatron 240 systemNovatron 24o


The Novatron 240 power packs we used could only handle two flash heads.  

The company had Novatron hard-wire all of the power packs for the second outlet to output 2 stops less of power. One main light and one background light.

Novatron bounce llighting

The lighting system was extremely simple too.  

The one main head was bounced into a white umbrella behind the camera.

That was just enough to shoot at f-8. The second light, at minus 2 stops, was placed behind the subject and aimed at the background to eliminate shadows.

novatron lighting alternatives

Despite my wonderful experience with them, I would not really recommend Novatron power packs and flash heads anymore.  If you want new studio photography lighting equipment, it makes sence to buy something more recently designed.

Digital photography is now a technologically driven field and more recent designs integrate with digital cameras. Monolights are popular because they are the power pack and light combined into one unit.

Neewer c-180 Monolight - Flash Head

  • 180 watt-seconds
  • lightweight and small
  • very affordable
  • variable to 1/8 power setting

Limostudio Monopod light kit

  • 2 x 200 watt-seconds
  • Umbrellas and light stands included
  • custom carrying case 
  • remote transmitters and receivers included.

novatron power pack flash heads

The standard heads had no power settings or modeling light switch.  If they were plugged in, they were on.  When I left that company and ventured out on my own, I owned that original power pack and needed another.

It only made sense to stick with the Novatron lighting system since I already owned a pack and two standard heads.  I upgrade to the 600VR, a power pack with 6 outlets and almost three times as much power.

The new V400-D pack has better vents and has an internal fan to keep it running cool. It also has a rotating  vari-power control that let's you fine tune your total power output.

right side of novatron power pack

novatron flash advantages

  1. The packs are very affordable.  You can get them new or used through mainly online retailers, regular camera stores or ebay or Amazon
  2. They are very easy to use.
  3. They are very durable
  4. The Novatron flash heads are extremely light and you can safely attach them to very lightweight stands.

novatron flash disadvantages

  1. They are not particularly sleek looking.
  2. You cannon control light ratios by adjusting the pack; you need to adjust the switches on the individual heads.
  3. It's possible they not be manufactured too much longer-although I haven't heard any rumors on that.

The Novatron power pack, flash heads and Novatron lighting systems are now made by a company called OmegaBrandess in maryland after a buyout of the Dallas-based company in 2008.  Some of the former employees of Novatron were handling repairs in the Dallas area.

novatron V400-D video

More Information:

Novatron Reviews on Amazon

Keep shooting. Keep learning. Keep improving.

Article published by Bruce Lovelace


Bruce is the publisher of this website. He is the author of the book "Improve Your Photography Instantly."  Read more on Bruce on his Bio Page. He's been known as The Traveling Photographer ever since 1994. Read more about this website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram.   Visit the Facebook Page. Watch him on YouTube.  Bruce runs photo workshops for kids and adults, and provides one-on-one photography coaching.

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