CONONMARK – K4S Leopard TTL and HSS Portable Monolight

Chinese manufacturer CononMark have revealed what may be the first TTL and HSS enabled monolight available, with the coming K4S Leopard 400WS portable DC strobe and Lithium-Ion battery pack.

Profoto were recently the first with a TTL monolight available, in the B1 fully wireless strobe. Though the B1 does not have HSS (High Speed Sync) available as yet. HSS is expected to come eventually, though it may be some way off at this point.

The progression towards more automated TTL and HSS enabled monolights is definitely well under way now though. And this poses the intriguing question, of whether experienced TTL trigger manufacturers like YongNuo will possibly go straight to TTL capable units for their first studio light offerings.

 

CononMark K4S

 

CononMark though have a history of releasing lights offering features like HSS, which simply do not work at the time of first release.

The CononMark flash units themselves have a pretty solid track record of being fairly well made and reliable. But CononMark are not up to speed with TTL and HSS trigger systems to the level of Phottix, YongNuo, and Pixel etc.

So TTL and HSS capability is a pretty ambitious undertaking with the K4S. Though CononMark will no doubt get there eventually (even if the TTL is possibly not right from the beginning).

The radio trigger system built into many of the recent ConomMark lights is their 3G system (standing for the 3GHz radio band). And the K4S will require Canon or Nikon dedicated TTL and HSS enabled versions of the 3G transmitter units (to allow full function with the strobe).

CononMark K4S 3G Transmitter

If you may not be familiar with CononMark lights already, they have been one of the most prominent compact DC powered portable monolights available over the last 5 years or so. And sold under a number of large brands like Impact, Photoflex, and Phottix etc.

Although the many CononMark units may look the same though, there are a number of variations. So units sold under different brands may not actually be the same models. Flash durations vary widely between some of CononMark’s models for example.

 

 

A Little Background to the K4S HSS / TTL-

In 2013 StroBeam (a UK company, unfortunately recently out of business) released a HSS enabled version of the CononMark lights, the Strobeam D4S HSS IGBT.

Although the D4 was only named as a HSS enabled flash, it already had TTL details showing on the flashes LCD screen. There was no TTL function working, but the camera settings like aperture etc, were sent to and displaying on the strobe already.

So it was quite obvious even a year ago that CononMark had intentions of providing a full TTL version of the light eventually. At first reviewers reported the HSS feature was not working at all with the D4 (and other CononMark flashes). But since then the HSS function is now generally reported to be working well.

Though as far as I am aware the HSS function was only available at full power on the strobe. Which indicates that was using the long duration method of attaining higher sync speeds, and not rapid flash pulses like a speedlite uses for FP HSS. The K4S is stated to work in HSS at lower power levels though, so it should be pulsing the flash like a speedlite.

 

StroBeam D4 HSS IGBT

 

The other interesting thing about the StroBeam D4 is that it actually had the battery pack attached to the top of the Strobe (as seen above). So the complete unit was fully cordless, in the same vein as the Profoto B1.

Where as CononMark have stuck with the traditional external battery pack with the K4S for now.

Otherwise take away the square case of the D4, and the CononMark K4S Leopard has much the same interface. There is a 3.5mm sync socket on the right side of the case (not seen bellow).

 

CononMark K4S

 

The K4S has a lightweight (775g) Lithium-Ion battery pack, capable of 650 full power pops with the 400WS light.

Recycle time of 3.2 seconds at full power.

And the batteries are exchangeable on the base of the pack.

 

CononMark K4S

 

CononMark have persisted with the less common Comet modifier mount on the D4S, rather than the Bowen’s S-Type mount which has become pretty much the default international standard.

CononMark have made some S-Type mount versions of their strobes now though, so the K4S could possibly get one in the future. If not Comet to S-Type adapters are available anyway.

As with most CononMark lights, the K4S comes with a full metal case and accessories.

 

CononMark K4S

 

Like many of the current CononMark lights, the K4S also features a 10W LED modelling light.

Detailed specifications, or any real instructions or documentation can be hard to come by sometimes with CononMark lights. Other brands reselling them generally provide their own details.

Specs Provided –

CononMark K4S Specs

 

Provided the K4S TTL function operates correctly, ConanMark may be first with a TTL and HSS enabled monolight. And likely a pretty decent portable light for the money going by previous CononMark units.

Small lights are only getting more popular, though many people are looking towards an integrated system at this stage, which can combine a TTL flash on-camera if needed, or with other TTL speedlites etc off-camera. Which still leaves the CononMark 3G trigger system a little out on their own.

It remains to be seen if ConanMark will retain their prominence in the compact light market, moving forward with the new K4S TTL and HSS enabled strobe. Or if they may be swallowed up by companies like YongNuo who can offer a much broader integrated system. Or the by recent force that is Godox (who ironically also only have a fairly basic trigger system at this stage).

You can read more detail about the original StroBeam D4 HSS from last year, and couple of other CononMark strobes in Phil Harbord’s reviews.

And more details on the K4S Leopard in the Alibiba listing.

 

Price and Availability –

 

Price and availability of the CononMark D4S are yet to be announced.

Other CononMark flashes models can be found on Ebay

K4S Leopard – Alibiba

CononMark – Website.

.

8 Comments
  1. Emkorec 4 years ago

    This is not a ttl monolight, works only in manual with hss. We have tested canon and nikon version. Cononmark says they are still working on “full-TTL” version.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Hi Emkorec,

      Thanks for that. That is pretty much what I suspected, and alluded to in the post.

      They are clearly advertising the light as an automatic TTL metering strobe, with HSS at all power levels. So that’s clearly their intention. And they have been working in it for over a year, and just offering it to market now. So it must be close to functional with TTL now.

  2. Robbert Dijkstra 4 years ago

    I am currently in the process of testing it, and the TTL exposure does work somewhat. FP +0.0. mode exposes photos like the camera settings were f/8.0 iso 100, regardless of the camera settings. By adjusting it to FP -5.0 you can get exposure for f/2.8 iso 100. Camera used is D800, but my D3200 for example does not work.

    Build quality of the monobloc itself seems good, the trigger and battery pack however are not that good. Feels like cheap plastic.

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks Robbert,

      That is interesting!, at least we know they are making some progress into TTL metering then.

      Can you tell at all if the HSS is actually pulsing, or just using long duration sync?

      The tell tale of long duration sync would be, firstly if you can’t achieve a clean frame at lower power levels. That is quite possible with long duration sync as well though, so the other give away is usually a considerable gradient across the image at higher shutter speeds and lower power levels.

      Thanks again.

  3. PonyMa 4 years ago

    K4s the FP mode is a real high-speed stroboscopic HSS, according CononMark engineer said that under the FP mode, each trigger is 200 times strobe.

    But then I actually use FP status, but very likely to cause thermal shutdown condition (normal continuous shooting about 40 to 50 outdoor temperature of 20 degrees C will overheat shutdown)

    • Author
      Flash Havoc 4 years ago

      Thanks PonyMa.

      That would be expected to go into overheat protection after a number of consecutive shots, as the flash tube needs to work very hard when its strobing many times.

  4. PonyMa 4 years ago

    Yes, the cause of the problem is indeed the case. After another product cononmark bound to have overcome this deadly problem

  5. nixland 4 years ago

    What is its advantage compared to Godox AD360?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Anti-Spam Quiz:

©2018 FLASHHAVOC.com - PRIVACY POLICY

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?