1. Livin The Dream

    Livin The Dream

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    Anyone have one of these. Looks an ideal background light but wonder about the longevity? Are they solid enough?
     
  2. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    Yes, they're very good. Well made, and refreshingly light weight. 100Ws isn't much though, and given the modest output the recycle time is a bit slow at full power.
     
  3. Phil V

    Phil V

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    Depends what you’re pairing it with, it’s a lot of money for not much output, but if you’re tied into a system ...
     
  4. Livin The Dream

    Livin The Dream

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    I do find that even a d-lite 200 with a reflector can be a bit too much at times to balance without diffusing a bit more. I don't like the spread of a speedlight particularly and so it would fit into my system.
     
  5. Phil V

    Phil V

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    A modern cheaper monolight might turn down lower, but again it depends on the rest of your system.
     
  6. simonbarker

    simonbarker

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    They seem fine the little I've used them, should fit neatly into an existing Elinchrom set up much the same way as another D-lite head.

    Another option might be to look for Style BX/FX 100 and RX 300 heads, as they're not 400-600 Ws heads most casual users avoid them and they tend to go for bargain prices.
     
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  7. Livin The Dream

    Livin The Dream

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    Thanks Simon, I’ll look at that.
     
  8. riddell

    riddell

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    The Elinchrom RX heads are absolutely fantastic, but the 100 is really small, low powered. Honestly I've never understood why they even make them.

    I've got several and they are mostly the 400 or 500 versions, and every now and again I find I'm underpowered.
     
  9. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    They're fine for home-studio solo portraits and couples, with around f/8-11 in an average softbox at 1m distance. But for groups say, at two or three times the distance with higher f/numbers for depth-of-field, you need to push the ISO.

    The small size and very light weight make them easier to hide as background lights, or on a boom.
     
  10. riddell

    riddell

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    I wouldn't want that inflexibility, and I generally wouldn't want the lights that close, too contrasty, and I'd much rather have a heavier light and buy a better boom or stand. I have some of the 1200 units as well and they are fine on the right stand with a 1.5m octobox.
     
  11. simonbarker

    simonbarker

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    The only monoblock Elinchrom still makes close to a 1200 head is the ELC Pro HD 1000 which costs £940 versus the RX One at £150, so while you're right flexibility is nice to have it's worth considering a lot of people are better off with a low cost head that does what they need and they'll probably get more out of the lower power range than having a few extra stops available.

    I've always assumed there's two main groups getting these, either beginners as their first head/kit or someone looking to add flexibility to their current setup, in either case the small size, weight, price and low power range are all selling points for them.
     
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  12. riddell

    riddell

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    Totally Simon. I'm a full time professional photographer, so that flexibility is totally needed. This is why I have so many lights, its not just for power, far from it, its all about control and doing what you need to. I've also learnt to my cost many, many times early on that you can agree everything with a client beforehand about how you are going to shoot, but then when on set the client suddenly has new ideas, 'can we do this?' 'can we do that?' The professional attitude is to say 'of course' and simply get another light or modifier out the bag or make changes or whatever. The 1200 gets used a lot. I've worked in too many warehouses with huge double storey high ceilings and I need to bounce light off that ceiling. The 1200 is the way to go.

    Without a doubt though a big mistake early on my career was buying cheap lighting. I read way too many internet post from people claiming they could do exactly the same with speedlights or cheap lights. You can't, not at the level I was aiming for anyway.

    Hobbyists don't need this, but you'd still struggle to achieve certain scenarios with the lower end setups. Elinchrom however are fantastic quality and way, way above speedlights and cheap Chinese imports. Put it this way, if I hired and studio and was planning to use their lights and turned up on site only to find they had RX100s, I'd be pretty annoyed, but I'd make compromises and get on with it.

    But if I turned up and they had some cheap lights, like Lencartas (a senerio which once happened to me, despite the studio saying they had Broncolor) I wouldn't use them, too inconsistent. I'd walk out, or get my own lights or rent them and have them couriered over or whatever.
     
  13. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    That's a heavily loaded comment Paul, re Lencartas, and I'd say it was simply untrue at face value. But you haven't explained which Lencartas you're referring to or what the problem was.
     
  14. riddell

    riddell

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    No idea what model they were. The issue was they were inconsistent in both power output and colour.
    It was only minor, but when you are trying to shoot a fashion collection and keep everything 100% consistent in terms of lighting and colour across the whole collection, whilst keeping the colour balance perfect, it was very, very frustrating, very stressful on the day and meant about a half day of extra post processing to balance everything afterwards.

    To be honest, most people not involved in commercial photography wouldn't notice, but its for these reasons we use Broncolor, Profoto and so forth. In my opinion Elinchoms, despite the huge price difference from the likes of Profoto fall into second place. Bowens fall into a very close 3rd.

    There is then a big gap to anything in 4th place. That's why in any commercial studio its largely those 4 brands which dominate.
     
  15. Livin The Dream

    Livin The Dream

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    To clarify, I'm in the latter category. Already have higher powered heads, just like the look of the small version as primarily a background light for when I have one quite close. And for what I currently shoot, 500ws is plenty enough.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  16. simonbarker

    simonbarker

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    Different field but I've told my clients many times over the years, we can do anything you want! It just costs (lots!) more money.

    I see your point and I don't disagree but the point you're raising could be boiled down to what's the best use of your money? Do you target your current needs or your future needs and for the latter you're making assumptions on where their work is going to go which is hard to say with any certainty.

    Taking a look at my own kit I have a Profoto setup indoors and the latest lights I've added are AD200's (and an AD600BM but I almost never use it), they're horribly inferior pieces of equipment compared to the Profoto but they work just fine. My needs won't match anyone else but I came to the conclusion having both was the right answer and as such I see the value in adding something like an RX One to an existing setup despite its limitations.

    I agree with you but don't be too dismissive of the cheap Chinese imports, as things stand I can really see Godox eating Elinchrom alive 5-10 years down the road. I hope I'm wrong but...

    If they've given you the wrong tools for the job that makes sense but remember in the scope of this topic I don't think they're going to be the only thing they have to rely on.
     
  17. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    I can only think you're going back a few years, but the latest gear coming out of China is excellent, and has been a for while, including Lencarta.

    Power and colour consistency can both be an issue with any flash unit, especially at low power settings, and I can see why it was a problem shooting professional colour-critical work. But in fact, the worst I've tested for colour variation was a Profoto D1 1000 that gets very warm with fluctuation power at minimum output. But that's what happens when you have a 1000Ws monolight with seven stops power range, while lesser manufacturers fix the problem by only offering a five stops range ;)

    The other thing about colour consistency is different softboxes. I've got a Sekonic C-700 colour meter on loan at the moment and checked a dozen or so sotboxes and umbrellas the other day - a mixture of Elinchrom, Lencarta, Godox, Lastolite etc. Most were okay, all in the 5500-6000K range, but a few went over that and one hit an unacceptable 7212K (Lencarta 90cm ProFold octa).
     
  18. Livin The Dream

    Livin The Dream

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    Must admit that whilst most of my softboxes are elinchrom, I have found diferences in colour differences with other manufacturers that I have.
     
  19. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    The thing about colour shifts with the head, is it changes with power setting - one minute it's fine, then turn things down and suddenly it's not. That can be difficult with some work, even though the shifts tend to be relatively small, like a few hundred K max. However, I knew some of my softboxes were different and I've found a difference of 500K to be common. That's mostly okay TBH, but 1000K shift is not at all unusual between brands and the one I have that's almost 2000K out is definitely very noticeable whenever I'm using more than one light. That's unacceptable, but manufacturers never mention it and everyone assumes they're neutral.

    Edit: I have two Elinchrom softboxes, less than 100K between them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  20. Livin The Dream

    Livin The Dream

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    Being more specific Richard, I have two Bessel softboxes and they are very warm. I try not mix the two if I can. Have 3 Lencarta softboxes and there’s not much difference. I could borrow the meter from work and test them but I know roughly where they’re at and I don’t tend to change the power settings too much during shoots, except more power on my largest softbox.
     
  21. Garry Edwards

    Garry Edwards

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    With "Conventional technology" flash heads, every make will have some inconsistencies, regardless of how much they cost, it's a limitation of the technology that relies on a potentiometer to reduce the amount of delivered power.
    There is/was a workaround that addressed that problem with the better makes, capacitor switching. This involves having lots of capacitors, let's call it 16, for the purpose of illustration. They are all used at full power, 8 are used at half power, 4 at quarter power etc - but the public demand more than 1/16th power adjustment, so a potentiometer needs to be used in conjunction with capacitor switching, which inevitably re-introduces a degree of both colour temperature and flash energy inconsistency.. Also, leaving aside the cost, banks of capacitors are bulky and heavy, and don't suit modern, compact monoblock flash heads, they are far more suitable for professional flash generator systems (pack and head in Americanspeak). In my experience, the only make that had no significant inconsistencies was Broncolor (the ones made in Sweden, not the ones made in China) but there you go...

    Some makes are/were notorious for their inconsistencies, Alien Bees are the worst I've personally tested, not helped by the fact that their single-capacitor units had 7 stops of power adjustment:(
    When I was at Lencarta every single model was extensively tested for both colour temperature and flash energy at every power setting, and the figures were published. IMO Lencarta was second tier, i.e. below Bron and Profoto but at least as good as any of the others (most of which either didn't publish their figures or which didn't publish accurate figures), and this success was largely due to capacitor switching - even the original, entry level SmartFlash had no less than 9 capacitors! One of the differences between Lencarta so-called "rebrands" and the usual factory stock was the capacitor banking.

    But, coming up to date, IGBT technology has now pretty much taken over and these inconsistencies are now a thing of the past, except with some flash heads that don't have a "colour mode". The colour mode alters the voltage input to compensate for the quenching off of the tail end of the bell curve, and stops the light becoming more blue as the power is reduced. It works brilliantly. Lencarta used to sell an IGBT flash that had an automatic "colour mode" and this worked perfectly, in that my Minolta Colour temperature, which could register changes of just 10K, almost always gave exactly the same reading. With that particular model (the original SuperFast) the only inconsistency was with the flash energy, and that inconsistency only occurred when the power was set to less than 1/64th.

    As Richard says, most of the colour temperature problems arise from using modifiers that are not colour neutral. Cheap softboxes are the worst, they yellow very quickly, and when this happens the diffusers need to be changed - the only problem is that replacement diffusers aren't generally available for cheap softboxes:(
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2018

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