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Archive 2012 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!
  
 
Mr Kris
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p.1 #1 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Well, I don't think I'm the first person to do this but I haven't seen much info on it, so I thought I'd share my experience.

I wanted to use the Elinchrom deep octa on my Buff Einstein... Google revealed the Kacey adapter. I would have been happy spending the $100 or so on it, but using the adapter doesn't put the flash tube precisely in the right spot. Would that have affected the quality of the light output? I'm sure it would have... whether or not it would matter, I'm not sure. But, it would be silly to spend $300 on the deep octa and not have it line up right. May as well get a cheaper one at that point.

So, based on pictures of the speedring (I didn't actually own one yet), I figured I could hack one apart and put a Buff compatible mount in there. I figured someone must have thought of that before... and indeed, a search revealed this fellow: http://blog.arharvey.com/2011/07/elinchrom-rotalux-deep-octa-to-bowens-conversion.html

He converted one to a Bowens, and confirmed some of my ideas how to do it.

A word of warning- this obviously voids any warranty you might have on the speed ring. This modification was done to the ring that came with the 39" deep octa that I bought this past week. I have no idea if there are different versions of the ring. This took me less than an hour to do, as an experienced tinkerer. But if you mess up- new Elinchrom rings are about $100

First step is to get the old ring apart. I forgot to take pictures of that, but basically, the Elinchrom ring is riveted together. You have to drill the rivets out. I used a 3/16" bit for this- drilled just enough to remove the rivet head. After that, the rivets need to be hammered out with a punch. They are pretty tight. The fellow at the link above mentioned he bent his ring a bit and spent a lot of time getting it back in shape. I avoided this by supporting the speedring on both sides of each rivet as I pounded away. You'll find the nub where each rod holder is might make this difficult. I found that 2 popsicle sticks conveniently makes up for the height of the nub. After you have it apart, you'll have this-







The 8 rod holders are all independent pieces, and you'll have the rotation locking knob as well, plus the two main halves of the speedring. The rod holders are held in by short pins- be careful, because some may pop out as you're hammering the rivets apart.







Now, we can easily see what we need to do- replace the Elinchrom insert with one that fits Buff lights. My donor was a Photoflex speedring. Why? Because I had one... I'm sure there are other suitable ones out there. Now, a small problem- the Photoflex insert had a significantly larger outer diameter than the Elinchrom insert. When you have the thing apart, you can see that the insert rides in a recess on both halves of the speedring. So, the Photoflex/Buff insert needed to be trimmed down.

Here you can see the new insert and the old. Trimming it down turned out to be simple. I traced the Elinchrom insert onto the Photoflex/Buff one to get the size right. Then, I cut it to size rather easily with aviation snips. Took about a minute to carefully cut it out. I erred on leaving it a tad too big, and then went the rest of the way with a file, sandpaper, and a dremel. (If you've never used a dremel before, this isn't the thing to learn on )







Putting it all back together isn't too difficult. You can put the rod holders in one half and they'll hold themselves in. I put the rotation lock back in, but to me, it's not really needed. I've never had a soft box randomly rotate on me. I might use the nut associated with that later to mount the deflector if I decide I want it. Rather than riveting it back together, use screws, and you can take it back apart again if you want.... even put the Elinchrom insert back in if you want to.







I used 4mm x 12mm screws for this, and nylock nuts. This was my only real expense for the conversion. I used stainless screws from the local hardware store- each screw/nut combination was basically a dollar, and you need 16. If I were to convert more, I'd buy these in bulk somewhere.

Here it is all back together, and mounted on my Einstein-







And here's a shot to show how the flash tube aligns with the new ring:







Mounted-













No diffuser, looks pretty even-







Interior diffuser-







Both diffusers-









Edited on Feb 26, 2013 at 04:59 AM · View previous versions



Mar 05, 2012 at 02:39 AM
cathpah
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p.1 #2 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Very clean and well done mod.


Mar 05, 2012 at 03:41 AM
John Skinner
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p.1 #3 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Nice Job period..

I would like that deep octa, but find the price prohibitive..

Cheers!



Mar 05, 2012 at 01:12 PM
tetrode
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p.1 #4 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Nicely done conversion. I've performed a similar operation but used a Kacey AB adapter as the "donor" insert. The Kacey adapter is steel and, therefore, fairly difficult to cut down to the proper diameter but, on the other hand, it is also perfectly flat which moves the Einstein's flashtube forward into the modifier.

Here's my modified Rotalux ring:



And here you see the positioning of the Einstein's flashtube:



Approximately two years ago, Elinchrom said they'd be producing Rotalux rings with inserts compatible with other makers' flash units including AB. Those have not materialized so radical surgery on a standard Rotalux ring remains the only way to directly mount an Elinchrom modifier on an E640.

Dave F.



Mar 05, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Mr Kris
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p.1 #5 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


tetrode wrote:
Approximately two years ago, Elinchrom said they'd be producing Rotalux rings with inserts compatible with other makers' flash units including AB. Those have not materialized so radical surgery on a standard Rotalux ring remains the only way to directly mount an Elinchrom modifier on an E640.

Dave F.


I've seen quite a bit of references to this in various literature..... I guess they reallllyy thought they were going to do it haha!

I'm curious if someone could take a picture of flash tube alignment on an actual elinchrom unit to see where it's "supposed" to be. I just assumed it's supposed to line up the way my other speedrings are designed, which seem to center the flashtube in the same plane that the rod mounting holes are (i.e. the middle of flashtube aligned with rear plane of softbox).



Mar 06, 2012 at 03:56 AM
Mr Kris
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p.1 #6 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Also, it's hard to tell from your pictures- did you rivet it back together, or did you tap thread into the halves of the ring and screw it together directly? I was afraid to do that because the metal seems soft-ish.


Mar 06, 2012 at 03:58 AM
ethompson53
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p.1 #7 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Thanks for the "enlightenment" Mr. Kris. I was going to go with Elinchrom's Profoto adapter for it's Deep Octa but with this method I'd definitely save some money. I was wondering one thing...what is the diameter of the adapter after you cut it down to fit the speedring.

Thanks



Mar 08, 2012 at 12:44 AM
 

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Mr Kris
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p.1 #8 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


I still have the original Elinchrom ring, and measuring that, it is somewhere between 128 and 129mm. Just to be safe though, I'll qualify that by saying I don't know if that's canonical. That's what I measure on the ring that came with the deep octa I bought last week from B&H. I wouldn't cut anything until you verify it on the one you get.


Mar 08, 2012 at 12:56 AM
tetrode
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p.1 #9 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Mr Kris wrote:
I still have the original Elinchrom ring, and measuring that, it is somewhere between 128 and 129mm. Just to be safe though, I'll qualify that by saying I don't know if that's canonical. That's what I measure on the ring that came with the deep octa I bought last week from B&H. I wouldn't cut anything until you verify it on the one you get.


The insert that I replaced on my Rotalux ring was just under 129mm in diameter. The seating groove in the Rotalux ring casting measured 129mm.

The ring seen in my photos above is an older Rotalux version that I was able to get from the B&H used department some time ago. The original Rotalux rings were screwed together, not riveted. That, of course, makes disassembly/reassembly relatively easy. Cutting down the insert to the proper diameter was the hellish part of the job. The Kacey insert is steel, not aluminum.

Dave F.



Mar 08, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Mr Kris
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p.1 #10 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Ahh, OK. I wish they still made them that way haha... I didn't even notice that was a totally different version of the ring. If you look at yours and mine, it looks like they removed a lot of metal in the newer version in addition to using rivets. Hence the "nubs" on the new version- they removed excess metal everywhere other than where the rod holders are. I guess when you're manufacturing thousands, that probably saves them a lot of cost.


Mar 08, 2012 at 03:59 PM
tetrode
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p.1 #11 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Mr Kris wrote:
Ahh, OK. I wish they still made them that way haha... I didn't even notice that was a totally different version of the ring. If you look at yours and mine, it looks like they removed a lot of metal in the newer version in addition to using rivets. Hence the "nubs" on the new version- they removed excess metal everywhere other than where the rod holders are. I guess when you're manufacturing thousands, that probably saves them a lot of cost.


The new, riveted version is a better design I think. I've been keeping my eyes open for a new style Rotalux ring on the used market. I'd like to move the AB insert over to the thinner, lighter current version.



Mar 08, 2012 at 05:33 PM
ethompson53
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p.1 #12 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


Thanks for the information, Mr. Kris and tetrode. When B&H gets the 27.5" version in, I will be ordering.


Mar 08, 2012 at 07:34 PM
tetrode
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p.1 #13 · Converting Elinchrom speed ring to Buff- Buffinchrom!


It occurred to me that I should include a warning to anyone contemplating this modification: Not all Rotalux rings are the same size (thanks, Elinchrom!). If you look on the B&H site you'll find multiple Rotalux rings with different part numbers. There's an EL 26335, EL 26336, and EL 26337. The EL 36336 is for SQUARE Rotalux softboxes. That leaves the 26335 and 26337. The EL 26335 is specifically for the deep octa (I do not know if that means the 100cm only or all deep octas). I could find no information specific to the EL 26337 version of the ring. What I do know is that the older, screwed together Rotalux ring I modified DOES NOT WORK with the 39"/100cm deep octa. It does work perfectly with my 69"/175cm Octa:





I have not felt motivated to call Bogen/Manfrotto to try to get an answer regarding which rings are for which Rotalux softboxes. Just be aware that there are differences and make sure the Rotalux ring you're planning to modify will fit the intended softbox or octa.

Dave F.



Mar 09, 2012 at 05:19 PM





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