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Archive 2012 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein
  
 
jzucker
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Now that i've switched to elinchrom from AB, I thought I would add some additional comments and comparisons.

The Einstein grips were much stronger than the alienbees grips. The way in which they lock is better too and less prone to error. I think I like the Elinchrom mount a little better. Because it locks into place it's a more positive acknowledgement about whether you've got the softbox properly mounted. However, I find that the elinchrom adapters are very soft aluminum and are prone to bending/twisting out of alignment. Considering the price, I'm very disappointed in this. I actually found the fotodiox adapters to be more sturdy though I had to dremel them to get them to fit. The fotodiox adapter is thicker and more stiff. The elinchrom adapter is 1/3 the price of the softbox ($100).

Additionally, the BXRI 500 goes down to 31 ws which is too high IMO. There are times when I want to shoot at 2.8 or 4.0 and I cannot do it with the elinchrom without moving the softbox back 12 feet.

I do like the fact that the radio slave is built in. It's makes for a quick location setup not to have to worry about slave receivers and batteries and the transmitter battery has lasted me a couple dozen shoots so far without needing changing. And I do like the elinchrom skyport transmitter. It's very simple and easy to use without having to look at an LED screen.

My take on BXRI vs Einstein:

Mount: Slight Edge to Elinchrom, footnote - Elinchrom OEM adapters are flimsy
Modifiers: Slight edge to Elinchrom in terms of light quality though elinchrom is $$$
Replacement Parts: Buff
Service: Buff
Wireless Ease of use: Elinchrom
Wireless Functionality: Buff
Power Range: Big edge to Buff - goes much lower and has more power too

Overall winner: Buff/Einstein

Edited on Sep 13, 2012 at 04:13 PM · View previous versions



Sep 11, 2012 at 01:36 PM
buggz2k
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Thanks!


Sep 11, 2012 at 07:40 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


If Elinchrom would make their adapters out of nickel or steel and change the power settings so that the BXRI 500 went down to 9ws this would be a no-brainer.

Or if buff would make a $100 version of the cyber commander that supported 4 groups, and a simple up/down button it would be a no brainer.

Given the current state of each, it's a tough call.



Sep 11, 2012 at 07:45 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


jzucker wrote:
...the BXRI 500 [only] goes down to 31 ws which is too high IMO. There are times when I want to shoot at 2.8 or 4.0 and I cannot do it with the elinchrom without moving the softbox back 12 feet.


Since moving the softbox further from the subject will change the quality of the light (harder, due to smaller relative size), I suggest using ND gels or additional diffuser panels to reduce the output.

That's not as ideal as actual lower settings, but it works when lower settings aren't possible.



Sep 11, 2012 at 11:11 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


using additional diffuser panels will also change the quality of light.

Several folks have reported that the color balance on the einstein flash units changes as the power gets low so that will change the light temperature too. There's no perfect answer but I could deal with a different color temp.

I'd rather have the light go lower in power than have to add panels, ND Gels, netting, etc.



Sep 12, 2012 at 12:16 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


jzucker wrote:
using additional diffuser panels will also change the quality of light.


Not significantly.

jzucker wrote:
...Several folks have reported that the color balance on the einstein flash units changes as the power gets low so that will change the light temperature too.


You can switch the Einstein to Constant Color mode to mitigate that, although there are -- as always -- tradeoffs.

jzucker wrote:
...I'd rather have the light go lower in power than have to add panels, ND Gels, netting, etc.


Yep. That would be ideal.



Sep 12, 2012 at 12:21 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Every time you use additional diffuser material you are diffusing the light particles and making the light softer. I have tested it and I can see a difference. Shadows are softer and less specular. That is why the baffles are removable.

And there is some debate about how true the "constant color" change is with the einsteins, particularly at the low end of the wattage scale.



Sep 12, 2012 at 12:35 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


jzucker wrote:
Every time you use additional diffuser material you are diffusing the light particles and making the light softer.


You are not correct. Softness/hardness is a product of the relative size of the light source compared to the subject. Placing a diffusion material in the light path will not, by itself, change the size of the source. It may scatter the light more, but that doesn't affect softness/hardness (unless the scattered light bounces off other surfaces and back onto the subject) because it doesn't change the size. That's why simply placing a piece of fabric over a Speedlite's lens won't soften the light; one needs to use a soft box to enlarge the light emitter.

This is not just my opinion, it is a tested and demonstrated fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_light

http://www.lowel.com/edu/foundations_softlight.html

You can reduce the light scattering, in case there are nearby bounce surfaces, by placing the added panel against the first panel, which has the effect of increasing the panel thickness without significantly changing the light path. You can also, of course, simply use thicker/darker panels.



Sep 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
rico
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


jzucker wrote:
If Elinchrom would make their adapters out of nickel or steel and change the power settings so that the BXRI 500 went down to 9ws this would be a no-brainer.

Or if buff would make a $100 version of the cyber commander that supported 4 groups, and a simple up/down button it would be a no brainer.

Give thought to Profoto for your next lighting migration. Well, okay, that means selling your house and living under a freeway, but we can dream. The new Pro-B4 has energy range of 1-1000Ws which I think is a new record, and should handle most situations. Otherwise, Brian's suggestion of an ND gel in the SB is sound, if slightly inconvenient. Alternatively, apply ND filtering at the lens. Solutions imperfect, solutions unaffordable: take your pick!



Sep 12, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Jon Uhler
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


The specs of the 500 clearly says they are 31ws to 500ws....sounds like you need to add a dlite 2 to your kit.


Sep 12, 2012 at 04:06 PM
 

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jzucker
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Jon Uhler wrote:
The specs of the 500 clearly says they are 31ws to 500ws....sounds like you need to add a dlite 2 to your kit.


I never claimed otherwise. I knew the wattage rating and I do have a dlite-2 but I would prefer that the BXRI extend their power range. The dlite-2 is great but doesn't produce enough power to compete with the sunny 16 rule.



Sep 12, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Jon Uhler
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Ahhh....gotcha. I was thinking you were mislead or something.




Sep 12, 2012 at 05:46 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


rico wrote:
Give thought to Profoto for your next lighting migration. Well, okay, that means selling your house and living under a freeway, but we can dream.


Funny, but close to the truth. I've been fortunate to use Profoto gear that someone else paid for, and it's great stuff. (I've been dreaming about the B4 since it was announced. I love the flexibility of pack-and-head designs. But $8,000 or more? Alas; for me it's only a dream.)



Sep 12, 2012 at 07:04 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


I feel like both einstein and Elinchrom are very close to being the perfect setup.

If buff would make a $125 remote and either build the slave into the einstein head or redesign the mechanical interface so that the slave can be plugged in and left in.

And if Elinchrom would release a BXRI 500 II which went down to 9ws it would be fantastic. I hope the financial climate improves to the point where they are both able to make these improvements.




Sep 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
phuang3
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Even 9w/s is still too high for table top. I would like 2.5w/s from Elinchrom. Their monolights are a bit old compared to Einstein. I think they will introduce IGBT models soon.


Sep 12, 2012 at 10:48 PM
rico
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


phuang3 wrote:
Even 9w/s is still too high for table top. ...

Certainly for tabletop like your soy sauce image at wider apertures. My pack reaches 9J but if less is needed I attach the ProBox, a small rigid box for tabletop that eats several f-stops. For other modifiers, there's ND filtering.



Sep 13, 2012 at 04:27 AM
phuang3
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


Rico,

It's 18J on a 600RX. Currently, I only got CPL at hand. It will block 1~2 stops of light from the lens, but seriously, it may also create unwanted effects. Lower power setting from monolight itself is still a better choice.



Sep 13, 2012 at 05:05 AM
rico
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


If you open your wallet wide enough, the world is your oyster. For myself, the pearl has Pro-B4 written on it. My wallet didn't reveal $10K, so I'm now searching my sofa cushions!


Sep 13, 2012 at 05:17 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


rico wrote:
If you open your wallet wide enough, the world is your oyster. For myself, the pearl has Pro-B4 written on it. My wallet didn't reveal $10K, so I'm now searching my sofa cushions!


doesn't the einstein go down to 2.5ws? Not that it's even remotely in the same league, just sayin...



Sep 13, 2012 at 10:06 AM
kenyee
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Review: Elinchrom BXRI vs AB/Einstein


jzucker wrote:
Several folks have reported that the color balance on the einstein flash units changes as the power gets low so that will change the light temperature too. There's no perfect answer but I could deal with a different color temp.


? You sure you're not confusing this w/ the AB? If not, reference?

The Einstein has a constant color mode so you get a minor 50K variation total max IIRC (not 50K/stop that the typical design has except for Broncolors...not sure if the B4 uses IGBT or their pre-ignition stuff).



Sep 13, 2012 at 07:22 PM





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