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Archive 2012 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo
  
 
RustyBug
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


I think the reason he shows the Einstein @ 1/16 power and the others (including his own B800) is to show each at their shortest flash duration. If he HAD shown the others @ 1/16 power (to get your "apples to apples") ... it would be WAY WORSE for the others as their durations would LENGTHEN even more. Then, everyone would be complaining that he didn't show the others at their shortest flash duration capability (i.e. @ full power). He fairly shows them in their peak performance for achieving their shortest flash duration vs. the Einsteins peak performance for achieving its shortest flash duration.

The Einstein has IGBT circuitry similar to hotshoe strobes so that flash duration SHORTENS as power is reduced. The others without IGBT circuitry LENGTHEN as power is reduced. In this regard he is fairly showing each at their shortest attainable flash duration. You just need to recognize the context of "shortest flash duration attainable" as the intent of the comparison.

He also shows the Einstein @ full power, and it shows it to be LONGER than all of the other models presented. But if you notice, that is correlated to the power of each unit, i.e. more power, longer flash duration.

The intent in this particular ad is to illustrate shortest attainable flash duration. For some folks, that won't make a hill of beans, for others ... it is something they are interested in. The mention that it can be achieved with a hotshoe strobe is likely correct BECAUSE, it also uses IGBT circuitry that SHORTENS the flash duration when power is reduced ... which why the Einstein was designed the same way.

THIS, imo is the biggest reason for getting an Einstein vs. others ... you like the fact that flash duration SHORTENS with reduced power. Beyond that paradigm difference ... things get a whole lot closer.

Lest you think I'm being a PCB fan-boy ... I'm considering a Profoto D1 250 for its full power flash duration @ 1/3700-1/1400s, whereas the 1000 has a duration of 1/1800-1/700s. Getting 1/3700 and 250ws seems like a nice combination, and even @ only 1/1400 (lowest power) that's still pretty quick. But if you are truly interested in short flash duration ... the IGBT circuitry of the Einstein is a different animal. Complaining about PCB won't change the fact that his use of IGBT circuitry achieves different kind of results than non-IGBT circuitry does ... whether that is vs. his own B400/800/1600 or other brands of non-IGBT circuitry.

While you can certainly use shoe mounted strobes and their IGBT circuitry that shortens flash duration with power reduction ... similar to the Einstein ... the shoe mounted flash starts around 60-80 ws (before power reductions begin), whereas the Einstein starts around 8X-10X that @ 640ws (before power reductions begin). Of course, you can always bank multiple shoe mounted strobes to get more power and retain short flash durations from each one individually. So, if you need more power than the hotshoe strobes still and shorter durations, the Einstein's IGBT circuitry is worth consideration.



Oct 20, 2012 at 02:37 PM
ukphotographer
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


HappyCamp wrote:
Where are you getting your data from?

According to this page:
http://www.paulcbuff.com/e640.php

t.1 duration is 1/588s (slower than what you state)
t.5 duration is 1/2000s (faster than what you state)


It seems to change daily.. even Paul in his Ad (previous) is using 1/568. In the Einstein description on the page you linked to it says "The flash duration ranges from 1/540 second (t.1) at full power ..."

1/588.. 1/568.. 1/540.. anything else?

In comparisons over time 1/700s has been used and in this instance would perform better at 1/1600s than the 1/588s you quoted. Whatever it is, there is still over half the output wasted - which is what the point was.



Oct 20, 2012 at 05:48 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


As if the diff @ 1/588 vs. 1/568 vs. 1/540 makes a hill of beans.

The point is that IGBT circuitry yields shorter flash durations when power is reduced, the same way that it does in hotshoe strobes. You can be an anti-PCB fan boy if you like ... but if you are truly interested in helping your fellow FM'ers understand the difference between the Einstein and others ... you'll present the issue squarely and let them decide for themselves if that is what they want.

I get that some see it as a "waste of power", while others want the extra speed, and the power tradeoff is sufficient for their needs. Which is "better" is an opinion ... the objective aspect is that IGBT flash durations get shorter with reduced power, while non-IGBT flash durations get longer with reduced power.

Choose your tool based on your needs, goals and desires ... it's much like the debate between high rpm to produce horsepower vs. low end torque ... they are diametrically opposed by design and both are made available for people to choose. Which is "better" ... that's an opinion that is application and preference related.

Relative to full power flash durations for a given flash:

IGBT = Shorter flash duration @ reduced power
non-IGBT = Longer flash duration @ reduced power

BTW ... the wasted power argument could equally be applied to HSS. Some people love HSS, others don't like the power loss ... i.e. it is an intentionally designed trade-off ... your choice. Same goes for IGBT vs. non-IGBT.


Honest

Have any other mfr's besides PCB made an IGBT circuitry unit yet ... or is the Einstein still the only choice if you desire IGBT and shorter flash durations @ reduced power?

As mentioned above, the D1 250 (non-IGBT) has caught my attention, but before I commit toward the Profoto, I'd like to make sure I haven't overlooked any other IGBT options that exist besides the Einstein.



Oct 20, 2012 at 07:13 PM
HappyCamp
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


RustyBug wrote:
Have any other mfr's besides PCB made an IGBT circuitry unit yet ... or is the Einstein still the only choice if you desire IGBT and shorter flash durations @ reduced power?


I think Broncolor have IGBT strobe and pack systems. But you are talking an order of magnitude more expensive.



Oct 20, 2012 at 07:55 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


Broncolor is definitely outa my league ... and I'm looking more @ mono than pack, but thanks for the info.


Oct 20, 2012 at 07:59 PM
pjbuehner
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


Einsteins allow motion stopping duration at lower power which is great. Another thing that they allow (I'm sure others do too) is the ability to shoot wide apertures because you can reduce the output to 6ws (I think).
Personally, I love Buff gear. I have never had better customer service from any company in any industry.
Hate him all you want but for the price, I simply cannot find a better product. Some would argue that at any price you cannot...I'm not here to argue that.
P



Oct 20, 2012 at 09:06 PM
ukphotographer
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


RustyBug wrote:
As if the diff @ 1/588 vs. 1/568 vs. 1/540 makes a hill of beans.


Well, you'd expect a company to be consistent in its claims, especially on the same page... or is that something which isn't important and needs to be passed over in a fan boy world ?

You can be an anti-PCB fan boy if you like ... but if you are truly interested in helping your fellow FM'ers understand the difference between the Einstein and others ... you'll present the issue squarely and let them decide for themselves if that is what they want.

Why am I an anti-PCB fan boy??!! Am I an anti-Profoto fan boy as well??!! Neither are suitable for 1/1600s shutter speed purpose comparison and thats what the author was doing with them!

Please don't project your prejudice on me, theres no fan boy mentality here.

Fanboi's are prickly about all sorts of things and do pick up when not enough praise is directed towards their alter.. there are alternatives which make more sense - and to help my 'fellow FM'ers' I already pointed them out: (next you'll be wanting me to justify why Kern-photo thinks leaf shutters are two shutter blades that pass quickly parallel to each other and explain the real operation and differences... hmm, no explanation for why he thinks that, probably like why the justification for half the flash output needs to be wasted. Full power flash output duration on an Einstein isn't one of its best selling points is it?).

Some alternatives as previously posted.. "There must be a better solution than wasting half your output if using 1/1600s leaf shutters, having to do the maths of what output will work to best benefit where, would do my head in... Something like a Bowens 500 Pro Monolight at 1/2900s duration, or a Quadra and Action Head @ 1/2800s duration comes to mind as being useful, both for full output."

To me, the test is skewed to finding the least failing results and so provides no real comparison.

Regarding my anti-PCB fanboy attitude, you might like to re-read my posts. Nothing but wholesome compromise praising goodness. http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1152757/0#11001147






Oct 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM
HappyCamp
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


ukphotographer wrote:
Something like a Bowens 500 Pro Monolight at 1/2900s duration, or a Quadra and Action Head @ 1/2800s duration comes to mind as being useful, both for full output."


You are comparing t.5 times (Bowens) to t.1 times (Paul C Buff). Should use the same measuring system when comparing them.

The Einstein at full power has a t.5 time of 1/2000s compared to 1/2900s of the Bowens. You appear to be quoting the t.1 time of the Einstein and then the t.5 times of other strobes. Which is not a valid comparison, in my opinion. So it appears that the Bowens can never get fast enough to work with a 1/1600s shutter speed most likely if wanting to use t.1 times. As I would guess that the t.1 time is well short of 1/1600s, but this is a guess.

I couldn't figure out what the specs are for the Elinchrom Quadra and Action Head. Their website did not make it simple for me to figure out. So maybe those are t.1 times you quoted.



Oct 20, 2012 at 11:26 PM
hugowolf
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


HappyCamp wrote:
You are comparing t.5 times (Bowens) to t.1 times (Paul C Buff). Should use the same measuring system when comparing them.

The Einstein at full power has a t.5 time of 1/2000s compared to 1/2900s of the Bowens. You appear to be quoting the t.1 time of the Einstein and then the t.5 times of other strobes. Which is not a valid comparison, in my opinion. So it appears that the Bowens can never get fast enough to work with a 1/1600s shutter speed most likely if wanting to use t.1 times. As I would guess that the t.1 time is
...Show more
There is no need to guess. The decay curve of voltage regulated lights is consistent and t.1 durations are very close to three times t.5 durations. So t.5 of 1/2900 is approximately equal to t.1 of 1/967, or around about 1 ms.

Brian A



Oct 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


+1 @ prefer to see consistency in info, but it doesn't really make any difference to the real point @ IGBT vs. non-IGBT. It's not like it is the only time or only company this has occurred with.

The "anti-PCB" fanboy was meant generically ... hence no specific reference to any given individual. Sorry if misunderstood.

The thing is that some people (general) love to bash PCB stuff, yet if you compare it to the Broncolor stuff, you see similar characteristics regarding the flash duration / power reduction issue (due to the IGBT design) ... yet not a lot of people go around ragging on Broncolor for "wasting power". I'm just trying to point out if people are crying "foul" @ PCB comps ... it is important to know the diff between how/why the comps are presented relative to the diff @ IGBT vs. non-iGBT relative to flash duration characteristics @ shorten vs. lengthen as power is reduced before piling on, just because it is in vogue to do so for some. Rather, understanding why the comp is presented as it is, fosters better decision making than "tossing the baby out with the bathwater" over misunderstanding leading to crying foul vs. real foul.

BTW ... in fact, some of the Broncolor spec is even slower than Einstein (and many others) spec @ full power, but nobody ever mentions things like that. There is a valid engineering design reason for this, but without incorporating that understanding, it would be easy for someone to discount Broncolor as being too slow ... just gotta know the what/why beyond the spec alone.

As to the "justification" for why Broncolor and PCB chose to make IGBT design products that "waste power" ... I don't think a justification is needed. Two mfr's brought a different technology offering to the marketplace. Some people like that offering, others don't. Since so many people think PCB is "whack" and wouldn't believe anything he says anyway ... probably best to ask Broncolor to explain / justify why they chose to incorporate IGBT technology into their product ... or why those photographers that use Broncolor IGBT products spend the $$$ to get that technology ... when so many non-IGBT options are available? I suppose they have their reasons

+1 @ the leaf shutter error.

And yes, you need to be careful to watch for t.1 vs. t.5 comparisons ... which Broncolor presents both (good stuff) in their online spec literature.

+1 @



Oct 21, 2012 at 02:16 AM
 

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hugowolf
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


RustyBug wrote:
+1 @ prefer to see consistency in info, but it doesn't really make any difference to the real point @ IGBT vs. non-IGBT. It's not like it is the only time or only company this has occurred with.

Right, like Photogenic, etc

So given a better mounting system, enclosure (including a handle of some sort), usable interface, honest advertizing, and fewer illogical fans, it would almost be a decent light?

It could have been a really great light.

Brian A



Oct 21, 2012 at 04:03 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo




Lost me a bit with the Photogenic reference ... but I agree that there is definitely some trade-offs that PCB incorporates to keep his $$$ point down. Sadly, if you want an IGBT monolight ... there is only one that exists (Broncolor uses IGBT in their packs, but not the monolights, if I interpret their flash duration specs correctly) that I've been able to find so far.

+1 @ PCB needing a better mount, better handle, better enclosure, etc. ... but when you realize there's no such thing as a free lunch ... well, you get what you pay for. Even with that being said ... the fact still remains that it is an IGBT design that generates shorter flash durations when you reduce the power, and can produce some very short flash durations ... and push way more light than hotshoe IGBT lights can.






Oct 21, 2012 at 04:42 AM
PeterBerressem
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


RustyBug wrote:
Sadly, if you want an IGBT monolight ... there is only one that exists (Broncolor uses IGBT in their packs, but not the monolights, if I interpret their flash duration specs correctly) that I've been able to find so far.


And then came the Chinese copycats
They quickly embraced Paul's model, e.g. this Strobeam / CononMark:
http://www.strobeam.us/en/location-lighting/123-innovative-eid-g-5-igbt-500w-s-3g-ready-ac-dc-location-lighting-head-with-battery-pack-built-in-digital-decoder-.html



Oct 21, 2012 at 07:42 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


Thanks for the link.

PeterBerressem wrote:
And then came the Chinese copycats
They quickly embraced Paul's model, e.g. this Strobeam / CononMark:
http://www.strobeam.us/en/location-lighting/123-innovative-eid-g-5-igbt-500w-s-3g-ready-ac-dc-location-lighting-head-with-battery-pack-built-in-digital-decoder-.html


Ruh Roh ...

Aluminim housing, handle, bowens S Mount, 1/3 increments, etc. 1/400 @ full isn't exactly blazing, but still faster than traditional camera sync. Nothing @ t .1 vs. t.5, so I'd assume t.5 spec ... kinda reminds me of Einstein / others hybrid. I'm guessing reliability and durability remain unproven

Interesting ... but not very comforting @ unfamiliar / unproven dependability / reliability / durability. Not sure I would want to guinea pig at that $$$ ... i.e. how much risk is being incurred.

But, it bodes hope that if the copycats are coming out ... maybe some other reputable mfr's can join the IGBT party in the upcoming years.



Oct 21, 2012 at 01:29 PM
BrianO
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


RustyBug wrote:
...Sadly, if you want an IGBT monolight ... there is only one that exists (Broncolor uses IGBT in their packs, but not the monolights, if I interpret their flash duration specs correctly) that I've been able to find so far.


Check out Photogenic: two of their three monolight lines are IGBT controlled; Studio Max and Solair.

Also try Aurora Lite Bank: I'm pretty sure they have at least one line of IGBT-controlled monolights, the Orion 200 and Orion 400. (Unfortunately I'm having trouble connecting to their Web site, so I can't confirm that they're IGBT controlled. I'm pretty sure, though.)

Those are just two major brands that I know of off the top of my head; I'm sure there are others.



Oct 21, 2012 at 08:14 PM
kenyee
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


BrianO wrote:
Check out Photogenic: two of their three monolight lines are IGBT controlled; Studio Max and Solair.


The StudioMax is only 320WS.
I looked at the Solaire before buying the Einsteins and the few folks who had it seemed to complain about reliability. The 1000WS option is nice though.

BTW, regarding "wasting power", AFAIK, the Einstein's IGBT shuts off the drain off the caps via the IGBT circuit so it only uses what it needs. That's why you have more cycles off a VML w/ the Einstein compared to the AB1600. A standard strobe has to drain the full capacitor for each shot AFAIK...



Oct 21, 2012 at 09:10 PM
RustyBug
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


Thanks Brian, will check on those also.

The StudioMax seems to ring a bell from my research a while back. That "reliability thing" that kenyee mentions may have turned me away, but I've "data dumped" it if I did ... but I'll revisit nonetheless.

+1 @ kenyee's point regarding capacitor / dump / cut-off / etc. ... effecting recycle times. as well as flash duration. Retaining that "wasted power" in non-IGBT circuitry could be conveyed as "wasted time" between shots. That is another piece of the IGBT "justification" that is important for some.



Oct 21, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Micky Bill
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


I thought that the rule of thumb was the higher the power output, the longer the flash duration


Oct 22, 2012 at 12:01 AM
BrianO
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p.2 #19 · p.2 #19 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


Micky Bill wrote:
I thought that the rule of thumb was the higher the power output, the longer the flash duration


That's true for IGBTs and thyristors (same result via slightly different technology), which act like gates that quickly shut off the current to the flash tube when the desired output has been reached; so with IGBT/thyristor flashes and packs, the higher the desired output, the longer the flash duration, as you noted.

Virtually all flash guns work this way, and a few studio monolights and pack-and-head systems have it as well.

But with older studio strobes that use voltage control to change the exposure, lowering the output means lowering the voltage applied to the tube, which causes a more-gradual ramp-up and ramp-down (especially the latter), resulting in longer durations at lower power.

To complicate matters, some big strobes use multiple capacitors and then use capacitor switching as well as voltage control, which really confuses the flash duration computation.

So your rule of thumb applies to Speedlites and Speedlights and Nissins et al, but is usually reversed for studio strobes.



Oct 22, 2012 at 12:39 AM
RustyBug
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p.2 #20 · p.2 #20 · Einstein 640 vs Profoto D1 comparison by Kern-Photo


Micky Bill wrote:
I thought that the rule of thumb was the higher the power output, the longer the flash duration


It is a good ROT (which is not the same as always) regarding @ full power ...

BUT, when you REDUCE power ... IGBT circuitry allows for shorter durations, non-IGBT circuitry durations get even longer (odd as it may seem).

I have since "data dumped" the electrical engineering design that explains how/why this is, but when I got my first (non-IGBT) monolight, was expecting it to yield a shorter flash duration @ reduced power. I was bewildered by it not acting the same way that I had been accustomed to using hotshoe strobes at reduced power. The quest to understand why began from there. Once I "got it" ... okay, so now I know the diff. Gee, I wish someone would have mentioned that somewhere along the way BEFORE I encountered my angst @ reduced power usage.

I realize that some people can never have enough light and the thought of being concerned with shooting at reduced power seems trivial. But, there are people who want shorter durations and faster recycle times that want more power than a hotshoe offers AND a modeling light AND an array of modifiers AND an ability to use AC power. Personally, I got tired of wasting my money on contraption devices for hotshoe strobes, tired of eating batteries and tired of not having any modeling light capabilities ... but still like IGBT circuitry.




Oct 22, 2012 at 03:54 AM
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