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Buying Einstein Lights
  
 
daremekiddy
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Buying Einstein Lights


I am an upcoming photographer from India. I'm just starting to buy some lights for the first time. After a lot of research, I was divided between buying Elinchrom or Einstein 640. I finally chose E640 because of it's portability and mainly the Vagabond batteries.

But however, due to logistical limitations, I only have the option of buying the lights and radio triggers from USA. I cannot buy PCB beauty dishes and other softboxes since I am planning to bring the lights to India with the help of some of my friends and beauty dishes and softboxes will be too much to bring along on a flight.

So, for the softbox part, I have managed to find speedrings for Elinchrom Rotalux.

And for the reflectors, I have planned to buy the Kacey Eli Adapter along with Kacey AB/WL Mount Adapter.

So, I have planned to buy the lights from PCB and use the reflectors and beauty dishes from Elinchrom using the Kacey adapters combination and mount rotalux softboxes using the speedring made by Elinchrom itself.

I would like to know if it is a good plan and if there is anything that I might have missed.

Also, It would be really great to hear what you guys think about this and the feasibility of my plan.

Thank you.

- Srinath



Nov 26, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Buying Einstein Lights


In your case it would make much more sense to buy the Elinchrom Quadra. It's one of the best portable systems out there. Plus the best modifiers. Then you don't have to mess with adapters or anything. And if you want to add a more powerful monolight later like an RX-600 then everything will be compatible. If you get a Quadra be sure to get at least one S head so you can take advantage of Pocketwizard's Hyper Sync technology, It's fantastic.


Nov 26, 2013 at 05:53 AM
Jayem1
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Buying Einstein Lights


Like Greg said, I'd go with Elinchrom to save you the headaches. You can still use Elinchrom strobes with Vagabond if they do not operate on world wide voltage (90-240v).


Nov 26, 2013 at 03:04 PM
daremekiddy
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Buying Einstein Lights


Gregg Heckler wrote:
In your case it would make much more sense to buy the Elinchrom Quadra. It's one of the best portable systems out there. Plus the best modifiers. Then you don't have to mess with adapters or anything. And if you want to add a more powerful monolight later like an RX-600 then everything will be compatible. If you get a Quadra be sure to get at least one S head so you can take advantage of Pocketwizard's Hyper Sync technology, It's fantastic.


I thought of doing the same Gregg. But for 1 reason, I want to go with E640.

With Elinchrom Quadra, I get like 400 W of power for a total of $ 2200. But with PCB, I can get like 2560 W of power for $ 2600 (including the 4 rotalux speedrings and 3 Kacey adapter combinations) .

I totally get that buying Einstein strobes would be a hassle in my case, but right now, I think it's good.

Also, I haven't researched Ranger quadra much. I would love to know what you guys think about it. Mainly, it's advantages over Einstein lights. I for one, know that E640 in action mode is not that consistent in terms of color. But right now, I think I can live with that.





Nov 27, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Buying Einstein Lights


They are really two different animals. I made my recommendation based on your desire for portability and usng Elinchrom modifiers. 4 monolights of any brand does not equate to real portability. The Quadra is really a no brainer in this case. It is also widely used by many of the top pros so performance and quality isn't an issue. Mine never misses a beat.

But one of the main issues is that the Elinchrom like other pack and head systems and monolights have their shortest flash durations at their highest power settings versus the other way around for an Einstein. If you are shooting outdoor a lot this is what you would typically want. If all you want is a lot of power then any brand of monolight and a battery pack would be fine. But if you really want portability and lot of power the Elinchrom Ranger RX AS is the way to go.



Nov 27, 2013 at 09:08 PM
starlights
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Buying Einstein Lights


I can partially answer your question (regarding E640) . I use them both indoors and outdoors and they are great - good power even for outdoor use. They are portable but not as portable as the quadras mentioned above - but again, they are different animals.

E640s have the cost advantage, even for replacement parts (flash tubes etc). If you go the Einstein way, then definitely get the cyber commander and the receiver for them - you can control multiple Einsteins from your camera position (plus it has a flash meter built on the back of the transmitter). Paired with the Vagabond Mini, they are pretty good.

For ultimate portability, check out Godox 360 or Cheetah CL 360 - these are 300Ws Barebulb speedlights and run off light weight external battery packs. You can get remote triggers with power control for these as well. For ultimate portability, they would be my first choice.

hope this helps.

Sanjay
ps: I have no experience with Elinchromes so I cannot comment on those, except that they seem fantastic, but at a much higher cost.



Nov 28, 2013 at 02:52 AM
daremekiddy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Buying Einstein Lights


starlights wrote:
I can partially answer your question (regarding E640) . I use them both indoors and outdoors and they are great - good power even for outdoor use. They are portable but not as portable as the quadras mentioned above - but again, they are different animals.


As a long time user, I would like to know if you have encountered any issues where you had to take it back to the company for service? I'm asking this cos I'll be transporting them to India, and sending them back to the company for minor frequent problems would be insane.

starlights wrote:
E640s have the cost advantage, even for replacement parts (flash tubes etc). If you go the Einstein way, then definitely get the cyber commander and the receiver for them - you can control multiple Einsteins from your camera position (plus it has a flash meter built on the back of the transmitter). Paired with the Vagabond Mini, they are pretty good.


Initially, I didn't care about the cyber commander.. It was not in my budget. But then, the more I learnt about it, the more I wanted it. I'm ordering the cyber commander along with the CSXCV transceivers.

starlights wrote:
For ultimate portability, check out Godox 360 or Cheetah CL 360 - these are 300Ws Barebulb speedlights and run off light weight external battery packs. You can get remote triggers with power control for these as well. For ultimate portability, they would be my first choice.


I saw one of those in a local photography store the other day and was wondering what it was. Will check them out. Thank you.

- Srinath







Nov 28, 2013 at 03:56 AM
starlights
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Buying Einstein Lights


Up until now I havent encountered any issues with the Einsteins so that a good thing. Just yesterday I noticed that the battery contact in my CC has come lose and there is no way that I can tighten in back without a chance of damaging the Printed Circuit board below, so I may send that back for repairs - its covered under a 2 yr warranty as is most of their stuff. So we will see (Though I have heard good stuff about their service dept)

Once you find out the price of the Godox 360 / 180 in india (I think its sold under the brand of Simplex) please let me know as well - i have contacts in India who may be able to bring it here - I believe its around $360 or so but i dont know what does the package include.



Nov 28, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Cphoto1954
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Buying Einstein Lights


Do yourself a huge favor and do what I did for my Einsteins.

Get a PocketWizard TT5 + AC3 Controller to sit on camera. Then buy the MC2 to plug into each light. This will give you full remote wireless control (8 stops in 1/3 incements) to control power of up to 3 units independently. Works AMAZINGLY well!



Dec 03, 2013 at 06:16 AM
daremekiddy
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Buying Einstein Lights


Cphoto1954 wrote:
Get a PocketWizard TT5 + AC3 Controller to sit on camera. Then buy the MC2 to plug into each light. This will give you full remote wireless control (8 stops in 1/3 incements) to control power of up to 3 units independently. Works AMAZINGLY well!


I have got this recommendation earlier too. Can you tell me the advantage of using this setup over using just a PCB commander along with the CSXV Transceiver?



Dec 03, 2013 at 06:23 AM
 

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Cphoto1954
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Buying Einstein Lights


I have got this recommendation earlier too. Can you tell me the advantage of using this setup over using just a PCB commander along with the CSXV Transceiver?

Sure - simplicity for one. I had the PCB Comander initially, but found it way to complex to use in the real world.

With my current PW set up I just plug the MC2 units in (no batteries or cords to worry about), then zero out all settings on AC3 and set my camera at f8. I take one shot to get everything zeroed out and communicating and then set my power as needed via the AC3 on top of the TT5. Plus you can power track ALL the lights as one unit when you change your + / - comp on the body. Or, if you change apertures on the body, it can track that too, so you can change your DOF while keeping your exposures the same. I have a Canon gear, but I'm sure Nikon works the same.

Another BIG bonus is that you can buy extra TT5 units to connect to Canon (or Nikon) strobes and use them to add more light to other areas.

I have three Einsteins and to me it was worth every single dollar I invested for this set up.

Best of luck in your decision.



Dec 03, 2013 at 02:13 PM
tuanvo
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Buying Einstein Lights


This is my setup:

Einstein + PocketWizard FlexTT5 + Sekonic L-478DR LiteMaster Pro

The Sekonic light meter has the exact same PocketWizard AC3 Zone Controller functionality built right in. I can use it to take my light meter readings, test fire my Einsteins, adjust the power of my Einsteins, group them into zones, and also adjust or turn off my modeling lamps. The touch-screen feels great and makes setting up lights as easy as using a smartphone.



Dec 05, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Cphoto1954
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Buying Einstein Lights


Einstein + PocketWizard FlexTT5 + Sekonic L-478DR LiteMaster Pro

So with this combo you use the MC2 units in the Einstein's?


Edited on Dec 19, 2013 at 02:29 AM · View previous versions



Dec 05, 2013 at 01:57 AM
tuanvo
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Buying Einstein Lights


Yep. PocketWizard PowerMC2 receivers.


Dec 05, 2013 at 03:13 AM
jzucker
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Buying Einstein Lights


Jayem1 wrote:
Like Greg said, I'd go with Elinchrom to save you the headaches. You can still use Elinchrom strobes with Vagabond if they do not operate on world wide voltage (90-240v).


Elinchrom advises against using the vagabond and it can burn out your flash units.

I had many problems with my Elinchrom lights in the studio and have switched to Einsteins and find them much better, much more versatile and support is much better. My Elinchrom BX500 lights burned out several times using them in a 22" beauty dish and eventually they told me they could no longer fix them under warranty if I used them "like that".

Never had a single issue using my Einsteins in a beauty dish for hours at a time. You can also shoot at really wide apertures due to the wider power range and the einsteins going down to 2ws.



Dec 16, 2013 at 04:27 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Buying Einstein Lights


I use the cyber commander remote for power settings. I find the buff setup inexpensive and reliable as long as you keep fresh batteries in the cybercommander.


Dec 16, 2013 at 04:28 PM
cwebster
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Buying Einstein Lights


Have you considered that using US radio triggers might cause interference (or be interfered) with other local RF services.

Do you know if using US RF gear is legal/permitted in India?

I understand India's situation to be a little more tolerant than the US WRT RF frequency bands but it's best to understand what's up before you invest in gear you might not be able to use.

As an example, PocketWizard gear operates on different frequencies in UK and US.

<Chas>



Dec 18, 2013 at 01:17 AM
daremekiddy
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Buying Einstein Lights


cwebster wrote:
Have you considered that using US radio triggers might cause interference (or be interfered) with other local RF services.

Do you know if using US RF gear is legal/permitted in India?

I understand India's situation to be a little more tolerant than the US WRT RF frequency bands but it's best to understand what's up before you invest in gear you might not be able to use.

As an example, PocketWizard gear operates on different frequencies in UK and US.

<Chas>


I have never thought about that. But I did some digging and found that PCB cyber commanders work in ISM 2.4 GHZ frequency which is also being used by cordless phones here in India. So, would I be getting interference issues? If so, can I solve it by just changing the channels because, the Cyber commander can work in the range of 2.427GHz to 2.457GHz.

About the issue being illegal, I have found that the bandwidth 2.4GHZ to 2.483 GHZ is classified as license-exempted band.



Dec 18, 2013 at 06:21 AM
Jayem1
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Buying Einstein Lights


jzucker, it looks like you have had extremely bad luck with Elinchroms. For me, Einsteins are looking so 70-ish in style. I am sure it functionally is a decent strobe, I just can't live with its looks.


Dec 25, 2013 at 12:13 AM
cwebster
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Buying Einstein Lights


Jayem1 wrote:
jzucker, it looks like you have had extremely bad luck with Elinchroms. For me, Einsteins are looking so 70-ish in style. I am sure it functionally is a decent strobe, I just can't live with its looks.


Once again, the triumph of style over substance.

The Einsteins are the most advanced monoblock studio strobes in their, or many other price ranges, with innovative features that others are still scrambling to match, and you can't live with their looks. My my my..

<Chas>



Dec 25, 2013 at 07:18 AM
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