ARGHHHH...A 2nd Elinchrom BXRI-500 bit the dust
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jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

3 weeks after the modeling light circuit burned up on one of them, a second one bit the dust.

Gonna have to send this one in to be replaced now.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

Too bad I can't get a refund for all these. In 3 months, 2 of the 4 have gone belly up.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1273
Country: United Kingdom

Send the other 2 back for fixing before they break too.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

ukphotographer wrote:
Send the other 2 back for fixing before they break too.


Not sure if you're being facetious or not. The fix to the original one was to replace the complete circuit board, the flash tube and the modeling light mechanical assembly. Apparently it's a design issue where even with the fans, the units do not dissipate heat properly so if used in a 22" beauty dish, they will burn up. They seem to be ok with a bigger box.

So...I'm wondering if the 600 RX works any better. One option would be to buy a 600 RX and only use that light with the beauty dish. Unfortunately, in addition to the $700 for the light, I'd have to spend another $105 for the skyport tranceiver.

That might be feasible but I have no way to know if it will fare any better in a beauty dish.

The other option would be to dump them for $325 each and go back to alien bees which ironically I sold because of reliability issues and my perception that the elinchrom would be a step up.

Can't afford to go to profoto...



Gregg Heckler
Registered: Aug 07, 2005
Total Posts: 1824
Country: United States

I never had a single problem with my RX's in 5 years with any of the 8 Elinchrom modifiers I have including softboxes, grids, dishes, etc. but that doesn't mean you should give up on what you have. I even put 250 watt modeling lamps in them. My bet is once they fix the board issue they have, if that's what it is, it should be a one time thing. However, if it is a design issue (how do you know that) than I wouldn't keep them either. There are quite a few people using BX/RI's including pros like Scott Kelby and they have no issues, and I don't see anything when I Google the problem. No matter what it is, I would never go back to Alien Bees, a big step backwards. Are you using the stock modeling lamp? And if anything a beauty dish would act like a big heat sink unless you're using a sock over it.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

Gregg Heckler wrote:
I never had a single problem with my RX's in 5 years with any of the 8 Elinchrom modifiers I have including softboxes, grids, dishes, etc. but that doesn't mean you should give up on what you have. I even put 250 watt modeling lamps in them. My bet is once they fix the board issue they have, if that's what it is, it should be a one time thing. However, if it is a design issue (how do you know that) than I wouldn't keep them either. There are quite a few people using BX/RI's including pros like Scott Kelby and they have no issues, and I don't see anything when I Google the problem. No matter what it is, I would never go back to Alien Bees, a big step backwards. Are you using the stock modeling lamp? And if anything a beauty dish would act like a big heat sink unless you're using a sock over it.


Well, two of them burned up in one month so I don't think replacing the existing parts with the original design boards is going to make any difference.

I disagree that alien bees is a big step backwards. Many big fashion photographers are using alien bees for location shooting and I attended a photography workshop in nashville last week and almost every photographer there is using alien bees in some capacity. Basically, my belief is that any lights will do the job AS LONG AS THEY ARE RELIABLE.

And these aren't.

Yes, i'm using the stock 100w modeling lamp. I'm using the Kacey beauty dish which is plastic so it doesn't dissipate heat like a metal one. And I am using the sock over it which of course doesn't help. However, I never had a problem with the alien bees lights I had been using up until a few months ago.

I don't mind switching to the 600RX lights if it'll solve the problem but I've lost my confidence in this system and am hesitant to throw good money after bad.

I'm going to talk to their service manage John Salazar and see what he has to say. Unfortunately, their customer service is poor. It took a month to get my other unit repaired and their technicians and service people are not good at calling people back (unlike Buff...)



nolaguy
Registered: Mar 09, 2011
Total Posts: 748
Country: United States

Jack,

I'll be interested to hear more of your experience and your conclusions regarding Elinchrom. I spent months researching before buying into a "system" and though I had a sense that the Eli's were a bit outdated design-wise, they seemed to fit the most bill for entry-to-medium-pro-level (RX monos) value and a coherent strobe/modifier system.

At the same time, I never hear any accolades about their customer service and what I understand of the turn-time for repairs is disheartening.

Please keep us abreast of your experience and good luck with it.

Chuck



Gregg Heckler
Registered: Aug 07, 2005
Total Posts: 1824
Country: United States

Well I just told you I've never had a problem with the RX series no matter what modifier I used. And if the BX/RI was a major issue there would be plenty of complaints out there. There is really no comparison to Aline Bees and the RX series unless all you want is a light. If you think there is then you shouldn't have switched. And the excellent customer service is way over rated and over used. I've never had to use Elinchrom's customer service and to me that's a better thing than having to use "good" customer service a lot. My RX-600's and 300's just keep working every pop. However, if you want the best most reliable product then you have to pay for it.

And chuck, I wouldn't base your opinion of a system no matter who's it is on one opinion here or on any site (including me). Elinchrom is fantastic medium priced if not high priced system. I did a lot of research before switching from Alien Bees. And I've never looked back. The only way you are going to get better is to pay double or triple for Profoto or Bron. Certainly good customer service is always important when you need it. But it's more important when you don't have to worry about needing it. And, if you have to worry then you better have back-ups in place no matter what brand or local rental locations. And if that's important buy Profoto.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

Yes, which is why having 2 units burn up in a 22" beauty dish in a 30 day time span is a red flag. And my experience is that customer service (and it's been poor-to-mediocre thus far) does matter, particularly because they seem to have a problem dissipating heat and keep burning up.

Hopefully I'll talk to their tech support manager tomorrow and give an update but if they don't allow me to upgrade to the RX series (for the difference in price of course) i will be switching brands. I can't afford to be in a situation where the lights are not dependable.



Bruce Sawle
Registered: Sep 26, 2006
Total Posts: 4165
Country: United States

No issues with any of my BXRI or RX's. I have been shooting with them for a couple years all types of modifiers have been used.



hammer2k911
Registered: Feb 14, 2009
Total Posts: 306
Country: United States

I would pick up a used 600rx here on the forum and see if that meets your needs. If it does not, resell it at small loss and consider it a rental fee.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1273
Country: United Kingdom

jzucker wrote:
Yes, which is why having 2 units burn up in a 22" beauty dish in a 30 day time span is a red flag.


So.. not facetious.. the things don't work or are not up to the job you want of them so send them all back for checking before you burn the rest out.

Does the BD have ventilation after you add the sock or is it just designed to bake? Are all your burn outs caused by pointing the lighting downwards - if so, without ventilation you'll benefit from turning off your modelling light.



RobertLynn
Registered: Jan 05, 2008
Total Posts: 11602
Country: United States

You had reliability issues with the abs?



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

RobertLynn wrote:
You had reliability issues with the abs?


One problem with the buff lights is that the wire from the connector to the flash tube is very thin and extremely fragile. I've had a couple break off and others have noted the same thing, including some replacements that arrived with the connector broken!. Not very durable. OTOH, the buff service and replacement is very good.

Also, on the AB lights, the fingers don't grip very well and I'm a bit worried about how well they'd hold a 4x6 softbox although I should note that the fingers on the einstein are much thicker and the springs much heavier...



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

ukphotographer wrote:
jzucker wrote:
Yes, which is why having 2 units burn up in a 22" beauty dish in a 30 day time span is a red flag.


So.. not facetious.. the things don't work or are not up to the job you want of them so send them all back for checking before you burn the rest out.

Does the BD have ventilation after you add the sock or is it just designed to bake? Are all your burn outs caused by pointing the lighting downwards - if so, without ventilation you'll benefit from turning off your modelling light.


My beauty dish is the Kacey model which is pretty well known and very popular in the states. It's plastic and does not have ventilation and I use it with a sock. Being plastic, it does not work as a heat sink the way a metal one would.

I suspect that returning them for a checkup would do little good. My take is that it's a design problem. I don't think there's enough ventilation and the fan is not powerful enough to vent the hot air through what little ventilation there is.

Turning off the modeling light would surely solve the problem but I use it as a focusing aid .



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

hammer2k911 wrote:
I would pick up a used 600rx here on the forum and see if that meets your needs. If it does not, resell it at small loss and consider it a rental fee.


Well, it's not really a matter of seeing if it meets my needs. If I buy a used 600RX and it burns up the same way as the BXRI units then i'm really screwed. I then have a used, burned up flash with no warranty and expensive parts.

The only way that solution is feasible would be to buy it new and if it burns up, at least I can get it fixed for free and then sell it. However, they are going for $700ish plus I'd need the slave (another $100ish) and they are supposedly replacing that line in the next few months (rumored to be building the slave into the head among other improvements) so if that happens, I may lose $400 on the resale. Doesn't sound like a good option.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1273
Country: United Kingdom

jzucker wrote:

My beauty dish is the Kacey model which is pretty well known and very popular in the states. It's plastic and does not have ventilation and I use it with a sock. Being plastic, it does not work as a heat sink the way a metal one would.

I suspect that returning them for a checkup would do little good. My take is that it's a design problem. I don't think there's enough ventilation and the fan is not powerful enough to vent the hot air through what little ventilation there is.

Turning off the modeling light would surely solve the problem but I use it as a focusing aid .


Getting a flow of air out of a sealed container... is pretty impossible.

Heat from your modelling light travels up.

You need to drill holes in your BD or turn your modelling light off.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

ukphotographer wrote:
jzucker wrote:

My beauty dish is the Kacey model which is pretty well known and very popular in the states. It's plastic and does not have ventilation and I use it with a sock. Being plastic, it does not work as a heat sink the way a metal one would.

I suspect that returning them for a checkup would do little good. My take is that it's a design problem. I don't think there's enough ventilation and the fan is not powerful enough to vent the hot air through what little ventilation there is.

Turning off the modeling light would surely solve the problem but I use it as a focusing aid .


Getting a flow of air out of a sealed container... is pretty impossible.

Heat from your modelling light travels up.

You need to drill holes in your BD or turn your modelling light off.


Or switch to a metal beauty dish but that would add unwanted weight. Drilling some holes is a good idea too. However, this dish is being used quite extensively with Alien Bees lights and I have heard of no heat problems with it. Also, while I understand that getting heat out of a sealed container is not ideal, a good design would be to suck air out from the front of the light where it's generated (flash tube, modeling light) and force it out of the system. The lights do have a fan but obviously it's not adequate for the job.



kenyee
Registered: Jul 08, 2008
Total Posts: 1528
Country: United States

jzucker wrotegood design would be to suck air out from the front of the light where it's generated (flash tube, modeling light) and force it out of the system


Right over the heat sensitive electronics in a typical mono head? No, it'd be a bad design...V1 of the Einstein did this and the modeling shut down from the heat instead of burning out the circuit board.
This is one of those cases where a pack/head system works better.

btw, I've used an Einstein in a BD w/ socked Speedo BD in a 2-3hr session...the 250W modeling lamp did shut off after about an hour. Just turn it off while makeup is being put on and fire it back on for the 15min of shooting (I'm assuming you're using it for a beauty/makeup shoot like I was)...



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2511
Country: United States

the speedo is metal, right? I think the metal dish might help dissipate the heat.



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