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Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe

  
 
rscheffler
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


So looks like Elinchrom finally decided to get into the compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe market, like the AD200, AD300, B10, etc.

I KNOW the immediate reaction will be too little, too late. Godox beat them by years. Overpriced. Etc., etc...

But ONE actually intrigues me, as someone who already has Elinchrom gear (various Ranger Quadra models) and has also been interested in Canon's pricy EL-1 Speedlite (because I use Canon)... A peeve of mine with speedlites, and to a lesser degree my experience with the AD200, is overheating in intensive use situations.

ONE could fill a niche for me at wedding receptions with a lot of dancing, action, etc. This is where putting Canon EX600RTs on stands with external HV power packs has worked (price ends up not much cheaper than ONE), but as mentioned, they often eventually overheat. For somewhat larger venues I'll set up Quadras or Buff Einsteins at relatively low output for the fast recycling and no overheating. I thought the Canon EL-1 could possibly address this, but the price is steep - it may actually be a better on-camera option to get rid of the annoying cable to the HV pack clipped to my belt. I work with another photographer who got AD200s and they're generally good. But they can still overheat in some situations (the problem is not knowing when that might happen) and sometimes the radio system is flaky. He eventually got AD600 Pros as a do-everything solution, but yes, they're much bigger and heavier. This was also before the AD300 & AD400 were available.

Because I'm a Canon user, and have a bunch of EX600RTs, I generally like Canon's radio system and have been able to integrate non-TTL strobes, such as the Quadras, Buff Einstein, etc. through use of Phottix Laso radio receivers. Those relatively obscure receivers integrate with the Canon RT system, allowing me to trigger everything from an on-camera EX600RT. I simply plug Laso receivers into pre-set non-TTL lights with a sync cable.

This is also how I would like to integrate ONE units at weddings or other events for off-camera lighting (without use of TTL, which also reduces trigger lag time), because I still need on-camera flash, whether direct or bounced. Plus points for ONE include size/weight, active fan cooling resulting in better endurance than a speedlite, quick recycling time, easy charging during use, if necessary, via a USB PD capable power bank, use of my existing Elinchrom reflectors and other modifiers (via the included adapter)...

But to my dismay, Elinchrom apparently dropped one very small detail from the feature set: the sync cable port. From what I can tell, it can only be triggered by radio (specs at B&H state cable, optical and radio trigger, but I think they made a mistake). There is no reference to cable triggering in the manual. If so, it wouldn't be possible to directly plug in a Laso receiver to each unit in order to continue to use a Canon on-camera EX600RT as trigger. A workaround would be attaching a Skyport trigger to a Laso receiver, which would then trigger the ONE units. It should work (I've done this kind of relay with Laso to PW when I needed to trigger more lights than I had Laso receivers), but adds complexity and additional lag/delay to the setup (but should be OK at 1/125 and slower, which is OK in dark venues).

The ideal solution would be for ONE to directly function on Canon's RT network...

I can live with the built-in battery because it can be charged with a PD power bank during use, though don't like that if there is a battery problem, the entire unit will be unusable until serviced. I can often also live with 131Ws because in these situations with the Quadras or Einsteins, they're usually in the 50-100Ws range, or less (considering that often EX600RTs are good enough output). I don't think I'd use ONE as a key light in a studio set up, but even there, often for headshots the Quadra is between 1/8-1/4 power (50-100Ws) in a double-diffused 100cm Deep Octa to get ISO 200 f/8... That said, in normal (color) mode, ONE's t.1 duration is reeaaallllly long: 1/155 (speedlites aren't much better at full power). Using it in Action mode gets a respectable 1/625 duration, but cooler color balance, which could be problematic if combined with other types of lights...

I suspect 131Ws will scare off a lot of people (the price too). But I've been surprised how little output is required when used with efficient light modifiers (i.e. Buff PLM). It's probably a niche, but as a 'super-sized' speedlite alternative with active cooling and promising endurance, ONE could be useful. IMO the biggest potential use-case hurdle is integration with an on-camera TTL flash in event type scenarios.



Aug 28, 2021 at 02:29 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


I guess it might be attractive to people who have a need of Profoto like UI, fit and finish, but also who would be embarrassed by association with “a cheap Chinese brand” of gear and/or - like yourself - people already well invested in the Elinchrom world of things and happily so.

For people like me, the AD300 is just too attractive an alternative. Some even prefer the AD200.

Get your lights and get out doing cool stuff with them. You’ll be happy you did!



Aug 28, 2021 at 05:13 PM
story_teller
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


jlafferty wrote:
I guess it might be attractive to people who have a need of Profoto like UI, fit and finish, but also who would be embarrassed by association with “a cheap Chinese brand” of gear and/or - like yourself - people already well invested in the Elinchrom world of things and happily so.

For people like me, the AD300 is just too attractive an alternative. Some even prefer the AD200.

Get your lights and get out doing cool stuff with them. You’ll be happy you did!


I would agree with most everything you said except for the embarrassment part. Most non-photographers don't know Godox from GoDaddy! I also found it interesting that the One can directly mount the Profoto OCF modifiers. They even show that in their intro video on the Elinchrom site. Never thought I'd see that.

I'm also assuming the One will use High Sync (long duration flash, same as the ELB series) for its HSS capability. That will provide a bit more power above sync speed than the flash pulse-type strobes.

Interesting product, but as the OP said, a bit late to the market.



Aug 29, 2021 at 09:46 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe



story_teller wrote:
I'm also assuming the One will use High Sync (long duration flash, same as the ELB series) for its HSS capability. That will provide a bit more power above sync speed than the flash pulse-type strobes.


I also wondered about this due to its extremely long flash duration in normal mode at full power.

However, in the ONE manual, it states HS is not an available option. Only HSS. But IIRC HSS is available at full power. I wonder if Elinchrom is using a blended approach that is simply labeled HSS? For example, HS at the higher output settings, HSS at lower settings.

I agree HS can deliver more power and it's something I value with the Quadra HS heads. But if this is the best of both worlds, and seamless for the photographer, I don't think I would mind.



Aug 29, 2021 at 02:33 PM
Fotografpaul
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


The omission of a PC sync may deter some, but the target group for this product is not your typical Strobist.

Built-in battery seems to be something a lot of people got hung up on, especially those who even aren't in the market for a product like the Elinchrom One.

Considering millions of people use devices daily that have no user-replaceable battery, often devices that cost as much or much more than the Elinchrom One. But also on devices that to most people are considered much more critical than a single strobe. :-) It does make me smile a little.


Personally, for me, the form factor of the Elinchrom is the least impressive thing, as I still believe in basic physics and never consider putting all weight on top as the best solution.

For the OFC mount, I very much prefer using the Elinchrom Profoto Adapter v2. The fit is better and it gives you the standard Elinchrom bayonet with included reflector. (which actually makes a difference)

The Elinchrom one is a great addition for those who already shoot within the Elinchrom system, but also for those who start out and might not need that much power.

For me, they are great little units that are built really well and have a clean and fast UI.

They are great for instances where I do not need a smaller head/or more power. Their built-in bridge is a great feature as it makes all my units wirelessly connect to the desktop/mobile app in an instant.




Sep 05, 2021 at 09:03 AM
 


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Fotografpaul
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


rscheffler wrote:
I wonder if Elinchrom is using a blended approach that is simply labeled HSS? For example, HS at the higher output settings, HSS at lower settings.


No, they don't the ONE uses HSS. The ELB 500 could initially do HS with early firmware, which was removed however as the performance was very limited and very sensitive to which camera model you used.

Which in turn would cause a lot of confusion and headache. Better to use HS and HSS together with units optimized for it.






Sep 05, 2021 at 09:08 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


Fotografpaul wrote:
The omission of a PC sync may deter some, but the target group for this product is not your typical Strobist.


Who is the target market? ONE isn't cheap (inexpensive) and seems to have good engineering/design, such as active cooling and a properly positioned flash tube for effective use with all Elinchrom modifiers. From an event photography perspective, where I think ONE could have uses, in many situations I still need to use OCF along with an on-camera flash, either direct or bounced, to put some even light on the subject. The OCF units add dimensional lighting - a bit of rim/kicker and avoid black backgrounds, but if used alone, often cast unattractive shadows. If Elinchrom had an equivalent to the Profoto A1, then I could understand the missing sync port as it would be a more self-contained system. But in my situation, I would still need to use a Canon speedlite on-camera, which makes triggering ONE units less than straightforward. As I suggested above, it could be done, but it would be a MacGyvered solution.

Built-in battery seems to be something a lot of people got hung up on, especially those who even aren't in the market for a product like the Elinchrom One.

Considering millions of people use devices daily that have no user-replaceable battery, often devices that cost as much or much more than the Elinchrom One. But also on devices that to most people are considered much more critical than a single strobe. :-) It does make me smile a little.


Sure, for a general consumer commodity, I can appreciate your point. OCF users at this price point generally are not noobs and like to have some control over variables. Elinchrom's decision to make the battery built-in takes away options from the photographer should something fail, even if the possibility is very, very small. I could generally live with ONE's built-in battery because Elinchrom made it easy to top up from a power bank, if needed. This addresses what I think would be the biggest potential risk - running out of internal power in the middle of a long shoot/event. But it still leaves a slightly uneasy feeling that should something with the battery fail, it wouldn't be a simple solution to swap it out on the spot. It doesn't sound like the power bank bypasses the battery, so it's probably not possible to keep a unit going in the very remote chance a battery fails.

Personally, for me, the form factor of the Elinchrom is the least impressive thing, as I still believe in basic physics and never consider putting all weight on top as the best solution.

I generally agree and it's something I really appreciate about the ELB/Quadra heads. That said, not having to deal with cables does save time if operating as a one-man band. At least for events, a good solid stand with a weight clamped to the base is a necessity, even with Quadra heads, because inevitably someone will kick it...

For the OFC mount, I very much prefer using the Elinchrom Profoto Adapter v2. The fit is better and it gives you the standard Elinchrom bayonet with included reflector. (which actually makes a difference)

Thanks for the tip.



Sep 05, 2021 at 09:16 PM
Fotografpaul
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


rscheffler wrote:
Who is the target market?


Professionals who need a portable light that is built well have a nice UI and good connectivity. Of course, the target group is a lot broader than specific event photographers.

rscheffler wrote:
Sure, for a general consumer commodity, I can appreciate your point.


Considering people drive cars and use laptops which is way more expensive and for many a lot more critical than a single strobe.. Everything can fail, there is simply nothing to support the internal battery will be more prone to fail than any other internal components. Professionals make sure they have a backup, regardless.

Elinchrom's power bank costs around 60euro which is rather cheap (of course you can use any PD power bank), and as soon as the strobe indicates you need to charge you can connect it and keep shooting.

rscheffler wrote:
At least for events, a good solid stand with a weight clamped to the base is a necessity, even with Quadra heads, because inevitably someone will kick it...

That´s why my ELB 1200/500 packs are always attached to the base of my stands.






Sep 06, 2021 at 08:54 AM
3BIGMAMAS
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Elinchrom ONE 131Ws compact battery operated TTL HSS strobe


Is anyone using the One ?
I'm currently looking at maybe getting one or two.

I am getting more and more tired of using my 90's Broncolor kit.



May 10, 2022 at 10:00 AM







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