When I first started shooting wink, I would lug my big studio lights and battery packs from location to location. Just after a while, this became such a hassle that I stopped doing information technology. I instead settled for using a hot shoe flash or just shooting with no flash at all. But this may alter at present that Elinchrom has the new ELB 500 TTL. Not but does this light offer a significant increase in power compared to a traditional hot shoe wink, but it as well does it with a much smaller package than standard studio lights while maintaining the benefits of TTL and HSS.
Although this light was just announced, I take had the opportunity to examination a prototype review unit of measurement for the by month. While I have had early access to the light, I’m in no way being compensated to give a positive review and these are my true unbiased opinions. That being said, let’s jump into some details.
The Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL is a pack and caput lighting system. What this means is that the majority of the flashes components are housed within the battery pack. The head of the wink is, therefore, a lot smaller in size and weight.
In the past, I never really understood the demand to have the pack separated from the head. Only later using this light for a handful of shoots, it makes things then much easier. Instead of packing a big calorie-free stand that can hold the weight of a large studio light, I tin now use a smaller and lighter light stand that is usually simply usable for hot shoe flashes. The battery pack tin and then be stored on the basis, or even better, attached to the base of operations of the light stand up. Considering the majority of the weight is in the pack, it acts to stabilize the light stand.
On the pack y’all will see ii ports labeled A and B. This is because the pack can actually ability and control two separate heads at the same time. Unlike some other pack and head systems where the power of port B is dependent on the power of port A, each port is completely independent of i some other. And so you lot tin can take both ports burn down at the full 500w/due south of power for both heads combined (250w/s each), or y’all can have port A burn at total power and port B fire at the everyman power.
The pack likewise features what Elinchrom calls agile charging. Most battery packs I have used in the past don’t have the power to charge and fire the flash at the same time. This forces you to utilize the battery until it dies and so await for it to charge before you tin can go along shooting. Merely with active accuse, you can charge the pack while simultaneously shooting. Even if you lot are using the LED modeling lite. When using the calorie-free completely powered by the battery pack, you can await to get 400 flashes at total power. I never really reached the betoken where the battery died even after a full session that used a expert number of full power pops. In the upshot the pack does run out of juice, you lot take the power to chop-chop charge the pack from 0 to 100 in simply 100 minutes.
The main characteristic of this light that really separates information technology from the competition is the fact that this pack and head system also features full TTL and HSS. Then paired with the wink trigger for your make of camera, this system tin can automatically adjust the power based on the metering of your scene and your camera’s settings. If your shutter speed is outside the sync speed of your camera, the calorie-free tin automatically observe this and use HSS to maintain proper exposure for the entire frame.
For me, one of the biggest drawbacks for using TTL has always been the possibility of inconsistent lighting. Sometimes you can accept a frame and the light is too brilliant, so you use the lights exposure compensation to turn information technology down to the correct exposure. Then when you lot alter your composition, the metering charges, which and then makes the wink burn down at a dissimilar power. But Elinchrom has the perfect system for this and information technology works amazingly. When y’all take an exposure in TTL mode, information technology determines what power to use. If you and then switch to transmission mode, the low-cal will remember what power you lot used for the previous TTL exposure and fix the manual power to that setting. You lot can now perform whatever fine tuning you need then you are free to shoot without worry of the TTL organisation tripping upward your light output. This ways no more than guessing what power to offset at when you want to shoot with manual power. You simply take a TTL exposure, switch to manual, and fine tune. Most of the fourth dimension the TTL exposure is spot on anyway then this take out all the guesswork to nailing the perfect light ability and still gives yous the benefits of shooting in manual ability.
Another cool feature of this pack is that Elinchrom has partnered with Phottix so that the light can be triggered with both the Elinchrom Skyport trigger and the Phottix Odin II. So if you lot already shoot with a Phottix Odin Two, you lot can integrate this light into your system without hassle. Likewise, if you shoot with a set of hot shoe flashes, you tin can use the Phottix trigger system to control those lights along with the ELB 500 TTL. Since I already use the Phottix Mitros+ hot shoe flashes, this is a perfect setup for me.
In use, this calorie-free never left me wanting more power. I accept been able to easily shoot at the limits of my photographic camera. When shooting my Nikon, I had no problem with HSS shooting at f/2.eight, ISO100, and 1/4000th of a second. The Calorie-free can really sync at 1/8000th of a second merely my Nikon D750 is limited to one/4000th. At these settings, I could hands kill ambient light even with the light x feet away from my subject. I could besides employ the calorie-free in full transmission mode with my Fuji kit and shoot at the cameras 1/250th sync speed, ISO100, and f/sixteen to kill any ambience light I desired.
Although the light never left me wanting more power, there were instances where I wished I could use a lower power. This isn’t a huge deal since you can always utilize some ND filters to kill some flash power. Y’all also have the ability to utilise the modeling light when needed, which gets surprisingly brilliant and can besides go adequately dim when needed. Only using the modeling light is non platonic when trying to freeze motion. While this isn’t a deal breaker, information technology’s definitely something to consider if your main purpose is for lower calorie-free conditions.
The kit that I have in called the dual to-become kit and includes 1 battery pack, two flash heads, two head cables, reflectors, chargers, and the bag. One matter I need to mention is that I dearest this bag. Most numberless that come as part of a kit are usually consummate garbage. But this bag is a real quality bag. Non only that, but it can actually comport a good corporeality of gear. I just got back from a wedding in Mexico and inside this ane handbag, I fit my unabridged lighting kit of five hot shoe flashes, triggers and receivers, all my Magmod modifiers, a Westcott Icelight 2, the Elinchrom pack, two heads, reflectors, and all the cables and chargers I needed.
The only part of this kit I would modify is with the supplied cables. The kit comes with the needed cables to connect the flash head to the pack, merely the length of the cablevision is really only long enough to go from the pack to the top of a low-cal stand. So if you lot have two lights connected to the pack, y’all can really only employ them at close distances. If yous desire to separate the lights to possibly use one as a rim light then you need to purchase the longer cable they offer. I think this longer cablevision should be arranged with the dual kit from the start.
What I Liked
- Plenty of power to kill the dominicus
- TTL to manual retention
- Extremely portable for a studio calorie-free
- Awesome bag included
- Integration with Phottix
What I didn’t like
- Wish the power could go lower
- Dual kit should come up with a longer head cable
If you lot find yourself constantly shooting in low light situations, so this light may not be for yous. Only if you want the power to actually dial down the ambience light from the sun while maintaining portability, then this lite is a perfect solution. The TTL to Manual memory makes nailing perfect exposure a cakewalk and the integration with Phottix allows for easy integration to existing setups. The price point of $1895.99 for the single kit and $2124.95 for the dual kit besides makes the ELB 500 TTL cheaper than other competing products.