June 24, 2018, 05:41:38 AM

Author Topic: Elinchrom announces the ELB 500 TTL: The world’s most powerful portable TTL flash system  (Read 8017 times)

Talys

  • EOS-1D X Mark II
  • *******
  • Posts: 1655
  • Canon 6DII
The ELB 500 TTL is powerful enough to overpower the sun
That is quite a marketing claim.  The sun emits about 3.86 x 1026 watts of energy.

It is an absolutely true marketing claim. 

The distance of the sun to earth is about 149,597,870,700 meters.  The inverse square law (which light follows) states that the intensity of light is inversely proportional to the square of the distance.  Or, in plainspeak, if you a light at 1 meter away is four times brighter than the same light at 2 meters, and 16 times as bright as the same light at 4 meters.

So even thought the sun is very, very bright, it's so far away that it's easy to "overpower".

The bad news for the marketing person is that EVERY strobe, or even practically any speedlight, can overpower the sun at some distance

It's easy to test: take a photo of a bug.  Now, set the camera into manual mode, set the same exposure settings, and take a photo of the same bug, triggering the flash off camera, 1 cm from the bug.  Instead of the sun, all you'll get is a white spot where the bug was.

For strobists, "overpowering the sun" just means that you can have the sun behind the subject, and with the strobe just a few feet away from the subject, it's possible to get a great exposure.  In fact, the sun being behind the subject can create a beautiful effect.  Obviously, strobes are better than speedlights for this, because they're just brighter.  And that matters even more if you want to put it behind a light modifier like a beauty dish.  Also, because if you keep firing that 600EXRT at 100% power, a day's shoot will go through a bag full of AA's :D


I'll just take one of these: https://www.adorama.com/fplfx600ptbc.html

More powerful, more compact, a lot less money, TTL, and HSS.

Those are great strobes!  I kind of wish I had a set of them.

However, comparing them with Elinchrom's is kind of like comparing a Godox softbox with a Westcott one.  They do the same thing.  They all work.  Nobody will ever know the difference.  Except if you make enough money using them, you'll end up buying the expensive ones, because one's just made better and takes a lot more abuse.

Although, I must say, I have been very impressed with Fotodiox Pro Studio softboxes of late.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 01:42:06 AM by Talys »

canon rumors FORUM


hne

  • EOS 80D
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
  • Gear limits your creativity
The ELB 500 TTL is powerful enough to overpower the sun
That is quite a marketing claim.  The sun emits about 3.86 x 1026 watts of energy.

You are correct, if you ignore except physics and terminology.

Only about 1000W/m² reach sea level, of which about half is in the visible spectrum.

If you have a 500Ws strobe with 50% efficiency in the conversion to visible light and spread that light over 10m² you should be able to match the sun's brightness with a shutter speed of 1/20s. If you put that strobe in a softbox 3m from your subject, you're spreading light  much more: half sphere with 3m radius is 56m² but a softbox has falloff toward the sides so we can lower that in reality but even if we ignore that, you'd be at 1/100s to match the sun. Subtract a stop of light for turning on HSS and you get 1/200s. With HSS on, the strobe is a continuous light for the duration of your exposure so aperture and shutter don't change the balance with ambient. Thus, shutter speed is irrelevant.

I believe the claim that you can overpower the sun with an ELB 500 TTL even when the heads are stuck in softboxes at a distance of a couple of metres. If you use a reflector to get a concentrated beam, you could get several stops even with two heads.
Preferred gear: 5D IV, 35/1.4L, 85/1.4L IS, 70-200/2.8L IS, Elinchrom RX
Backup: 5D II, 17-40/4L, 85/1.8, 100-400/4.5-5.6L, Yongnuo + 622

Quackator

  • EOS M5
  • ****
  • Posts: 191
1) Elinchrom does not use HyperSync, that's a technology of a PocektWizard. Elinchrom has High-Sync (HS).

Surprise, surprise - that is just another name for the same thing.
Whether they call it High Sync, Super Sync, Hot Sync, Overdrive Sync
ow whatever else - it is always a copy of the original LPA Design
(Pocket Wizard) technology.

2) Their HS of ELB 400 is +/-250K, whereas Profoto B1 was measured at 800K
or even above the 1K of a color difference.

I have seen that. Let me put it this way: One has to work really hard to
bend measurements towards this result.

4) HSS might vary in implementations. Maximal power output is not a measure
of the light output when using HSS. With ELB 500, Elinchrom states (and it has
to be proven), that they have almost the same light output as with the ELB 400
using HS mode.

Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?

5) Have you ever used any such strobe, to care about its recycle time?

I have well in excess of 100,000 Ws flash equipment, and I have used
pretty much everything the industry built over the last 40 years.

I never ever found that being a problem, unless you pray & spray.

Try group shots with large groups. There is always one who squints
or looks less flattering. Those groups have a very short attention span,
so you have to shoot a lot of frames before they disband and/or lose
their patience. Battery operated 1fps from a 1000 Ws head is no luxury, then.

In such a case I would recommend to switch to a continuous lightning.

You have no idea how much power in continuous lights you need to counter the sun, do you?

6) They've got plastic head cover. Have you EVER used or seen their kit in live?

Can you shoot with the protection cover on? No.
That's why a proper setup uses glass domes.

Quackator

  • EOS M5
  • ****
  • Posts: 191
I believe the claim that you can overpower the sun with an ELB 500 TTL even
when the heads are stuck in softboxes at a distance of a couple of metres.

You have to go really close, and due to the inverse square law the fall-off
behind your subject, even the fall-off from head to toe is dramatic.

More power helps to blend flash with ambient much better by being
able to make use of more distance, and thus enjoy a much smoother fall-off.

If you use a reflector to get a concentrated beam, you could get several
stops even with two heads.

Open metal reflectors are more efficient, yes.
But they create hard shadows again. Not what
you want, most of the times.

-pekr-

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 101
    • 2zone studio
I'll just take one of these: https://www.adorama.com/fplfx600ptbc.html

More powerful, more compact, a lot less money, TTL, and HSS.

Depends upon your purpose. When on a tripod, all is good (unless in windy outddor conditions with a big softbox). But wishing you a luck, if you just assist e.g. during the wedding, need to move more danymically, hand-holding this 3kg brick upon your head. Been there, done that - I am simply no Rambo :-)

Viggo

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 3186
«Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?»

Considering how much more power I get of my Bron with HS compared to my previous B1 with HSS, I find nothing weird about that statement. HSS eats power where HS just doesn’t.
1dx mkII, 35 L II, Zeiss 50 f2 mp, 85 L IS, Broncolor Siros 800 L.

hne

  • EOS 80D
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
  • Gear limits your creativity
«Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?»

Considering how much more power I get of my Bron with HS compared to my previous B1 with HSS, I find nothing weird about that statement. HSS eats power where HS just doesn’t.

Here's a full-power test between ELB 500 TTL and ELB 400 at 1/8000s: https://aifo.se/blogg/elinchrom-elb-500-ttl-test-bts/

Seems to me you get at least an extra stop using HS on the ELB 400 compared to HSS on the ELB 500 TTL.
Preferred gear: 5D IV, 35/1.4L, 85/1.4L IS, 70-200/2.8L IS, Elinchrom RX
Backup: 5D II, 17-40/4L, 85/1.8, 100-400/4.5-5.6L, Yongnuo + 622

canon rumors FORUM


Viggo

  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II
  • *********
  • Posts: 3186
«Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?»

Considering how much more power I get of my Bron with HS compared to my previous B1 with HSS, I find nothing weird about that statement. HSS eats power where HS just doesn’t.

Here's a full-power test between ELB 500 TTL and ELB 400 at 1/8000s: https://aifo.se/blogg/elinchrom-elb-500-ttl-test-bts/

Seems to me you get at least an extra stop using HS on the ELB 400 compared to HSS on the ELB 500 TTL.

Exactly  :)

1dx mkII, 35 L II, Zeiss 50 f2 mp, 85 L IS, Broncolor Siros 800 L.

CanonFanBoy

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2152
  • Bipolar. When it is happening I don't realize it.
I'll just take one of these: https://www.adorama.com/fplfx600ptbc.html

More powerful, more compact, a lot less money, TTL, and HSS.

Depends upon your purpose. When on a tripod, all is good (unless in windy outddor conditions with a big softbox). But wishing you a luck, if you just assist e.g. during the wedding, need to move more danymically, hand-holding this 3kg brick upon your head. Been there, done that - I am simply no Rambo :-)

I'm no Rambo either. :) But for my purpose, photographing exhausted wedding photographers, a tripod works just fine.  ;) ;) ;)
5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II, 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, 35 f/1.4L II, 135 f/2L, Streaklight 360ws, Flashpoint XPLOR 600PRO, 26x m42 screw mount lenses adapted to my DSLR. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro

-pekr-

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 101
    • 2zone studio
1) Elinchrom does not use HyperSync, that's a technology of a PocektWizard. Elinchrom has High-Sync (HS).

Surprise, surprise - that is just another name for the same thing.
Whether they call it High Sync, Super Sync, Hot Sync, Overdrive Sync
ow whatever else - it is always a copy of the original LPA Design
(Pocket Wizard) technology.

Great - we are all using cars - those do have engines and 4 wheels, but other than that, they are all identical in implementation.

2) Their HS of ELB 400 is +/-250K, whereas Profoto B1 was measured at 800K
or even above the 1K of a color difference.

I have seen that. Let me put it this way: One has to work really hard to
bend measurements towards this result.

Those measurements were done using the Sekonic C700 color meter. Suddenly and miraculously, 700-1000+K color difference does not matter, as it does not fit your argument? If those numbers were for an Elinchrom, I can bet you would be already dancing on their grave :-)

4) HSS might vary in implementations. Maximal power output is not a measure
of the light output when using HSS. With ELB 500, Elinchrom states (and it has
to be proven), that they have almost the same light output as with the ELB 400
using HS mode.

Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?

Eccentric, bizarre - are you talking your replies? :-) ELB 400 is voltage controlled unit, whereas ELB 500 is IGBT unit - completly different internals. So yes, ELB500 might be less powerful than ELB400, at certain situations. You attack Elinchrom's claims hardly, yet I wonder, if you know, how much of power output does Profoto marketing gives you for an acclaimed speeds of B1's 1/11000. Isn't it 2Ws. You can surely use it to ovepower sun ... eh, a light candle :-)

5) Have you ever used any such strobe, to care about its recycle time?

I have well in excess of 100,000 Ws flash equipment, and I have used
pretty much everything the industry built over the last 40 years.

Maybe you do, but then I don't undrestand your replies ....

I never ever found that being a problem, unless you pray & spray.

Try group shots with large groups. There is always one who squints
or looks less flattering. Those groups have a very short attention span,
so you have to shoot a lot of frames before they disband and/or lose
their patience. Battery operated 1fps from a 1000 Ws head is no luxury, then.


Large groups? And apart from 30-40 ppl you care if one looks somewhere else? If you can't keep your group organised for 10-20 secs, get an assistant :-) Also - you shoot groups in full power? If not, you can get more consecutive flashes for sure.

In such a case I would recommend to switch to a continuous lightning.

You have no idea how much power in continuous lights you need to counter the sun, do you?


You have no idea what idea I have. Some shoots are indoors, right? And I envy ppl who have money to buy stuff like Rotolight, Zylight F8 or Arri :-) ...

6) They've got plastic head cover. Have you EVER used or seen their kit in live?

Can you shoot with the protection cover on? No.
That's why a proper setup uses glass domes.

You seem to have patent just on everything. Whatever "proper" means in your book, might differin experience to others.

Man, you seem to be a professional, so I just wonder, if you have to downplay this Elinchrom new stuff so hardly :-)

-pekr-

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 101
    • 2zone studio
I'll just take one of these: https://www.adorama.com/fplfx600ptbc.html

More powerful, more compact, a lot less money, TTL, and HSS.

Depends upon your purpose. When on a tripod, all is good (unless in windy outddor conditions with a big softbox). But wishing you a luck, if you just assist e.g. during the wedding, need to move more danymically, hand-holding this 3kg brick upon your head. Been there, done that - I am simply no Rambo :-)

I'm no Rambo either. :) But for my purpose, photographing exhausted wedding photographers, a tripod works just fine.  ;) ;) ;)

Photographing wedding photographers? Sounds like a new discipline and a business oportunity. Will have to think about it more :-)

No, really - I like the studio gear. Modern aproach is to use stuff like FF, fast primes, and no flash. I can see many ppl working with zero flashes, some switching to Sonys, etc.

When we started to do weddings 3 years ago, we took 2 softboxes, 2x Elinchrom RX600, 2 tripods, Godox 850 battery kit on the scene. It was a nice and big garden, local arboretum, many shoots are done there. There is plenty of locations in there. We were not able to move quickly.

So, now the strategy is - ELB400, Deep Octa and a helper monopod. We are walking with bride & groom, and shoot on 8-12 locations there. No time to collapse tripods, softboxes. We have cca 1:30hour max to do the work.

RX600 weighted someting like 2.3kg. Those battery based monoblocks are easily around 3kgs. So, in such conditions, I do prefer the ELB design upon monoblock. But - if you ask me, what I like more, then I can easily admit - monoblocks - looks sexy, cableless, hassle-free.

I use already some stuff from Godox, Aputure, etc., I might add some other equipment to our arsenal. But I need all that equipment to be complementary to some exent. I like e.g. Rotolight, but they imo ask way too much for what they offer, although they can be triggered by Elinchrom's Skyport in their latest generation.

So much cool new stuff around, and so little time/money to play with all of this :-)

privatebydesign

  • Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS
  • ***********
  • Posts: 6892
  • Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
«Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?»

Considering how much more power I get of my Bron with HS compared to my previous B1 with HSS, I find nothing weird about that statement. HSS eats power where HS just doesn’t.

Here's a full-power test between ELB 500 TTL and ELB 400 at 1/8000s: https://aifo.se/blogg/elinchrom-elb-500-ttl-test-bts/

Seems to me you get at least an extra stop using HS on the ELB 400 compared to HSS on the ELB 500 TTL.

Exactly  :)

HSS does not "eat power" it is just the difference in the way the two types of exposure work. In HSS the light pulses which means, by definition, at times during the exposure the light is off; in contrast in 'HS' mode the light is always on but in longer over sync speed exposures (1/250-1/1000)  the duration of the flash becomes an issue in that the later part of the image doesn't get as much light as the first part.

The two systems fight against the sync issues in different ways and there is no right or wrong, just understand what you are trying to do and get a system that works better for that discipline.

For example, if you are relying on the flash exposure to freeze motion the shorter flash duration technology in HSS will give you better results, HS works by extending the flash duration so doesn't do as good a job. However if you are going for maximum 'separation' or 'over powering the sun' then HS will give you better results on a per power basis because the light is always on during the exposure.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

LDS

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 1277
Can you shoot with the protection cover on? No.
That's why a proper setup uses glass domes.

You can with the Multifunctional Cap, although it also acts like a diffuser. With these lamps, Elinchrom choose a minimalist design which keeps them small and light - and for some people it's a plus. It's being around for a while, maybe not everybody has issues with it.

Larger lamps like ELB 1200 and Digital RX have domes, but they are also over 2 vs. 0.25 kg.

canon rumors FORUM


hne

  • EOS 80D
  • ****
  • Posts: 282
  • Gear limits your creativity
«Haha, so they say that their 500 Ws are almost as good as their 400 Ws?
Sounds excentric, bordering on bizarre, doesn't it?»

Considering how much more power I get of my Bron with HS compared to my previous B1 with HSS, I find nothing weird about that statement. HSS eats power where HS just doesn’t.

Here's a full-power test between ELB 500 TTL and ELB 400 at 1/8000s: https://aifo.se/blogg/elinchrom-elb-500-ttl-test-bts/

Seems to me you get at least an extra stop using HS on the ELB 400 compared to HSS on the ELB 500 TTL.

Exactly  :)

HSS does not "eat power" it is just the difference in the way the two types of exposure work. In HSS the light pulses which means, by definition, at times during the exposure the light is off; in contrast in 'HS' mode the light is always on but in longer over sync speed exposures (1/250-1/1000)  the duration of the flash becomes an issue in that the later part of the image doesn't get as much light as the first part.

The two systems fight against the sync issues in different ways and there is no right or wrong, just understand what you are trying to do and get a system that works better for that discipline.

For example, if you are relying on the flash exposure to freeze motion the shorter flash duration technology in HSS will give you better results, HS works by extending the flash duration so doesn't do as good a job. However if you are going for maximum 'separation' or 'over powering the sun' then HS will give you better results on a per power basis because the light is always on during the exposure.

I'm normally trying to abstain from correcting people on the internetz, but since you are one of the most reliable sources of photographic experience I've encountered, I feel I have to make an exception...

HSS works by extending flash duration and HS works by chopping it.

When you turn on HSS you lose a stop, give or take. That's "eating power" in my book. This comes from the fact that HSS needs to shine light for an extra half of your sync speed to keep an even exposure during the time the shutter is partially open anywhere. Half sync speed because the two curtains travel their distance in slightly less than half the time of your sync speed and the time window the whole sensor is exposed when slower than X sync is roughly 1ms. You can't do this continuous output at the same brightness you get for a MAX POWER blast unless using about twice the energy. The exact factor varies with travel times of the shutter curtains.

HS (or SuperSync, HyperSync, ...) work by using a t.5 time longer than your exposure time. If you have a ELB400 with a Quadra HS head in the A port, you get between 1.8 and 3.6 ms t.5 time, where the total exposure time of your camera is about 1/400s+exposure time, so between 2.6ms and 5.6ms. So, there would be some falloff towards one side or the other. Some might argue that you have to get more than one stop of falloff, but the flash output is a curve, not a line and so on.
The shorter shutter speed you use with HS, the smaller the part of the flash output curve you use. But since it is now behaving as a continuous light, you lose a stop per stop of faster shutter, unless you use the wrong part of the output curve.

The upside with HS over HSS is you get to reach peak brightness. The downside is you get falloff.

HSS and HS give exactly the same possibilities of stopping fast motion, since they both make a flash behave like a continuous light source.
Preferred gear: 5D IV, 35/1.4L, 85/1.4L IS, 70-200/2.8L IS, Elinchrom RX
Backup: 5D II, 17-40/4L, 85/1.8, 100-400/4.5-5.6L, Yongnuo + 622

-pekr-

  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • ****
  • Posts: 101
    • 2zone studio

HSS does not "eat power" it is just the difference in the way the two types of exposure work. In HSS the light pulses which means, by definition, at times during the exposure the light is off; in contrast in 'HS' mode the light is always on but in longer over sync speed exposures (1/250-1/1000)  the duration of the flash becomes an issue in that the later part of the image doesn't get as much light as the first part.

The two systems fight against the sync issues in different ways and there is no right or wrong, just understand what you are trying to do and get a system that works better for that discipline.

For example, if you are relying on the flash exposure to freeze motion the shorter flash duration technology in HSS will give you better results, HS works by extending the flash duration so doesn't do as good a job. However if you are going for maximum 'separation' or 'over powering the sun' then HS will give you better results on a per power basis because the light is always on during the exposure.

I'm normally trying to abstain from correcting people on the internetz, but since you are one of the most reliable sources of photographic experience I've encountered, I feel I have to make an exception...

HSS works by extending flash duration and HS works by chopping it.

When you turn on HSS you lose a stop, give or take. That's "eating power" in my book. This comes from the fact that HSS needs to shine light for an extra half of your sync speed to keep an even exposure during the time the shutter is partially open anywhere. Half sync speed because the two curtains travel their distance in slightly less than half the time of your sync speed and the time window the whole sensor is exposed when slower than X sync is roughly 1ms. You can't do this continuous output at the same brightness you get for a MAX POWER blast unless using about twice the energy. The exact factor varies with travel times of the shutter curtains.

HS (or SuperSync, HyperSync, ...) work by using a t.5 time longer than your exposure time. If you have a ELB400 with a Quadra HS head in the A port, you get between 1.8 and 3.6 ms t.5 time, where the total exposure time of your camera is about 1/400s+exposure time, so between 2.6ms and 5.6ms. So, there would be some falloff towards one side or the other. Some might argue that you have to get more than one stop of falloff, but the flash output is a curve, not a line and so on.
The shorter shutter speed you use with HS, the smaller the part of the flash output curve you use. But since it is now behaving as a continuous light, you lose a stop per stop of faster shutter, unless you use the wrong part of the output curve.

The upside with HS over HSS is you get to reach peak brightness. The downside is you get falloff.

HSS and HS give exactly the same possibilities of stopping fast motion, since they both make a flash behave like a continuous light source.

Nice explanation. If someone is interested, here's few animations. If you filter out marketing a bit, you get the idea:

http://elinchrom.com/learn/hss-hs.html

And here is quite nice comparison of Profoto B1 with ELB 400. Not to argue, which is better/worse, but to understand a bit better, how it works:

http://blog.michaelclarkphoto.com/?p=3886

canon rumors FORUM