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Author Topic: Elinchrome versus Profoto  (Read 19916 times)

idenford

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Elinchrome versus Profoto
« on: December 18, 2008, 06:51:39 pm »

Anybody have an opinion about Elinchrome gear? I have used Profoto and it is pretty flawless.
But the Elinchrome gear is a bit cheaper and Joe Mcnally swears by it. Anybody have experience? I like the 72 inch octabox, and their pack and head is cheaper than Profoto.
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Photostudent

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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 06:07:41 am »

Quote from: idenford
Anybody have an opinion about Elinchrome gear? I have used Profoto and it is pretty flawless.
But the Elinchrome gear is a bit cheaper and Joe Mcnally swears by it. Anybody have experience? I like the 72 inch octabox, and their pack and head is cheaper than Profoto.


as far as my experience is concerned.Elinchrom is little bit delicate in terms of construction and voltage issues. Profoto is know for its construction and durability. but huge diffrence in pricing. as far as elinchrom style RX range is concerned, its best among all brands(in Features). if you going for packs then always Profoto or bron.

190cm, Indirect octa is good choice.

Cheers
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David Anderson

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« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2008, 06:34:03 am »

I changed from Profoto & Bron to Elinchrom about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier.

The Profoto stuff is good no doubt, but it's very expensive and there are some flaws, like the batteries in the 7b packs - you have to have them on charge all the time or they have a very short life - in general, they're a real pain.
The Elinchrom Rangers on the other hand hold a charge for a long time, have the same power and are much cheaper, in fact they're almost half what a 7b costs.
(or where when I got mine)

I also think Elinchrom light shaping is much better, the Octa light (190 indirect) is awesome, easily one of the best softboxes you can get and the big strip & recta lights are also very nice.
Another favorite is the big white beauty dish, I use it on location when it's too windy to put up a big softbox.

Last, but not least is the Skyports, they come in kits with one transmitter and 2 receivers and you can adjust the power of the pack from your camera, it's a great feature on location.






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idenford

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« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2008, 10:21:36 am »

Quote from: David Anderson
I changed from Profoto & Bron to Elinchrom about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier.

The Profoto stuff is good no doubt, but it's very expensive and there are some flaws, like the batteries in the 7b packs - you have to have them on charge all the time or they have a very short life - in general, they're a real pain.
The Elinchrom Rangers on the other hand hold a charge for a long time, have the same power and are much cheaper, in fact they're almost half what a 7b costs.
(or where when I got mine)

I also think Elinchrom light shaping is much better, the Octa light (190 indirect) is awesome, easily one of the best softboxes you can get and the big strip & recta lights are also very nice.
Another favorite is the big white beauty dish, I use it on location when it's too windy to put up a big softbox.

Last, but not least is the Skyports, they come in kits with one transmitter and 2 receivers and you can adjust the power of the pack from your camera, it's a great feature on location.


Sounds good to me, thanks!!
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mcrepsej

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« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2008, 11:01:34 am »

HI.

I have used Elinchrome since 1982 and have never thinked about to make a shift.
Today my set up is:
2 AS 3000 generators with 6 lamphead
8 RX 600
3 RX 1200
2 RX Ranger AS
Several boxes, umbrellas and reflektors....allmost them all.
And the best. The sky port system. Work perfect with a computer in studio and on-location. Have a little MSI Windbook to control the light on-location.

Next I want to get is 2 Quandra to supply and make a mix with my 14 nikon SB-900/800/600 flash and the rangers on location.

I can only say on thing. It works.
If flash tube is broken it's very easy to change.
If the shell on the RX brokes it's allso easy to change to.

Kind regards

McRepsej
Denmark....but right now ending a one week job in China.
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idenford

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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2008, 05:01:31 pm »

Quote from: mcrepsej
HI.

I have used Elinchrome since 1982 and have never thinked about to make a shift.
Today my set up is:
2 AS 3000 generators with 6 lamphead
8 RX 600
3 RX 1200
2 RX Ranger AS
Several boxes, umbrellas and reflektors....allmost them all.
And the best. The sky port system. Work perfect with a computer in studio and on-location. Have a little MSI Windbook to control the light on-location.

Next I want to get is 2 Quandra to supply and make a mix with my 14 nikon SB-900/800/600 flash and the rangers on location.

I can only say on thing. It works.
If flash tube is broken it's very easy to change.
If the shell on the RX brokes it's allso easy to change to.

Kind regards

What is the recycle time like on the portable pack?

McRepsej
Denmark....but right now ending a one week job in China.
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billmac

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« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2008, 06:05:34 pm »

My daughter and I do sports photography. We have two Profoto heads we use occasionally, but we switched to Elinchrome three years ago after doing a bunch of research. We use four monolights in ceiling-mounted remote strobe setups and sometimes in studio setups. We have been very pleased; they have never failed and we get consistent bursts.
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Boris_Epix

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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2008, 11:34:02 am »

I'm not a big raveboy when it comes to photography equipment. There's always drawbacks and negative points about everything.

But I must say I was NEVER happier with anything I've ever purchased for photography (beside the Mamiya RZ67 back then maybe) than the Elinchrom equipment. It's just been flawless all around (I'm not counting the one modeling light I needed to change haha).

I'd say Elinchrom is one of the most underestimated lighting brands out there. They have excellent engineering, great equipment and best-in-class pricing (at least here where I am in Switzerland).

I have mainly the Digital 1200 RX powerpacks and the portable Ranger RX Speed (1100Ws).

You can get about 4 of these packs for the price of one profoto. I don't know about you guys but I prefer to have only one light per pack (faster recycle, no asymetry needed, no thinking about which light you need to turn up or down, etc). For that setup the small power packs are great. Certainly they have multiple sockets and you could attach multiple light to them if you wanted to too.

 Pros for elinchrom:
******************
- Cheap
- Easily adjustable as buttons are illuminated (unlike some Profoto stuff that is hard to adjust in a dark studio)
- Power (f-stop) is displayed in red bright type (with profoto you need to sometimes calculate how much power you have depending on switches, knobs and which socket the light is plugged in - a real pain if you're mixing lights from different brands)
- Great light
- Solid built - doesn't feel cheap or delicate
- Superb light modifiers with simple yet intelligent design (softboxes open like an umbrella -> no shitty rods and adapter rings)
- Generally intelligent design: For example you just press two buttons on the side of the Ranger RX and the battery stays on the floor while you just put the Ranger over a second battery. No dirty hands, battery change takes 5 seconds! (With profoto you need to put the B2R on the side, then grab the dirty clumsy battery handles that have been standing in the mud all day long. Profoto batteries can only go in one way and you never know what is the right way - with Elinchrom you can put them in 180 degrees
- You can put up an Elinchrom Okta 190cm within 1 minute (try that with a profoto 7foot reflector)
- Equipment is usually quite compact and doesn't need a lot of space
- Equipment is light. The Profoto B2R 1200Ws (12 kg) is about 50% heavier than the Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed 1100 (8 kg)
- A new even lighter portable Elinchrom pack with very compact heads will be available next year
- batteries on the Ranger RX Speed usually hold for an entire day (with the Profoto B2R I'm charging them all the time and yet they only last for a few hours)
- Elinchrom feels like a system. Everything works together. (Have you ever tried connecting a head from a B2R to a D4? Doesn't work. An acute ringflash to a B2R? Doesn't work. Just two examples. It seems like profoto just buys stuff from different OEM's and rebrands it)
- Elinchrom service is fantastic and they did even some modifications I asked them to do on my power packs when I was there. Right away. A profoto B2R and the Ringflash that didn't constantly fire (or only half the bulb) is still in service after more than 2 weeks. If it was that bullet proof I'd expect that the lightbulb can be replaced in 10 minutes... or that it wouldn't break in the first  place because I'm hardly ever using it
- The Ranger RX Speed is almost waterproof. It has caps for all sockets (unlike the Profoto B2R with it's open sockets). I was shooting in snow, heavyheavy rain -> never even the slightest problem with the Elinchrom Rangers
- I really like that the light modifiers can only be mounted and not zoomed. That way you always have the optimum light that the engineers calculated. You know the properties of every lightmodifier and it doesn't change to something strange just because you mounted it too far to the front or the back.

 Cons Elinchrom:
****************
- Design is not necesarrily their strong point. I'd prefer black powerpacks and a more technical type. But honestly... does it matter?
- No integrated wireless flash triggering -> oh wait... they have Skyport now. Otherwise I'm using the same PocketWizard PlusII Transceivers that I'm using for Profoto packs anyway

I guess I have a hard time coming up with any other cons as it's just been working flawlessly for years. I'm very interested in the new smaller portable packs and will buy them as soon as they are available too.


 Profoto Pros
***********
- You can rent it anywhere (so if you're used to it you won't need to adapt/learn other equipment)
- Professional image and cool design
- Pocketwizards can be built-in usually which I really like


 Profoto Cons
************

- Oh yeah, if you have a B2R with the Proring ringflash you can't use it for your powerpacks. You need to buy an acute ringflash for that.
- With Profoto you usually have a donut with a darker center or hotspot in the middle if you're shooting on location and the modeling light is not bright enough to check). Some will say this is an advantage and they may be right if you're just traveling with a standard reflector. But if you rent anyway you just take the appropriate light modifier and you don't need to "zoom" around
- I hate adapter rings and the rods. It's a pain to put together a fresh Profoto striplight or softbox and take it apart. I'd say women could have a hard time as I was fighting with Profoto softboxes already and I'm working out. On the other hand side any women can put up an Elinchrom Octa 190cm because it's just like an umbrella.
- Damn overpriced -> the light is not better at all than even brands cheaper than Elinchrom
- I hate it that some of the packs have no illumination of the controls
- Some packs are not displaying the power or f-stop
- Battery in the B2R is cumersome, heavy and quickly empty
- etc etc etc I'm tired. Basicly the only reason to get Profoto is if you have cash you want to burn but you're too concerned about CO2 and climate warming to actually do it. Profoto lighting equipment is not giving you better pictures than elinchrom, bron, or whatever else there is. You'd be better of saving that money and investing it on other gear, backgrounds, stylists, etc. IMHO
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 01:57:17 pm by Boris_Epix »
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tcphoto

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Elinchrome versus Profoto
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2008, 12:40:10 pm »

When I assisted, I worked with people that owned just about every system. The one that stood out was Dynalite and Profoto because of the compact size, build quality and recycling time. I realize that Elinchrom has a couple smaller packs but the older series was too large and there are a couple different flash head models that have limited ws capabilities. When I bought my own kit, I went with the Profoto Acutes. I prefer the 1200ws pack with a monolight or two added. I have the 72" Octabank with a Profoto adapter and love the look of the Profoto's with the box. I think that the glass globe that covers the Profoto and Dynalite 4040 flash heads make it a very appealing system.
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Dansk

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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2009, 10:20:40 pm »


 Pack and heads Profoto is tough to beat on all aspects aside from price. Fast, durable, consistent pops, very flexible and familiar ( assistants know this brand well )

But for mono heads I have both and prefer the elinchromes much more. Fast, consistent and QUIET very very quiet which for some work is important. I've had some 600 watt elinchrome monos for almost ten years and aside from the modeling lights going kaput pretty often they have been great and are still one of the most used heads I have for portrait work on location. Love em

I dont really care for the mono head profoto's the glass tubes stick out further than pack/head glass does which makes a HUGE difference in how the light spills through beauty dishes so care has to be taken on how to mount them plus the size is a bit of a nuisance they are big ( especially the 1200's YIKES! ) I dont have them anymore its just as easy to take an acute pack with heads as it is to lug those horses around.
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bavanor

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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2009, 04:52:07 pm »

Everybody in this post keeps talking about Profoto being more expensive then Elinchrome.  But after doing a little research on B&H I see that I can buy a Profoto ComPact Plus 600 Pro Value Pack Kit - Includes: 2 ComPact Plus 600 Special 600 Watt/Second Monolights, Sync Cord, Zoom Reflectors, Umbrellas, Light Stands, Case for $1,339.  While if I go to purchase the Elinchrom Digital Style Combo 600RX Two Monolight Kit with EL Skyport (120VAC)with EL Skyport Radio Slave System and Sync Cords it will cost me $1649.95.  Here are the two links, Profoto and Elinchrome.  Which would make the Elinchrome RX monolights more expensive then the profoto's.

My question is, why does everybody say profoto is more expensive?  Are you mainly talking about power pak systems when you say this?

Just curious,

aaron
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Dansk

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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2009, 04:57:38 pm »

Quote
My question is, why does everybody say profoto is more expensive? Are you mainly talking about power pak systems when you say this?

In my case yes thats exactly what I'm referring to. Profoto pack and heads are pricey but a superior product over Elinchrome IMO

Mono heads are similar priced but Elinchrome are superior to profoto IMO

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Boris_Epix

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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2009, 08:33:38 pm »

Well compacts are really entry level stuff. I haven't seen a rent studio with compacts yet. They are usually considerable inferior to power packs (recycle times and other features).

Let me give you an example... I have a Profoto Ringflash for my Profoto B2R (1200 Ws). I guess it's about 2 years old by now. I'm not sure what the max output is that the ringflash can accept but it's certainly higher than the 1200 Ws my battery pack can deliver. I'm using the ringflash at most once a month as I'm not a big fan of it. Usually just for fill which means it's less than 300 Ws. After probably less than 1000 bursts with that little flash power the tube is now defective and needs replacement.

The quote for fixing the Profoto Ringflash here in Switzerland is above 850 $. NEAT. The Elinchrom replacement ringflash tube would be only around 400$.

Another example: In a very recent german photography mag they've been testing / comparing two highend gernerators. One Broncolor (Scoro or something) and one Profoto (I believe the new AIR). I don't have the mag handy - but anyway... the point is still the same. While the Profoto had often more than 100% more deviation between bursts than the Broncolor only the Profoto pack managed to burst the flashtube. Very nice considering that the mag certainly didn't shoot the generator for years but probably just for a day or two.

Btw: Both powerpacks owerheated and stopped firing during the testing procedure. The Broncolor brought up an alert "Capacitors overheat" or something the like and had a countown for the cool-down. Profoto didn't have such a message.

I have no beaf with Profoto and they certainly make decent lighting stuff. But I think it's way overpriced for what it delivers. I don't see what features it would deliver on top of what other brands deliver. But I also realize everyone has different priorities.

You can't really go wrong with any of the major brands I guess.
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EricWHiss

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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2009, 03:41:14 am »

The one thing for sure is you can definitely dump a lot of cash into any of these systems.   Wow some of these new power packs from profoto and broncolor are hitting 5 figures!    What's in these things that make them so expensive?
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David Anderson

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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2009, 05:07:45 am »

Quote from: EricWHiss
What's in these things that make them so expensive?

Marketing.  


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Photostudent

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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 01:26:47 am »

Quote from: David Anderson
Marketing.  


Marketing is strong reason...

 i have been useing elinchrom 600 and 1200 Rx for three years.still i consider they are best among all monolights available from other brands.

as far as elinchrom packs are concerned my feed back is negative..profoto or bron are best..i mean you can trust them in any situation...

i still miss Balcar...on which i have learned ....

no brand is complet brand

 

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Dansk

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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 05:41:51 pm »

Quote from: David Anderson
Marketing.  

 Not entirely true. Speedotron is tough as nails but the pops are inconsistent and the color temps vary from head to head even when brand new. Its cheaper and TOUGHEr I've seen a 102C head go down off a 25' sky high and aside from the modeling light, a big dent in the housing and a noisier fan it still worked fine.

Profoto pack/head systems are very very consistent in my experience. So are the Elinchrome mono's as well, very consistent.  I love the mono heads for smaller location jobs. Much easier to lug around and faster to set up. Shot many a gig with them.

  I think I understand the points made by some here regarding the brand vs price vs quality. Flash is flash. A strobe is a strobe but the cheaper lines are all over the place in terms of color temps and "self bracketing" the higher end stuff is tight and thats what you pay for and what made the names of them. Subtle differences sometimes yes but at the top of the game you need every advantage you can get.

Been said a million times so once more just for good measure... You get what you pay for

Hmmmm I wonder why my rates are so cheap?    


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geesbert

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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 07:04:17 am »

if you are able to afford the top range profoto stuff it is as good as it gets. the 6, 7 and probably also now the new 8 series packs are fantastic, as is the D4, which i am using for a few years now and they never failed. avoid their entry stuff like acute and compacts. they are too slow, too expensive, not enough setting range and so on. you're better off with elinchrom if you never intend on buying top packs.

the doughnut problem is definitely not a problem if you know how to handle it. there is a scale at the side to repeat settings and of course there is one very even setting. sometimes i am really keen on using the doughnut, which is very cumbersome to achive if the flash doesn't provide it. the elinchroms can't be zoomed. and the profotos are much better bare bulb and they reach deeper into softboxes and globes.
the new zoom reflectors have a much more even spread.
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jing q

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« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2009, 07:16:27 am »

Quote from: geesbert
if you are able to afford the top range profoto stuff it is as good as it gets. the 6, 7 and probably also now the new 8 series packs are fantastic, as is the D4, which i am using for a few years now and they never failed. avoid their entry stuff like acute and compacts. they are too slow, too expensive, not enough setting range and so on. you're better off with elinchrom if you never intend on buying top packs.

the doughnut problem is definitely not a problem if you know how to handle it. there is a scale at the side to repeat settings and of course there is one very even setting. sometimes i am really keen on using the doughnut, which is very cumbersome to achive if the flash doesn't provide it. the elinchroms can't be zoomed. and the profotos are much better bare bulb and they reach deeper into softboxes and globes.
the new zoom reflectors have a much more even spread.


I've travelled 22 hour flights from new york with B2 packs in luggage with heads for a few years...and up till today the packs are still working fine.
Had one of the packs go BOOM one time which needed to get fixed ( some sort of freak accident) but when you're on location, on set, I've never had to worry about my profotos.

Profotos take a beating, Elinchroms are nice value (I started out with them) but fragile, Broncolors are way too complex to operate on the fly under high stress conditions in my opinion. Also had a Broncolor head shatter once while in a Tenba aircase in a taxi while I was sending it back to  Fotocare. $800 later I swore never to touch broncolor again.

Of course the cost seems high but I have to say that the profoto packs keep their value well, last long and they have a great system. Elinchroms have good monoblocks but their power pack range is lacking.
For the best of both worlds I use an adapter to put elinchrom reflectors on my  Pro heads.
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