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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 15 Aug 2015 (Saturday) 14:21
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Phottix Indra500 TTL inconsistencies?

 
Ulysses01
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Joined Jul 2013
Aug 15, 2015 14:21 |  #1

I’m testing the Phottix system with an Indra500 TTL, an Odin, and a Mitros+. Overall, it seems like a well-rounded system, but I'm seeing a few issues that I'm hoping to resolve or at least understand a little better. I'm hoping there are other photographers here who are actually using this gear. Note also that I'm shooting Nikon for these tests.

First issue: I'm testing triggering the Indra500 TTL with the Odin, and then with the Mitros+. When I trigger the Indra500 with the Mitros+ I need to dial in at least +1.7 stops more power than I dial in on the Odin if I want the exposures to be similar. (see attached image)

Is there any simple reason why the Odin and the Mitros+ would not be more consistent to one another when triggering the Indra500 strobe?

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OceanRipple*
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Aug 15, 2015 16:02 |  #2

I don't have an Indra, but with Speedlites, if really testing like for like, there should be virtually no difference between the Mitros + as trigger and an Odin as trigger - mine are very close.

Please include the Firmware Nos. loaded on your Indra, Mitros + and Odin TCU - but others will have to help with the Indra. Cheers




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Ulysses01
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Aug 15, 2015 17:12 |  #3

OceanRipple* wrote in post #17670034 (external link)
I don't have an Indra, but with Speedlites, if really testing like for like, there should be virtually no difference between the Mitros + as trigger and an Odin as trigger - mine are very close.

That's exactly as it should be, and it's certainly what I would have expected here. The Odin and the Mitros+ should each be simple wireless triggers telling the Indra500 what power to fire, and then the Indra takes care of the rest. Sounds simple.


OceanRipple* wrote in post #17670034 (external link)
Please include the Firmware Nos. loaded on your Indra, Mitros + and Odin TCU - but others will have to help with the Indra. Cheers

Thanks. I suppose I'd assumed since all parts are brand new from B&H that the firmware for each component is the most recent. But I'm happy to check and verify. Any idea how to do so for the Indra500, Odin TCU, and the Mitros+ without actually downloading and trying to reinstall firmware?




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dmward
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Joined Jun 2009
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Aug 16, 2015 11:07 |  #4

Ulysses01 wrote in post #17670108 (external link)
That's exactly as it should be, and it's certainly what I would have expected here. The Odin and the Mitros+ should each be simple wireless triggers telling the Indra500 what power to fire, and then the Indra takes care of the rest. Sounds simple.

Thanks. I suppose I'd assumed since all parts are brand new from B&H that the firmware for each component is the most recent. But I'm happy to check and verify. Any idea how to do so for the Indra500, Odin TCU, and the Mitros+ without actually downloading and trying to reinstall firmware?

The Mitros + manual says to hold down the HSS button while turning on the speedlite. The current firmware is available by going to their download page so if the number offered for download is in the devise all is good.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

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agv8or
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by agv8or.
Aug 16, 2015 12:31 |  #5

Welcome to the club and good luck! I had great expectations for the Indra 500 and the Phottix system but so far they have been a letdown to speak mildly. I am patiently waiting for new firmware updates to fix the issues I am having but so far the inconsistencies in both TTL and manual flash modes have rendered them useless for me. Here is the Indra 500 thread where you can read different users experiences: http://photography-on-the.net ...read.php?t=1398168&​page=1 . Here is the Phottix download page: http://www.phottix.com​/index.php/en/download​s (external link) . There are currently no firmware updates for the Indra 500 other than beta firmware updates which I have loaded into my units but they have done nothing to fix any issues other than to create new ones. Dealing with Phottix directly is slower than molasses but just before my season turned busy I did contact Omega Brandess, the Phottix Distributer for the USA, and they seemed knowledgeable and ready to help but I just do not have the time personally to deal with my Phottix issues till late Fall. Omega Brandess (410) 374-3250


Rand

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Ulysses01
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Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by Ulysses01. 2 edits done in total.
Aug 16, 2015 22:18 |  #6

Thanks, dmward! I searched the manual using the term "firmware", forgetting that the manual also calls it "software". :roll eyes:

The Indra500 is using firmware 1.02.
I'm guessing the Odin TCU is also the latest firmware (not yet sure how to check it but will edit my post here once I find out).
The Mitros+ is using the very latest firmware 1.06.


agv8or wrote in post #17670961 (external link)
Welcome to the club and good luck! I had great expectations for the Indra 500 and the Phottix system but so far they have been a letdown to speak mildly. I am patiently waiting for new firmware updates to fix the issues I am having but so far the inconsistencies in both TTL and manual flash modes have rendered them useless for me. Here is the Indra 500 thread where you can read different users experiences:
http://photography-on-the.net ...read.php?t=1398168&​page=1 . Here is the Phottix download page: http://www.phottix.com​/index.php/en/download​s (external link) . There are currently no firmware updates for the Indra 500 other than beta firmware updates which I have loaded into my units but they have done nothing to fix any issues other than to create new ones. Dealing with Phottix directly is slower than molasses but just before my season turned busy I did contact Omega Brandess, the Phottix Distributer for the USA, and they seemed knowledgeable and ready to help but I just do not have the time personally to deal with my Phottix issues till late Fall. Omega Brandess (410) 374-3250

Agv8or, thanks very much for the link to that other Phottix thread. I hope it's educational not only on the negative side, but also on the positive. I'd really like for these lights to work out, but I'm still weighing them out. I have to say I'm generally finding that the TTL mode has been largely reliable thus far, but I'm actually more interested in two things with these lights: 1) more power than my Cheetah CL-360 lights are able to offer, 2) power consistency both in TTL and in manual control modes (which is slightly let down when comparing the Odin TCU with the Mitros+ as an on-camera trigger). But I have to say, in my simple and informal tests (no professional shoots with it just yet) I've been pleasantly surprised that the Indra500 is relatively consistent. Or at least I haven't yet seen any deal breaker issues. But again, I'm still in the testing phase.

Thanks gang for the input and ideas. Hoping to hear from others who may have noticed the specific issue I mentioned in the original post. If you have, hopefully you're also passing your observations to Phottix or their distributors.




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Ulysses01
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Aug 18, 2015 17:41 |  #7

I'm guessing there simply aren't many photographers just yet using or experimenting with the combination of Indra500 / Odin TCU / Mitros+?? The system in concept works well. I have yet to take it outdoors, but hoping to do so this week.

I'll post a little later about some interesting color inconsistencies I've also noticed. That's not as big a deal to me as possible exposure inconsistencies when triggering with the Odin vss the Mitros+.




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agv8or
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by agv8or.
Aug 18, 2015 19:49 |  #8

The only thing I have found consistent about the 3 Indra 500's I own, they are all inconsistent. I cannot believe that I drew the bad luck of the bunch especially having bought mine on several different occasions but either people are more tolerant than I am, do not know any better or they are getting results they are willing to accept without further testing. I have yet to see anyone, who claims they have no issues with their strobes, post images of a full test throughout the flash range to show they have no inconsistencies. I can take any of the other strobes I own and starting with minimum flash power take test images moving up through the flash range to maximum flash output with consistent results. The Indra 500's are all over the place.

The first mistake Phottix made was having the ability to dial an FEC into the flash itself. I have found that at +/- 0 FEC you cannot get minimum or maximum flash output from the flash when using the flash as a slave in either TTL or Manual flash modes nor when using HSS. The FEC adjustment in the flash is just another factor introducing inconsistencies into the system IMO.

When I get time in a few months I will post images, with flash meter readings (something I have yet had time to do), of the inconsistencies of the Indra 500's along side test images of Rovelights and Cheetah CL-360's (both of which I have found to be very consistent throughout their flash range).

I am still waiting for the Odin 2 with the hope they will have fixed all the issues present in the Odin 1.0 and 1.5. With that said I am not holding my breath as it may be a long time, if ever, before we see the Odin 2.

To be honest I would have returned my Indra 500's but Phottix strung me along so long that B and H would not accept my returns but rather they passed me along to Omega Brandness. It has been my hope that by now, someone more knowledgeable than myself in testing equipment, would step forward with their evaluation of the Phottix system and Indra 500's after thorough testing but I have yet to see anything. On a bright note I have found that the Odin's work really well with the Rovelights and I can pick up a stop more flash exposure in HSS when using the Odins by adjusting ODS.


Rand

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Ulysses01
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Aug 18, 2015 20:27 |  #9

agv8or wrote in post #17674248 (external link)
The Indra 500's are all over the place... When I get time in a few months I will post images, with flash meter readings (something I have yet had time to do), of the inconsistencies of the Indra 500's along side test images of Rovelights and Cheetah CL-360's (both of which I have found to be very consistent throughout their flash range).

Thus far, I've only looked at testing the HSS range both in TTL mode, as well as in manual mode. I haven't done any light meter tests at all. But even in the histograms, at least thus far, the Indra500 has behaved fairly consistently. I don't know what to say about your experience. I believe you, but I won't short-change others who have experienced differently, either.

But this is all off the topic of my original and more specific question about what's going on with the difference between the Odin triggering the Indra500 vss the Mitros+ triggering the Indra500. That's a puzzle. I've had one colleague with an Indra360 mention to me that he's observed the same thing when he tries triggering with his Odin vss triggering with his Mitros+, leading me to believe this is an issue that may affect anyone who might need to shoot multiple cameras with concurrent use of an Odin and a Mitros+.




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Wim ­ Versteeg
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by Wim Versteeg.
Aug 20, 2015 01:57 |  #10

Dear all,

So far I am a bit disappointed with the Indra System and can share a couple of statements made earlier on this blog. A couple of weeks ago I noticed inconsistencies in color temperature and output performance of the Indra500 and did a gage R&R (reliability/repeatabi​lity) check on color and output consistency and made a comparison with other brands (Witstro AD360, Canon 580EX II).

What I have been reading so far matches (to certain degree) what I have found though I like to bring some nuances in the story. My primary focus was on the basic flash performance, so color temperature and output consistency through the power range. As a second series of tests I checked the consistency when firing the flash multiple times with an interval of 15 seconds between each flash (same settings, camera on interval timer). Initial measurements were done with a Sekonic L358 to have the correct exposure; in Lichtroom the Lab values were taken from a Colorchecker gray card as well as the white balance plus color and tint values. Camera was a Fuji E-X2 with XF56mm f/1.2, Tamb=21C.

Be aware that for the consistency checks the absolute values have no significance (also heavily influenced by the applied light modifiers/shapers) it’s the variance and trend what matters.

The first set of measurements shows the color temperature (in)consistency at 1/64 flash; the reason to do these measurements were the inconsistencies I saw during splash photography, so I used the same setup and did a couple of tests. The Witstro performed like a charm where the Indra performed slightly less (in CCT mode enabled, CFn00=0). Switching over to CFn00=1 (CCT mode disabled, gives a shorter pulse and comparable to the Witstro with respect to duration) the color temperature went sky high and was very inconsistent. I thought I made a mistake so I did the same measurements again (blue and yellow graph); gave the same inconsistent results though! When color is important only use CFn00=0 or when speed matters take a Witstro! Check graphs below:

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Then I decided to go for a more comprehensive series of testing. With a higher power setting (1/4 & 1/16 flash) the situation looked less dramatic and in fact with CFn00=0 the Indra was pretty consistent. At the other hand there is a clear color temperature shift when moving from 1/4 flash to 1/16 flash. In this respect the Witstro stayed around the same color temperature which is of course very convenient in real life photography. I see here a clear plus for the Witstro:

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Wim ­ Versteeg
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Aug 20, 2015 02:04 |  #11

- Part II of III

In the next series and again with the higher power settings (1/4 & 1/16 flash), we see that the output consistencies are comparable; except for the Indra in CFn00=1 mode, the Indra and Witstro are pretty close:

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Another way of looking at consistencies is to examine the performance through the different power settings. The next series is dealing with the color temperature where I stepped down in full stops (aperture wise and flash wise). Acknowledging that the real aperture opening can vary from the theoretical opening for every series we have the same boundary conditions, so no big deal. These are perhaps the most interesting results. Looking at the performance of the Canon 580EX II and the Witstro AD360, there is nothing to complain about and in fact the cheaper Witstro outperforms both contestants (Indra and Canon). In the uncorrected mode (CFn00=1) the output of the Indra goes wild! So for photography where color consistency is important, stay away from this setting. In the CFn00=0 mode the consistency is ok, however cannot match the performance of the Witstro or Canon. The advantage of the Indra however is the lower color temperature which allows a better mix with natural/daylight:
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- End of part II -



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Wim ­ Versteeg
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Aug 20, 2015 02:08 |  #12

- Part III of III -

The next test gives an overview of the output performance through the same power steps as above. With all three strobes the output is pretty consistent; the Canon appears to be a winner here. Again putting the Indra into the CFn00=1 mode the output performance is not very consistent. However keep in mind that for high speed photography you make certain settings and stick to them during the session. At the other hand you might wonder why the Witstro is performing so well for only 1/3 of the price of an Indra, I really cannot give you the answer!

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All in all and compared to the Witstro (I measured only 1/3 stop less output) the Indra is heavily over-priced. The color temperature and output consistency from the Indra comes close to the Witstro but doesn’t outperform this tiny strobe. Yes, the mechanical robustness and the Bowens mount are in its favor compared to the Witstro (in fact you need to have a speed ring adapter to mount Bowens or Elinchrom modifiers). When light quality counts and you have a small budget the Witstro is the one. When you have a big budget to spend and mechanical stability is important then go for the Indra.

Another thing what bothers me is the poor performance in connection with the Odin transmitter. I am used to the Yongnuo YN-622C-TX in combination with the YN-622C transceivers attached to the Canon Speedlites. This combination works great, in fact this is IMO how a set should work! All the so called features are simply there (Manual, SS, HSS, TTL, ETTL, etc). When in manual mode the Speedlite immediately displays how your settings are (no discrepancies between the reading on your transmitter and the reading on your flash!!!???). When you want to meter with the Yongnuos, simply press the test button and done! With the Indra it’s a flaky story with pre-flash! Why a pre-flash???

IMO the Indra system is far from mature and is not a system at all. It was my intention to purchase 4 Indra’s in total all connected through the Odin communication protocol (eventually complemented with a few Mitros+ flashes). Happily I only purchased one for testing and so far I am a bit disappointed (this is an understatement). Before I make further purchases I will wait for the Odin II system and see how they have fixed things (interface consistency). Furthermore and talking about inconsistencies in color and output I sincerely hope that they will come up with some good firmware updates for the Indra heads!

Wim

- End of part III -



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Ulysses01
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Aug 20, 2015 08:21 |  #13

Wim Versteeg wrote in post #17675958 (external link)
IMO the Indra system is far from mature and is not a system at all. It was my intention to purchase 4 Indra’s in total all connected through the Odin communication protocol (eventually complemented with a few Mitros+ flashes). Happily I only purchased one for testing and so far I am a bit disappointed (this is an understatement). Before I make further purchases I will wait for the Odin II system and see how they have fixed things (interface consistency). Furthermore and talking about inconsistencies in color and output I sincerely hope that they will come up with some good firmware updates for the Indra heads!

Wim, thank you for this extensive battery of testing! You and a few others have added to my own experiments with some solid data. IMHO the Phottix system — the Indra, the Odin, and the Mitros+ — is wonderful in concept. And overall, many things work pretty good. But I can't call them GREAT. Not by a long shot. Like you said, there are too many inconsistencies. Each of them by themselves are not a big deal, but they begin to add up and make you scratch your head as to why things are not behaving properly.

In particular, I've noted issues when using the Mitros+ to trigger the Indra500, and I have colleagues who've demonstrated the same. For example: When using the Mitros+, the Indra500 will fire at approximately -2 stops less power than when using the Odin TCU set to the same level. This would appear to be the case no matter whether the trigger is in TTL or in Manual mode. In other words, if I tell the Odin TCU to fire the Indra500 at 1/16, I will need to tell the Mitros+ to fire at approx 1/4 (maybe slightly less) to achieve the same exposure out of the Indra500. That's a bit nutty. But it's very repeatable.

I've also seen the color inconsistencies you and others have mentioned. Particularly at lower power levels, the color of the light is very cool and problematic indeed when compared with the upper power levels.

And here's one more oddity I found: Again when using the Mitros+ as the trigger, the Indra will fire slightly more power at 1/64 than when firing at 1/32. Go figure that one out! ;-)a

I was honestly SUPER excited about the light when I first started using and testing it. That's because the marquee feature is its TTL and its HSS capabilities. But when you go beneath the surface and start looking at some of the BASIC controls of the system, the simple things you expect it to do, it becomes a bit annoying to say the least.




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Ulysses01
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Aug 30, 2015 05:52 |  #14

agv8or wrote in post #17674248 (external link)
I am still waiting for the Odin 2 with the hope they will have fixed all the issues present in the Odin 1.0 and 1.5. With that said I am not holding my breath as it may be a long time, if ever, before we see the Odin 2.

Supposedly we won't have much longer to wait for news on a release date and price, hopefully within the next month. I'm hoping for more news by the time of the Photo Plus Expo in NY.

http://journal.phottix​.com ...ory-news/phottix-odin-ii/ (external link)




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Wim ­ Versteeg
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Sep 02, 2015 02:05 as a reply to Ulysses01's post |  #15

I’ve seen the announcements from Phottix too and to be honest it worries me. When Phottix is not able to come up with a proper release date for the Odin II after all these months then there is fundamentally something wrong. There seems to be a photographer in the loop for beta-testing with a “positive” feedback on the performance. If that’s really the case why not being open and communicate the progress and results. I think that would be fair to the people who already invested in Phottix equipment.

Wim




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Phottix Indra500 TTL inconsistencies?
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