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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 16 Sep 2014 (Tuesday) 13:21
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Phottix Indra500 TTL studio light - HSS/TTL/AC/Battery/Odin

 
JoakimD
Member
52 posts
Joined Sep 2015
Post has been last edited over 2 years ago by JoakimD. 2 edits done in total.
Sep 16, 2015 15:43 |  #151

There is much to love about the Indra500, but I do have one issue. I guess most problems here originate with TTL, and in a way so is my problem. But not in the original sense.

Because I want to control the Indra500 power output via the Odin TCU, I must set the Indra500 to TTL. However, the color temperature is way off in the lower power region when I do this.

For example:

Indra500 set to manual - color temperature is pretty stable, well within +-200k from 1/8 to 1/128 which is satisfactory.

Indra500 set to TTL, but Odin TCU set to manual - color tempaterature shoots up +1500 - +2000k (!) when I shoot in the lower power regions such as 1/128 and thereabout!

What on earth is the Odin TCU doing even though I have set group which the Indra500 is on to manual?

(I use a Nikon D750)
Edit: Updated Odin TCU to 1.08, made no difference.

Edit 2: Have provided RAW files here:

https://drive.google.c​om ...JcUxQUEk&usp=sharin​g#list (external link)

I did 10 shots in a sequence with Indra500 set to 1/128 and set to completely manual, and then changed Indra500 to TTL and kept Odin on manual and 1/128 and took 10 more shots in a sequence.

If you want to save bandwidth, I recommend grabbing the following files and compare the two:

Indra500_Manual_1o128_​10.nef

Indra500_TTL_Odin_Manu​al_1o128_10.nef


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Ulysses01
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Sep 17, 2015 05:03 |  #152

JoakimD wrote in post #17710190 (external link)
Indra500 set to manual - color temperature is pretty stable, well within +-200k from 1/8 to 1/128 which is satisfactory.

Indra500 set to TTL, but Odin TCU set to manual - color tempaterature shoots up +1500 - +2000k (!) when I shoot in the lower power regions such as 1/128 and thereabout!

If you search for Indra threads, you'll find that a number of us have noted the color shift at lower power levels. In fairness, Phottix has mentioned this in the user manual on pg. 13:
Color temperature: 5600±200K (Color temperature may vary at low power settings)

I performed some tests of my own with the Indra in TTL mode. This array of consecutive photos shows each row climbing in increasing aperture from top to bottom photos, while each column represents increasingly faster shutter speeds from left to right. Correspondingly, from left to right is also showing an increase in power to the Indra500 from 1/128 on the left column to 1/1 on the right column.

Note that the Indra500 is consistently much cooler from 1/128 thru 1/32 power, and then shifts noticeably warmer at 1/16 and remains there thru 1/1. At least it's more or less predictable.

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JoakimD
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52 posts
Joined Sep 2015
Post has been edited over 2 years ago by JoakimD.
Sep 17, 2015 05:23 as a reply to Ulysses01's post |  #153

Thanks for the reply Ulysses. I have no problems with the color temperature shift at lower power levels if the Indra500 is set to completely manual. But if I wish to regulate its power level through Odin TCU it skyrockets.

I think this is because for some reason TTL is working its magic with pre-flash and whatnot if the Indra500 is set to TTL, even though the Odin TCU has the group on manual and on a fixed power.

And this basically screws up temperature by a lot when you're at lower power levels.

If you have the time to look at the raw files I linked to you will find that I did 10 series of shots completely manual and temperature stayed at 6200-ish, but switching to regulating the power through Odin TCU it shot up to 8000 +- 1000k or something like that.

Edit: When I say it shot up to 8000k I mean that I did a white balance and the correct white balance for the shot was 8000k.


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Ulysses01
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Post has been edited 4 months ago by Ulysses01.
Sep 17, 2015 06:13 |  #154

JoakimD wrote in post #17710827 (external link)
I have no problems with the color temperature shift at lower power levels if the Indra500 is set to completely manual. But if I wish to regulate its power level through Odin TCU it skyrockets.

That's an interesting observation, especially if you mean the Indra500 is set in Manual mode on the STROBE, as opposed to being set to TTL while controlled manually by the Odin TCU. I hadn't observed that, probably because I don't intend to use the strobe in that way. I always want to control the power levels remotely as I'll never have an assistant on the light.

I'm also finding that in real-world situations (at least outdoors), the cooling effect of lower power levels isn't as immediately apparent, although perhaps indoors in a studio test it stands out rather easily.

It should also be noted that lights such as my simple Cheetah Light CL-360 and CL-600 are more color-consistent when moving from lower to higher power levels. So I suppose knowing this will make it easier to decide which tool to use for a given shoot.




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JoakimD
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52 posts
Joined Sep 2015
Sep 17, 2015 06:25 as a reply to Ulysses01's post |  #155

Exactly! I would urge you to redo your tests with the Indra500 strobe set to manual. I think you will find that it is much much more consistent.

For me this is a bummer because I put my strobe inside a parabolic umbrella and sometimes I need to use a diffuser on the outside. This will make it a pain to change power levels if I do a shoot at lower power levels. Rarely, if at all, do I need the TTL function, but the Indra500 must be set to TTL to change its power settings remotely :(

But at least I now know how to work around the problem.


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Ulysses01
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Sep 17, 2015 10:42 |  #156

JoakimD wrote in post #17710850 (external link)
Exactly! I would urge you to redo your tests with the Indra500 strobe set to manual. I think you will find that it is much much more consistent.

So far, at least in real-world situations, it hasn't been a problem to leave it in TTL mode while controlling it manually with the Odin.

I'll be using it today for a couples' photo shoot in NYC and see how it goes. But earlier shoots this week (also outdoors) were fine. We were also photographing active children, and in this situation the TTL function was invaluable with all the movement and lighting changes (happy but exhausting actually :-P ).

So at least for now, I won't have much time for detailed testing other than use in real shooting scenarios. It has some annoyances, but is still mostly enjoyable to use overall. :-)




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JoakimD
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52 posts
Joined Sep 2015
Sep 23, 2015 12:18 |  #157

I received confirmation from Phottix on this issue:

Phottix: Thank you for contacting us. As per the instructions manual - the color temperature: 5600 +/- 200K (Color temperature may vary at low power settings). Thank you.

Me: Does this mean you will not adress the problem that setting the Indra500 to TTL gives erratic color temperatures? I find the color temperature variations to be quite acceptable if the strobe is set to manual, but to change the power via the Odin remote it must unfortunately be set to TTL.

I am not really interested in the TTL function, but changing the power remotely is important to me.

Phottix: Unfortunately for now it is the way it works. We will look into it in future design, and further improvement. For stable color temperature you can use the Indra under manual mode. Thank you.


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Ulysses01
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Sep 23, 2015 12:46 |  #158

JoakimD wrote in post #17718949 (external link)
Phottix: Unfortunately for now it is the way it works. We will look into it in future design, and further improvement. For stable color temperature you can use the Indra under manual mode. Thank you.

Thanks for the follow-up.

How curious that it behaves this way, though! I wonder what it is about placing the strobe into full Manual mode that is different than having it in TTL mode while controlling it manually with the Odin TCU?

Very interesting. And thanks again for exploring this. If only they could likewise modify what I and others have discovered about color temperature changing so drastically when moving below a power level of 1/32 power.




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JoakimD
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52 posts
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Sep 23, 2015 15:13 |  #159

Ulysses01 wrote in post #17718988 (external link)
I wonder what it is about placing the strobe into full Manual mode that is different than having it in TTL mode while controlling it manually with the Odin TCU?

Unlike Profoto B1, power is not actually changed on the strobe itself when using the Odin TCU to change power levels. Instead, TTL must be set on the strobe which is a catch-it-all method. My best guess is that the Indra500 is ill-equipped to fire at a lower power level when it does not know beforehand what it's going to fire at.


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Ulysses01
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Joined Jul 2013
Sep 24, 2015 01:38 |  #160

JoakimD wrote in post #17719183 (external link)
My best guess is that the Indra500 is ill-equipped to fire at a lower power level when it does not know beforehand what it's going to fire at.

I need to think about that. I'm not sure that makes sense to me, when the whole point of TTL is to tell it via the pre-flash what it's firing at. So you would think even at lower power levels this ought not be a problem.

Looks like if I want that sort of color consistency in that situation, I'd need to have a person manning the light to make it work in a practical sense. But honestly, I'm unlikely to use the strobe in that way.




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dmward
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Joined Jun 2009
Metro Chicago
Sep 24, 2015 14:32 as a reply to Ulysses01's post |  #161

Since TTL flash by its nature has to use IGBT power control which means shorter and shorter flash duration as power is reduced, its likely that the color shift a low power settings is caused by the short duration flash. It may be that the tube's color stability goes out of tolerance at the low power setting.


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Ulysses01
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Sep 25, 2015 08:59 |  #162

dmward wrote in post #17720422 (external link)
Since TTL flash by its nature has to use IGBT power control which means shorter and shorter flash duration as power is reduced, its likely that the color shift a low power settings is caused by the short duration flash. It may be that the tube's color stability goes out of tolerance at the low power setting.

As I figured, and as my informal tests show. There's a clear cutoff point at which the color temperature increases dramatically, and then remains more or less consistent (per or similar to the spec mentioned in the user manual).




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dmward
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Joined Jun 2009
Metro Chicago
Sep 25, 2015 09:14 as a reply to Ulysses01's post |  #163

Does the manual for the light have a list of flash duration at each power setting?
Or, is there a way to extrapolate the flash duration from the full and minimum power durations?
That may help to determine a flash duration where the color shift occurs.
If its a consistent shift it should relatively easy to adjust with white balance when processing. Made easier by the known shift based on power setting.


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JoakimD
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Joined Sep 2015
Sep 25, 2015 12:43 |  #164

dmward wrote in post #17721298 (external link)
Does the manual for the light have a list of flash duration at each power setting?
Or, is there a way to extrapolate the flash duration from the full and minimum power durations?
That may help to determine a flash duration where the color shift occurs.
If its a consistent shift it should relatively easy to adjust with white balance when processing. Made easier by the known shift based on power setting.

The manual states flash duration at highest and lowest power (1/1 = 1/250s, 1/128 = 1/12000s). You have to extrapolate the rest yourself.

In my experience, the color shift at the lowest power setting of 1/128 is not consistent when using TTL (even though Odin TCU is set to manual of course), each shot can vary +-1000 kelvin. Have not done extensive testing further up the range since well, 1/128 was what I wanted for short depth of field indoors in a studio setting.

Ulysses, at which power setting did you find the color stabilized with TTL?


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Ulysses01
Senior Member
Joined Jul 2013
Sep 26, 2015 02:36 |  #165

JoakimD wrote in post #17721504 (external link)
Ulysses, at which power setting did you find the color stabilized with TTL?

From what I've seen (again, note my tests are very informal and not in a true controlled lab setting, but only in my dining room but as consistent as I could keep things), the color seems relatively stable and cool from 1/128 to 1/32. It does NOT appear to ramp warmer as you increase power from 1/128. Then at 1/32 and above, the color temp jumps suddenly warmer and again seems to remain consistent from 1/32 +0.3 up to 1/1. So as long as you stay within any one of those two distinct zones, I didn't detect very much variation; you might be able to work within these limitations without too much trouble.




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Phottix Indra500 TTL studio light - HSS/TTL/AC/Battery/Odin
FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting


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