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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 25 Oct 2011 (Tuesday) 10:39
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PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

 
markymarc
Member
34 posts
Joined Dec 2008
Oct 25, 2011 10:39 |  #1

Need some help breaking the logjam in my head about which system to purchase. I have done so much analysis that I probably have paralysis. I know that either one probably will be a good decision but that thought still does not help with the deciding vote.

E640 Strengths vis-a-vis 600RX:
--Price (both in the monolight and modifiers)
--Specs (Flash duration, 9 stops, recycle time, color consistency)
--2 year warranty
--250W modeling lamp (although some say it is not that bright or only as bright as 150W)
--PLM Modifiers (but I may not get the PLM for a while)
--nice compatibility with the Vagabond Mini (I understand that the Elinchrom supports the mini)
--PocketWizard compatibility slightly better
--faster Customer Support

E640 Weaknesses vis-a-vis 600RX:
--the Balcar mount (add a Chimera speedring and the cost goes up)
--Modifiers not as nice or broad as the Elinchrom line nor as loved by the Eli fanbase
--system growth (do I just get more Einsteins?)

600RX Strengths vis-a-vis E640
--the Mount (although some critize it anyway)
--the beloved modifiers
--great system growth (Quadra, Ranger, 300W, 1200W)
--great fanbase and community (probably could be said the same of PCB E640s)

600RX Weaknesses vis-a-vis E640
--150W modeling lamp (why does their professional not have a 250 or 300W)
--pricier


I am definitely interested in hearing anybody that has used the V2.1 Einsteins and the 600RX. I know that the Einsteins were on back order a long time and it took to v2.1 version to iron out some of the problems and issues.

But if you had a choice to buy your first monolight (coming from speedlights) and do mostly portraits (studio and location), which system would you go with now knowing that v2.1 is out and that there is no backorder and that you live in the USA. Price is not a huge consideration with respect to these two systems. I plan to buy octas and strip softboxes and beauty dishes in short time. The PLM umbrella is not on that horizon wish list.

Thanks!




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mdelrossi
Member
49 posts
Joined Jul 2009
Brooklyn NY
Oct 25, 2011 10:54 |  #2

I use the Elinchrom Quadra.
Fast to setup.
light.
remote power and trigger.
Small.
works with all the Eli modifiers and the PCB 86" PLM( my current favorite)


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c2thew
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Not enough minerals.
Oct 25, 2011 11:38 as a reply to mdelrossi's post |  #3

"E640 Strengths vis-a-vis 600RX:
--Price (both in the monolight and modifiers)
--Specs (Flash duration, 9 stops, recycle time, color consistency)
--2 year warranty
--250W modeling lamp (although some say it is not that bright or only as bright as 150W) The modeling lamp is 100W of brightness in comparison to the elinchrom's leuci 100W bulb. The excess 150W in the einstein light is emitted in the form of HEAT. so elinchrom's modeling light outputs the same as the einstein's. This is a significant drawback
--PLM Modifiers (but I may not get the PLM for a while) PCB also sells the plms for elinchrom
--nice compatibility with the Vagabond Mini (I understand that the Elinchrom supports the mini) both systems can be used on the mini
--PocketWizard compatibility slightly better
--faster Customer Support
--Faster flash duration

E640 Weaknesses vis-a-vis 600RX:
--the Balcar mount (add a Chimera speedring and the cost goes up) correct.
--Modifiers not as nice or broad as the Elinchrom line nor as loved by the Eli fanbase this forum in particular has a huge elinchrom following so you will see many users recommending elinchrom. I tried elinchrom but found that flash duration/color consistency/price were the deciding factors.
--system growth (do I just get more Einsteins?)

600RX Strengths vis-a-vis E640
--the Mount (although some critize it anyway) The mount is much better then the einstein.
--the beloved modifiers
--great system growth (Quadra, Ranger, 300W, 1200W)
--great fanbase and community (probably could be said the same of PCB E640s)

600RX Weaknesses vis-a-vis E640
--150W modeling lamp (why does their professional not have a 250 or 300W)
--pricier"

elinchrom is significantly more expensive then the einstein and the build quality is much better. However, when it comes down to light, the einstein in my opinion edges out the elinchrom system because of it's much faster flash duration using IBGT which is the main feature of purchasing the einstein.


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m.shalaby
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Oct 25, 2011 14:13 as a reply to c2thew's post |  #4

OP - I faced a decision similar to yours and went the Einstein route.

I mostly went on price ($500 vs. $800) and so far I'm very happy w/ the Einsteins & how well supported PCB products are by 3rd part mfr's like Pocketwizard, etc...

I like the portability of their modifiers. The whole collapasable thing really is wonderful.
Also if you need a certain modifier/shape/size they don't make, there's other quality products out there like Photoflex and Creative Light.

Elinchrom seems to be top notch stuff. QC may be a bit tighter vs. PCB.

But overall, both will produce the same results. - I went on price.




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TwoShoes
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Gold Coast, Aus
Oct 25, 2011 14:18 |  #5

I'm not getting into this, but the 600RX will most definitely take > 150W modelling lights (albeit 240 or 110v).


Luke,
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TwoShoes
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Gold Coast, Aus
Oct 25, 2011 14:20 |  #6

In Australia or any 240v country it's really a no brainer, the Elinchrom gear is the way to go. It's not just the support it's the fact that my 600RX recycles in < 1sec @ full power on 240v.


Luke,
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TMR ­ Design
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Joined Feb 2006
Huntington Station, NY
Oct 25, 2011 14:31 |  #7

TwoShoes wrote in post #13304839external link
I'm not getting into this, but the 600RX will most definitely take > 150W modelling lights (albeit 240 or 110v).

I replaced the 150Watt lamps with 250Watt lamps in my RX's. They're readily available from Elinchrom and third parties.


Please call me Robert or Rob, not TMR
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sigma ­ pi
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Joined Apr 2010
Los Angeles
Oct 25, 2011 14:37 |  #8

m.shalaby wrote in post #13304808external link
I like the portability of their modifiers. The whole collapasable thing really is wonderful.

Yes the PCB beauty dish is great at that :lol:


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
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Dick ­ Clay
Member
86 posts
Joined Oct 2011
Morwell, Victoria
Oct 25, 2011 15:48 |  #9
banned

sigma pi wrote in post #13304982external link
Yes the PCB beauty dish is great at that :lol:

"Deformable" isn't the same thing as "collapsible", you know.


Thanks, Dick

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kenyee
Senior Member
981 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Boston, PRofMA
Oct 25, 2011 18:36 |  #10

markymarc wrote in post #13303688external link
--Modifiers not as nice or broad as the Elinchrom line nor as loved by the Eli fanbase

For any Elinchrom modifier you want to use w/ the Balcar mount, buy a $90 speedring pair from Kacey Enterprises. Now you have access to any Eli thing you want.

As for which is better...why not buy both, try them for a while and return them? PCB has a 60 day return policy so you're just out shipping costs for the 2 month "rental".
Find someone local who has the Elinchrom strobe you want and a few modifiers if you can't buy/try them...
That's probably the only way you'll really know w/o wondering...

I have local shooting buddies w/ the Ranger and Quadra and the Eli DO and a few of their modifiers and a Mola Demi. After trying their stuff, I want the Mola (it's a lot better constructed than my Speedo dish, but results from a shoot were exactly the same...but it feels more sturdy :)
The DO was ok. The Eli strip had no grid, so I hated that.

And yes, I'm still happy w/ my 3 Einsteins...just wish Radiopopper would release a JrX receiver that could control power on it :(


Pentax K20D, 77Ltd, 43Ltd, Sigma 17-70, 60-250/4, crapload of Strobist gear (SB28's, RP JrX Studios, Einsteins, WL, Speedo BD, softboxes, grids, etc.)

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m.shalaby
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3,441 posts
Joined Dec 2009
Oct 25, 2011 18:42 |  #11

sigma pi wrote in post #13304982external link
Yes the PCB beauty dish is great at that :lol:

Yes, so I hear the PCB dishes aren't so good. I'm happy with my Kacey & Mola Setti.




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sigma ­ pi
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Joined Apr 2010
Los Angeles
Oct 25, 2011 18:44 |  #12

m.shalaby wrote in post #13306216external link
Yes, so I hear the PCB dishes aren't so good. I'm happy with my Kacey & Mola Setti.

+1 on the mola camp :D


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
http://www.flickr.com ...6850267535/in/photo​streamexternal link

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markymarc
THREAD ­ STARTER
Member
34 posts
Joined Dec 2008
Oct 25, 2011 19:45 |  #13

kenyee wrote in post #13306191external link
For any Elinchrom modifier you want to use w/ the Balcar mount, buy a $90 speedring pair from Kacey Enterprises. Now you have access to any Eli thing you want.

How big of a deal is it using a Kacey adapter? Is it a pain? Part of my concern is the extra hassel of using Chimera speedrings or Kacey adapters on a mount that is already well critized.

Cant you retro fit the Eli Strips with grids?

Thanks!




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kenyee
Senior Member
981 posts
Joined Feb 2009
Boston, PRofMA
Oct 25, 2011 21:25 |  #14

markymarc wrote in post #13306495external link
How big of a deal is it using a Kacey adapter? Is it a pain? Part of my concern is the extra hassel of using Chimera speedrings or Kacey adapters on a mount that is already well critized.

Cant you retro fit the Eli Strips with grids?

LightTools makes grids for Eli Strips...they cost something like 1.5-2x the cost of the stripbox :eek:...well made though. Eli stuff doesn't have grids...they seem to use the deep lips like you see on the DO as a workaround...

The kacey adapter mounts onto the Eli gear which then looks like Balcar stuff to the Einstein. From what I've seen (search in this forum for examples), it's transparent.
If you use the El-Octa (the biggest one), I'd get something that mounts the El-Octa to a lightstand umbrella mount, and then hang an Einstein onto it. Same goes for the bathtub sized softbox from PCB if you get that...it's ridiculously heavy too...


Pentax K20D, 77Ltd, 43Ltd, Sigma 17-70, 60-250/4, crapload of Strobist gear (SB28's, RP JrX Studios, Einsteins, WL, Speedo BD, softboxes, grids, etc.)

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tetrode
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3,774 posts
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New York
Oct 25, 2011 21:30 |  #15

kenyee wrote in post #13306966external link
...
If you use the El-Octa (the biggest one), I'd get something that mounts the El-Octa to a lightstand umbrella mount, and then hang an Einstein onto it. ...

The El-Octa (74") is an indirect light bank. The strobe mounts inside the modifier. An Einstein could be mounted internally using the two Kacey adapters. The El-Octa has its own integral stand mount.

Dave F.




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PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX
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