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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #1
markymarc
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Default PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #2
mdelrossi
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #3
c2thew
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

"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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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #4
m.shalaby
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #5
TwoShoes
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

I'm not getting into this, but the 600RX will most definitely take > 150W modelling lights (albeit 240 or 110v).
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #6
TwoShoes
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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.
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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Originally Posted by TwoShoes View Post
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.
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.shalaby View Post
I like the portability of their modifiers. The whole collapasable thing really is wonderful.
Yes the PCB beauty dish is great at that
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #9
Dick Clay
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigma pi View Post
Yes the PCB beauty dish is great at that
"Deformable" isn't the same thing as "collapsible", you know.
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

Quote:
Originally Posted by markymarc View Post
--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
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #11
m.shalaby
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigma pi View Post
Yes the PCB beauty dish is great at that
Yes, so I hear the PCB dishes aren't so good. I'm happy with my Kacey & Mola Setti.
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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Originally Posted by m.shalaby View Post
Yes, so I hear the PCB dishes aren't so good. I'm happy with my Kacey & Mola Setti.
+1 on the mola camp
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #13
markymarc
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post
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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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

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Originally Posted by markymarc View Post
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 ...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...
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Old 25th of October 2011 (Tue)   #15
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Default Re: PCB Einstein E640 vs 600RX

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post
...
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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