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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 23 Nov 2008 (Sunday) 20:39
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Elinchrom D-Lite4 Kit

 
BTBeilke
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Nov 23, 2008 20:39 |  #1

I am considering buying an Elinchrom D-Lite4 kit. Are the accessories contained in this kit (the Portalite softboxes and light stands) worthwhile? It only cost about $100 more to buy the kit than it does to buy 2 lights by themselves.

I know the lightboxes won't be of the same quality of construction as the Rotalux boxes and that they are relatively small, but other than that, do they perform decently? The stands are described as basic stands for "small light fixtures". Are these stands sufficient for larger softboxes if I decide to upgrade in the future? How important is it to have air cushioned light stands for strobes?

FWIW, these will be just for my personal use, not professional/business use. So, they won't need to stand up to a lot of wear and tear type of "abuse".

Thanks for your input.


Blane
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Jannie
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Nov 23, 2008 20:50 |  #2

The stands are fine, a friend has the 2-D light kit and the stands look just like the ones I have in my BX400 kit only silver. The softboxes are cheesy because they have kind of a plastic diffuser but I used one of them for a hair light helping him one evening shooting and it worked great. The price if I remember right is great.

I soo need more than my two lights, I'm getting by but one more light would help huge when shooting people.


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Rudi
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Nov 23, 2008 21:17 |  #3

The D-Lite4 kit is fine, and the softboxes are quite nice. No, they're not as nice as the Rotalux boxes, but more than adequate. The stands are the same stands (at least in my case), as the ones that were supplied with my RX600 two-light kit (but I am in Australia, dunno if that makes a difference in what's supplied).


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TMR ­ Design
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Nov 23, 2008 21:18 as a reply to  @ Jannie's post |  #4

Hi Blane,

If you're just getting into lighting and don't have experience with modifiers yet then there's absolutely nothing wrong with getting the kit and using the Portalite softboxes. Too many people are concerned about the quality and size of the modifiers before they've even learned about lighting and how to use modifiers. Even if you end up putting them on ebay in a few months I think it's worthwhile to get the kit. The Manfrotto stands are worth getting and the bottom line is that you can produce great images and do portraiture with the boxes provided. Anyone that tells you otherwise is just plain wrong.

Can you get better? Sure you can. Will they cost more? Sure they will. Will they produce better images? Questionable. Anyone that knows what they're doing with lights and modifiers can produce great images with a Speedlight and an umbrella.

The kit is worth getting even if you decide you want to add other quality modifiers. You can always buy a speed ring and softboxes/octaboxes or get something like a Photek Softlighter for $60 but in the end I think you'll spend a lot more getting lights, stands and modifiers than if you just got the kit.


Robert
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Nov 24, 2008 12:01 |  #5

Hello Blane,
I have the D-Lite 4 kit, and have had no problems with it. The only thing I would say is if you have never done it before there is a bit of a knack getting used to setting up the softboxes. There does not seem to be much give in the material when you are putting the tensioners in, and it feels like they might not fit. However, they are robust and certainly perform well.




  
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BTBeilke
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Nov 24, 2008 12:47 |  #6

Thanks for the replies everyone. For an extra $100 (approx.) over the cost of the lights alone, I kind of thought that it was a no-brainer to buy the kit. But I had also read comments that made it sound like some of the components were best suited for immediate sale on eBay. (And I can understand why the pros may feel that way.)

One other thing, is B&H now shipping kits with the fan-cooled D-Lite4 strobes? I seem to remember reading that Elinchrom made that change in the spring of 2008.


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Rudi
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Nov 24, 2008 14:05 |  #7

I love my D-Lites, and have kept them even when I bought the RX600 strobes. As for the softboxes, they're good enough to photograph major celebrities for UK magazines :D

http://au.youtube.com/​watch?v=6skpaFxQWDI (external link)


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Hermes
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Nov 24, 2008 14:13 |  #8

the Portalite softboxes have quite a unique look because of their size and the fact that they have a broad hot-spot - somewhere between a beauty dish and a softbox. Anyone who thinks they're useless obviously hasn't worked with them properly.

Unfortunately though, they're impossible to control so the scenarios in which they can be used effectively are limited. I've given away most of mine to nearby friends but I still keep a couple in the studio.




  
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BTBeilke
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Nov 24, 2008 14:13 |  #9

Colin Firth? Never heard of him. ;)
Actually, my wife and daughter are/were big Mamma Mia fans.

That was a neat video. Thanks for posting. How long did it really take to set up the lights and background?


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BTBeilke
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Nov 24, 2008 14:16 |  #10

Hermes wrote in post #6750781 (external link)
Unfortunately though, they're impossible to control so the scenarios in which they can be used effectively are limited.

Could you please expand on this comment? I'm not sure that I follow what you mean when you say "impossible to control". How so?


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m3rdpwr
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Nov 24, 2008 14:16 as a reply to  @ BTBeilke's post |  #11

I think they extra $100 is definately worth it over just buying the two lights.

That get's you two Bogen stands, two softboxes with speedring's, a carry case for the stands and a semi-hard case for the lights.

It also comes with a video that may help you if you're just getting started with lighting...

-Mario


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m3rdpwr
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Nov 24, 2008 14:19 |  #12

BTBeilke wrote in post #6750258 (external link)
One other thing, is B&H now shipping kits with the fan-cooled D-Lite4 strobes? I seem to remember reading that Elinchrom made that change in the spring of 2008.

Yes, I asked BH the same question and they are in fact fan-cooled models and that's what I got...

-Mario


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Hermes
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Nov 24, 2008 14:22 |  #13

BTBeilke wrote in post #6750799 (external link)
Could you please expand on this comment? I'm not sure that I follow what you mean when you say "impossible to control". How so?

They have no recessed front, no option to attach barndoors or grids - they blast light in all directions.

They also produce their best light (in my opinion) when pulled back a few feet to achieve sharper shadow edges (a bit like a beauty dish), at which distance the spill, relative to the light hitting the subject, is pretty substantial.




  
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Rudi
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Nov 24, 2008 14:25 |  #14

Hermes wrote in post #6750845 (external link)
They have no recessed front, no option to attach barndoors or grids - they blast light in all directions.

They also produce their best light (in my opinion) when pulled back a few feet to achieve sharper shadow edges (a bit like a beauty dish), at which distance the spill, relative to the light hitting the subject, is pretty substantial.

They're pretty good for outdoor portraits, for all the reasons you described. Some people spend hundreds on beauty dishes, even when they have these hidden treasures stashed away at home (and I'm not saying that a BD is not worth the money, it's just that these can do a pretty good imitation :) ).


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Hermes
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Nov 24, 2008 14:34 |  #15

Rudi wrote in post #6750858 (external link)
They're pretty good for outdoor portraits, for all the reasons you described. Some people spend hundreds on beauty dishes, even when they have these hidden treasures stashed away at home (and I'm not saying that a BD is not worth the money, it's just that these can do a pretty good imitation :) ).

Yep, definitely.

They're also pretty good for full-length shots on blown white seamless where the spill shouldn't be a problem - aim them at the upper body and let the fall-off gradually throw the lower body into shadow for a nice contrasty look.




  
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Elinchrom D-Lite4 Kit
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