Elinchrom strobes vs Canon speedlights

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

Cunha
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Elinchrom strobes vs Canon speedlights

Post by Cunha »

Hello,

instead of buy two Canon speed lights (430EX or 580EX)+IR or RT devices+diffusers, I´m considering an Elinchrom studio strobes kit. The cheaper and low power D-Lite RX ONE (includes two heads, wireless controller, two soft boxes and stands).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmpb_zqof0

http://elinchrom.com/product/D-Lite-RX-ONE.html

Anyone using this or similar studio strobes setup instead of small speedlights (any brand)?
My main work is macro/product with Canon MP-E65mm and Canon 100mm L.
An Elinchrom kit like this will work well for more than macro. But my question is; will it work well for macro with the MP-E 65mm or its a mistake. Too big? Too much power? Not good for macro?

Thanks in advance for your support.
Best regards.

Peter De Smidt
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:10 am
Contact:

Post by Peter De Smidt »

The monolights will have a lot more power, and it might be difficult to get them where you want them in a macro setting, since the units are much bigger, and have a larger emitting area, than speedlights.

I recently bought a couple of Cheetah V850 speedlights. See: https://www.cheetahstand.com/category-s/1943.htm I'm very happy with them. They have fast recycle times, it's very easy to change levels on them, their levels can be changed from an on camera controller, they have very good output, and they're inexpensive. They don't do TTL, though, if that's important to you.

Cunha
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Post by Cunha »

Dear Peter,
I will check your suggestion. Thank you for your feedback. I tend to do things manually so TTL isn´t that important. Its much a matter of cost vs performance vs the right gear for the job. In my mind there´s also the point about use the lights for other purposes, like people, outdoors, BUT my main work is tabletop macro.
Last edited by Cunha on Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wooster
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:53 pm

Post by Wooster »

I often use studio strobes for this (I use Bowens lights).

Pros are the extreme power of the lights, the reliability of the output and no batteries to worry about! Cons are, as Peter has pointed out, that it's difficult to truly direct the light - they just emit a massively powerful, all consuming burst.

I am considering looking at spotlight fittings for them, and I'm also looking into the possibility of creating something using fibre optic cables, which will allow me to direct the light very carefully.

Cunha
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Post by Cunha »

What about snoot and other type of controlling/directing the light and using the low power that each strobe allows?

Wooster
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:53 pm

Post by Wooster »

Cunha wrote:What about snoot and other type of controlling/directing the light and using the low power that each strobe allows?
Well, I have been reading this:

http://www.divematrix.com/showthread.ph ... ptic-Snoot

This appears to be a possible solution. Dealing with the heat might be an issue, because you're channeling a lot of light through a narrow space, and potentially firing hundreds of shots in a short space of time. But as long as nothing melts, it might just work!

It resembles an LED system that I am currently also using: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Pro-Light-Mag ... 2c6dc72126 - but it should be much more powerful.

boomblurt
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Aug 18, 2013 1:37 am
Location: Australia

Post by boomblurt »

Another option that may be worth considering is a "Speedfire" AC adapter from Innovatronix : http://www.innovatronix.com/index.php/p ... -speedfire . I use one with a MT24ex - batteries are only used for the display and last for many sessions - the flash power is AC.

And if you are after radio triggering then the Yongnuo 560iii can be used with the speedfire and has receivers built in ... they're great value imho, and the transmitters are cheap too (rf-602/603) but not TTL.

EDIT: I should have mentioned the Speedfire second as the Yongnuo speedlight is more relevant to the OP. I chose an AC adapter for speedlights after realizing that batteries are an unnecessary evil and concluding that studio lights were too large and powerful for close macro work.
Last edited by boomblurt on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Geoff

Peter De Smidt
Posts: 233
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:10 am
Contact:

Post by Peter De Smidt »

I mainly use the Cheetah speed lights for commercial photography, mainly environmental portraits. Digital cameras need a lot less light than was needed in the film days. I've got Speedotron black line power pack/heads, and Photogenic monolights, but they are very bulky, and they have way more power than is needed, even for group shots. A couple shoots ago, I couldn't turn down my monolights down enough to balance with the lamps in the room.

Cunha
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Post by Cunha »

Wooster wrote:I often use studio strobes for this (I use Bowens lights).

Pros are the extreme power of the lights, the reliability of the output and no batteries to worry about! Cons are, as Peter has pointed out, that it's difficult to truly direct the light - they just emit a massively powerful, all consuming burst.

I am considering looking at spotlight fittings for them, and I'm also looking into the possibility of creating something using fibre optic cables, which will allow me to direct the light very carefully.
Which Bowens model, please?

Wooster
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:53 pm

Post by Wooster »

Cunha wrote: Which Bowens model, please?
We use 500w Bowens Gemini lights, both old and new types.

TheLostVertex
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:55 am
Location: Florida

Post by TheLostVertex »

I have a 400w Elinchrom Dlite. Compared to my on-camera style strobes I prefer it. Its consistency between shots is much better than my speed lights, its cycle time is fixed, and it is much stronger(good if i ever want to toss a polarizer in front).

The main drawback is its motion/vibration stopping power. Anywhere from 5x upwards with mine vibration from the mirror and shutter is noticeable, so I use mirror lock up with it. This is made worse by the fact you will likely be using it at a lower power setting since it is so powerful, and on this style of monolight lower power = longer flash duration. If you have a particularly shaky set up them I would recommend looking at what ever flash gives you the shortest flash duration. There are a few studio strobes that will give flash durations equivalent to speedlights, and if I were looking today I would start with those.

Cunha
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Post by Cunha »

TheLostVertex wrote:I have a 400w Elinchrom Dlite. Compared to my on-camera style strobes I prefer it. Its consistency between shots is much better than my speed lights, its cycle time is fixed, and it is much stronger(good if i ever want to toss a polarizer in front).

The main drawback is its motion/vibration stopping power. Anywhere from 5x upwards with mine vibration from the mirror and shutter is noticeable, so I use mirror lock up with it. This is made worse by the fact you will likely be using it at a lower power setting since it is so powerful, and on this style of monolight lower power = longer flash duration. If you have a particularly shaky set up them I would recommend looking at what ever flash gives you the shortest flash duration. There are a few studio strobes that will give flash durations equivalent to speedlights, and if I were looking today I would start with those.
Thank you for your experience. Which ones are exactly your Elinchrom units? How short are your flash duration with those units?

Blame
Posts: 342
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:56 am

Post by Blame »

I can understand the lure of a studio strobe kit but why compare it with the 430EX or 580EX ? All you need is manual control and the 540EZ turns up on Ebay often enough.

Cunha
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:35 am

Post by Cunha »

Blame wrote:I can understand the lure of a studio strobe kit but why compare it with the 430EX or 580EX ? All you need is manual control and the 540EZ turns up on Ebay often enough.
Yeah I can even use just a 270 EX but...
My point is that the Elinchrom kit is more or less the price of two Canon speedlights+two radio devices+stands+light modifiers. But will do more than the speedlights solution "kit".

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic