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Thread: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

  1. #1
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    I need some strobes for travel, and the ones that are easiest to get here in Thailand are the small Elinchromes. Does anybody have experience with them? Any other ideas?

    I will mostly be using them for on location product shots (sometimes large items like recliners and sofas).

    Whatever I buy, it should be small enough to put in a large camera bag together with two bodies and four lenses. I can't imagine any strobes survive being thrown around by the ground staff at the airports... or will they?

  2. #2
    ddk
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    I don't know them personally but I have a couple of friends with these who are very satisfied. Anyway at this price the kit is less than SB-900s.

    http://www.adorama.com/EL400BXKIT.ht...mailWS052109LP

    I see that the d-lites go for even less!

    http://www.adorama.com/EL20812KIT.ht...hrome+D-Lite+4
    Last edited by ddk; 21st May 2009 at 09:07.

  3. #3
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Thanks David. Unfortunately, the 400BX doesn't seem to be important to Thailand, and the local distributor is not happy to order spare parts for products they don't stock if anything goes wrong. I have somewhat mixed experiences with them

    Yes, the prices are very reasonable compared to SB900s. The D-Lite set is 35,000 baht here, with stands, soft-boxes and all, while two SB900s would cost 40,000 for the flashes only. Accessories would easily add another 10-15,000.

    I could buy another Metz of course (I have the 70MZ-5), but I don't know if it's in stock here, and extra batteries (which I would need for many hours of shooting) are absolutely not available. Have tried to order, but was told that I had to pay shipping from Germany, ordered anyway, but nothing happened. Sometimes, Thailand is a third world country.... sometimes?

    Oh, and the Metz doesn't work well with the Fujis.

  4. #4
    ddk
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    My experience with Metz and Fuji in auto has been very good, better than my results with the SB800 in auto. TTL never worked right with the S3 so Metz was the default choice for me, its different with the S5, it works great with the SB-800 and 900 and the new Metz 58 but I wouldn't buy another one today. My biggest problem with Metz is that I can't hook a pocket wizard to their flashes and want that flexibility with anything that I buy today.

    With lighting I want to see what I'm doing instead of guessing so I'd definitely go with a studio strobe that has a modeling light or some kind of hot lights before buying more on camera flashes for off camera use.

  5. #5
    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Interesting to hear that the Metz is working well with your Fujis. Mine stops working after a few shots, or rather: the camera locks up until I switch off the flash. No such problems with the D80, which is one of the reasons why I'm keeping it. One advantage with the Metz of course, apart from the power, is that I can use it with almost any camera.

    Look what I found today:

    http://www.ekasilp.com/ample.html

    Ekasilp makes a huge variety of strobes, sold under the Excella and Electra brands. I've only seen the standard Excella strobes in the shops here though (I actually have a few), but I've sent them a mail. If I'm lucky, they might even answer

  6. #6
    ddk
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Initially I bought the Metz because I was still undecided about the camera system, at one I had both Canon, Nikon and Kodak until I got the S3 and settled on Fuji and Kodak. My 75 still works great but I exchanged the 54i for a 58 when I bought the S5, I've never had any problems with any of them and they work perfect, very consistent shot to shot, you should have your flash checked it sounds like a corroded or loose connection somewhere, it shouldn't freeze up like that.

    I never heard of Excella and Electra brands, but they look interesting at least on paper. Of course what you sacrifice at the cheap end is consistency of color and power, but then so what, I had alien bees at one point with the same issue and they got the job done anyway. I'm going to look for them here!

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    I had alien bees at one point with the same issue and they got the job done anyway. I'm going to look for them here!
    I had seen Alien Bees mentioned a thousand times on different forums, but never actually seen on until yesterday. Unfortunately, I did the mistake of going directly from the Elinchrome to the Alien Bee homepage. The culture shock almost made me fall off my chair

    I simply must have that limited edition, orange, signed by what's-his-name

    They apparently work well for lots of people though.

  8. #8
    ddk
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Yes, I know what you're talking about. They get the job done, but don't expect quality! From what I've heard they sell more product in one year than Profoto, Broncolor and Ellinchrome combined!

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    I've owned both Alien Bees and the D-Lites. I'm sorry to say that the D-Lites went back to the supplier 30 mins after I opened the box. The Alien Bees give far a better feel of build quality. I've knocked my AB's around a whole heck of a lot and don't think that the D-Lites would take anywhere near as much punishment. AB will make their lights in 240V for just an extra $10 if you need a non US voltage as I do working in the UK. You lose the ability to use the Vagabond battery system though. Not that the D-Lites have a battery system at all.

    If you're looking for another option and don't want to buy the bees for whatever reason then the new Bowens 400 lights are very very good. Small, tough and not expensive. They can also use the Bowen battery packs.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    The biggest advantage to the Elinchrom D-lights as entry-level lighting IMO, is that they use existing Elinchrom reflectors and modifier mounts AND are Skyport compatible. So if you already have, or plan to get other Elinchrom lighting like the Ranger series, these make some sense as inexpensive additional background or key lights. Obviously if these are going to be your only lighting, then it is worthwhile considering other options too.

    I currently have a pair of Ranger packs and three heads which covers about 80% of what I need in lighting, but will eventually pick up two or three of the D 400's for additional background lights when needed.

    PS: Ask anybody that uses a lot of lighting, and we'll all have our favorite brands for various reasons. But come shoot time when we need more light for a set, we'll use just about anything and everything available, regardless of brand. IOW, what you do with the light is what's most important.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  11. #11
    ddk
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Having gone down that road and changing systems I fully agree with Jack's logic. In case the Ellins don't work out there's also Profoto equivalents available, and Jack's argument holds true for them too.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:B:SS:US:1123

    Its good to have choices!

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Thank you for your input. Very valuable. I'll do more research next week.

  13. #13
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    I have a D-Lite 4 and a D-Lite 2. I actually had two 4's but couldn't power it down far enough. Something to consider - sometimes you want to shoot even with strobes at f2.8/4 etc.

    Anyway, not sure how much longer I'm going to hang onto them. They're great strobes, but really, except for the modeling light, my Quantum T2D does everything they do (except accept beauty dishes etc) and is much more portable (don't think you can fit a couple of D-Lites into a camera bag) and I can use it as an on camera flash as well (well with a bracket that is).

    So I would seriously consider the Quantum if available. I've never run a Turbo battery down, even after shooting hundreds of medium format photos. The main thing is I could get two MF bodies, a couple more lenses, Turbo battery, and Quantum flash, bracket and 60 or so rolls of 120, all in a medium Tenba Pro backpack. And i can shoot anywhere, no power needed or need to carry extension cords. You can get a softbox ring for it as well.

    Something to think about.

  14. #14
    Member Frank Doorhof's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Hi,
    We use the whole Elinchrom lineup for demo purposes and seminars, so I can compare them very easily.

    The NEW D-lites (with the fans) are a very nice option for traveling light and they are cheap, advantage is that all Elinchrom modifiers fit (although they advise against the bigger softboxes).

    The colortemp is about 200degrees cooler than the RX/BXri but when used alone that's not a problem.
    They run perfectly under normal conditions, when using them under stress they can shut down but not very quickly luckely.

    For it's price it's a great strobe.

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Hell,
    I'll use anything I can make flash, but I normally use a couple of Ranger packs and two rx600s. I have been very happy with them.
    -bob

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Right now I am in a real pickle. I am down to one ranger pack and 1 head than a 1200 watt RX monolight. I am two lights short and critical one head short as we speak today. I think first i will get a S head for the Ranger to get back to three right away. Than either get 2 background type like the D lite or the new BXRI or the new Quadra. Not sure why I cut myself short like this but now i have a issue with 3 major shoots coming up in the next 3 weeks that I need lighting.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    My pickle has been solved . Just bought Bob's Ranger and S head. So now 2 packs of Rangers. I'm a bad boy. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  18. #18
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    A feedback on Ellichroms - Have been working with D-Lite 4 and BX the last 18 months or so... i would definitely recommend the new BX500Ri kit in place of the D-Lite 4:

    - obviously you get more power available. Nice when shooting in large spaces.

    - increased power adjustment increments. Not always useful, but sometimes (glass products packshots, some close-ups...) .

    - Voltage stabilisation : even though specs look alike in this matter, from experience the repeatability is quite better on the BX. Which in practice means that you get more consistent results over a session and save valuable time and efforts post-processing, especially as far as WB is concerned. If you use a white/grey card for each session (i do) then the batch processing will provide sounder results over the series. An significant plus in my book.
    note: it might also have to do with the shorter flash duration (cannot really say not being a theory freak).

    - The added 200/300K in color temp helps getting a better DR especially when using minimum to medium power.

    - Integrated wireless transceiver module/receiver (Skyport) on the BX kit. This also means that the price difference with D-Lite is significantly narrower than it appears : you have to buy remote system in addition to the D-Lite.
    Plus, setup is easier and faster with less acessories -> lesser risk of losing/misplacing/forgeting small pieces of hardware when off-site.

    - Beside integrated Skyport, the BX kit is a bit more complete, with two same size soft boxes. Nice when you need a balanced lighting for say, paintings etc.

    - More effective ventilation system on the BX -still a bit noisy.

    - Durability seems better on the BX.

    - Cases provided with kit for transport is more than ok.

    Elinchrom in general has its cons, among which:
    - You need to get used to their own scale system (2.3 to 6.3 on the BX500 RI) in lieu of the more common aperture stops. Not a real issue but a bit of practice's required.
    - Accessories catalog complete but expensive. Lots of affordable compatible off-brand alternatives, though.
    - Skyport system doesn't seem compatible with PocketWizard so you cannot trigger Elinchroms via flashmeters integrated transmitter such as Sekonic L-758DR or RT-32 separate module. Not a problem in itself, but not an available feature.

    A last note on choice of power output: little price difference betwen 250 & 500 versions makes the latter more appealing. But keep in mind that if you work mainly in tight spots and/or use a lot of large aperture settings, with its the limited 5 stops down the 500 version can prove a bit awkward to work around even at minimum power.

    Hope this helps

    (hello guys, first post here after some extensive reading and viewing)

  19. #19
    aprillove20
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    Re: Elinchrome D-Lite 4

    Thanks david for a great ideas and useful links.

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