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Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


So far I have discussed the technical and physical aspects of the new Einstein monolight from Paul C. Buff Companies which separate it from the Alien Bees/White Lightning monolights. These things include but are not limited to, the automatic circuit which allows you to plug the Einstein into any power source from 110v, 60hz to 240v, 50hz, the 250w modeling light, the protective dome which fits over the flash tube and modeling lamp and serves as a UV filter, and the digital controls which allow you to power the Einstein down accurately from 640ws to 2.5ws in discrete .1f steps. And in two critical areas, the technical aspects of the Einstein which separate it from any other monolight currently available (shorter t.1 times and absolutely flat color temperature as you reduce the power output from the strobe).

Now I want to talk a little about the diagnostic screen which pops up as you go through the various lighting adjustments on the back of the Einstein. When you power up your Einstein, this is what the back of the strobe looks like:

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1einstein7197fs.jpg

From this you can see that I have the power set at 320ws (-1.0f), giving me a color temperature of 5600 K, and a t.1 time of 1/1351 of a second. My modeling light is set to 250.0 watts, the recycle alert is set to tone (you can also set it so the modeling light goes off and comes on as the flash recycles), the tracking feature of the modeling light is off, meaning the modeling light stays at 250 watts regardless of the power setting for flash tube, I'm in the Constant Color Temperature mode, not the "Action" mode (which shortens the t.1 times even more, but with the offset that the color temperature drifts up with decreasing power), and finally the light is set to channel 2, frequency 2 for my radio slave. On the left side of the screen there is even an analog bar graph that shows me flash power and modeling light output. The function button in the upper left corner allows you to scroll through these different functions to adjust the settings for each parameter.

So far, so good! But, as you scroll though the menus, you finally get to this screen:

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1einstein7751fs.jpg

Originally I ignored this screen, but once I finally looked at it for a minute I thought, "this is interesting!"  Most of it is gobbledy gook to me (interesting to the Paul Buff technicians, I'm sure), but on closer inspection that thing about temperatures seemed fascinating. If you leave this screen up, you will discover that it is dynamic. As you fire the light those temperatures do change. If for some reason you are in a situation where you are worried about the light overheating, this screen will give you a heads up. Of course there are thermal shut down circuits built in, and the light will shut itself down before any damage is done (and power back up automatically as the temperatures drop), but for some reason I found this interesting, and reassuring. A lot of thought has gone into this light.

Also note that at the bottom of this screen you get a read out of exactly how many times the flash has been fired. When you get your light, you will note that this reading is not zero. They burn in every light and check it before it is finally packed up for shipping. Again, reassuring. By the way, this is nothing new for Paul Buff. Every Alien Bee, White Lightning, Zeus is put on a test rack immediately after assembly and tested before it is packed for shipping. Last year I took some time to visit Nashville and watched them assemble and test some Alien Bees, as well as taking a tour of the Alien Bees/White Lightning/Zeus building. If you get a chance, I recommend stopping in, they are the nicest people!

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/cybercommander03.jpg

Now I want to talk about the Einstein as part of a system. The CyberCommander was originally developed as an advanced radio control system in conjunction with the Einstein. A special receiver which plugs directly into the top of the Einstein (the CSXCV Transceiver Module, $29!) is available. When you turn on your CyberCommander and open the memory function, the CyberCommander automatically finds each of your Einsteins and sets it to what ever channel you have set that light to. Once you have done that, you can remotely control every function on your Einstein with the CyberCommander! You can turn the Einstein on and off, you can change the power settings for both the flash and the modeling lamp, and you can set it to Constant Color Mode or switch to Action Mode. And you can do all of this from the CyberCommander for up to sixteen individual lights at the same time. Better yet, you can take your CyberCommander off your camera, wander out onto the studio floor, take a meter reading (the CyberCommander has a built in flash meter), and adjust each light individually from the studio floor. No more running around lowering light stands so you can get at the light controls, running back out onto the studio floor to check the meter, then repeating the same steps over and over until you have every light set the way you want it! And all of this with radio waves, no more pulling light stands over with your sync cord(s). This is a particular big deal with monolights, their controls are on the light itself and when you have one located on a boom way up in the air, ain't no fun my friends! There may be other systems out there that give you some control over your lights, but at this price I doubt there is anything even remotely like the CyberCommander and the Einstein for simplicity of operation. (FYI, the CyberCommander will also allow you control over any Alien Bees, White Lightning, or Zeus pack and head system made by Paul Buff Companies in the last twenty years, but the setup is a little more complicated.)

If you already have a CyberSync transmitter, it will fire your Einstein, but you don't get the control features available with the CyberCommander.

This concludes my report on the new Einstein monolight from Paul C. Buff Companies. I am happy to answer any other questions you might have, either privately (by phone or email), or here on the forum. Again, you can review the first two parts of this series on the Einstein at The New Einstein Monolight Studio Strobe (Part I) and The New Einstein Monolight Studio Strobe (Part II). I do want to write one more essay about light modifiers which ties into these posts, but it will not be specifically about the Einstein.

I am a sponsored photographer for the Paul C. Buff Companies, and I feel it's important that you know that when reading these reports.

Fish
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com
Apr 18 10 11:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
StevenDJ
Posts: 191
Holland, Michigan, US


Thanks for the reports John.
I bought the Alien Bee ring light with the vagabond after you talked about it(used it yesterday).
Now I may have to get one of these lights also.
Apr 18 10 11:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeremy DuBrul
Posts: 239
Chicago, Illinois, US


John, thank you for a rather in depth as well as entertaining read for the Einstein.

The Paul C. Buff Company has ALWAYS been reliable and good to me. The way the operate can serve as a model for the Ideal Of American Business.

4lbs isn't too bad at all considering my WL Ultra 1200 probably weighs in at about 6-8lbs easy. Price is incredible for sure.

Now... one question I do have for you; and this for sure a design flaw on PCB... their new High-Output BD... is the tilt mechanism on the Einstein placed further back or better set than say the AB line? A friend of mine has a set of ABs and can only use the BD absolutely parallel, since there is NO PLAY on top of a stand with that rather large flat surface.

Hopefully vastly more metal as well... I've had to replace all my stand mounts on my WL Ultras since they are all plastic have now cracked. I've noticed that the ABs have those issues (I don't own any, friends do though).

Judging from the pictures on the WL website, it does look as if Einstein is vastly more robust and would offer better play.
Apr 18 10 12:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GARY HINDS
Posts: 588
Greenville, South Carolina, US


hi

since its only 640 ws how does it compare to alien 800 ws or the 1600 ws. is it the same output of light as the 800 ws or about the same as the same setting and distance

thanks
gary
Apr 18 10 12:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
descending chain
Posts: 1,158
Fullerton, California, US


GARY HINDS wrote:
hi

since its only 640 ws how does it compare to alien 800 ws or the 1600 ws. is it the same output of light as the 800 ws or about the same as the same setting and distance

thanks
gary

The B800 is only 320 Ws, the B1600 is 640 Ws.  I think it is a sign of maturity that Paul Buff is starting to use true Ws rather than his own interpretation of "effective" Ws.

Apr 18 10 12:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
GARY HINDS
Posts: 588
Greenville, South Carolina, US


descending chain wrote:

The B800 is only 320 Ws, the B1600 is 640 Ws.  I think it is a sign of maturity that Paul Buff is starting to use true Ws rather than his own interpretation of "effective" Ws.

so want you are saying it compares to the ab1600 light

Apr 18 10 12:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jeremy DuBrul
Posts: 239
Chicago, Illinois, US


GARY HINDS wrote:

so want you are saying it compares to the ab1600 light

Probably be "just about right" in comparison.

PCB/WL has ALWAYS used these slightly misleading numbers and comparisons. He would call something Ultra 600 and it would only deliver 300ws of power. Mind you, it is efficient power and, in my studio work... Yes, it is a pretty friggin' powerful light.

How exacting[/] are the numbers? Don't really know, but he termed it as [i]equivalent to "a pack and cable system's 600ws delivery of power/ light". Theory being that the energy (in say, a Speedotron system) has to travel from the capacitor through 10-20' of cable, then it hits the strobe tube. On a monohead system, the capacitor is only a few inches from the tube and so delivery is more efficient.

In his explanation/ theory... that shorter distance translates to "it takes less power to deliver more light". Thusly, any makers' monohead would/ should be delivering MORE power to the strobe tube than it's equivalent in a pack and head system.

There are MANY MANY variables that get involved here... But I will say, PCB/WL has seen me through many a job and always has delivered nearly flawlessly.

I'd like to see more about, but the Einstein does seem like a very good option to play with.

Apr 18 10 01:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Jeremy DuBrul wrote:
John, thank you for a rather in depth as well as entertaining read for the Einstein.

You are welcome, it was my pleasure. I really do like this light!

Jeremy DuBrul wrote:
Now... one question I do have for you; and this for sure a design flaw on PCB... their new High-Output BD... is the tilt mechanism on the Einstein placed further back or better set than say the AB line? A friend of mine has a set of ABs and can only use the BD absolutely parallel, since there is NO PLAY on top of a stand with that rather large flat surface.

Actually, if it is a design flaw, it's one shared with most strobe lights. Any modifier that comes straight down from the head is bound to bump into the light stand at some point when you try to tilt it down (such as the Japanese Lantern in the PLM system). The solution we use is to mount the head on a short boom, then you can swing the head and modifier around a 360 degree arc. You can see an example of this in the picture of Daria Dvurechenskaya standing in front of the 86" Parabolic Umbrella (also from the PLM system) that I used in part two of this report.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1daria7743fs.jpg

Hope this helps!

Fish
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Apr 18 10 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bill Sylvester
Posts: 1,463
Cincinnati, Ohio, US


You know, there's a lot of bitching and moaning about the model numbers of AB lights, but no one says anything when other manufacturers do the same thing.

Example: Photogenic 1250 a 500 w/s light.
Apr 18 10 05:11 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lee K
Posts: 2,411
Palatine, Illinois, US


It goes both ways too...  I have a few little "Elinchrom D-Lite 2" strobes, and imagine my disappointment when they weren't 2, but 200 watts! :-P
Apr 18 10 05:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,785
El Segundo, California, US


Bill Sylvester wrote:
You know, there's a lot of bitching and moaning about the model numbers of AB lights, but no one says anything when other manufacturers do the same thing.

Example: Photogenic 1250 a 500 w/s light.

Speedotron Force 10: 1000 joules
Their 102 is just as capable in terms of power as their 202--where's the logic? smile

Apr 18 10 05:34 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marlon Perez
Posts: 2
Richmond, Quebec, Canada


Before I actually read the final part of your extensive and very informative review, I want to say thanks for the awesome review! I've enjoyed reading all three of them!

The reason why i want to buy these lights is so that I have more power and more options for modifiers. I have a question for you. If you can answer it, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Once my turn to order the Einsteins come up, would you recommend the 7" or the 8.5" reflector. I'd also be buying their accompanying grid sets. They will be used as a background light, separator light, or hair light. They will also be used with umbrellas.

The reason why I am leaning towards the 7" reflector is because of their many choices of grids - 10, 20, 30, or 40. In addition, I have a more focused beam of light to be used on the background. On the other hand, with the 8.5" reflector, i am really stuck with only a 15 or a 30, but i will be save 20-30 dollars. I've never really played with grids and reflectors, so what do I know.
Apr 18 10 09:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marlon Perez
Posts: 2
Richmond, Quebec, Canada


Oh and in addition, which c-stands are you using and which sandbags would you recommend? I've decided to use c-stands now for their strength, durability and availability of a gobo arm. I can't find the "right" sandbags to use as some people recommend calumet photo's sandbags or sunbounce's sandbag.

I'm thinking of ordering the matthews c-stands with turtle base + gobo arm.

Thanks for your time.
Apr 18 10 10:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DMHolman
Posts: 1,867
Lynnwood, Washington, US


Bill Sylvester wrote:
You know, there's a lot of bitching and moaning about the model numbers of AB lights, but no one says anything when other manufacturers do the same thing.

Example: Photogenic 1250 a 500 w/s light.

That's because Photogenic isn't saying their PL1250 is a 1250 effective watt-second monolight.  Its model numbers following an internal naming convention.  I use to know what it meant, but now I forget.  If I remember it right, they revised the naming convention when they went from the old style to new Powerlights.

They also have models like the PL06A (600ws), PL600 (600ws), PL750 (300ws), PL375 (150ws), PL1500 (600ws), PL1850 (750ws).

It's the use of marketing a light with the "effective-watt second" that brings PCB under scrutiny.

Apr 18 10 10:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DC Farrell
Posts: 128
Simi Valley, California, US


Thank you Mr. Fisher for ruining my life....

I have a full set of Bowens/Calumet travelites that I've been perfectly happy with for almost 15 years and now I wanna scrap them and get a huge pile of these Einstiens and the Cyber commander. 

You Sir are a Bad, Bad Man and my wallet is already weeping at the prospect. I may be eating Top Ramen and Mac and Cheese for the next year..... I blame you.
Apr 19 10 12:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mistur Photography
Posts: 525
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada


Excellent info, thanks for sharing.
Apr 21 10 10:16 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Avalos Photography
Posts: 1,002
Woodland, California, US


am I taking crazy pills or does the alien bees produce an orange tint? I am looking at the spec reading 5600k, I balance around 5200k, I guess that accounts for the orange tint I see.  I am all for less expensive lights that produce a good quality but this is a bit of annoyance. Do you thing this is just a white balance issue?  In looking at many user groups in flickr, you can get a good idea how the light performs by final display quality.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/alienbees/pool/
Apr 22 10 01:06 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
descending chain
Posts: 1,158
Fullerton, California, US


Avalos Photography wrote:
am I taking crazy pills or does the alien bees produce an orange tint? I am looking at the spec reading 5600k, I balance around 5200k, I guess that accounts for the orange tint I see.

I don't think this is the cause of whatever you believe you are seeing; 5600K is a bluer light than 5200K, not more orange.

Apr 22 10 01:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fashion Photographer
Posts: 14,388
London, England, United Kingdom


Avalos Photography wrote:
am I taking crazy pills or does the alien bees produce an orange tint? I am looking at the spec reading 5600k, I balance around 5200k, I guess that accounts for the orange tint I see.  I am all for less expensive lights that produce a good quality but this is a bit of annoyance. Do you thing this is just a white balance issue?  In looking at many user groups in flickr, you can get a good idea how the light performs by final display quality.

http://www.flickr.com/groups/alienbees/pool/

To answer your question, yes, if you set your white balance incorrectly, you will get tinted colours.

Apr 22 10 02:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fashion Photographer
Posts: 14,388
London, England, United Kingdom


You invited questions, so here's one:

What are three problems, or areas for improvement, in this flash?
Apr 22 10 02:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shizam1
Posts: 2,997
Cumming, Georgia, US


Davepit wrote:

To answer your question, yes, if you set your white balance incorrectly, you will get tinted colours.

+1

Why the heck would you set your WB differently than what the light outputs, and expect neutral colors?  I can understand doing it on purpose for a special affect.

Apr 22 10 04:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shizam1
Posts: 2,997
Cumming, Georgia, US


Yeah, I'm most excited about the shorter flash duration.. ok, and more power than the B800... ok, and better color accuracy as well!

I've got 5 AB B800's... so I figure I'll buy two of these einstein's for my front lights that add the most light to the model, and leave the rest (hair, side, background ) as B800's to be cost affective.

Normally the AB's have a really high resale value, I wonder if that will change with the introduction of this.
Apr 22 10 04:25 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Warren Paul Harris
Posts: 950
Dallas, Texas, US


DC Farrell wrote:
Thank you Mr. Fisher for ruining my life....

I have a full set of Bowens/Calumet travelites that I've been perfectly happy with for almost 15 years and now I wanna scrap them and get a huge pile of these Einstiens and the Cyber commander. 

You Sir are a Bad, Bad Man and my wallet is already weeping at the prospect. I may be eating Top Ramen and Mac and Cheese for the next year..... I blame you.

A kindred spirit.  It's nice to know I won't be alone in my Mac and Cheese diet...

Apr 22 10 04:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1daria7447f2s.jpg
Daria Dvurechenskaya photographed using the new Einstein and the PLM Parabolic Umbrella

Davepit wrote:
You invited questions, so here's one:

What are three problems, or areas for improvement, in this flash?

Okay, fair enough. One, I'd like to see an Einstein with more power. I don't know why, but there you go. The trade off is that the light would weigh more, and I'd only enjoy what ever advantage there is from 1250 to 640 watt seconds (or more accurately, one stop).

Two, a faster recycle time at full power. Maybe going from 1.7 seconds to .9 seconds. I don't know if this is possible or even necessary, but faster is better on rare occasions.

Three, (this was actually suggested by someone else), a handle on the back of the light which would make it easier to carry. The Einstein is small physically (slightly bigger than an Alien Bees 800), and only weighs 4 pounds, 5 ounces, but a handle (or rather handles) might be nice. Handles on the back of the light could also assist in tilting the light when you have a big softbox mounted on it. You can put a rod in the umbrella mount to give you a lever arm now, assuming you aren't using an umbrella (or one of the PLM light modifiers). It would make the light bigger and heavier (not a good thing), but it would be something I think they should look at.

None of these are really critical given that this breakthrough light is so amazingly spec'd, and there is no other monolight which remotely compares to it (and this is the only monolight which challenges the supremacy of pack and head systems in professional studios). And all of this at a price that is...well.......amazing!

Fish
Sponsored Photographer for Paul C. Buff Companies
Alien Bees, White Lightning, Zeus, and now, Einstein
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Apr 22 10 06:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
FJG Photography
Posts: 167
Indianapolis, Indiana, US


Buff posted on the FM forum that he could build it to recycle in 1 sec. but the problem then would be putting multiple einsteins on one household breaker would most likely trip the breaker.

Post is here (post #4):
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/888715/2
Apr 22 10 07:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
B FRAZIER PHOTOGRAPHY
Posts: 8
Hempstead, New York, US


Hey John
Which model C-stand and grip arm is that??

John Fisher wrote:

Jeremy DuBrul wrote:
John, thank you for a rather in depth as well as entertaining read for the Einstein.

You are welcome, it was my pleasure. I really do like this light!


Actually, if it is a design flaw, it's one shared with most strobe lights. Any modifier that comes straight down from the head is bound to bump into the light stand at some point when you try to tilt it down (such as the Japanese Lantern in the PLM system). The solution we use is to mount the head on a short boom, then you can swing the head and modifier around a 360 degree arc. You can see an example of this in the picture of Daria Dvurechenskaya standing in front of the 86" Parabolic Umbrella (also from the PLM system) that I used in part two of this report.

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1daria7743fs.jpg

Hope this helps!

Fish
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Apr 24 10 07:38 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


http://www.johnfisher.com/images/stuff14.jpg

B FRAZIER PHOTOGRAPHY wrote:
Hey John
Which model C-stand and grip arm is that??

Hi Bernard,

Actually I don't know, it is the standard studio stand at OMP Studios in Fort Lauderdale. My guess is that it is a Mathews C-stand, they are probably the most common C stand you will run into. Well made and the boom arm is very useful, but it's always best to have a sandbag or two handy.

I use Bogan stands when I'm traveling (I think they are now marketed by Manfrotto), they are far easier to transport, but it's tough to beat a good C-stand when you are in the studio.

John
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Apr 24 10 08:51 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fashion Photographer
Posts: 14,388
London, England, United Kingdom


Thanks John. One more question - how do the light modifiers attach to the body of the light? If I were to use a largish octagonal softbox in windy conditions, would I have problems with the attachment mechanism?
Apr 24 10 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
BareLight
Posts: 508
Kansas City, Kansas, US


FJG Photography wrote:
Buff posted on the FM forum that he could build it to recycle in 1 sec. but the problem then would be putting multiple einsteins on one household breaker would most likely trip the breaker.

Post is here (post #4):
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/888715/2

A good solution for that is to make the recharge time user selectable (rabbit/turtle) to match desired use and existing conditions.

Apr 24 10 09:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Davepit wrote:
Thanks John. One more question - how do the light modifiers attach to the body of the light? If I were to use a largish octagonal softbox in windy conditions, would I have problems with the attachment mechanism?

It's actually quite simple to attach a softbox (assuming of course you have the appropriate speedring ($29.95) for Alien Bees, White Lightning Zeus or Einstein, they all take the same speedring).

http://www.johnfisher.com/images/1einstein7215fstext.jpg

The little levers on both sides of the lamp face pull those metal grips in, and then you release the lever (it's spring loaded) to grip the speedring. Put your softbox, octabox, whatever, face down on the ground with the speedring pointing up to the sky. Pull the grips on the light back, place the light straight down onto the softbox, release the grips and your done!

Or you can do what everyone does, mount the light on a light stand. Grab the softbox, wrestle around with it in the wind, try to get the grips open with one hand while flailing around with the softbox, and pray to God you don't miss the grips and break the modeling lamp and/or flash tube. This of course is my preferred technique.

Fish
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Apr 24 10 09:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Groundwerks Productions
Posts: 692
Salem, Oregon, US


John Fisher wrote:
The little levers on both sides of the lamp face pull those metal grips in, and then you release the lever (it's spring loaded) to grip the speedring. Put your softbox, octabox, whatever, face down on the ground with the speedring pointing up to the sky. Pull the grips on the light back, place the light straight down onto the softbox, release the grips and your done!

Or you can do what everyone does, mount the light on a light stand. Grab the softbox, wrestle around with it in the wind, try to get the grips open with one hand while flailing around with the softbox, and pray to God you don't miss the grips and break the modeling lamp and/or flash tube. This of course is my preferred technique.

Fish
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

/facepalm

I can't believe I didn't think of that.

Apr 24 10 09:31 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Marlon Perez wrote:
The reason why i want to buy these lights is so that I have more power and more options for modifiers. I have a question for you. If you can answer it, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Once my turn to order the Einsteins come up, would you recommend the 7" or the 8.5" reflector. I'd also be buying their accompanying grid sets. They will be used as a background light, separator light, or hair light. They will also be used with umbrellas.

The reason why I am leaning towards the 7" reflector is because of their many choices of grids - 10, 20, 30, or 40. In addition, I have a more focused beam of light to be used on the background. On the other hand, with the 8.5" reflector, i am really stuck with only a 15 or a 30, but i will be save 20-30 dollars. I've never really played with grids and reflectors, so what do I know.

First Marlon, I want to apologize for not answering your question sooner. I am preparing another agonizingly long and boring post on light modifiers (I know, I know, be still my beating heart!), but to get to your question:

I have a number of the 7" reflectors which I have used in conjunction with the grids (I have the full set). Also, there is a special frame for the 7" reflectors which allows you to mount barn doors, it has slots for filters and gels and even allows you to mount a snoot to your reflector.

Cool stuff, just punch two holes in my neck and take all the blood you want, it's just money!

Okay, that said, the new 8.5" reflector is pretty cool, more efficient than the older 7" reflector, and a little more substantial in weight and sturdiness. It also has grids available, but as you noted not as many.

A little more interesting is the new 11" Long Throw Reflector (which I also have) because it will focus light efficiently at a distance (which makes what ever light you are using more effective outside). Let's face it, I rarely use reflectors with the exception of the beauty dish, preferring to use softboxes, strip boxes, octaboxes, and now the the new Parabolic Umbrellas (the PLM System) in the studio for controlling my light. Now, reflectors with grids for spot lighting, or with color filters, yes, that I will do (hence the collection of 7" reflectors!)

Once you get serious about this business, in the long run you will spend a lot more time thinking about how to modify your light sources than you ever did figuring out what light to buy! And this is why I will bore you silly about the subject in a few days.

Fish
Sponsored Photographer for Paul C. Buff Companies
Alien Bees, White Lightning, Zeus, and Einstein
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
305 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Apr 24 10 10:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Dallas Commercial Photo
Posts: 19
Frisco, Texas, US


Thank you for the excellent reviews John!  That was all I needed to seal the deal for me.  Now if I can just find a use for my WLX-1600s!

- Wil
May 10 10 03:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Sutphin
Posts: 20
Denver, Colorado, US


John Fisher wrote:
I do want to write one more essay about light modifiers which ties into these posts, but it will not be specifically about the Einstein.

John, did you ever write this follow up on light modifiers? Been trying to locate it.

Jul 26 10 07:56 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
John Fisher
Posts: 1,854
Miami Beach, Florida, US


David Sutphin wrote:
John, did you ever write this follow up on light modifiers? Been trying to locate it.

Sigh, I've been remiss on not posting my article on light modifiers. Like many of these reports, I start them, save them, and add to them periodically before they finally wind up on the internet. It is an important post (at least I think so), so I'll impose a personal deadline of Wednesday (ah ha, which Wednesday you ask?).

John
--
John Fisher
900 West Avenue, Suite 633
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
(305) 534-9322
http://www.johnfisher.com

Jul 26 10 09:43 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
David Sutphin
Posts: 20
Denver, Colorado, US


Thanks John. Really appreciated your in-depth on the Einsteins. Looking forward to this one.
Jul 26 10 09:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Byron Mason
Posts: 2
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


The Einstein seems really nice if you can actually get one, they told me about 2 months on the backorder but after 4 months I finally cancelled my order. This company obviously isn't able to handle the demand and with an update already needed, I wonder if they are qualified to put out a reliable product. I also ordered a PLM umbrella from them, "3 week backorder"... 4 months later I'm still waiting, they can't even get umbrellas out in a reasonable time frame. They might have some great products but prepare to wait.... and wait some more.
Sep 21 10 12:28 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Shizam1
Posts: 2,997
Cumming, Georgia, US


Yep, I'm waiting for sometime in the first quarter to get one.

They also are making fixes/replacing units for some of the earlier people since they discovered some problems, so that is slowing down the rollout.

I also heard the price is increasing.
Sep 21 10 12:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sidd Rishi
Posts: 2
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Is it safe to use the modelling lamp when the Einstein is connected to the vegabondII. I know with the b800 you couldnt do it (well you could, but it would wreck the battery).

If its not good how would I turn it off?

Thanks for the help.
Sep 10 11 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Michael Fryd
Posts: 3,653
Miami Beach, Florida, US


Sidd Rishi  wrote:
Is it safe to use the modelling lamp when the Einstein is connected to the vegabondII. I know with the b800 you couldnt do it (well you could, but it would wreck the battery).

If its not good how would I turn it off?

Thanks for the help.

It is "Safe" to use the modeling light with a Vagabond II, but it is not  a good idea as it will discharge your battery very quickly.

Paul Buff does sell a lower power 25W modeling bulb that can be used (again use of modeling light should be minimized when on battery power).

To turn off the modeling light, repeatedly press the "function" button until the "Model" pane of the LCD screen is highlighted.  Then press the up or down arrow until the pane reads "Off"

Sep 11 11 03:41 am  Link  Quote 
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