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Author Topic: Colour temperature shift - Bowens vs. Elinchrom  (Read 8322 times)
inthesouthofireland
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« on: April 27, 2010, 05:24:06 AM »
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I currently work with 3 Bowens "Gemini 750 plus" compact flashes, bought half a year ago. The colour temperature shift between the highest and lowest power setting is 350K, too much for me to tolerate. They have to go.

Below is a comparison between some Bowens lights and the two types of Elinchromes I consider buying instead:

Bowens

Gemini 750 plus: +/-350K (my measurement)
Gemini 750 Pro: 5600K,  +/-300K (according to Bowens website)
Quad 2400 power pack: 5600K, less than 70K shift (according to Bowens website)

Elinchrom

BX 500 Ri: "Colour temperature max. power: 5500" (Elinchrome Brochure). This implies the temperature is different at other settings, but by how much?
Style 600 RX: no mention whatsoever of colour tempeature or colour temperature shift.

The Bowens lights seem to have improved consistency as one moves up the price range. The same is probably true for other makes. Elinchrom does not mention colour temperature, very odd.

If any of you out there own the BX 500 Ri or the Style 600 RX I would be grateful if you could measure the colour temperature shift between the highest and lowest power settings and post it here.
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inthesouthofireland
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 10:22:53 AM »
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I came across a review of the BX 500 Ri, here is the link (PDF):
http://www.theflashcentre.com/images/BJP_BXRi_Review.pdf

The difference between min and max settings is 200K.

Now, the Style 600 RX anyone?  
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K.C.
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 11:40:51 PM »
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A shift of 200K-300K is pretty standard in the industry, particularly for monoblocks. Elinchrom will be in that range in my experience. They'll also be some of the flakiest lights you'll ever use, based on my experience.

I have 2 systems that are very consistent in color temp over their power range. The Balcar AQ battery powered packs with Iris heads and the Profoto D1 Air 500s. Both vary less than 100K over a 6 stops range.

I also have a 30 year old set of Bowens Voyagers, they vary about 200K. Much better then every monoblock Bowens has made since Calumet bought them.



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KevinA
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 06:05:47 AM »
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Quote from: inthesouthofireland
I currently work with 3 Bowens "Gemini 750 plus" compact flashes, bought half a year ago. The colour temperature shift between the highest and lowest power setting is 350K, too much for me to tolerate. They have to go.

Below is a comparison between some Bowens lights and the two types of Elinchromes I consider buying instead:

Bowens

Gemini 750 plus: +/-350K (my measurement)
Gemini 750 Pro: 5600K,  +/-300K (according to Bowens website)
Quad 2400 power pack: 5600K, less than 70K shift (according to Bowens website)

Elinchrom

BX 500 Ri: "Colour temperature max. power: 5500" (Elinchrome Brochure). This implies the temperature is different at other settings, but by how much?
Style 600 RX: no mention whatsoever of colour tempeature or colour temperature shift.

The Bowens lights seem to have improved consistency as one moves up the price range. The same is probably true for other makes. Elinchrom does not mention colour temperature, very odd.

If any of you out there own the BX 500 Ri or the Style 600 RX I would be grateful if you could measure the colour temperature shift between the highest and lowest power settings and post it here.

This is one of the main reasons Broncolor can sell packs at high prices, consistant colour temp has been a priority with them for years. I don't think any of the compact heads excel at keeping the light honest.
You could filter the light if you know at a certain setting it gets warm, as long as it changes consistently, I think that would drive me nuts too.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
KevinA
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 07:31:27 AM »
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deleted double post
« Last Edit: April 29, 2010, 07:32:51 AM by KevinA » Logged

Kevin.
jeremydillon
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« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2010, 07:19:37 PM »
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The new Paul Buff Einsteins seem to be the only monoblock flashes that offer constant colour temp.  All of the monoblocks I have used have this problem (including Elinchrom, Bowens and Bron).
The Einsteins are said to use a different technology for controlling the output than the others. I havn't tried one, just noticed the general buzz about them.

http://www.paulcbuff.com/pcb2009/einstein.html

FLASH DURATION AND COLOR TEMPERATURE:
Proprietary IGBT allows flash duration to dramatically decrease as power settings are lowered. This is opposite to conventional studio flash designs where the duration lengthens and the color temperature falls when power is reduced.
Two distinct operation modes are available from the rear panel:
CONSTANT COLOR mode - the emitted color temperature is held constant at 5600K plus or minus 50K at any power setting or input voltage. At Full Power, the t.5 flash duration is 1/1600 second and the t.1 time is 1/540 second. As power is reduced to power the color remains constant, while the flash duration decreases to approximately 1/1700 second t.1 (note that with IGBT control, the t.5 spec is no longer meaningful, so only the t.1 flash duration appears on the rear LCD display). As power is further decreased, the color temperature remains constant and the t.1 flash duration falls ultimately to 1/9,000 second at the lowest power settings.
ACTION mode - the color temperature rises as power is reduced but the t.1 flash duration is minimized even further for maximum action stopping capability where absolute color consistency is secondary to motion freezing. At power in ACTION MODE the t.1 flash duration is approximately 1/2000 second and the color temperature is approximately 5750K. Absolute values of flash duration and color temperature are indicated on the rear LCD display and are yet to be fully specified.
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K.C.
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2010, 10:53:54 PM »
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Quote from: jeremydillon
I havn't tried one, just noticed the general buzz about them.

I understand they're working on a fix for that.  
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K.C.
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« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2010, 11:06:04 PM »
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From the Profoto D1 Air Monoblock specs:

Built-in microprocessors ensure the output consistency 0.05 f-stop and 30 K flash to flash

So far I've found that to be true. I'm one of those guys who has, and uses, the Minolta color meter.
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K.C.
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2010, 02:16:10 AM »
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Hensel's color consistency example: http://www.henselusa.com/integra_color.html
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Dustbak
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2010, 03:38:17 AM »
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Quote from: inthesouthofireland
I came across a review of the BX 500 Ri, here is the link (PDF):
http://www.theflashcentre.com/images/BJP_BXRi_Review.pdf

The difference between min and max settings is 200K.

Now, the Style 600 RX anyone?  


I use the 600RX for years now. Color temp doesn't really vary. It is pretty consistent, so much I never felt the need to really thoroughly check it. When measuring (Minolta Colormeter III) readings are within a 50K bandwith up or down pretty much through the whole power range. After 6 years of usage the temp has gone from 5200K to 5300/5350K. I do notice my measured temps are on general on  the low side. I will try to do a test today or tomorrow (if I feel like it).

The BX500ri as well as the other BX & FX models are cheaper models compared to the 600RX which is pretty much the top of the line of the Elinchrom monoblocks. I noticed someone above noting Elinchrom being flaky. This is not my experience. I have only needed one monoblock repaired in 6 years where I broke of the carrying handle which was more stupidity on my side. The only other things were replacing 4 modelling lights.

Yes, I lust for the Profotos too  At this moment I am pretty heavily into Elinchrom but I can surely understand Profoto will do the job too.

« Last Edit: May 03, 2010, 03:51:01 AM by Dustbak » Logged
inthesouthofireland
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 11:08:51 AM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
I noticed someone above noting Elinchrom being flaky. This is not my experience. I have only needed one monoblock repaired in 6 years where I broke of the carrying handle which was more stupidity on my side. The only other things were replacing 4 modelling lights.

This ties in with what I have read all over the web: the Style 600 RX is very reliable (unlike the entry level Elinchroms), but a good few people mentioned the handle breaking off. Does this mean the handle bar itself is too weak or is the problem the brittle plastic which connects the handle bar to the housing?

Anyway, I'm looking forward to your min/max measurements, even if you don't get around to doing it today!   :-)
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Dustbak
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 11:41:46 AM »
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I just finished measuring. I measured from the lowest to the highest. I will note the settings from the Elinchrom flash. You can convert that via the data Elinchrom provides if you like (I actually like the numbering Elinchrom uses).

1.5: 5000K
2.5: 5030K
3.5: 5050K
4.5: 5060K
5.5: 5150K
6.5: 5200K

BTW. I tested in a darker studio, not a totally dark studio which I should do. I expect measurements to be closer to each other doing this in pitch dark conditions (edit: I darkened some more after this).

Darkened the studio and redid the test (still not pitch dark but pretty dark so influences from other sources are substantially less):

1.5: 5100K
2.5: 5100K
3.5: 5130K
4.5: 5150K
5.5: 5200K
6.5: 5250K


I tend to use my RX600 in between 2.5 & 5.5 mainly which is exactly where I measure the least amount of difference. In total I measured appr. 200K difference between bottom and top. I did 3 measurements on each setting to even out variation. I used no modifier but barebulb to rule out variation due to the modifier.

This head is 5 years old and has done 45914 pops (now 45944) and been turned on and off 366 times.

I have 5 of these heads and could do this with every one of them to see (maybe I will) but my experience in using them regularly is pretty much in line with what I measured.

The handle breaks off from the plastic that holds it. It happened to mine because I tried to steer a light that was attached pretty firmly but I was too lazy to loosen it somewhat. I don't use assistants (I am seriously considering starting to use them) but this is probably something you might want to explain to someone . BTW, a repair will cost you around 100euros and means a complete replacement of the housing.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 11:54:32 AM by Dustbak » Logged
inthesouthofireland
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 12:51:54 PM »
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Dustbak, thank you for your time and for providing all this information! I really appreciate it.

Nice to see that the colour drift is less than 200K. That's twice as good as my current Bowens outfit... It's time for me to go to the local Elinchrom dealer and look at the RX600 in real life.

Do you use the Skyport system? If you do, any experiences how reliable it is over the years?
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Dustbak
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 12:58:34 PM »
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Yes, I do use the Skyport system. I actually had to search for a sync cable to attach the colormeter.

I find the skyport really reliable. There are no batteries for the receivers that go into the RX heads which means no replacing stuff! The transmitters battery lasts really long as long as you remember to turn off the transmitter everytime you are done. I have replaced the first one after almost 2 years of using (but I have 3 of them).

The different channels can be a bit difficult to trigger sometimes, eg. 1 set of flashes in group 1, one in group 2, 1 set in group 3, etc (4 groups available). Sometimes you have to flick the switch on the transmitter once more to get a single group to respond. Triggering 'all' is very reliable.

As far as distance goes. I have not yet ran into a situation where the distance was too long. I do realize PW's go further.

I love the ability to steer the RX via the laptop, especially considering 75% of my work is tethered.

No problem doing 1/800th either.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 01:41:11 PM by Dustbak » Logged
K.C.
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 11:57:48 PM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
In total I measured appr. 200K difference between bottom and top.

Quote from: K.C.
A shift of 200K-300K is pretty standard in the industry, particularly for monoblocks. Elinchrom will be in that range in my experience.


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Dustbak
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 02:07:34 AM »
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In this case the difference was more between 150-200. Your estimate of the range was pretty accurate. Not sure if this applies to all monoblocks would be interesting if people did similar tests to find out. I would love to know about the various Profoto heads.
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K.C.
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 03:31:12 AM »
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Quote from: Dustbak
In this case the difference was more between 150-200. Your estimate of the range was pretty accurate. Not sure if this applies to all monoblocks would be interesting if people did similar tests to find out. I would love to know about the various Profoto heads.

My post was based on 30+ years as a pro and actual use. No guessing involved.

I have Pro7 and Acute2 systems, the original PF compacts and D1 Air compacts. I also have Balcar Miniblocks, Bowens Voyagers, Comet monos, and a recent generation Travelight 750.

I'll run some tests, it's been 2 months since I checked, and post them.
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UlfKrentz
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2010, 06:12:18 AM »
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Quote from: K.C.
From the Profoto D1 Air Monoblock specs:

Built-in microprocessors ensure the output consistency 0.05 f-stop and 30 K flash to flash

So far I've found that to be true. I'm one of those guys who has, and uses, the Minolta color meter.

These specs read to me with no change of power, just from flash to flash with the same settings. I suppose they might have a color shift within the power level?
I think the Einsteins will solve this problem for monoblocks, they use the same technology that Broncolor uses with their Grafit / Scoro packs and this is working extremly good for us.
Since were used to it I could hardly imagine using a light that is changing color within the power range.
We own an FCC Flash colormeter, but we are glad to actually dont have to use it.  

Cheers, Ulf
« Last Edit: May 06, 2010, 06:23:33 AM by UlfKrentz » Logged
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