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Author Topic: Budget Studio Flash 101  (Read 6529 times)

Offline Brendon

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Budget Studio Flash 101
« on: January 30, 2014, 01:29:21 PM »
After extensive thorough googling and scouring the seedy underbelly of the internet. After intense interrogation & squeezing shop keepers of every last drop of information (with my laughable command of Hindi to boot). And after spending sleepless nights fighting my inner demons & self doubt (ok that may not have anything to do with strobes but it showcases my human side  :blank: ), I bring to you the fact findings of my long and arduous journey to shine a light on the largely unknown and mysterious world of err studio lights in India.

There are broadly two categories of studio strobes in India -

1) Simpex/Digitek/Photopro-
All these are the Chinese OEMs sold in India. What you get are badly designed websites with precious little information or service. The strobes themselves are not too bad and have simple components which means they are easy on the pocket to maintain and use.

Pro - Can be fixed locally and at relatively cheaper prices compared to Elinchrom.
Con - They HAVE to be fixed locally. Good luck finding an official service center !!!

Pro - Some have variable power like the Digitek DSF400 (MRP 15k for full set with umbrellas)
Con - Most do not or have just 2 - 3 power levels.

Pro - The Digitek DSF400 comes with a wireless trigger
Con - Almost all of them do not come with any option of wireless triggers and you will have to buy external triggers (with their own batteries) if you want wireless triggering. Else you have to use slave mode all the time.

Pro - Flash tubes are half the price of Elinchrom and easy to fix yourself (Rs 1600 approx).
Con - Flash tubes are not readily available and may be found in select local shops only.

Pro - Most come with a full set of stands, cables and umbrellas
Con - All of these are of average to poor quality stuff.

2) Elinchrom studio Lights

Practically the ONLY well known non Chinese brand available in India that is available for amateurs and professionals on a budget. Some UK branded strobes are being sold in Fort but they have no service setup in India.

HOWEVER they constantly update their models which means current gained from forums might be outdated and they have a India specific mode - FX Ri which finds NO mention on their website which means info on that model is hard to come by.

Elinchrom has a well stocked service center in Mumbai but the catch is that its the ONLY service center in India so you have to ship your strobes every time you want service.

Elinchrom offers a neat wireless trigger (with RX2, RX4, FX Ri 200, FR Ri 400 and Master RX) that allows you to adjust power levels wireless without touching the strobes. You can even adjust power for individual strobes via grouping. All these features means its that much harder to repair locally so you must depend on Elinchrom to fix anything.

Elinchrom accessories are of much better quality and they are the only budget strobe company to offer softboxes as part of the package. All the Chinese guys bundle are low quality umbrellas.

RX4 vs FX Ri

Earlier there were plenty of negatives for the RX series - no cooling fan, no wireless capability etc. Now Elinchrom has removed a lot of those negatives and they are bundling their Speed transmitter which can adjust the power levels remotely instead of the lower end Eco transmitter bundled with the RX One which is their cheapest strobe.

Cooling fan and wireless capability are now built in.

I have now discovered that the FX Ri and RX strobes use the SAME flash tube. So flash duration and replacement tube costs are the SAME !!!

Even recycle time (as per brochure) is EXACTLY the SAME !!

The BRX strobes which is what the FX Ri strobes are based on use a DIFFERENT flash tube which has a faster flash duration to better freeze movement.

So performance of both the FX and RX strobes are practically the SAME. Which means a better body build quality is about all there is differentiating the two models.

My decision after all this research is that I will go with the RX4 strobes only. :)

Offline theqca

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2014, 01:55:14 PM »
Thanks for this Brendon...should serve as a handy guide for all of those intending to try out some pics with strobes.

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Offline Fake ID

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014, 04:18:02 PM »
Thanks Brendon for your inputs, will be usefull to me.

Anil George
Canon Gear 5D Mark III,Lens : 24-105 f/4 L IS USM, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II USM, 16-35mm f/4 IS USM,Extender 2x III, Elinchrom 400 FXR, Speedlite 600 EX- RT,Continous Lights, Backdrops, monopad with Manfrotto MHXPRO3W X-PRO 3-Way Head etc.
Website: www.photographersclubofindia.com - (By Invitation Only)

Offline g2

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 01:06:44 PM »
Is there a call Brendon help line for additional inquiries? ;D

Good work on the write up mate, now buy and show pics ;D

Offline Brendon

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2014, 11:25:28 AM »
Thanks guys ! :)

Most likely getting the strobes today.

And yes you are always free to call me for a fee. :D

Offline Pankajkumars

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2014, 11:54:47 AM »
I assume:
You will buy 2 piece.
Bundled with light-stand and umbrella
Included wireless trigger
A background with stand


Q1- W/less trigger is compatible with all brand model or specific
Q2- what is total cost setup.
Q3- What is the wattage parameter

Do share your views.
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Offline Brendon

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 12:14:04 PM »
Yup 2 pieces. :)

The Elinchrom ones come with light stand and Prolinchrom soft boxes. I already have existing umbrellas.

The background and stands I purchased separately and already have them with me.

I haven't checked if the Elinchrom trigger is a universal one. I would wager it is not universal and only Elinchrom specific.

Total cost of the set up is approx as follows

1.Elinchrom RX4 studio lights x 2 - 22000

2. Digitek light-stands x 2 (12 foot ones) - 2700

3. Background rod (3 pieces) x 1 - 800

4. Elinchrom umbrellas x 2 - 1300

5. White backdrop sheet x 1 - 250

6. Black backdrop sheet x 1 - 250.

Total set up cost - 27000.

The biggest cost is the studio light set up.

If you have a small room you can go for the Elinchrom RX One strobes. They come for 8k a pair (thats right a PAIR !). They only output 100 watts per second compared to 400 watts/s that the RX4 can give but they are still about twice as powerful as strobes.

The RX One comes with a basic trigger and with umbrellas rather than the more expensive soft boxes.

Offline Pankajkumars

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 12:35:38 PM »
Thanks.  Cleared doubts. Affordable as long as family has no objection.
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Offline Brendon

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 01:37:12 PM »
Well thankfully my parents aren't avid readers of photography forums or rest assured all I would have would be a basic DSLR with kit lens. :P

Three years ago I decided a cost analysis of what I spent on my hobby and I was shocked with how much I spent over the years. So henceforth I made a strong decision to STOP completely and unequivocally the above.

So now you will never see me doing these cost analysis.

Offline satishchilakamarri

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2016, 04:37:00 AM »
I AM FROM ANDHRA PRADESH AND I WANT TO BUY A PAIR OF STUDIO LIGHTS WHERE I CAN USE IN STUDIO AND IN CONVENTIONAL HALLS FOR MARRAGE.
IS ELINCHORME RX1 IS USEFUL FOR IT.
CAN U PLS TELL ME WHERE I NEED TO BUY ELINCHROME RX1 OR RX2 ...
AS HERE IN ANDHRA PRADESH THE PRICE RATE DIFFERS FROM WHAT YOU SEPCIFY 8K FOR PAIR

Offline ashwanikesharwani

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Re: Budget Studio Flash 101
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2017, 08:53:38 PM »
Hi I have a Digitek speedlite 400 RT.

I want to set it up into slave mode. How to do this,

anybody has any idea.

I could not get this info any where on web.

Regards
Ashwani