While reading around on some forums, the subject of color consistency came up in a topic on if the Paul C Buff Einstein E640s were still considered "good" lights in 2017 with the advent of newer all-in-one battery powered monoblocs like the Godox AD600/Flashpoint Xplor 600. The debate became pretty heated by users on both ends, claiming there wasn't much, if any difference — some claiming that Einsteins have been rendered almost obsolete by this new crop of budget-minded, battery-powered monoblocs, and arguments about the quality and consistency of these new lights.
The topic made me revisit some color consistency tests I did in the past (here and here), and noticed I had never posted "full" charts that charted the consistency of all of the lights I tested between the two articles, so here they are below:
I haven't used any of the Godox/Flashpoint units, nor have I had the opportunity to test them, so I'll reserve any comments on them until I have. I can say, however, that the Einsteins are still a good, quality light even as I write this in 2017. Regardless of it being about 7 years since their initial release, the performance of the Einsteins are still very good, even if it's missing the newer features like TTL and HSS/Hypersync which newer competing lights have. They have some sort of extensibility, by allowing you to "add" hypersync by using PocketWizard Products (Power MC2, Mini TT1/Flex TT5 as a transmitter and an AC3 ZoneController or a PocketWizard-equipped Sekonic L-478DR light meter to control flash power remotely), which would put them at the same level of functionality as these newer systems, albeit without TTL and the compactness of a self-powered monobloc.
Still, the Einstein is well supported and future firmware updates may make it possible for them to do TTL (I'm not entirely sure if this is possible with the current internals of the Einsteins, but one can dream, right? -- maybe they'll offer internal upgrades to current owners if it is possible and feasible), or it's within the realm of possibility that they're already working on a self-enclosed monolight to compete with these newer offerings — especially since they've demonstrated that they're still innovating with the recent release/refresh of the Alienbees line in the form of their new Digibees. Many also dismiss some of the intangibles when buying into a system -- my experience with the Einsteins and dealing with Paul C Buff customer service over those 5 years was spectacular -- I had to have 3 of the 4 units replaced during my ownership due to failures, or accidents, and all it costed was $50 for en entirely new head (because I was out of warranty). I shipped out my broken or faulty unit, and within a week, I had a fixed, or brand-new unit! That kind of service is something that's easy to forget when all you're considering are features and price. I haven't dealt with having to return chinese products or with any of their retailers or distributors, but I would bet the process isn't as quick and easy as my experience with PCB's repairs/service.
I still believe "light is light" — and that nicer, more expensive lights are just tools that speed up our workflow or otherwise make our lives easier. Toys are nice, but when it comes down to it, you still have to know how to use 'em.
What do you think? What lights do you own/use in your work, or what lights do you want? Let us know below!