Between the Profoto B1's, Broncolor Siros L, and things like the Interfit S1 or Godox AD600 (and similar) units, most manufacturers have been focused on creating entirely self-contained monolights for location use. While these are incredibly portable and require no wires, their physical limitations for striking a balance between size and weight for their use cases means that they are "limited" in power — I use "limited" in quotes because 400-600ws is still a lot of power for most applications. The Broncolor Siros L has an 800ws model that has slightly more power than competing units, but at the cost of a slightly bigger and heavier package.
Enter pack and head systems — while they're nothing new, in terms of "current-generation" battery powered pack-and-head lights, there aren't that many to choose from, and most are prohibitively expensive. I own a B2 pack and a pair of heads, and while incredibly small and ridiculously portable, sometimes 250ws is just not enough.
Pro-level solutions become exponentially more expensive — such at the Profoto B4 series or the Broncolor Move 1200L, and just may not fit into everyone's budget.
And with that in mind, Elinchrom has just announced the ELB1200 w/s Pack and head system...
Elinchrom ELB 1200 Pack
The ELB 1200 looks like a souped-up version of the already very good ELB400 and offers the following key features:
- 1200ws in a 9.5lb package (10.4 lbs with "HD" battery)
- 2 Outlets
- 2:1 (66%/33%) Asymmetry or 1:1 (50%/50%) Symmetric option
- 1.7s full-power recyling in FAST mode
- 3.0s full-power recycling in DEFAULT (normal) mode
- OLED Display (displays flash duration, very cool)
- Sequence and delay feature
- USB input for firmware updates
- Up to 215 flashes or 80 minutes of LED with lightweight "Air" battery (2.4 lbs, 1.1kg), and up to 400 flashes or 120 minutes of LED with an optional "HD" battery (3.3 lbs, 1.5kg)
an interesting note about the batteries is they have a USB-out to charge mobile devices. They've thought of everything!
3 Head Options
For those familiar with Elinchrom lighting, having different options for heads is nothing new. For those not familiar, Elinchrom offers different heads designed for different purposes (some more expensive than others), and I assume this helps cut the cost for both the Elinchrom and the consumer, as the pack can be designed less expensively, with the different selection of heads doing most of the work. Here's a rundown of the 3 head options available for the ELB 1200, from Elinchrom's product page:
Choose Pro head sets for general photography. They offer a great balance between performance and price.
Choose Action head sets to freeze subject’s motion with extremely fast flash durations. Ideal for photography with some movement.
Each head weighs 4.85lbs (2.2kg), with a dimmable LED modeling lamp that's equivalent to a 250w Halogen (4000 Lumens). The internal fans can be "silenced" for use with video, so you won't have that constant "humming" while recording. The lightweight Air battery can run the LED modeling lamps for up to 80 minutes, and the "HD" battery is capable of up to 120 minutes on a charge.
Price-wise, I expect it to be positioned among the higher-end self contained lithium-ion strobes; hopefully under $3000. This creates a good value proposition for photographers who require more power in a lightweight and portable package, and who might already own some of Elinchrom's excellent modifiers. It will be available mid-2017, and current owners of a Ranger RX unit will be able to trade in their pack with a special promotion in the form of a rebate, to make the cost of upgrading minimal.
For all the specs and more information, Visit Elinchrom's product page.
What do you think? It looks like a great option for current Elinchrom users or those who need more power at a lower price point. We already own Broncolor Move packs and absolutely love them, but this looks like a great alternative. Hopefully we'll have a chance to test them out once they're available.
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