TTL seems to have become all the rage for big strobes the last few years. There are now TTL strobe options from Godox, Profoto and even Cactus, amongst others. Now Elinchrom up their game with the new ELB 500 TTL; A 500Ws pack & head system offering TTL, High Speed Sync all the way up to 1/8000sec, and 400 full power flashes on a single charge for use both on location and in the studio.
Elinchrom says that the ELB 500 TTL is powerful enough to “overpower the sun”, and 500Ws can definitely do that, although it will depend on the modifier you use. With 400 full power flashes on a single charge, a recycling time of 2 seconds at full power, and heads “smaller than speedlites” it should make for a nice powerful and portable lighting solution.
We created the ELB 500TTL for portrait photographers looking to take their work to more adventurous places with what we believe to be the perfect combination of power, features and value.
– Simon Whittle, Elinchrom CEO
The heads, of course, are only that small because this is a head and pack system. While there are several monolight solutions out there, I’m a big fan of head & pack systems. It’s why I went for the Godox AD360II instead of the AD600. They allow you to keep the weight off the top of your light stand and lower the centre of gravity of your lighting setup. This is invaluable on location, especially with modifiers where you may be battling the wind.
- Flash Power: 500Ws/J
- Power distribution: Full asymmetry
- Power range: 7 stops
- Flash duration: Action 1/20,000sec – Normal 1/3,400sec
- Recycle time: 0.05-2 seconds
- Battery capacity: 400 / 28,000 flashes (max / min power)
- Compatibility: Elinchrom Transmitter Pro, Phottix Odin II
- Dimensions (pack): 16.3 x 9 x 18.1cm (6.4 x 3.5 x 7.1″)
- Weight (pack): 2.48kg (5.47lbs)
The ELB 500 TTL comes supplied with the battery, charger, Snappy location bag, and a sync cable. The pack has that nice big LCD on top that we’ve come to expect from Elinchrom, with easy to read buttons.
The heads, not surprisingly, use Elinchrom’s Q-Mount (Quadra Mount) system, so it’s compatible with all of your existing Quadra “Portalite” series modifiers. But it will also work with all of your full size Elinchrom mount modifiers, too.
Remote control comes in the form of the new “Elinchrom Transmitter Pro”, which is basically the Elinchrom Skyport Plus HS with a new firmware to add TTL control. Fortunately, if you already own an Elinchrom Skyport Plus HS, you don’t need to buy anything. You just need to install that new firmware, and you’re done. Right now, it’s available for Canon and Nikon, but other brands will follow. It’s also compatible with the Phottix Odin II.
Perhaps the HSS on this thing is actually HSS now that it supports TTL and not the less predictable tail-sync we so often see.
It’ll be interesting to see how popular this light becomes. While Elinchrom’s lights are good, it may be too little, too late, at too high a price. Given the number of people who’ve already jumped ship from Elinchrom and the now-defunct Bowens to Godox and Profoto, they’ll have a tough task ahead to try to draw people back into the fold.
The Elinchrom ELB 500 TTL is “available now” in a single head kit for $1,899 and in a dual head kit for $2,124. Despite Elinchrom saying it’s available now, it seems to only be available to pre-order. So, no word on exactly when it’ll ship. It probably won’t be too long a wait, though. Find out more on the Elinchrom website.