The Elinchrom FIVE » Michael Clark Pictures

Disclaimer: I’ve been an envoy for Elinchrom since 2007 and have labored with them very intently on a number of tasks during the last fifteen years or extra. Two Elinchrom FIVE strobes got to me as a part of the project for the launch. These are my opinions and I’ve not been paid to write down this text. As traditional, I’ll give my trustworthy opinion right here and evaluate this unit to current earlier choices as nicely. This text was beforehand revealed within the Winter 2023 Newsletter.

Late final fall, I received a name from my good mates at MAC Group, who’re the distributors right here within the USA for Elinchrom. Elinchrom had a brand new strobe, that they alluded to in 2022, a 500 Watt-second monobloc “all-in-one” battery-powered strobe with TTL and HSS (Excessive Velocity Sync). As a very long time Elinchrom model Ambassador MAC Group needed me to take the brand new FIVE out for a check drive and put them by the paces. I fortunately obliged and took two of those new strobes out to {photograph} mountaineering and motocross. 

Elinchrom has had the ELB 500 TTL within the line up for fairly some time now, which has a lot of the identical options as the brand new FIVE however market forces introduced in regards to the FIVE, with the battery constructed into the flash head and no separate energy pack. The brand new FIVE has some new options that the ELB500 TTL didn’t have like energetic charging by way of a USB-C port, sooner flash durations, and a good higher optimized HSS system. 

Above: Amy Jordan on a route named Las Golondrinas (5.13-) on the El Camino Crag close to Santa Fe, New Mexico. This picture was created with two Elinchrom FIVE strobes  in Excessive Velocity Sync (HSS) mode and two excessive efficiency reflectors focusing the sunshine. FUJIFILM GFX100S, GF20-35mm lens, f/4 at 1/2 hundredth sec, ISO 1600.

After I first received the FIVE, I weighed it to see whether it is lighter than the ELB 500 TTL that I’ve had for a couple of years. The FIVE is available in at 6.8 lbs (3.08 Kg) whole with the battery connected and the usual reflector whereas the ELB 500 TTL is available in at  8.4 kilos (3.81 Kg) with the flash head, adapter and the facility pack, making the brand new FIVE 1.6 kilos (0.73 Kg) lighter. The FIVE is maybe a bit bulkier than the ELB 500 TTL was however they each match into the identical area in a digicam bag—and also you don’t want an adapter to suit bigger smooth containers and light-weight modifiers to the FIVE, which could be very good. For a photographer who has to hold strobes lengthy distances (see the picture above) that weight financial savings could be very welcome. 

In fact, with the entire weight within the flash head this makes the overall weight of the strobe—with the sunshine modifier connected—fairly a bit heavier than with the smaller, lighter ELB 500 TTL flash heads. Therefore, you will want a beefy mild stand to carry all of this safely and you will want both sand luggage or weights to carry the stand regular, particularly if working with the strobes outdoor. All of my mild stands are robust, heavier stands nowadays in order that isn’t a difficulty however I simply point out it right here as a result of that is definitely not a strobe for use with wimpy, mild weight stands. That is no totally different than with different 500 Ws monobloc strobes made by different producers. 

Above: This behind the scenes picture exhibits the lighting setup for the mountaineering picture proven above. To mild the rock climber who was 100-feet (30 meters) away, I used two Elinchrom FIVE strobes in Excessive Velocity Sync (HSS) mode and two excessive efficiency reflectors to focus the sunshine. Each strobes had been positioned proper subsequent to one another and had been held regular by canvas luggage crammed with rocks. FUJIFILM GFX100S, GF20-35mm lens, f/5.6 at 1/four-hundredth sec, ISO 800.

In my testing, and whereas utilizing the strobes on these two assignments, I discovered the Excessive Velocity Sync (HSS) to be extremely environment friendly. Notice that HSS is totally totally different in the way it works in comparison with the HS (Hello-Sync) characteristic discovered within the older Elinchrom ELB 1200. Hello-Sync is technically extra highly effective and extra environment friendly than Excessive Velocity Sync, however for a lot of photographers HS (Hello-Sync) can be a lot more durable to determine and use. Elinchrom appears to have optimized the HSS characteristic within the FIVEs to a level I’ve not seen on another strobe. It is vitally near the identical effectivity as HS (Hello-Sync) and far simpler to make use of. 

My first project with the FIVEs was photographing mountaineering at a brand new crag right here in New Mexico. The climber was about 100-feet away (30 meters) and 80-feet (25 m) off the bottom. I arrange each lights proper subsequent to one another as a result of I knew that I would want each FIVEs to have sufficient energy at that distance to overpower daylight. The cave was shaded however the background was in full solar. As might be seen above the 2 FIVEs simply overpowered daylight with each strobes within the HSS mode, which gave me much more confidence that we might pull off the picture I needed to create. Additionally, be aware each strobes had been fitted with the Excessive Efficiency reflectors as nicely to spice up and focus the sunshine. 

The concept with the mountaineering shot was to attend till sundown to get some first rate mild within the sky behind the climber. Sadly, there have been no clouds to replicate the final mild so we needed to make do with the clear purple-blue sky, which did make for a clear background. We additionally received fortunate with the rising half-moon simply behind the climber as nicely.

For the second project with the FIVEs we labored with a motocross rider and created a mix of portrait and motion sequences to place the FIVE by the paces. We began off with a portrait as proven under. For this portrait, the strobe was pretty far-off from the rider because of the big mound he was standing on along with his bike. One FIVE with a excessive efficiency reflector was sufficient to overpower the sturdy afternoon mild.

Above: The photographs above present how this portrait of Daniel standing atop a big leap was created. I used one Elinchrom FIVE with a excessive efficiency reflector on a tall lightstand. For the reason that mild was pretty far-off, the lengthy throw reflector helped to pay attention the sunshine on him and never mild up the foreground. 

For the picture under, we photographed Daniel Coriz (the rider) launching off a giant leap. For this setup I had the 2 flash heads aspect by aspect to get as a lot mild as attainable on the rider. I used to be in a position to darken the background and the sky significantly to get a extra dramatic picture. In HSS mode, I used a quick shutter velocity (on this case 1/1,600th sec.) to freeze the movement of the motocross rider on the high of his leap. 

Above: To seize this picture of the motocross rider mid-air on an enormous leap I used each Elinchrom FIVE strobes, positioned proper subsequent to one another (as proven on the next web page). Each strobes had been in HSS (Excessive Velocity Sync) mode, which allowed me to darken the background. Nikon Z9, Nikkor Z 14-30mm lens, f/4 at 1/1,600th sec, ISO 800.

Above: The above picture exhibits how I had the lights arrange for the picture proven simply above this one. They had been positioned aspect by aspect. Notice that I additionally had clear 4mm thick plastic taped to the entrance of the reflectors (utilizing gaffer’s tape) to guard the flash tubes from any rocks that could be thrown on the strobes.

On the very finish of the photograph shoot, with the final mild of the day beginning to fade, I additionally created some movement blur photographs on the massive leap to check out the quick flash length. On the lowest setting the flash length is a depraved quick  1/8,080s at t0.1, which is akin to 1/20,000th sec at t0.5. [Note that the t0.1 flash duration nomenclature is a much better and more accurate reflection of how fast the flash duration actually is when compared to the older t0.5 standard. It is great to see Elinchrom using the t0.1 measurement as it shows just how confident they are with this specification.]

In fact, there are fairly a couple of issues that make the Elinchrom FIVE considerably distinctive. First, as I mentioned on the outset, Elinchrom has optimized the HSS mode to be extremely environment friendly—extra so than another strobe I’ve tried. Second, the battery lasts for an incredible 450 pictures at full energy and you’ll plug in any exterior battery pack with a USB-C cable and energy the strobe whereas utilizing it, which makes this a really versatile strobe each outdoor and within the studio. Third, it has an extremely easy, but highly effective interface on the again of the unit and you can even use the Elinchrom Studio App to manage the strobe out of your telephone, which turns out to be useful when you have the strobe mounted up excessive above your topic. In fact, you can even management most strobe features utilizing the Elinchrom Transmitter Professional in your digicam. Lastly, it has an adjustable LED modeling lamp with shade temperatures from 2700K to 6500K and an output of 4000 Lumens. All in all, I’d say Elinchrom packed a number of stable options into the FIVE. 

Now, I do know Profoto, Godox and different manufacturers have had a really related model of monobloc strobe design for fairly a while. Many would say Elinchrom is late to the get together and the FIVE isn’t that a lot totally different to those different choices. And actually, they could be proper. However, I’d counter with the truth that Elinchrom has accomplished it higher than any of the opposite manufacturers. The FIVE has an old style round flash tube that fills up mild modifiers as they’re designed to work—not like another manufacturers which have a flat entrance port. The HSS can be optimized to a stage none of different competitor’s strobes can match. Toss in the truth that Elinchrom makes a number of the finest softboxes and light-weight modifiers within the sport and it’s a kick ass system. A few of us would possibly want extra mild output (i.e. Energy as in Watt/seconds) and that’s the reason I nonetheless have my ELB 1200s and use them usually. For most people, 500 Ws goes to be loads of energy and the FIVE would possibly simply be the very best battery-powered 500 Ws strobe in the marketplace. My because of MAC Group and Elinchrom for letting me check out these new strobes. Go to for more information.