If you are a location photographer, or anyone who wants power to spare shooting portraits in bright conditions, your day has come. I have been working with the new Elinchrom ELB1200 for awhile now, and it is just plain incredible. Much for my earlier career was hinged on using the venerable Ranger pack, the earlier version of the ELB1200. The Ranger weighed around 18 pounds, but it could crank out light through a six foot octabank and easily over power the sun. The new ELB weighs in around 9 pounds, and with an updated display, built-in receiver, LED modeling light and high sync capable, this pack is does it all.
First, I shoot many portraits at 1.4, and I need to be able to use a shutter speed of 1/2000 and faster when working on location in bright light. I chose the HS-Sync flashhead with my ELB1200s, which allows me to shoot at 1/8000 using the Skyport Plus HS. I have been shooting portraits using the massive 75″ indirect LiteMotiv Octa with clean even light, no banding of the flash.
The new OLED menu screen and system is very intuitive. The display is easy to navigate, and battery level is displayed. You can now choose how you want power distributed between the two ports, either 50/50 or asymmetrical. The new Li-Ion battery provides 215 full power flashes, and has a USB port to power mobile devices.
But honestly, what did I really notice in the field? This light cranks out shot after shot with a very fast recycle time; it feels like you are plugged into a wall outlet. I have been photographing a lot of climbing recently, and just pack the system into my LowePro pack and head up the trail. The pack has been in the dirt, mud, rain and cold with no issues.
I’ll revisit this pack again and go into more detail. But I have to say it is refreshing to have a new pack with 1200 watts of power. I need all the juice I can get on many of my shoots, and the ELB 1200 gets it done.