|Size (Pack & Battery)||18.1×16.3×9.0cm|
|Type||TTL Battery Flash Kit|
|Weight (Pack & Battery)||2480g|
|Power Range (fstops)||7|
|Power Distribution||Full Asymmetry|
|Recycling Time (seconds)||0.05-2.0|
|Colour Temp (kelvins)||5500|
|Best Flash Duration||Action: 1/20,000 Normal: 1/3,400s|
|Flashes at Min. Power||28,000|
|Flashes at Max. Power||400|
|Power Source||Lithium-Ion 14.4 V 72 W/h|
|Voltage Stabilization||Yes, +/-0.5%|
|Modelling Light||Dimmable 14w (50w equivalent) / Daylight LED CRI 90+|
|Triggering||Built-In Skyport & Phottix Odin II / Sync Cord (3.5mm), Optical Slave|
The ELB 500 TTL is incredibly light and compact. The battery pack weighs just 2.48kg and the heads are 250g each. The kit is available with either one or two lights. At present, this is the most powerful and portable TTL kit on the market and I was very impressed with both the design and the sheer lightness of the kit. The heads are even lightweight enough to be mounted on a camera bracket!
The kit is aimed at those looking to trade up to a more powerful option than speedlights or those who simply want a portable lighting kit that offers powerful features without too much bulky weight.
This is a very clever piece of kit. Not only does it offer TTL (which we’ll look at in more detail later), it also offers HSS. This means it will synchronize at speeds up to 1/8000s and tests have shown that it’s up to 0.5 f-stops more powerful in HSS mode than its competition. It’s also compatible with other Elinchrom Hi-Sync (HS) units.
You’ll get around 400 full power flashes from one charge, with a fast recycle time of 0.05 to 2.0 seconds. One of the really useful features of this kit is the active charging, which means you can charge the battery as you shoot. This is a really clever idea, as there’s nothing more frustrating than having to discharge a battery fully before waiting to charge it up again!
The ELB 500 TTL features built-in Skyport, Elinchrom’s proprietary wireless system. For photographers already using the Skyport Plus HS Transmitter, there’s a firmware update available to obtain the TTL feature set. There’s also built-in functionality for the Phottix Odin II transmitters, and Elinchrom are planning to produce more compatibility in the coming months.
On the pack are two ports, labelled A and B and the pack can power and control two separate heads at the same time. Each port is completely independent of one another, meaning you can have both ports fire at equal power (e.g. 250w/s each), or you can have port A fire at full power and port B fire at the lowest power, for example.
As with previous kits from Elinchrom, the ELB 500 TTL has an easy to navigate OLED display, which has been made slightly larger. The OLED display gives you complete control over the kit, allowing you to activate and control each head separately. The kit has asymmetrical distribution, meaning you can extend the available power range when you’re using a single head.
The big selling point of this kit is the TTL functionality. This means that if you pair the kit with the flash trigger for your brand of camera, the system will automatically adjust the power based on the metering of the scene and your camera’s settings. And, as the kit has HSS, if your shutter speed is outside the sync speed of your camera the light will automatically detect this and use HSS to maintain the proper exposure for your shot.
Another clever feature of the TTL is that when you take an exposure in TTL mode, it determines what power to use. When you switch to manual mode the light remembers what power you used previously and sets the manual power to that setting. This makes it easy to do fine tuning on your settings, and certainly makes shooting with this kit a lot faster than many other lighting kits.