Adorama RoveLight RL-600 vs PCB Einstein E640

Before I get into the comparison, I will go over a few things that have led me to this path and subsequent purchase Flashpoint RoveLight RL-600 by Adorama. For the past few years I have been working with Einstein for studio and on location work. In a studio environment I would have to spend over $10k for a better more consistent system that I have amassed with the Paul C. Buff (PCB) system. White Lightening (WL) X1600 first introduced me to PCB, and although robust and reliable, it’s shot-to-shot power output and color varied a bit. Mind you this is no worse than any sub $2k light, so it was still a heck of a bargain system.

PCB later introduced the CyberCommander which of course I bought, it was a step in the right direction for remotely controlling multiple power levels, but was a bit of a hassle to use because it required remotes and cables to work with WL. When I bought my E640 Einsteins I ordered the Pocket Wizard (PW) Flex TT5 and MC2 triggers for the Einsteins, these along with the AC3 controller gave me lightning fast off camera power adjustments. I now have a near perfect system for my studio needs.

However one of the great Einstein features, short flash duration, actually hinders its use outdoors. The Einstein’s IGBT power control (more details on IGBT), which has a ton of benefits over traditional studio light, does not cooperate well outdoors with PW hypersync. The hypersync requires a long flash duration at full power to properly sync at speeds that are considerably faster than camera’s max sync speed. For example, I can get up to 1/500 with the Canon 5Dmk3, but shooting outdoors with a large aperture requires strong ND filter. These filters make it near impossible to use the AF.

For some time I have pondered the idea of buying White Lightening 3200, which according to PW, I would get an amazing sync. This meant an additional $857 investment for an even more clunky setup that I previously had with my original WL monolights due to additional adapter required. I could not resist trying out Flashpoint RoveLight RL-600 when I heard Adorama had them on sale. Since I was only looking for one light to use on location, I bought the flashpoint version at a considerable savings over the Bowens mount.

The following tables show the color temperature correction I needed to do in Lightroom to get a neutral grey using the Lastolite grey card.  The power readings are based on full stop plus 1/10 increments according to the Sekonic L-478DR.

Table below shows the results from three shots used to test constancy: 

  Einstein Bare Bulb
F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint
1/1 16.0.2 6050 0 16.0.3 6050 0 16.0.2 6050 0
1/2 11.0.2 6150 1 11.0.2 6150 1 11.0.2 6150 1
1/4 8.0.3 6150 1 8.0.3 6150 1 8.0.3 6150 1
1/8 5.6.3 6150 1 5.6.3 6150 2 5.6.3 6150 2
1/16 4.0.4 6150 2 4.0.4 6200 2 4.0.4 6200 2
Rovelight IGBT Bare Bulb
F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint
1/1 22.0.2 6450 -10 22.0.2 6450 -10 22.0.2 6450 -9
1/2 16.0.4 6600 -9 16.0.4 6650 -8 16.0.4 6650 -9
1/4 8.0.6 6850 -5 8.0.6 6850 -5 8.0.6 6850 -6
1/8 5.6.4 7200 -1 5.6.4 7200 -2 5.6.4 7200 -1
1/16 4.0.3 6900 -4 4.0.3 6900 -3 4.0.3 6950 -3
Rovelight Standard Bare Bulb
F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint
1/1 16.0.5 6500 -9 16.0.5 6500 -9 16.0.5 6500 -9
1/2 11.0.5 6300 -10 11.0.5 6300 -10 11.0.5 6300 -10
1/4 8.0.6 6250 -10 8.0.5 6250 -10 8.0.6 6250 -11
1/8 5.6.3 6150 -14 5.6.4 6150 -13 5.6.3 6150 -13
1/16 4.0.6 6100 -15 4.0.3 6100 -15 4.0.3 6100 -14

Above: Tables above are limited to 1/16 power because the Rovelight standard mode only goes down to 1/16.  The three shots are to test consistency.

 

Einstein E640 Rovelight IGBT Rovelight Standard
Average Temp 6137 6810 6260
Max Deviation 100 750 400
Median Temp 6150 6850 6250
Max Stop-to-Stop Chg 100 350 200
Avg Stop-to-Stop Chg 20 263 100
Average Tint 1 -6 -11
Max Deviation 2 9 6
Median Tint 1 -5 -10
Max Stop-to-Stop Chg 1 4 4
Avg Stop-to-Stop Chg 0 3 1.5
Power Accuracy 92% 82% 90%

Above: Power accuracy is based on the initial 1/1 power setting and on how much off is each step down from original value.  

 

Measured Output at 1/1 Power
Einstein 11′ Long-Throw Reflector 45.2
Rovelight IGBT 8′ Flashpoint Reflector 32.1
Einstein 7′ PCB Reflector 22.3
Rovelight IGBT Bare Bulb 22.2
Rovelight Standard Bare Bulb 16.5
Einstein Bare Bulb 16.2

Above: I have yet to receive my speedrings for the flashpoint mount, so I do not have any modifiers that I can use on both lights, which is why I used the bare bulb as the base for power readings.

 

Table below shows the results from three shots used to test constancy:

  Einstein Bare Bulb Rovelight IGBT Bare Bulb Rovelight Standard Bare Bulb  
  F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint F-Stop Temp Tint  
1/1 16.0.2 6050 0 16.0.3 6050 0 16.0.2 6050 0 22.0.2 6450 -10 22.0.2 6450 -10 22.0.2 6450 -9 16.0.5 6500 -9 16.0.5 6500 -9 16.0.5 6500 -9  
1/2 11.0.2 6150 1 11.0.2 6150 1 11.0.2 6150 1 16.0.4 6600 -9 16.0.4 6650 -8 16.0.4 6650 -9 11.0.5 6300 -10 11.0.5 6300 -10 11.0.5 6300 -10  
1/4 8.0.3 6150 1 8.0.3 6150 1 8.0.3 6150 1 8.0.6 6850 -5 8.0.6 6850 -5 8.0.6 6850 -6 8.0.6 6250 -10 8.0.5 6250 -10 8.0.6 6250 -11  
1/8 5.6.3 6150 1 5.6.3 6150 2 5.6.3 6150 2 5.6.4 7200 -1 5.6.4 7200 -2 5.6.4 7200 -1 5.6.3 6150 -14 5.6.4 6150 -13 5.6.3 6150 -13  
1/16 4.0.4 6150 2 4.0.4 6200 2 4.0.4 6200 2 4.0.3 6900 -4 4.0.3 6900 -3 4.0.3 6950 -3 4.0.6 6100 -15 4.0.3 6100 -15 4.0.3 6100 -14  
1/32 2.8.3 6250 3 2.8.3 6300 4 2.8.4 6300 4 2.8.4 7100 -1 2.8.4 7100 -1 2.8.4 7100 -1                    
1/64 2.0.3 6350 9 2.0.3 6350 9 2.0.3 6250 8 2.0.4 7150 6 2.0.4 7200 6 2.0.4 7200 6                    
1/128 1.4.3 6400 12 1.4.4 6450 12 1.4.3 6400 13 1.4.4 7400 11 1.4.5 7400 11 1.4.5 7400 11                    
1/256 1.0.3 6400 14 1.0.3 6400 14 1.0.4 6350 12                                      

Above: Table above shows the full power range.  The Einsteins in color mode are excellent down to 1/32, after that it starts to change a bit drastically.

Flashpoint RoveLight RL-600


Pros:

1.) The IGBT mode is very efficient and more powerful than the Einstein by around one stop.

2.) Shot-to-shot color consistency and power levels are near perfect, when shot at same power level.

3.) The HSS works up to 1/8000 when using the yn-622c connected to coldshoe bottom/hotshoe top adapter (with PC sync) to trigger.

4.) The unit it self seems very well built, I really like the idea of having the whole battery and monolight combined for guerrilla style shooting.

5.) Standard power mode has good consistent color.

Cons:

1.) The trigger sucks, it goes to standby after only a few seconds of none use when used directly on camera, it seems to fare better when used with a yn-622c remote trigger. Having to reset it is not uncommon.

2.) In general, the color temperature cooler is than the Einstein, especially true in IGBT mode.

3.) Using the yn-622c-tx to yn-622c with remote on top maxes out at 1/500 (1/640 the black bar is starting to show).

4.) The reflector’s umbrella cutout is not aligned properly. I contacted Adorama and they are sending me a replacement, hopefully it’s better aligned or I will have to drill a hole.

5.) Color temperature in IGBT mode varies greatly at different power settings

6.) Standard power mode, which is the one needed for HSS is nearly 3/4 stop weaker than IGBT mode, about par with Einstein

7.) Having to rely on a separate trigger for HSS, I am currently using the yn-622c/tx, which is an okay system, I say okay because for a radio trigger it has infrared like range and susceptibility to obstructions. But when in range and not obstructed it works 100% reliably.

I just realized that I listed more cons than pros, but the pros are the most important things I was looking for, and the only serious con is the trigger. Knowing what these shortcomings are, one can work around them and get a great product. I am now leaning towards keeping it. But I am glad I only ordered one, this in no way will replace my PCB Einstein System with PW triggers. That combo is amazing for working in great distances, having super fast adjustment of three separate groups, and reliability. This Rovelight will likely be used only for HSS one light setups. I will update this post after some in the field use and maybe add some photos.  To see photos of the units, check out the excellent review at FlashHavoc.

Note: The FlashHavoc site mentioned that the Flashpoint mount is the same as the Multiblitz V-Type mount, I came to the same conclusion in my research and ordered a speedring from BH Photo, it did not fit, I am not sure if that was due to manufacturing defect or the mount looks like the Multiblitz but is slightly different, so I ordered the official Flashpoint from Adorama.  This is why I was unable to test the power output using modifier.

Speed Ring Update: 

I received my flashpoint speed ring today and mounted a 36”x48” softbox and I cannot not say it exudes confidence. The fit is loose, I just noticed the Rovelight mount is made of plastic, and it does not give a solid click when locked in. It seems the weight of the softbox causes it to slide down, I re-tighten it, and it slid down again, I am afraid of putting max effort in tightening because it might break. It looks like it will be designated to umbrella duty or BD. By the way, Adorama sent me another reflector and again the hole is not properly aligned. I guess I well have to drill a hole. To bad that Creative Light Speed Ring for Multiblitz I originally bought did not fit because that thing was built like a tank compared to the flashpoint speed ring.

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