Friday, September 2, 2011

Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 Lightning Review

So I begin my adventures in studio lighting with an Einstein 640 by Paul C. Buff. At $500 it seems like a steal for all the features you get compared to some of the other more expensive brands available. If you've already invested in a PocketWizard system, then throw in an MC2 at $99 (which is significantly cheaper than a PocketWizard transceiver) and you're almost ready to start snapping some pictures! The Einstein doesn't come with a light modifier, so I bought a soft silver 64" PLM. Additionally I bought Vagabond Min Inverter for portable power on the go.

I was immediately able to test out the Einstein in the field.  Yesterday I completed a photo shoot of a hotel here in Las Vegas for Groupon.  I knew this would be a great opportunity to test out my new toy.  The Einstein packs a lot of power.   Combined with the 64" PLM, it definitely throws out a lot of light.  Here's a sample of one of the pictures I took with the Einstein providing all my lighting.

Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 Lighting Example

As you can see, it nicely fills the room and easily kills the light coming through the window, allowing the details outside the window to become visible.  There's some minor shadowing in the left of the picture which I probably could have fixed with a reflector.  Additionally, you can see the PLM in the bottom right picture frame hanging on the wall.  I could have fixed that using the White Diffusion Fabric available from Paul C. Buff, but in this case, a little bit of photoshop will be used to swap out the picture frame.

One of the really nice features of the Einstein is the digital power control on the back panel.  You get up to 9 stops of power, adjustable in 1/10 increments.  Plus that fact that the MC2 pretty much makes this a plug-n-play light, you really can't go wrong!

Like I said at the beginning, this is my first real studio light.  I've got a lot to learn, but it's so nice to have a tool like the Einstein 640 at my disposal now.  I definitely see one more in my immediate future, and a third as I fully progress into portrait work.  But right now, armed with my SB800 on a stand with an umbrella reflector, a set of PocketWizards, and my Einstein, I can handle a good number of lighting situations.  I feel I have a great platform to hone my strobe skills.

Soft Silver Parabolic Light Modifier

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