Elinchrom D-Lite RX One Review

10 Comments
RX One Review Richard Terborg

Short version:
I wish I knew about this flash sooner.
As a speedlighter looking for a little more studio kick, this little light weight Elinchrom Flash is very awesome!!! Cheaper than a brand speedlight (like canon 430/580ex ii, nikon sb900), able to use Elinchrom/Rotalux light accessories, able to bring the flash power down very low so you can shoot at f2.8 in the studio and get that beautiful Elinchrom quality of light.
Every speedlighter who is looking into getting a studio set should take closer look at this.


Long version:
About a few months ago, I was looking to upgrade my kit with some extra studio lights.
I have always been a big fan of speedlighting and also own a Elinchrom BXRi 500 studio flash.
I was looking for something cheap, in the 100 to 400 watt lines.
Because I wanted to use it as extra environment fill light on sets.
While browsing reviews on Falcon Eyes and Menik flashes, I came across the new D-Lite series from Elinchrom.
And the newly introduced studio flash de “D-Lite RX One”.

What I could find, was that it’s a:
– 100watt flash, which is about twice the power of a brand speedlight.

It an Elinchrom! Which means:
– Elinchrom quality of light, this is hard to explain. But Elinchrom has its own quality type of light.
– Built-in Skyport receiver for Wireless Radio triggering.
– Wireless Remote Control of flash power settings, modelling lamp on/off, Speed sync mode and triggering.
– Elincrhom lights come with a built-in wireless receiver and a Elinchrom Skyport Speed Trigger. This means you don’t have to buy a separate triggering system.
– Automatic temperature controlled ventilation. The fans kick in automatically.
– The ability to use Elinchrom accessories and Rotalux softboxes up to 135 cm.

Other nice features:
– Pre-flash detector system to enable the use of D-Lite ONE RX with speedlights.
– Power Auto-dump. So you can change the power setting and shoot without having to dump the last setting first.
– Visual Flash Confirmation option. The modelling lamp comes on to confirm the flash has been triggered.
– Programmable ready beep function. It can be adjusted to beep in different tones when the flash unit is ready.
– At a price point that was cheaper then a brand speedlight.

Was I reading this right?

After the initial shock of “I need this!” comes the: “But which one do I need!”

I’ll walk you through what I look for. It is basically best value for the money.

Packages
– D-Lite RX ONE Unit Only
– 2 D-Lite RX ONE , 2 Umbrella’s
– 2 D-Lite RX ONE , 2 Softboxes
the 2 packages include:
1x Tube Bag – Compacts
2x Tripod 88 – 235 cm
1x Tripod Carrying Bag
1x Sky-port Trigger

RichardTerborg_rxone1

Which One??
Buying the “Unit Only” wouldn’t be very useful out of the box if you don’t have any Elinchrom/Rotalux Light Modifiers yet.
Bare the unit would still need an umbrella, reflector, or any other light modifier to use.
I do have a couple of umbrellas and softboxes, but then I would still need the light stands, carrying bag etc.
So I did a quick math on all the individual products in the package excluding the Units, and I saw that buying the package the flash unit would be even cheaper than the unit only price.
So it came down to the packages and I choose for the softbox version. I love the light control of a softbox more than of an umbrella but that’s a different post.

Thoughts
The build quality of the unit is solid.
It is however very light weight. Almost the same weight as the canon 580 ex ii.
Because of its light weight it might feel a little flimsy when attaching it to a softbox.
But the connection to the softbox is very sturdy and solid, it has the Elinchrom double lock system.
You rotate the modifier in place and you feel it click, then it has another slider connection that will lock and keep the softbox in-place.
The length is almost a speedlight, so you’ll be able to fit a few of these in your camera bag. Unless your camera bag is piling out already… like mine!

Except for the on/off switch all the buttons are embedded and have a soft touch pad. Like all Elinchrom flashes I’ve used so far.

The flash power goes in increments from 1/10th.
The flash power is adjustable with the supplied El-Skyport Wireless trigger or with the buttons on the back of the unit. I just use the trigger.
You can also turn the modeling light on/off via Skyport Wireless trigger.

But what I really love! You can set the units to their lowest power setting, which brings them in the speedlight range.
And gives me the ability to shoot in wide open apertures of f1.4-2.8 without having to use an ND filter in the studio or on location.
This changed them from being just fill lights to full blown normal studio lights with just a little less power.

Shooting at full power the recycle time is a bit longer than I’m used to from the BXRi 500.
But still faster than my speedlights on full power. And I could still shoot at about f8 – f16 on my canon 7d and have enough light coming in from these little guys.
I’ve also used them outside in the full high noon sun; they had no problem. And I wasn’t even on the highest power setting.

The package supplied softboxes aren’t top of the line but they aren’t bad ether.
They let through that beautiful quality of light and have good enough control on light spill. Personally, I love bigger softboxes. But that being said! I’ve fallen in love with these.
These are harder to setup then the octabox click system they have in the higher end products.
But after a while you get used to setting them up, or you just leave them setup.

Ready Beep sound has different settings; long beeps, short beeps, pulsed beeps.
This means you can set every unit to a different one and have an audible confirmation which one is ready.

The modeling light intensity is adjustable.
I’ve used the modeling light as video lights a few times. Not ideal but with a good white balance on your camera still very usable.

You need a power outlet to operate the Unit. It has a power cable running from it which you can detach.
You can attach these to a battery pack. Because it’s only a 100watts, you wouldnt need a big pack.

The ventilation fans do kick in pretty fast and you can hear it! The first few times I noticed it, but now I don’t anymore so you get used to it pretty fast too.

The specs say it can only have modifiers up to 135cm. I haven’t tried using it on a bigger softbox yet.
The 135cm limit usually means they can’t guarantee the unit will hold the full weight of a bigger softbox.
However, I’ve seen this limit before and by resting a bigger softbox on the floor or something and letting the light just hang in place. It’s still possible to fill a bigger box.
But don’t try this at home! :)

Conclusion:
All in all, I really like them and was very pleasantly surprised!
I take them out in the studio and location more often than my BXRi now. And they are so light weight, easy to carry. You can throw them in all kinds of corners and they give that very beautiful light.I wish I knew about them sooner!

Shots! with Canon 7d. Different lenses.

RichardTerborg_rxone2
RX One on a Rotalux 100CM Deep Octa coming from model right top. Canon 430 EX II with gell behind model as Rim. Speedlight + RX One test.

RX One Sun test
Both RX One’s in the supplied package softboxes. Up high camera left and right. You can see them just peeking in his sunglasses. High Noon Test.

RichardTerborg_rxone1-4
Both RX One’s in the supplied package softboxes. One Behind the plastic pointing towards me. One camera right just out of frame pointing at my face. Both softboxes test.

RichardTerborg_rxone1-5
Both RX One’s in the supplied package softboxes coming from behind the model left and right. Both as Rim test.

10 Comments

  1. Marc says:

    Hi Richard, nice review.

    I also want to buy Elinchrom studio strobes and I doubt the d-lite one, d-lite 2 or d-lite 4.
    Now I use mainly strobe flashes. what I wonder is what is the best option for light your model and a white background. can you light your (white) background 2.5 or 3 stops higher with one d-lite one than your main light? And what f-stop will your main light be? And what iso setting do you use most when you use the d-lite one units?

    or can you better choose one d-lite one for main light and a d-lite 4 for your background light?

    Thanks, Marc

  2. Marc says:

    Hoi Richard, zie nu pas dat je uit Nederland komt hahaha hoop dat mijn vraag in het Engels goed is overgekomen, ben niet zo sterk in het Engels schrijven.

    Groet, Marc

  3. Jaap Verhoeven says:

    Hallo Richard, dank voor de heldere review. Ik zit te kijken naar een flitsset. Amateur gebruik, thuisstudiootje, portretwerk of produktfototgrafie. Zit te denken over de One. Aan te bevelen? Of zou je me iets anders aanraden?

  4. Cunha says:

    I´m on the market for lights/speedlights/strobes for my work indoors and outdoors. Macro work and portrait/general work.
    I completely agree that one of theses kits is much more a value than Canon speed lights like 580/600 series.
    Three very important doubts I´ve (thanks in advance for your help):
    1.
    will this work with macro work indoors; my tricky macro lens is the Canon MP-E 65mm (a big light eater).

    2.
    You wrote “You can attach these to a battery pack. Because it’s only a 100watts, you wouldnt need a big pack.”
    Elinchrom says this ONE kit ins´t meant to work with batteries ,-(
    I ask you: which battery pack (for outdoor use)? Brand and model?

    3.
    Are you sure I can use these strobes with apertures in manual or Av mode with lens as fast as f/1,4 or f/2,8 and of course other apertures?

    Thank you so much for the article and further help.
    Regards,
    Cunha

    https://www.facebook.com/Cunha.Atelier

    • Hi, how cool!
      1. I dont know that macro lens. But its a 100watt flash. Which is twice as much as a speedlight. Macro shouldnt be much of a problem. Depening on what f stops your working on, and how close you can place the lights.

      2. Batterypacks like Godox LP-800x or the Tronix Explorer XT SE.

      3. Dont quite undestand this one. You can use the flashes with any lens you want. But you can stop down to f1.4 and 2.8 yes. I wouldnt do it in AV. Because you dont have control over your shutter then. And you wouldnt want your shutter to go above its maximum flash speed.

  5. Mark says:

    Leuke informatieve review. Ik vraag me alleen af welke ISO waarde en afstanden je hebt gebruikt om tot het het resultaat van f/8 tot f/16 te kunnen komen met de RX One.

    • Dankjewel. Misschien moet ik wel mijn foto meta er ook maar bij gaan zetten. Ik zit nooit boven de ISO400. Dat trekt me camera niet. Maar zat volgens mij op ISO200 met die waardes.

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