In a world filled with portable speedlights and 3200 watt power packs, photographers might overlook another critical feature of their studio lights: flash duration. Basically flash duration is the time your strobe light contributes to the exposure of your photograph (flash actually can act as "constant light"). Earlier this year, we posted about Broncolor's flash duration compared to Profoto, but how does a much cheaper strobe like the Einstein compare? The results are pretty remarkable!
View Jaroslav's full results on his blog.
While the Einstein still doesn't compare in power to the Profoto Pro-8 Air or the Broncolor Scoro A4S, it wipes the floor with the fastest t1 Flash Duration of the three. And while the other two setups start at around $13,000, the P.C. Buff Einstein can be had for about $700!
We here at Fstoppers use both PC Buff Einsteins and Profoto Airs, and nothing compares to the quality of the Profoto stuff. That being said, it's so nice to throw a couple Einsteins in the back of your car and not worry about breaking the bank if they get destroyed by sand or water from a beach shoot. Back when we did the indoor studio wakeboard shoot, I used Dynalites which are not known for their fast flash duration. You can check out the full video to see how I lit the final images, but here is an example of what a slow flash duration will do to fast moving water. You can see how some of the slower water is perfectly sharp but the moving water drops have little tails caused by the Dynalite's longer flash duration.
If you want to read more about flash duration especially relating to these Einstein units, check out Rob Galbraith's indepth article.