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Paul C. Buff informs customers of planned revision to Einstein 640 v2 mount  
Thursday, October 28, 2010 | by Rob Galbraith
Lighting maker Paul C. Buff has sent a message to Einstein 640 v2 customers today, informing them of a flaw in the monolight's mount mechanism that could result in accessories not being held securely. A replacement mechanism is being developed and will be retrofitted to existing Einstein 640 v2 units free of charge when the new mechanism is available. That's expected to be in December.

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Mount Problem: A flaw in the Einstein 640 v2's mount mechanism could result in accessories not being held securely. Click to enlarge (Photo by Rob Galbraith/Little Guy Media)

In addition, the company discovered that the frosted dome over the flash tube of some Einstein 640 v2s was working loose during transport. They've tweaked the manufacturing process so the spring clips holding the dome keep a tighter grip on it, and have also advised customers how they can check and adjust the clips too.

The rubber band solution

For one of the problems - the mechanism losing tension and releasing slightly, particularly if the speedring twists on the mount - the company recommends a low-tech workaround: run a rubber band from each quick release lever to the umbrella screw. This places additional locking tension on the mount mechanism. We experimented with this earlier in the week and it actually does a good job of keeping the levers in their engaged position.

A related problem, however, that's seemingly not helped by the rubber band solution is the shape of the fingers and the fact that a speedring can wiggle past them, even with the rubber bands in place. We had a softbox fall from an Einstein 640 v2 several days ago, and found subsequently that the rubber band trick wouldn't have helped because the problem in this instance wasn't with the mechanism releasing. It was combination of a moderately heavy softbox, held at a slightly downward angle on a boom arm, exerting enough pressure on the upper fingers that when the boom was moved it effectively shook the softbox past the fingers and off the mount.

This was at a real shoot so there wasn't time to figure out the cause. But in a later re-staging of the mishap, with strong rubber hands tethered to both levers, the softbox came off again and the levers didn't appear to release at all.

So, we'd suggest you go one step beyond Paul C. Buff's official recommendation and also run a tether between the umbrella screw and the speedring itself, at least with heavier modifiers that might also get shifted around once placed on the light. The tether you choose for this job ought not to be a rubber band or anything else elastic. Try a velcro strap or a run of heavy picture-hanging wire or a boot lace or whatever else you have on hand that's got some strength to it.

Also note if you're mounting one of Paul C. Buff's 7 inch, 8.5 inch or 11 inch reflectors, neither of these workarounds should be necessary since it's all but impossible for these to work themselves free from the light. The problem is with certain speedrings and/or with heavier modifiers including softboxes and beauty dishes.

More information is in the message to Einstein 640 v2 customers below and in an October 25 update to our Einstein 640 v2 article (you'll find the relevant info about halfway down the page).

Service Notice

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dear Einstein Customer,

We appreciate your extended patience with us throughout this process of releasing our highly advanced Einstein flash unit. Whenever something as new and innovative as this comes along, there are inevitable bumps in the road with the initial production runs.

Even if you have not experienced any problems with your unit, we want you to know about any problems that any users have experienced, and we want you to know our plans to correct them.

1. Please be aware that sometimes the fit of the frosted dome cover can become loose in transit and require tightening of the four spring clips that hold the dome to the faceplate in order to ensure that the dome is secure. If you find that the fit of the dome on your Einstein unit is loose, please follow the instructions in the attached PDF document to tighten the spring clips.

2. In the last few days, we have discovered that the quick-release levers are not functioning completely as designed on some units. Upon immediate investigation, we determined that the production parts that we received for the cam assembly are different from the samples that we originally received and approved for the assembly. This is an error on the part of our vendor and has forced us to take significant corrective action.

The immediate result of this error is that the two quick-release levers on either side of the faceplate that are used to control the holding fingers are not holding some faceplate accessories (such as softboxes and beauty dishes) as securely on the unit as they should. While you may not have experienced this issue, it is of paramount importance to us to ensure the security of any accessories that you place on the faceplate of your Einstein unit.

We are working quickly to get new cam assemblies made, and will replace the cam assembly on your Einstein unit as soon as they become available. We have ordered the molds to be reworked and expect replacement cam parts on or around December 3, 2010.

We regret having to ask for your continued patience after you have already waited so long but we have no choice. But, as always, our goal is to do everything humanly possible to make sure our customers are completely happy with the performance of our products and that we bear all costs of assuring the very best performance and customer satisfaction.

Until we are able to replace your cam assembly, we do have a temporary solution. It isn’t pretty and to be honest, we’re embarrassed to have to offer it, but we’re doing our best to roll up our sleeves and be creative in order to keep you up and running while we work quickly to fix the problem in the long term.

Temporarily, you can use two rubber bands to better secure the quick-release lever. Please see the attached PDF document for instructions. We will be sending you a total of 6 black rubber bands in the mail for your convenience. These will be mailed to you in the next week. If you wish to go ahead and get some of your own, you can get two 3.5” x 0.5” bands locally.

We will contact you again when we are ready to replace your cam assembly and hope that this solution works for you in the meantime. If you have any questions, please call our Customer Service team on our Toll Free line at 1-800-443-5542. We’re here Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00pm, CST.

Thank you!

Paul C. Buff, Inc
2725 Bransford Ave.
Nashville, TN 37204
www.paulcbuff.com
info@paulcbuff.com
800-443-5542
615-383-3982


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