The Phottix Indra 500 TTL · DEDPXL

I have this dream of getting my photography gear simplified to a bag of cameras and a bag of lights. Right now I have two bags of cameras. That’s a Phase One bag and a Fuji bag. If my dream digital medium format camera is ever made I might be able to get it down to one bag. For now, though, my cameras are set. My attention has now been placed on my bag of lights. Currently, I have three bags of lights. I’ve gotten to this point in a very slow and methodical way through the years. It’s been quite organic really, but now it’s getting out of hand and I need to prune this all back and simplify my gear.

My first bag is for hotshoe flash. It holds four LumoPro LP180 flashes and various hotshoe accessories. I don’t think I’ll ever get rid of hotshoe flashes in my life but at the moment I’m not using four of them at any one time. Two is all I need when I really think about it. So there are two lights I can shave from my kit.

My next bag of lights is the one holding my two Elinchrom Quadra kits. I have two packs and two heads and I absolutely adore these lights. I fell in love with the Quadras when I first saw them introduced at PhotoPlus. If I am really honest, I bought the Quadras more out of want than need. I already owned a good kit of AlienBee gear complete with Vagabond 2 batteries. Here’s the deal:

AlienBees are like the base model
Toyota Corolla of lights.

They’re solid dependable little econoboxes that do the job. At some point in your life, though, you’d like something a little nicer. Something with a better fit and finish to it. Something that doesn’t have a f*cking cartoon character painted on the side of it. You know what I mean? You work your ass off for ten years and you’d like step up from the Corolla to a nice used Lexus or something. Quadras are a nice used Lexus? I guess. My metaphor is falling apart.

Lastly there’s my big Think Tank Logisitics Manager bag that holds most of my AlienBee gear. I have two 1600’s, two Einsteins, and one 400. Look — AlienBee lights are great. They aren’t the most consistent. They aren’t the prettiest. They don’t have the best fit and finish. But damn it, they are solid lights and I have yet to see anyone top Paul C. Buff’s customer service department. They really do have the finest customer service in the entire photography industry. There’s all sorts of great things to say about them but damn it all… I’ve been at this game for awhile now and I want some better lights. I want better construction. I want a more secure mounting system.


Speaking of mounting systems, this is the main reason why I’m working on finding one system to rule them all. When you buy lights you are buying into a system. The system includes power options, speedrings, triggers, etc. Some things are universal while other things are proprietary and you have to decide what’s going to work for you today and down the road. I feel I’ve gotten to the end of the road with the Alienbees. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt I’d reached the max potential with lights; I thought when I bought my Quadra system I’d start moving to a full Elinchrom line of gear but, in reality, I just like the Quadras the best and not the rest of their line.

I have looked at all the lights out there. Name the strobe and I’ve considered it. Profoto, Broncolor, Bowens, Godox, Dynalite, etc. This is what I know — I want to stay with monolights, I would like a triggering system that can control manual power settings from the camera position; I want battery power options as well as an AC option for work in the studio; I want a secure mounting system for modifiers; I want there to be plenty of third party accessories available so I’m not stuck with one company’s modifiers. I’m willing to invest in a system but I can’t sell the farm to buy the cow.

So for lack of an idea on which way to go, I just kept plugging along with my hodgepodge set of gear. Until a year ago when I was ushered down a hallway and shown the prototype of the Indra 500. I asked for a review unit as soon as they could send one to me and I now have that review unit.


To be honest, Phottix was never on my radar. I know they have been growing as a company and they have been producing some great gear lately, but I wasn’t expecting this 500 watt second monolight. As soon as I picked up the Indra I was intrigued. The size, weight, and over all feel of the head is fantastic*. It’s far more solid of a unit than an AlienBee or Einstein.

I love that they went with the Bowens mount as it’s one of my favorite mounts out there and I wish everyone just went with this mount. There are a ton of third party options out there for the Bowens mount and when mounted, the modifier sits inside of the head thus sealing that area from light spilling out. That’s something that’s always been a pain with AlienBees. I keep gaff tape on hand to cover that gap from a modifier to an AlienBee body because light is always spilling out of there.

While the Indra has TTL capabilities for Canon and Nikon and transmitters that do all of that TTL witchcraft, they currently do not have a universal transmitter for manual control of the light from any other system like a Fuji, Sony, Phase, etc. However, from what I understand they are working on that. For me that’s a key part of the system that I want as I move forward. One main system of lights. One, and only one, trigger to rule and control them all. I am done with sync cords. Give me strobes AND flashes that can be triggered and controlled with one transmitter on my camera and I will be a happy photographer.

The Indra, in my initial testings, runs anywhere from 1/3rd to 2/3rd’s of a stop less power output at full power than an AlienBee 1600 or the Einstein. I’ve found the more efficient a light modifier is the less of a difference in power output. That makes me pause for a moment but it’s not a deal killer by any stretch of the imagination for me.

To conclude: I am really impressed with this light. I can’t believe how nice of a light this thing is. With a starting price of $1,200 it might seem expensive, but when you compare it to a Quarda kit or the Profoto B1 you’ll quickly see that it’s quite affordable in this segment of the market.

If I had to do it over again today I would choose the Phottix over the Quadra. The reason I would choose it over the Quadra is due to the better build quality, smaller and lighter battery, and all for less money. It does cost a good bit more than an AlienBee but once you hold the thing in your hand you see why. The fit and finish is far superior. I need to spend some more time with the Phottix and I really want to see how their universal trigger works. If that brings the whole system together then I will most likely be cleaning house on my lights and building one cohesive system.

I’ll leave you with a test shot I made last week of my friend Kate. I wanted to make sure the Indra could sync at high shutter speeds and I’m pleased to announce that it can. This image of Kate was shot at 1/1600th of a second on the Phase One camera. The modifier used was the Phottix collapsible beauty dish. It’s really more of a small Octa than a beauty dish but it’s quite nice really when used in close like a dish. I could see myself using this modifier a lot and it’s a snap to set up.



We shot this for the original Indra review video that we subsequently blew the audio on. It was ok but it wasn’t great. We ditched that video and made the one you see above. Ugh. Sometimes video just makes me want to curl up in a corner, pet a kitten, and cry.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Hit me up in the comments below and I’ll do my best to get back to you!


*Editor’s note :: that’s what she said.


Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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  1. Kevin

    Great video. The “I’m doing that part over Caleb” at the end is very Beatlesque.

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  2. Louis Leib

    Can you tell what a complete 2 light setup will cost? Thanks Z

  3. Jerry

    Your videos are so many things and none of them are “dull”.
    Enjoyable and informative. Thanks

  4. The Right Honorable DH

    Well, about that f’n cartoon on the Bees? Turns out you can peel them off. It’s just a big fat f’n sticker.
    And when you consider that you can buy a 400 or 800 or I don’t know maybe a 1600 for less than the price of a Canon speed light, you realize what a deal they are. I just added an Einstein to my kit, and like it a lot. But rarely need that much power and often bring just a 400 and a couple of speed lights and i’m set. Fit and finish? Fuggedaboudit. They have all the polish of a, of a, well you know what I mean. Paul C. Buff won’t be designing anything for Apple, it’s safe to say.

    That Phottix is sweet looking but, man on man Zackaroonie, it ain’t cheap. Not. At. All. 2 for $2400? 3 for $3600? What am I, a Greek shipping magnate? (Arias, that’s Greek, right? are you hiding something?) Phottix, schmotix. Buh-bye, not buy-buy.

    The einstein is a bit heavy and i found the display hard to read outdoors on a bright sunny day, but I do find the quality of the light really nice, nicer (I think) than the ‘Bees.

    Love the look of the phottix, have never seen one, enjoy em!

    Yours truly,

    • The Right Honorable DH

      last line: Have never seen one IN PERSON.

  5. Doug

    What’s not to like about the big elinchrom rangers? Remote manual power control? Check. TONS of power? Check. Dials way down? Check. Build quality? Box of bricks, solid. Mount? Eh, not awesome, not awful. The batteries are TOUGH to kill. I’m shooting Nikon and Hasselblad, and save for long days at 50 ISO, it’s tough to kill those suckers, and spare batteries are not bad at $250.

    • Doug

      Modeling lamp is a bit lame too though.

    • Zack Arias

      How are they as plug in the wall studio lights with good modeling lights?

      • Doug

        True but that’s literally the one weakness.

    • Jesse Starr

      I absolutely despise the Elinchrom speedring mount. I just swapped out all of my Elinchroms for Profoto B1s because the elinchrom speedring system is awful on both the modifier and light side. I’ve spent more time dealing with speedrings that wont sit in the light than I’d care to remember.

      Profoto speedrings are a dream by comparison. Simple clamp that can be attached at different points along the head for modifying the output.

      Bowens mount is a close second but doesn’t have the zoom capability of Profoto.

  6. Frank Grygier

    Going 100% Phottix. Indra & their Speedlights with one trigger system sounds right me. Zack maybe you could auction of your Pocket Wizards. I would buy the one that never works the first time out!

    • John Helms

      I agree w/ the one system – over a year ago I started selling a dozen or fifteen Nikon SB’s and my rock solid Bowens transceivers to move to Phottix Mitros+ units (similar to the 600ex, built in radio TX/RX). With the Phottix Odin setup, I could throw a receiver on my studio strobes (EC Quadras, coincidentally) and be good to go.

      What left me wanting was total control at the camera, I love the Phottix interface, TTL is cool but I use it rarely, HSS/hypersync/overdrive tuning is definitely a plus for me. Earlier this year I needed more studio lights w/ portability. Ordered 2 1600’s and 2 Einsteins. Loved that I could tag them with a Phottix receiver, HATED that I couldn’t control the power from the camera. Had a pw setup that should control the einstein, but didn’t like the interface and didn’t like losing the Phottix Mitros+ controlability if I needed to mix those w/ strobes.

      BRING ON THE INDRA, now that it is on the scene, I returned the 4 Buff units and ordered 4 Indras / packs / ac cables / etc. and absolutely cannot wait to get them on hand.

      Quick note on the Quadra mounting system, I cannot get these things to hold a semi-large modifier. Their umbrella holder is ~7mm whereas all my brolly boxes, umbrellas, etc. seem to be 8mm thick, and when I mount a softbox on it w/ speedring it drags it neck down until it’s resting on the lightstand. So I’m stuck at 45′-ish and that is limiting.

  7. Tor Ivan Boine (@TIBoine)

    Yeah. The indra’s looks great. The Indra will be my first strobe after using two speedlights for years.

    I also looked at the Quadra, Profoto and einsteins.
    The main thing (except from price) was that I wanted a system that could play nice with others. And in my case, speedlights. I bought the Odin triggers a month ago with a couple of receivers for my speedlights. which I got for $270.
    So now I can control my speedlights and the indra from my camera. yay.

    this wouldnt be possible with the other systems, only if I had spent 3-4 times more on fancy triggers. oh and Paul C Buff doesn’t seel outside the US.

    Phottix recently announced that they’re coming with Indra 360TTL lights with a smaller battery pack. priced at $800 or so.

    I ordered the indra500 almost two months ago. Hope I’ll get it next week.

    I also looked at Adorama’s rove lights. 640ws with integrated battery like the profoto for half the price of the indra. but too many compromises for me.
    The Indra has almost no compromises. Except maybe for the hss function. that it just pulses lots of times like a speedlight, instead of one big blink.

    • Bokeh

      Once you understand how a focal plane shutter mechanism works, you’ll realize that ‘multiple pulses’ of the flash unit is the ONLY was HSS is possible…

      • Alex

        These cheapo Jinbei 600/FLASHPOINT – RoveLight RL-600 do use one big long blink, i.e. don’t lose power on HSS.

  8. Mark Zelinski

    @Zack Is high speed synch controlled thru the Phottix? Would I be able to sync an xt1 above 1/180th. If so, this is huge!!!

    • Mark Zelinski

      Also, I see Canon, Nikon and Sony compatibility on their site. Do the controls work on Fuji?

      • Zack Arias

        Not at the moment.


        • Ryan Rowell

          Hey Zack, I just started emailing Phottix support asking for them to implement the center pin on their odin system so I can use it with fuji. However they emailed back saying “The Indra500 and the Odin are not compatible with the Fuji, only with Canon or Nikon systems. So far no plans to make it compatible with Fuji. Thank you.” I have emailed again requesting just the firmware update for only the center pin so I can use my older Canon film cameras, don’t know where this will go but I was unhappy to get that response. I hope you’re response was from a higher up. Also thanks for the review, I have to agree the indra is a wonderful strobe.

  9. Earle

    Nice overview. Though between your observations on the power and initial observations over at Flashhavoc that the CononMk 400 watt battery unit appears to pack slightly more punch than the Indra 500, it’s looking like the 500 watt rating is more aspiration than actual. The 360 watt version alluded to elsewhere in the comments are even more intriguing (though I figure they’ll be closer to 300 watts).

    Hopefully you’re continued testing will show that these can indeed be the one light you need to consolidate your load.

  10. Csaba Molnar

    Do you have any advice for people with limited budget? I got 3 Nikon lights, been using them for over 3 years. Now that I started using the x100t, I’m looking for a system, possibly a step-up (wider selection of accessories, modeling light, etc.) but affordable. I’d love to have manual power control from camera position.

    I considered Godox. I could replace the Nikon speedlights with 2 Godox Ving flashes, and get rid of battery management headaches. I don’t think I need more than 2, still lots to learn. I ran into situations where more power would have been nice, so adding a wistro type light later is an option. And they also have some studio lights – all using the same triggering system. What are your thoughts on Godox? Are there any gotchas with Godox that we should be aware of?

  11. Kipp Baker (@MrPixure)

    Inescapable logic; automotive metaphor works. All is understood (My own research, logic and value criteria feel validated, not undermined). Great stuff. Thx for all you do!…and how you bring vision to sight.

    • Zack Arias

      I never Met a phor I didn’t like! 🙂


  12. ScottDonald

    I have been following a similar evolution. Well, actually, I started with hot lights, then strobes, now mono lights. Currently, have 2 Einsteins, 2 AB800 and 1 AB400. I have had occasion to use other photog’s ProFoto B1’s and understand your point of “fit and finish”. When I’m shooting a client I don’t know, I could see them having more faith in me if I was setting up with PorFotos vs Paul C. Buff.

    HOWEVER, when it comes to quality of light. I haven’t seen quality that is double and triple that of Paul C. Buff’s light. Yet the prices are double and triple and up.

    My advice for folks starting out would be to go Paul C. Buff. Learn the craft, adding lights to a full set. Then if you are successful enough to fund upgrade to new system, then more power to you. However, for those starting out, it is better to get the Einstein and learn all different types of modifies (which you can afford since the base flash is so much more affordable). The difference between your shot with Einstein and a pro using ProFoto or other higher grade flash is NOT the flash but your craft skills (at least 99.3478% of the time that statement is dead on true).

  13. Robbert

    I have to agree with you that the Indras are very impressive, but still rather bulky. I have been shooting with the Cononmk K4T lately and this really impressed me. Ok, there is no Bowens, but this is the reason why they are so small and light. The head itself is barely any bigger than a speedlight but packs TTL HSS 400WS… Did I also mention they are cheaper?

    • Keano

      Ok. You got my attention. These look fantastic but how good does the TTL work? Do you use a nikon? Do you find it over or underexposes in TTL?

      Is the HSS long flash type? They sell a bowens mount at B&H for this I saw also! Give me the good and the bad LOL.

      • Robbert Dijkstra

        TTL works well, within 1/3 of a stop to what I would expect from a speedlite. TTL is not always perfect, so don’t expect 100% performance (no TTL system is 100%). Using a D800 and I am loving it.

  14. marcin wuu

    I got hooked on Bowens Gemini monoblock series. They have those huge big knobs with large distinct lettering for light power control, that’s located on the side, not on the back. Just think about how brilliant this is, especially if you’re shooting with lights high above the sitter. You don’t have to pull the light down to set the power. I don’t know why Bowens is the only manufacturer to do this.

    • Zack Arias

      I agree. I’ve always thought that was a brilliant place to put controls. I had a few Calumet (made by Bowens) lights years ago that had that function. I liked those lights but they were big and heavy for travel and they blew fuses constantly. Sent them in for service and nothing ever changed with them. They were good lights… when the fuses weren’t popping.


  15. Chris

    Can’t believe the AC adapter is extra, and that it looks like it costs $250? Or am I (hopefully) missing something. That’s the only negative point about it then I guess!

    Cheers Zack

    • Tor Ivan Boine (@TIBoine)

      nope. you’re not missing a thing. And it’s $326 over at BHphoto. The Indra should have used the same system as the einstein does. they plug right into the wall without any external adapters.

      But then again, there aren’t many lights like this that even has this option.

  16. Brian Lockamon

    Do you have any first-hand experience with the new Impact Astral Extreme AS-X-400? 400 W-s, Bowens mount, adjustable center of gravity, remote trigger w/ manual power adjustment. Plus, the trigger system works with the new Bolt bare-bulb hotshoe flash (and probably the other Godox clones). They’re really peaked my interest.

    • Michael Greer

      A couple things I don’t get. The side mounted dials and readouts is cool IF they are facing towards camera position. If not, then you have to walk over to the other side to see what the power level is. Readouts on the back have a wider view coverage span.

      Secondly I don’t get the comment about not having to lower the light. Any strobe that allows remote control doesn’t have to be lowered for control. So I’m not clear on what the point is with that statement.

  17. Craig Ferguson

    I love this light. As someone who used hot shoe speedlights almost exclusively, the Indra has slotted straight into my kit and has become my go-to key light, with a couple of Mitros+ if a second light is needed. I brought a review copy home with me from Hong Kong last November, and after testing it for a couple of weeks, put it straight to work on the job. I’ve used it shooting on-location editorial portraits indoors as well as cranking the HSS up and shooting promos on the beach at 1/1600. It’s a great piece of gear, and has a quality of light that works for me.

    Caveat – I’m on the Phottix Pro team and have a pre-release review / testing unit.

    • Michael Cannon

      Dang, I knew I should’ve hooked up with you when I was near Taipei this spring.

  18. JL Williams

    Question: is the getting-the-battery-out-of-the-head thing really that big an advantage? If not, why wouldn’t the savvy shopper buy a Dynalite Baja B4 at about half the price of the Indra? I’m not advocating, I really am asking…

    • B Cook

      Does that do HSS and TTL? If not then those two features significantly increase the price of any monolight. Look at the price of Profoto’s B1 compared to this. For a quality light with those features you have to shell out the bucks.

      • JL Williams

        That’s a good point, and is exactly the kind of info I’m trying to find out.

        However, if I read correctly, Zack uses Phase 1 and Fuji, and I use Olympus and Fuji. I don’t know about the Phase 1, but as far as I’ve been able to find out, NO independent flash maker supports HSS and TTL on either the Fuji or Olympus platform.

        So, HSS/TTL is a moot point for me, unless somebody knows of units that offer it with the cameras I use. It would be nice to have, but realistically I’m just hoping for cordless power and remote manual-power control.

  19. sam

    Turns out if you compare the prices to an alienbee to perform at the same level as the phottix indra 500 it’s not that much cheaper.

    B1600-B B1600 Black Studio Flash $359.95
    VM120* Vagabond Mini Lithium 120VAC $239.95
    CC Cyber Commander $179.95
    CSRB+ CyberSync Receiver Plus (battery) $89.95


    No HSS, No TTL but that lets you control the power and be portable (stands not included)

    Indra 500 1200$ with battery and receiver included
    Odin controller 200$

    1400$ OUCH stands not included more ouch

    Less clunky, easier to get around, HSS and TTL included. Not quite as powerful.

    I would love to have HSS, since I hate being stuck at 1/200 on many occasions. more often I want to be at f1.8, f1.4, f2.8, and having a small studio I’m forced to drop my iso well under 100 and get to f8-f16 even on the lowest power and I have to put grids all over my stuff when they could have just made HSS so I could turn my shutter up. Instead of diffracting my images. So I may be joining the Indra500/360 group soon.

  20. Keith

    The Profoto B2’s that just came out make that whole “one mount to rule them all” thing pretty appealing for the low low price of your soul, a kidney, and the pinky toe of your first born, oh, and some money.

    Couple of those, four heads, and a couple B1’s would be the tits. For like umpteen bajillion dollars.

  21. Marcin Petruszka

    Indra sure does look good, but how great would it be if they actually decided to give them a black and white screen (like you made it look like on the video)? Why does it have to be blueish? At least could have gone with green to match the green plastic on the side…

  22. Eivind Rohne

    Just curious…. Have you checked out the Jinbei HD II 600, rebranded as Flashpoint Rovelight 600 by Adorama I think. Seems a lot of bang for the bucks, with high specs and low price.


    • christopher

      I have the Rovelight…
      I can use the HSS with my X100S, and it is great
      For my X-T1 I have to sync at 1/180

      I use the light on Tuesday at a beach wedding and worked great ( wedding was at 3 pm….family photos on the beach at 3:30pm)
      I love that you can control the power setting with the remote on the rovelight 🙂

    • Keano

      I was about to buy one of these last night. I’m stuck as well choosing a sysyem for my first light set up.

      Last night I was about to hit buy on rovelight which I heard does great HSS and the Cheetah 360, 850 flash and accessories. Came out to around $1140.

      I held off because the Indra looks great and the TTL is attractive for on the go shooting. Still it’s 1200+transmitter = $1400. But… I think I’m going to go Rovelight and Cheetah. I want TTL but feel a cheaper option will appear by summer or Indra price will come down.

  23. gregorylent

    i love phottix products, always good, and good service .. ran into them in shanghai and never regretted it

    a strobe company i really like from there is jinbei, also a great company and product

    • keano

      They haven’t responded to one of my emails and it is common if you do a search on forums. Of course at an event they can’t ignore you.

  24. Tor Ivan Boine (@TIBoine)

    Got the Indra yesterday. There seems to be an issue with HSS. I get a bright or a black bar on the bottom of the frame. depending on what shutter speed and/or aperture I use.

    Looks like there’s some problem with synchronization. I hope this is fixable via firmware.

    • Keano

      Are you leaving it in TTL? Controlling everything from the Odin only?

  25. Enrico Quaglia

    Hi Zack : A question.

    I also use a Phase One system (as well as my trusty 5D3 with the Phottix Odin’s). If I were to use the Indra500 with the Phase, will any manual trigger to the job?

    • Rafał Boruch

      Phase One + Phottix Indra = excellent choice 🙂

  26. Trent

    Is it just me, or every time you mention PCB lights you’re actually avoiding Einsteins? AlienBees versus these other flashes. Deep look at the other flashes, brief mention of Einsteins, then straight to AlienBees again. I understand that in a “Corola vs Lexus” discussion 4Runners are somewhat irrelevant, but that’s just unfair to Einsteins 🙂

    • Kenn Rhem

      Seriously Zack. It’s a little disenginuous to hide the einsteins in your bag & point to the bees as if they’re all the company makes (even the Tech person on the Buff forums points people to Einsteins over Bees). That’s not to say that einsteins don’t have issues with build quality. However, E640 + cybercommander is still in many ways better than Indra + Odin. The only ‘real’ disadvantage is ttl/hss which isn’t an issue for a whole lot of people.

      I’d say a real challenge would be to spend time with the E640 + CC and compare that to shooting with Indra + Odin

      • Nick


        Totally agree.

    • Nick

      That’s what I want to say! It’s unfair to E640!

  27. Edd Carlile

    Just gonna stick with my nikon strobes for a bit…1200 bucks aint loose pocket change for me.

  28. michael

    Just got an Indra500. On HSS the color temp is 7000 degrees K, out of spec by 1200 degrees. Have you experienced similar results?

    • Zack Arias

      Haven’t used it in HSS so I can’t report on that.


      • keano

        You need to do follow up TTL in light and dark .With the good and bad results. HSS. HSS and TTL LOL.

  29. Bert McLendon

    Another bonus of these badboys is that they have the Bowens mount which is a million times better than the Alien Bees mount (God I hate that mounting system). Paul C. Buff (may he rest in peace), has the Bowens Speedring Adapters for their foldable softboxes/octaboxes/stripboxes which are pretty amazing for the price.

  30. Michael Greer

    I also shoot a Phase rig. In the shot above captured at 1/1600, how was it triggered?

    • Brad

      Michael, did you find a triggering solution for your Phase One? I just posted below and did not read all the comments before I did.

  31. Michael Greer

    I also agree with Trent. You can’t really lump the Einstein in with the B1600. The comparisons should be the Indra vs. The Einstein, not Indra vs. B1600. I want to upgrade from my Einsteins as well because I’m a lighting slut. But every time I start to seriously consider it, none of the more expensive options do anything for me that the Einsteins don’t do. I shoot Phase gear so until HSS and/or TTL becomes available on that platform, those capabilities mean nothing to me.

    But here’s my BIG issue. The Profoto B1 system currently has a fatal flaw. The trigger doesn’t reveal the power level on the strobe. The Einsteins matched with the Radiopopper Jr2 transmitter is a match made in heaven. The Jr2 shows you clearly where each strobe is set. I hope Phottix is designing a universal remote that reveals the strobe’s power level.

    • keano

      “I hope Phottix is designing a universal remote that reveals the strobe’s power level.”
      So when using the Indra the Odin doesn’t say what level you are at 1/4, 1/16 etc?

  32. Dante

    Is your Phase using a leaf shutter to sync at that speed? I just received my indra500 today– but I can’t get past my usual sync speed on my Leica M system. Any thoughts?

    • Jesus

      As I recall the Leica sync speed is 1/40th (I think). Call Leica and they’ll tell you everything you need to know. But to get any higher you need a transmitter that’s high-speed syn capable. The Odins for example work to higher sync speeds thanks to it being compatible with Nikon, Canon and Sony (still being made a firmware update for it on the Indras).

  33. Jesus

    Wait until you see the Indra 360.

    • keano

      I was talking to the US distributor Phottix in US. He said the 360 will only be a small difference in weight but the battery much smaller.

  34. Keith

    Mr Zack,

    Great Video, I love it and your image in this post. I have been looking for a way to trigger both my studio and small flash with one system and fast power control on camera. It looks like Phottix could be the right fit for me. It will be an expensive change over and I am a bit said to think about selling off the Buff gear with his recent passing and all. (I know it is crazy but I am a bit attached to the Einsteins) I am very interested in any follow up info, if the Indra 500 is still fitting the bill for you. I have one main question. Are you happy with the HSS power to control the sun? Not sure if you have a camera anymore that will work out-side of your phase that will sync fast already.

    Best Regards

  35. Keith Maguire

    Hi Zack,

    I wanted to ask you a quick question regarding the Einsteins. I am pretty much just starting out. I’ve only been shooting for about a year and 9 months. I have been doing this on my own learning via the internet. Unfortunately most photographers where I live simply are not open to mentoring, etc. believe me, I emailed or called pretty much all of the ones that shoot the type of photography I am interested in.
    Looking at my work I feel that I need to step it up with regards to my lights. I am a Fuji shooter and I am seriously considering getting an Einstein Strobe. I have a very cheap strobe now and it works, but I think that a better light, at least for the key light, would help a lot. Do the Einsteins work well with Fuji? What has been your experience with them?

    Thank you!

  36. Anna

    Sensational equipment. Already collect the money 🙂

  37. Mary Grace

    Hi there!
    Thank you for this article!!!
    What did you decide after more time with the Indra?
    I am thinking of getting it over the Quadra but wanted get your updated thoughts. I use Elichrome octa so do want an easy mount! Would much appreciate your thoughts!!!

    Thanks so much in advance!

  38. Joseph

    When you find something that TTL’s with Fuji please let me know, thanks!!
    Big fan!!

  39. Keano

    I just added Mitros+ to my Indra500 happy so far.

  40. Brad

    Zach, I really enjoy your posts and your site. Phottix question please? How did you trigger the Phottix units from the Phase one? I am trying to find a solution that allows me to use my Phottix Mitros and Phase One together. BTW, the Odin transceiver and Mitros for Nikon are really impressive so far. I have actually gone from strobes back to speed lights for my headshots and portraits. Shlepping (is that a word) heavier gear has gotten old. Thanks for any feedback when you have time. Brad

  41. Mark

    OK dammit. I’ve been a big Einstein user, still am. But I too ‘get it’ about wanting something a bit ‘nicer.’ Never considered Phottix strobe stuff. Now I see you stroking your goatee over them. I’m a Pentax 645Z user, so I bought a Priolite 1k HotSync. Pricey? Yup. Heavy? Yup. But a good strobe. BUT if I can shoot HSS with my Z up to 1/4000th with Indras I’ll get a couple. Did you shoot 1/1600th with the Phase’s leaf shutter or does the Indra have a trigger for HSS?

    If you don’t answer I’ll just consider that it’s a Phase/Pentax thing….

  42. Jay Marable

    I recently purchased the Indra 500 and I’m very pleased. I agree that the build quality is indeed great. It toppled over a few times and surprisingly withstood the falls. Only gripe that I have is the diffuser glass that cover the bulb is a bad idea. I broke that first time out. I ordered a replacement but I don’t bother using it. They should make a plastic version in the next build.

    I would love to trigger and control it from my XT1. Hope they come out with one soon.

  43. Damian Vines

    Thank you so much Zach. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’m currently an Einstein user too and have been seeking a system that would allow Hypersync. I use the Phottix Odin system already so this makes a lot of sense. It’ll allow me to still mix and match Speedlights with the Indra when necessary and maintain power and group control over everything with one controller. The Odin is fantastic. I’m really excited for the new ver. II coming out soon (I keep hearing) it’s control layout is so much better than the current version. Great review!

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  45. carlos

    zack thanks for your blog and your comments experiences .. as of today you’re still using as flash fuji sitema, you can put a picture and example model as xt1 with this flash ..

  46. Carlos

    Hey Zack,

    What did you use to trigger the Indra?


  47. jason

    whats your update on these?

  48. Jack

    great equipment, you need to put away money

  49. Anthony Gonzalez

    Zack, I’m interested in the Phottix Indra but want to ask if you have been successful with high speed sync using it paired with the Fujifilm XT1.

  50. Shannon

    I getting into the more professional end of photography. Hopefully no more duct tape and cardboard lights.
    I’m thinking Einstein or Indra500?
    Phottix odin system radios and triggers, never have to change. TTL for shooting little kids who won’t still.
    Main thing, I have no studio so all outside or other people’s homes
    Over powering the sun? Every one says Einstein can, but can Indura 500?

  51. Alex

    Zack, do you use Odin triggers with Indra? If so, am I right to understand, that on Fuji it will not trigger at all (mine is not triggering)?

  52. John

    Does the Indra fit in the Apollo 28″?

  53. Deirdre

    Hey there!
    I was just at my local camera store, and they showed me this unit. I read your post a long time ago. So to see it in person was cool.
    I’m currently using old Dynalite D805 pack with 2 D heads and M heads hooked up to it with the adapters. I do have an M power supply as a pack up as well.

    But, my buddies at Dynalite here in NJ can no longer service my older heads and power supply.

    I’m at a crossroads…

    Interestingly the model light is the same on the Dynalite Bajas as this light and also use Bowens mounted gear. Hmmmm …

    The Bajas while a bit larger, their batteries are contained in the units, but are not TTL…yet. And the price of the Bajas for 2 costs the same as 1 Indra.

    So I need to see…

  54. Laurie Wahlig

    I think other people have asked but now that you have owned the Indra for a year can you give a follow up opinion. Currently looking to find something to replace my speedlights which I love but something with more power, HSS, modeling light and ac/dc power. Thanks so much

    • Mark

      The Godox AD600 line of strobes are wonderful

  55. Trish

    AFAICT you’ve corveed all the bases with this answer!

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  57. Mohammad

    Hi Zack,

    how did you trigger the indra500 during your trip to morocco ? i have the fujifilm x-t1 and i would like to use them with the indra500.

    please advise, thanks !

  58. Tim Camuso

    So more than a year later how do you feel about the Phottix Induras? I am considering these as well and am a little concerned that getting them repaired in the US (if necessary) might be difficult. I have also heard some concerns about color consistency.


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  61. Klaas

    I am one of the first owners of the Indra 500 system in the Netherlands and never got the TTL to work properly with my Odin Trigger.

    On manual everything is mostly fine, but on TTL the Indra500 is 95% of the time out of sync. The flash fires, but the image is still dark. Also you don’t hear the ready beep after the failing shot. When you hear the beep you know it was in sync. But then it is most of the time way way way to bright.

    So working manual is fine, but TTL is useless. And let’s not talk about Phottix customer service…there is none…

    To answer some questions in advance:
    – Yes the Indra500 is ready to fire when the TTL fales
    – Yes I tried it on 3 camera’s
    – Yes all contacts are clean
    – Yes the Odin and the Indra got the latest firmware

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  65. Anthony Jackson

    So Zack how do you sync up the phottix light and your fuji? I am looking into getting a second light but am thinking about a studio stobe. I too shoot fuji most of the time and want to make sure this will work for me before buying

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  69. Tim Heffernan

    Good review. I too started started with ABs, the Cyber Commander and receivers. Hate the modifier mounting system. Also want to be able to mix and match studio strobes with speedlights and be portable. The last year or so I’ve been using the Phottix Odin II TTL/HSS(canon) transmitter with the LumoPro LP180R(Phottix Odin receiver built in) and loving this set up. Complete control of the lights from on camera with 5 groups, can mix TTL and manual per group. Fantastic stuff… however have wanted to add a studio strobe to the mix for more power, especially for on location and overpowering the sun. The Indra seems to fit the bill. I can add one to my set up and have a more powerful strobe as my key light and use my LumoPro speedlites for fill, accents, etc. Pulling the trigger this week.

  70. Brent Ross

    Hi Zack, I really appreciate your content on this stuff. I’m a fledgeling, pro photographer shooting on Fuji (mainly portraits and headshots) and trying to figure out my lighting acquisition roadmap. I’ve got a couple of LP180s and a Cactus RF60, all being triggered by Cactus triggers, and I’m hoping to get to HSS capability soon. The Cactus V6ii trigger appears to be unreliable at best from what I’m seeing in the reviews, and I’m considering just going for it and buying a higher powered strobe.

    Can you tell me if you’ve been able to get HSS to work reliably on the Phottix system with your Fuji’s? I only have an X-T1 at this point (no X100). Right now my solution for balancing outdoor ambient is a couple of flashes in a Lastolite Octa and a high quality ND filter, but I’d like to get past that at some point in the not too distant future.

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  72. Chris

    Is there a way of controlling the Indra from the Phase One these days? I’ve been using Phottix Strato (canon one works with Phase) up to this point and it’s just died so need a replacement – hopefully something that you can now control the lights power with? At the time the Odin didn’t support phase!
    Any help appreciated!