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Solid Beginner Portable?


Subscriber Member
Greetings! It's been years (30?) since I used strobes. Back then, it was a huge Norman power pack that weighed about 40 pounds and caused a brown-out whenever I plugged it in to the wall socket.

Recently, I'm being asked to photograph at various locations and while I truly enjoy and prefer natural light, I recognize that some situations will require artificial lighting. I'd like to keep whatever gear I buy portable and reliable. I'd prefer not to have to have a hand truck to wheel everything around but I know that any system worth the trouble isn't likely to fit in my pocket. In the beginning, I'm envisioning a battery power pack and two heads with a couple of umbrellas, stands, etc.

As a general rule, I tend to buy a bit beyond my needs and prefer to buy products that will let me live with them for a longer term instead of buying the cheapest and then selling/re-buying when I run into the cheap product's limitations.

So, anyone care to make a suggestion for a solid starter kit for portable strobes?



Active member
Check out the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra and Ranger kits. The Quadra is super light. I just got the 2 light kit and love it. The regular ranger is heavier but provides more power.

The Quadra has built in wireless so its a breeze to use, especially if you're working alone. You can also sling the battery over your shoulder, it's about 5lbs. They also have a two stand/umbrella kit in a nice bag.

I have 600RX strobes for the studio so the quadras integrate with those nicely as well.

David Schneider

New member
A Paul Buff mini vagabond power supply is something under 3Lbs. Add to that two or three Alien Bees which are lightweight and durable. Another option for starter kit.


I have the Quadras (and love 'em -- bought one pack and two heads in separate transactions frmo Guy) but had the Vagabond Mini Lithium existed when I bough my first Quadra I might have gone that direction.


Hi Tim,

Look at the Hensel, Elinchrom, and Profoto portable solutions.

They are all good, and will all work well. But try the stuff out before you decide to buy, it will save you time and money. It's definitely worth a trip to a retailer that can demo the stuff for you. Boston and NYC are great for shopping, and a lot of other activities too.



The quadras are exactly what I am looking for. Thank you!