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Thread: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

  1. #1
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Hi folks i have been meaning to do a review on the Flash system since I bought it back at the workshop last month and have done several jobs with it since. I have to say i am very impressed with this little system. I shot a quick PR gig today and thought I would just tell you about it a little here. I have a couple jobs I did also that I may get up also and even some outside landscape shots with fill flash.

    I wrote this to some friends so thought I would repeat here.

    Just a quick PR gig today but I am in a black trailer with NO light basically. Wanted to show you what the little Quadra can do . It's a 400 watt battery pack made by Elinchrom with the head as small as a baseball. Very slick unit. See that ledge on the bottom right I had the head on the stand behind me tucked in the very far corner in the ceiling and just feathered it all the way to the back. I used the bare bulb at ISO 400 at F13 with the 28mm and my P30+ back at 1/10 of a second Actually not full power either. What is cool this thing is faster to operate than a portable flash and with a Skyport you can adjust the power from the transmitter. Okay even cooler video fans it has a 40 Watt LED modeling lamp balanced at 5k kelvin that will last 4 hours on a charge. Maybe the best money I ever spent on lights . It all fits in the size of a J803 Domke or smaller. Just a great unit for fill flash and stuff like this when the Metz just is not enough. The shot is nothing to speak of but when your dead in the water nice to have something that actually freaking works. This is a wedding shooters dream machine. I have the little softbox also but with adapter you can hook it up with your Ranger heads and another adapter to take all the big soft boxes and Mola stuff
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ra_Head_S.html
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Just to expand on this a little more here are a couple shots when I used the Quadra to just fill in some. The second image just added some extra detail to balance a little better with sky and rock formation.

    This is in the land of the Giants and the fill just brought some of the bark out that was running a little in the shade




    This one was the rock formation with a little extra pop in it




    Now this one I actually used a Metz but wished I used the Quadra with a diffuser. It's a little brittle looking here with just the Metz and too directional. Here the Quadra off to the left would have been better IMHO



    In all of this if I did not tell you you may never have known. The key is the balance between ambient and flash but without it certainly not as nice a shot.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Here is another sample in the Land of the Giants with flash fill and the second image is without flash fill. If you look closely the fallen tree going from high left to lower right watch the underside of the tree and you can see a big difference in the shadow side. I aimed the flash more upwards towards the back than hitting the foreground

    Flash Fill


    This is without flash fill



    As you can see there is a difference and sometimes the effect is very good depending on the subject and amount that you apply. Sometimes it can be a little much as well. Here maybe a touch to hot but I could fix that if I wanted to but left it alone for this demo.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Thanks for this review Guy. Very helpful.

    -Marc

  5. #5
    plupcoutrielo
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    Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    a little while ago I was completely seduced by the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger, its such a fantastic package for portability.

    However, you need to keep in mind that the power distribution with two heads is asymmetric, i think its 60/40 or something like that.

    Furthermore, you need to invest in an adaptor ring as well due to the head shape/size of the Quadra. Plus if you are going to be investing in Elinchrom light modifiers then it gets pretty pricy too.

    Also the battery pack is not as well weather sealed as the Ranger.

    Another thing is that if you want to daisy chain the cables, the cables are pretty expensive and 2 meters is just not long enough. Then again you can buy all these accessories from the US since the Aussie dollar is strong at the moment.

    The other alternative albeit a pricy one would be to save a bit more and get the entry level Elinchrom Ranger with single head. Reading from POTN and FredMiranda alot of folks love the power output from the Ranger but the Quadra Ranger is nice and light.

    I did notice that Kayell were running some crazy end of tax year specials on the Elinchrom kit maybe they may repeat this next year and you can pick up another Ranger head more cheaply.

  6. #6
    KJB
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    thx for the review and samples

  7. #7
    BlueLemon
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    I am about to buy this set with 2 heads - but I have one question before I do

    The salesperson told me that the A-heads though quicker, are not as stable in colortemperature as the S-Head. He told me if I was going to take portraits and weddings primarely, I should pick the S-head solution rather than the A-head.

    Knowing of the Swiss precision I had my thoughts on that one, but I could be wrong - I was going after the A-head solution after searching on the net for info.

    Does the salesperson have a point ? Or......

    Thanks guys
    Claus

  8. #8
    aprillove20
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Those are stunning photos. I'll love seeing your works. Good stuff.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Guy, as you know, I've recently added these lights to my wedding kit ... and they have already paid off big time. This has been especially true in concert with the H4D/40 as well as the Sony A900 ... cameras that both benefit from "fat" light.

    Here are a few shots from this past Saturday's wedding shoot. I had about 30 minutes to pull off a number of set-ups in multiple indoor locations ... the super portable nature of the Quadra kit helped make it possible. All these were done using one head w/33" translucent umbrella, on a boom arm held where I wanted it by an assistant ... fill provided by an on-camera Metz 54. Hasselbald H4D/40 and 28mm or 100mm lens. Client wanted some of the architecture as part of the portrait imagery ... (the profile of the Groom is about a 20% crop from a much larger image).

    The Bride is an Art Director and will appreciate the subtleties.

    -Marc

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Nice to hear it's working out well Marc. Nice shots (love the tonality not to mention Hassy resolution) - and, at the risk of sounding like a typical male, the groom is a lucky man.

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    Member VICTOR BT's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    noticed u r talking here about this light. im very interested recently to add battery power. pro-b2 (actually now b3) is about the ideal performer, but i was thinking that a simplier acute-b600 advantages are more important to me in practice... (the smaller size, for transportation, when working alone). now this quadra ranger seems even more intriguing on paper.

    hows that new model light (LED)... is it really useful ?
    does it gives in information outdoors ? is it bright enough to lit the stuff in darker conditions ?
    hows the battery performance ? its overall life, and its performance along the photo-session ?

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    and one more question ...
    how about those special softboxes, 40x40cm and especially the 56cm portalite octa ? is it basically a rotalux (that can be used with front cloth, or with deflector disk) ? i saw it in the brochure but could not find it on elinchrom site, or on BH store.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by VICTOR BT View Post
    and one more question ...
    how about those special softboxes, 40x40cm and especially the 56cm portalite octa ? is it basically a rotalux (that can be used with front cloth, or with deflector disk) ? i saw it in the brochure but could not find it on elinchrom site, or on BH store.
    Victor, IMO, the Quadra is a limited application solution that basically replaces a Quantum or Lumidyne type kit. It's chief attribute is size and portability. The actual size of the Quadra kit is a bit shocking when you see it in person. It is really, really small. The heads can be put in your pocket. Even the Elinchrom Ranger kit is a monster in comparison (IMO).

    However, it is no Profoto by any stretch of the imagination. I see it as a perfect event and mobile portrait kit. The 2 head asymmetrical distribution is literally set up for typical formal wedding shots with key and fill. That was the issue I had with my Profoto Acute B600 ... it only had one outlet, and you need two of them for classic lighting scenarios ... so you might as well get a 1200 w/s Pro B3 or 3 ... which was way more $$$$ than I wanted to spend on a wedding kit, not to mention way to big and heavy for my approach to wedding photography. As small as the B600 is, it's bigger and heavier than the Quadra.

    I see the Quadra as limited to use with a few key light modifiers ... and nothing very big hanging off the Quadra mount, OR the EL Adapter mount either. We've been discussing that aspect in another thread about the H4D/40 located here:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showth...324#post223324

    For anything at the "commercial" level, or for use in crap conditions, I drag out my heavily weather sealed Hensel 1200w/s Porty warhorse with two outles that can be set anyway you want right from the camera like the Quadra can ... and hire a "beefy boy" to move it around Hensel has all the light modifiers you can dream of including 3rd party ones with a Hensel adapter... and it's much more stable modifier mount than Elinchrom features ... especially the Quadra mount. If business ever recovers enough, I'd like to move to the new 1200 w/s Hensel Lith battery Porty kit which is substantually smaller/lighter than my older Porty with much better performance characteristics. You should investigate the Hensel Lith Porty if you want more versatility and performance. Personally, I'd get that over the Profoto even though I am all Profoto in my studio.


    All that said, the best kit is the one you will actually take with you, or can manage to take with you ... and it's there that the Quadra shines brightest IMHO.

    -Marc

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    Member VICTOR BT's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    thanks marc... got your point.
    fortunately, the hassy dealer is elinchrom dealer in israel, and he told me on phone that he has the stuff, so i can play with it and see whether the compromise is ok.

    ideally, i would like to have Quadra portability with Briese light quality :-) :-)

    had a look the hensel stuff... this is really great on paper, it seems it has some advantages even over the pro-b2.
    basically, i would like studio quality but with battery for outdoor/location use. this is exactly what pro-b2 (b3) adresses. but then, i had some little doubts... the ability to work alone is of high priority here (doing production is of less concern cause more people and more stuff is evolved there anyway from the beginning).
    that means, simplicity, weight/size, YET, as little compromise on light quality as practically possible.
    anyway, the doubt was that i may find myself with very expensive battery generator that will not be as portable as i would like it to be for solo work, from one hand, and from the other hand, it will not be a great studio generator (pro7 or even new pro8) or much less expensive acute-2 (which i love a lot). kinda stacked in "no man's land" in term of tennis game. just concern, especially considering the less capable but much more portable acute-b or quadra.

    another intersting issue with Porty-lithium is this:
    Briese (which is my favorite option for upgrading light system) has no battery generator. they offer Porty, but that one seems to be the other one, less good than Porty-Lithium that u suggested now. i will check out with Briese directly this issue. this Porty-Lithium (whether at 600 or 1200) seems to be just amazing performer on paper and slightly less bulky than pro-b2 as far as data-sheet shows (but then briese is more bulky flash system than profoto:-))).. also, i understand it has more asymmetric play which is another good point.
    well, maybe with briese system with optional high-performance battery, the lighting capabilities worth more than their mess and price.
    have u seen the Porty-Lithium in person, is it strong/heavy-duty as profoto ?

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    Senior Member symbolphoto's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    If you really want to see the evolution of the Quadra and what people are doing/have done with it, read all 39 pages here: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/...d.php?t=662279

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    Senior Member symbolphoto's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    We've been using it for some time with fantastic results. We love it. We also have the Ranger RX AS kit along with most of the modifiers that Elinchrom produces. Great products at realistic prices.

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    I've owned the Quadra (dual A kit) when shot Eli and have since moved to Profoto, replacing the Quadra with the AcuteB 600.

    The Quadra, as Mark indicates, when used within it's design limits of light modifiers and 'shoot & scoot' shooting, basically as a remote controlled speed-light on steroids with a better/easier selection of smaller modifiers, works well. It's when you try and think of it as a Ranger-lite that you run into problems. You can use the Ranger head with it via a pigtail adapter, but you lose the modeling light in the process.

    I found the Quadra head construction/design (and that of the Quadra-Eli adapter) VERY under-whelming and weak. The unit does have two heads, but the distribution is 66%/33% x 400WS, so it's real-world usefulness with two heads is limited.

    The Profoto AcuteB 600 is just as compact but MUCH more robust and better built and will take any Profoto, 3rd party (or Eli with the adapter) modifier with ease. No remote control nor as fast duration as the Quadra, but given the limitations of the Quadra, it was a trade-off I was happy to make.

    If I'd stayed Eli, I'd have moved to a single-head Ranger for the modest price difference vs. the Quadra vs the more robust build, power, use of any Eli mod, etc. and just hit the gym more often ;>

    No experience with Hensel Porty (CDN distribution sucks for Hensel), but it's certainly is well-liked by many.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Update on the Quadra.

    I've now used this little gem for a number of weddings ... and it has been a gem indeed.

    The 22" beauty dish and adapter has held fast with lots of rigorous use on location ... and is solid beyond expectations I had for the adapter mount. It's all mounted on a telescoping light stick and I leave it assembled with a 3rd head I bought so I'm not fumbling around swapping heads at a hectic wedding. It's grab, plug, shoot ready at all times. This is usually used directionally as the key light in tandem with on-camera TTL speed-light for fill. I mainly use this outdoors with an assistant wielding it ... sometime with a diffusion sock on it to soften the specular quality.

    The heads are so incredibly tiny that I just leave the other two on the light stands in the Light Caddy. They are mounted via elbows that take any sized shaft umbrella, so I'm not stuck with Elinchrom's irritating narrow shaft limitation. I generally use ribless white 42" umbrellas for interior applications. True soft-boxes just aren't practical for these applications ... and if required I'd use a different system and a beefy boy assistant to deal with it. For that app I use a Hensel PortyPlus 1200 w/s box with 2 head outlets that take a full range of light modifiers. However, I haven't used this Hensel kit since getting the Quadra.

    The Quadra is so tiny that I've now decided to get a second unit with one head and another EL adapter to use as a background light with the Elinchrom background reflector I've had for years. This is for shooting groups and portraits at weddings ... a chore I hated until I started lighting them with a portable kit. Better lighting has all but eliminated post work on group shots done in poor indoor lighting ... which is almost always poor in level, quality, temperature, and direction.

    I have not found the fixed ratios to be much of an issue in practical use. It is structured for exactly this application. Main feathered directional and nearer camera fill. I also use the 2 head system in tandem with an on-camera speed-light that adds additional controllable fill ... if, when, and where needed. This can also be directional by using a Skyport universal attached to the speed-light ... or the camera's off-camera cord.

    Prior to the Quarda, I was using the Profoto B600R which is a fine battery box but was extremely limited for my applications due to only one head out-let ... and combined with the B head with umbrella reflector was larger/bulkier than the Quadra Kit ... two B600s would definitely be more to lug around at a hectic wedding, event, or location portrait session. If there were two outlets on the B600, I'd be using that box today.

    Now Profoto has included a Lithium option and the Air system into the B600 (like anything Profoto, not inexpensive), which solves the other BIG issue I had with it ... in-ability to adjust power levels at the camera ... and the lith battery option now increases the amount of full power pops. I always had to use a second battery insert with the B600 Lead battery at shoots, where I've yet to deplete the Quadra on similar shoots and have come to leave the 2nd Quarda back-up battery in the car (just in case I'm wrong someday )

    End of update ... if anyone even reads it

    -Marc

  19. #19
    Member VICTOR BT's Avatar
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    marc great that it works for u...
    i took your previous comment and gave up although a small flash set is a brilliant idea. but the lack of good modeling light which might be less important for wedding is a "must have" for studio-kind stuff.

    btw, for u or those who are interested in HMI, here;s my mini review of ARRI pocket par 125 (and a brief comparison with dedolight 200):

    http://web.mac.com/victorbt/iWeb/pho...Blog%20p5.html

    the pocket 125 is kinda quadra style in hmi terms :-)

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    On Friday night I loaned my friend, excellent photographer, and absolute master of lighting, Irakly Shanidze the Quadra kit for a location shoot at night because his Visatec battery died on him again.

    Not only did he produce some fab images (styled models in a story telling composition), he was able to work alone without an assistant with no trouble, and found the quality of light excellent, consistent, and repeatable.

    He now will be putting a new battery in his Visatec unit and selling it to get a Quadra kit because of its size, quality, speed, manageability, and ease of transport and set-up.

    -Marc

  21. #21
    Van
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    Smile Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Marc.... great to read your comments, and like your work. I am progressing from speed lights to studio lights.

    I like AcuteB 600AirS/LiFe setup now available. Being only a half stop more light than the Quadra, is there any reason to get it now over the Quadra in your exp.?

    One thing I like over PF is the digital readout on the EL. But PF's AirS is highly recommended over Skyport.

    Then I found a good buy on an Acute2/2400 pack. There, I would be concerned with flash duration even inside studio using a EL Octa 74". Any exp. there?

    In short, I am now considering the Quadra A pack and a Ranger AS/Speed setup for all applications.

    Whatever you could add would be appreciated.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Marc.... great to read your comments, and like your work. I am progressing from speed lights to studio lights.

    I like AcuteB 600AirS/LiFe setup now available. Being only a half stop more light than the Quadra, is there any reason to get it now over the Quadra in your exp.?

    One thing I like over PF is the digital readout on the EL. But PF's AirS is highly recommended over Skyport.

    Then I found a good buy on an Acute2/2400 pack. There, I would be concerned with flash duration even inside studio using a EL Octa 74". Any exp. there?

    In short, I am now considering the Quadra A pack and a Ranger AS/Speed setup for all applications.

    Whatever you could add would be appreciated.
    Well, I had the Profoto 600B pack (with PW built in, not the new AIR version). Nice small pack. My issue was ... it only has one outlet. To work 2 heads requires two boxes ... which was fine for commercial work with assistants, but alone, or with one shooter/assistant at a wedding it was too much stuff.

    How I use the Quadra is not to be overlooked ... I have a full Profoto studio set-up ... so the Quadra is only used for weddings and portraits on location. I've yet to run out of lighting power with 400 w/s for my applications ... running two heads ... one a key and the other as fill.

    However, my pal Irakly shoots more commercial story-line fashion type stuff on location, and borrowed my Quadra when his Visitec unit died on him. He's now going to go for a Quadra after actually using mine.

    I'm also thinking of a second 2 head Quadra to use as a background light and hair/rim light using the two additional heads ... especially in big churches where the subject is a distance away from the background. That would've required three or four PF 600Bs with more lighting power than I actually need. Lots more money also.

    I'm waiting to see the newer Quarda that is supposed to come out (who knows when) ... it will work with the RX speed transmitter for a higher radio sync speed for my leaf shutter cameras, and will have a better modeling light. However, the current modeling light is a non-issue for me since any modeling light on any battery unit sucks juice and lowers the amount of shots prematurely.

    It isn't an end all ... but it is the best thing I've used so far for my applications.

    -Marc

  23. #23
    Van
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Thanks Marc.

    Curious, though, when you start using 2 heads on one Quadra pack, aren't you really cutting down the output? Especially, if you are using modifiers or do you? I then think speed lights, combo them and I'm right there with same watts using two heads, without a 8' cord restraint. With my SU800 I can place speed lights within reason and adjust from the camera at will.

    For the studio, do you see any advantage with the Acute2-2400 pack has over 1000w D1's?

    Thanks..


    BTW... I have not heard of any new Quadra from EL, did hear of the new adjustable Ranger head to come out mid year.

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Thanks Marc.

    Curious, though, when you start using 2 heads on one Quadra pack, aren't you really cutting down the output? Especially, if you are using modifiers or do you? I then think speed lights, combo them and I'm right there with same watts using two heads, without a 8' cord restraint. With my SU800 I can place speed lights within reason and adjust from the camera at will.

    For the studio, do you see any advantage with the Acute2-2400 pack has over 1000w D1's?

    Thanks..


    BTW... I have not heard of any new Quadra from EL, did hear of the new adjustable Ranger head to come out mid year.
    Yes ... no matter how you slice it it's 400 w/s automatically asymmetrically distributed as Key and Fill when using two heads and one Quadra box (240 w/s Key, 160 w/s Fill).

    The best speed-light is about 80 w/s when set to full manual. So, it'd take at least 5 speed-lights at full power to equal a Quadra Kit. If you used one dual-speed-light set for fill, then it'd take a set of three speed-lights for the Key light to equal the Quadra Key.

    I tried that myself. Problem was, at full power (with a Quantum Turbo Cs to get close to the Quantum recycle speed), the Key set of speed-lights shut down about 20 or so shots into the shoot (rapid shooting of kids), and took 10 minutes to cool down before I could resume. After that, they shut down sooner... and that was in 65 Spring temps ... they'd probably crash sooner in the Summer heat. (The Fill set of speed-lights didn't shut down as fast because I had them set to about 40% out-put).

    Besides, 5 top-end speed-lights alone costs almost as much as the Quadra ... add Quantum batteries and it probably costs more. Add the radio triggers/cords to the speed-lights, and it's even more. The Quadra kit comes with a sky-port and the trigger is built into the box ... and you can control the output of up to four Quadra's from the camera position.

    Trust me, I've gone through all the options on my way to this solution. It's not perfect by any means, but better than anything else I threw money at

    You are correct in that you can go cordless with the speed lights ... but unless you are using a Nikon Commander or Canon STE-2 limited distance, line-of-sight inferred trigger, you will have to adjust each speed-light group manually ... which is slow, and a huge PITA when the lights are 10' high up on stands.

    But if you decide to go the speed-light route, I have a couple of like new Quantum Turbo Cs with light-stand clamps for sale

    -Marc

  25. #25
    Van
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Uncle!

    Ok, Marc, I think you convinced me.

    Nowadays, I just want to keep much of my equip. of the same brand. And not buy anymore items that do not get full use. That's why I am more selective of my purchases. Maybe overkill research. But, the Quadra makes sense in a separate lightweight bag. The Quadra would be simple enough to put up quick on a lightweight tripod. Wonder if you have mounted it on a stroboframe or like?

    Is it simple enough to get by without a light meter? How would you fire the Quadra if you used an on camera speed light for fill, without going through the motion of training it, or loosing the training if you move or another flash gets in the way? Can you plug the Skyport into the PC?

    Thanks for your comments.

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Uncle!

    Ok, Marc, I think you convinced me.

    Nowadays, I just want to keep much of my equip. of the same brand. And not buy anymore items that do not get full use. That's why I am more selective of my purchases. Maybe overkill research. But, the Quadra makes sense in a separate lightweight bag. The Quadra would be simple enough to put up quick on a lightweight tripod. Wonder if you have mounted it on a stroboframe or like?

    Is it simple enough to get by without a light meter? How would you fire the Quadra if you used an on camera speed light for fill, without going through the motion of training it, or loosing the training if you move or another flash gets in the way? Can you plug the Skyport into the PC?

    Thanks for your comments.
    Not trying to convince any one of anything. There most certainly are better solutions out there ... most are much bigger and/or more expensive for my specific applications.

    My set-up is designed specifically for hectic weddings ... and the occasional location portrait. The light-stands, 60" ribless umbrellas, and Quadra cords are all in a Light-Caddy roller bag. I leave the lights mounted on the stands at the ready. The Quadra box and spare battery are in a small Kata shoulder bag. Takes 5 minutes to set up for formals.

    Forget using a tripod for the lights ... they don't extend up enough. I use two 12' light stands with 60" ribless umbrellas .... usually extended up about 10'.

    The Skyport comes with a couple of sync cords which can plug into the camera's sync port ... which allows you to use your speed-light in the hot-shoe for additional directional fill. To do that you have to mount the Skyport on a grip bracket. I use a Kirk.

    I never use a light meter. I just take a test shot and adjust the aperture. All I want for formals is f/5.6 or 8 and then shoot. I adjust the lights right from the camera ... up or down as needed ... way down if I want to shoot a portrait with limited depth-of-field.

    I don't think using the lights on a camera bracket is a good idea. The cords are pretty robust and relatively thick to be hanging off the light head mounted on a bracket. Plus, the standard cord is 8' long. BUT, the heads themselves are smaller than a speed light, so it could be done.

    BTW, if you do go for a two head kit, also get the 11' and 16' Quadra cords so you can extend the lights upward on the stands and spread the 2nd light away from the Quadra box.

    -Marc

  27. #27
    Van
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Marc... does extending the cable length degrade the watts or recycle time? Can you extend the existing or have to replace it with a longer cable? You don't use any modifiers on the heads, not even a reflector to adjust the light?

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Marc... does extending the cable length degrade the watts or recycle time? Can you extend the existing or have to replace it with a longer cable? You don't use any modifiers on the heads, not even a reflector to adjust the light?
    Extending the cable has no impact on recycle time, but it does have a small impact to output and also to flash duration.
    Both are practically negligible IMO
    -bob

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Marc... does extending the cable length degrade the watts or recycle time? Can you extend the existing or have to replace it with a longer cable? You don't use any modifiers on the heads, not even a reflector to adjust the light?
    Yes, the longer the cable the more the w/s are cut ... but in practice it's negligible ... at least with the 16'. Don't know about the 32' version ... which I have no use for.

    Can't recall if you can daisy chain the cords, probably can ... but I've never needed longer than 16'.

    The lights come with small umbrella reflectors ... and there's a plastic clip-on diffusion cap you can get for them.

    I also have the Elinchrom adapter that allows use of standard light modifiers, but it's not really stable enough to hang a big light box off it. I use it for a 21" beauty dish on a light stick. That works fine. Others use a 39' Rotolux deep dish octa also.

    -Marc

  30. #30
    Van
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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    I looked first hand at the Quadra and Acute 600B packs. I like them both.

    The price would not be that much of a difference. The build quality on the Acute blows away the Quadra, FWIW.

    Initially, to me, the Quadra seems quite daunting to figure out with so many buttons and configurations. The Acute power pack layout is real basic, just straightforward.

    But, how do you figure settings without the digital readout on their packs?

    Marc... Is it real essential to have a digital readout, ie. the Quadra?

    I did a quick few samples and found the Acute a little more on the WB, but do you find the quality of light any different?

    Thanks..

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    I looked first hand at the Quadra and Acute 600B packs. I like them both.

    The price would not be that much of a difference. The build quality on the Acute blows away the Quadra, FWIW.

    Initially, to me, the Quadra seems quite daunting to figure out with so many buttons and configurations. The Acute power pack layout is real basic, just straightforward.

    But, how do you figure settings without the digital readout on their packs?

    Marc... Is it real essential to have a digital readout, ie. the Quadra?

    I did a quick few samples and found the Acute a little more on the WB, but do you find the quality of light any different?

    Thanks..
    Not sure you are comparing apples to apples here Van.

    To my knowledge the Profoto B600 is no longer sold as a kit with head. The Quadra is sold as a kit.

    Quadra kit with pack, 2 batteries, two heads, charger, case, 2 sets of cords and Skyport radio controller is $2,330. @ B&H.

    The Acute B AIR lead battery version (AIR so it can be controlled from the camera like the Quadra) is $2,140, the head is $820, Air sender is $195., second battery is $632. = $3,787.

    That still leaves you with only one head on the B600 ... which is the main reason I sold mine and now use the Quadra for limited applications as explained in detail above.

    For a less limited set-up, I wouldn't get either one of them. I'd go with a Hensel Porty 1200 Lithium two head kit ... or if I didn't care about weight/size or money I'd step all the way up to a Profoto B3 AIR-S LiFe.

    The digital configuration control on the Quadra is for initial setting of the increments ... as in 1/3 stop or 1/2 stop, etc. Once set to your preference you need not go back into the more complex button menu. You can dial it up or down with the up/down buttons ... at the box or from the Skyport. Don't know what the sales guy was telling you, but it is no brainer and very fast.

    Don't know what you mean by quality of light or white balance difference ... how were you doing the samples ... how did you evaluate the white balance? I have never noted a difference, but it is entirely possible ... I have no idea.

    The Quadra is a limited application very portable kit ... more a replacement for speed-lights or Quantums. The Acute B600 was just too limited with one head ... and two B600s and two heads puts you way, way over the Hensel Porty 1200 price category ($3,750 for Box, lith battery, Mini P head, cords, charger and sender Kit, + second battery, second porty head = $4,945. verses $7,375. for two Acute B kit's w/heads ). The Porty recycles faster and does 230 full power pops verses the B600s 160 ... so I'm not sure you'd need a second Porty battery ... where I KNOW I needed a spare for the Acute B.

    Better cost more.

    -Marc

  32. #32
    Van
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    Quadra/Profoto

    Marc... I really appreciate your comments.

    Sorry for not being more explanatory in my previous reply.

    As far as I have been told, a Profoto kit with the new battery is not yet available in US, in Europe there is one. There are better prices based on user acct. I could use a PW for either. Don't need 2nd batt with new Profoto LiFe batt, now rated at 200 pops @ full power. Outside shoots don't need second head. Need second pack to place further away perhaps. If I wasnt' tethered to one pack for two heads, or able to purchase another head for the second battery included with Quadra it would be a big plus. And I think the Quadra charges quick than the PF? Though the Hensel is a good alternate to the Profoto B3, I could get 2 Ranger AS Speed for the price of the Hensel. Placement would not be an issue. Inside I would not need 1200 w/s.

    Lastly, I just wanted to move into one system of strobes and accessories. I find PF is big on customer service, EL not so. And though I am careful with my equip., the Quadra is so fragile it seems. Probably will end up buying both, 600B and Quadra or the Ranger.

    You, and this forum have been great to read and kick around thoughts.

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    Re: Quadra/Profoto

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    I did a quick few samples and found the Acute a little more on the WB, but do you find the quality of light any different?
    Actually i had exact opposite experience with Acute, when tried them from dealer - they had some funky way of make a wee shifts in WB, while Quadra is dead on - i can set up white balance once and keep it throughout weeks, shooting outside without quadra or inside with - and i would have very nice "sunny" WB. Unless of course i change modifiers, but lets not go there.

    Quality-wise - Quadras are nothing short of "WOW" most of time. You can pretty much shoot bare heads every now and then, and its great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Don't need 2nd batt with new Profoto LiFe batt, now rated at 200 pops @ full power.
    Quadra pack gives you about 240, actually, if used in slow charge mode

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    And I think the Quadra charges quick than the PF?
    yep, in fast mode, and also if you need action shooting - its a tad better

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Though the Hensel is a good alternate to the Profoto B3, I could get 2 Ranger AS Speed for the price of the Hensel. Placement would not be an issue. Inside I would not need 1200 w/s.
    Actually more umph is better than less umph

    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Lastly, I just wanted to move into one system of strobes and accessories. I find PF is big on customer service, EL not so.
    Actually EL is not that bad - they do respond within hours on most of emails, unless they sleep I been told by sales very same thing "oh you know EL is like so bad on CS, and ProFoto american made, blah blah", but in fact i had to talk with CS earlier this summer and they were very nice and fast.

    But as mentioned above - Quadras are limited by their sizes and so on (which is also great - you can throw them into wee corners). You need to accept that fact to use them. Specially if you shooting at low ISOs like 25/50. For ISO 200/400 you can go hogwild and do some seriously crazy stuff all day long

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    Re: Quadra/Profoto

    Van, our pleasure to share experiences ... we are all in the same boat when it comes to figuring out the best for our applications ... meaning that direct experience trumps marketing hype most every time ...

    If you are really interested in one system eventually ... then it isn't Elinchrom IMHO and direct experience. While I do endorse the Quadra for it's demure size for real world applications, and despite its limited light modifier mount and flimsy adapter, I hated the full Elinchrom studio and mono head set up I once used ... mostly because of the poorly designed light modifier mount which caused no end of mishaps on set. The Profoto mount design is far more robust and light years ahead. The Hensel Mount is also better, but still second to Profoto's.

    Fortunately some of my favorite Elinchrom modifiers like the 7' Octabox could still be used because they make a Profoto to Elinchrom adapter ... an application that the Elinchrom mount is adequate to handle since the weight of the Octa box isn't carried by the modifier mount.

    This stuff is so expensive that a mis-step is truly an expensive stumble.

    So, since you feel that for your applications, a one-head battery powered generator is enough, then I'd go for the Profoto B600 ... I'd say stretch for the AIR version for sure ... AIR gives you instant control at camera of box/light that may be in a harder to reach location, or at a distance. Also good if you eventually get Profoto Monos like the 500 AIR's that may be 12' up on a stand, or for another example, the head for the Octa box mounts inside, and I have to tear off the diffuser every-time I want to adjust the Profoto 600B Mono Head I often use with it. I need to get an AIR Mono for that box.

    -Marc

  35. #35
    Van
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    Re: Quadra/Profoto

    Marc..

    Yup, I am trying to keep it simple. One line, hopefully. If not, improvise and incorporate what each can do. But, let me tell you, that Quadra is like candy, it is so limited but then it isn't. I found the recycle time 9 sec. on full pops albeit the battery probably wasn't charged full. But you summarized it well, the stuff is expensive, so we want to go the right path. You reminded me of how much stuff I don't use now. Oh, then they update it as soon as we do.

    Sure, I need more than one light, inside always, outside not always. But can't do with just a Quadra either. Still thinking of getting it. Again, the systems' modifiers comes into play, oh, not to forget, the triggers, Skyport, AirS, PW. Though, at least the strobes fire off each other.

    So many have commented the same as you, about the EL system. The PF AcuteB/600 and head, much better system and build quality. And you can use the ring light on this pack, of course one head at a time. Ironically, the ring light is maybe 50% less $ from PF than EL's version. FYI... the AirS does not control the AcuteB power pack, only can trigger it. Not digital yet. The D1's and new Pro 8 can have remote power adjustments. IMO, the D1's are the way to go over the Acute generators and heads. Then get a BacPac and I can go portable with 1-4 D1's. That's food for thought.

    V/r,
    Van

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Van, our pleasure to share experiences ... we are all in the same boat when it comes to figuring out the best for our applications ... meaning that direct experience trumps marketing hype most every time ...

    If you are really interested in one system eventually ... then it isn't Elinchrom IMHO and direct experience. While I do endorse the Quadra for it's demure size for real world applications, and despite its limited light modifier mount and flimsy adapter, I hated the full Elinchrom studio and mono head set up I once used ... mostly because of the poorly designed light modifier mount which caused no end of mishaps on set. The Profoto mount design is far more robust and light years ahead. The Hensel Mount is also better, but still second to Profoto's.

    Fortunately some of my favorite Elinchrom modifiers like the 7' Octabox could still be used because they make a Profoto to Elinchrom adapter ... an application that the Elinchrom mount is adequate to handle since the weight of the Octa box isn't carried by the modifier mount.

    This stuff is so expensive that a mis-step is truly an expensive stumble.

    So, since you feel that for your applications, a one-head battery powered generator is enough, then I'd go for the Profoto B600 ... I'd say stretch for the AIR version for sure ... AIR gives you instant control at camera of box/light that may be in a harder to reach location, or at a distance. Also good if you eventually get Profoto Monos like the 500 AIR's that may be 12' up on a stand, or for another example, the head for the Octa box mounts inside, and I have to tear off the diffuser every-time I want to adjust the Profoto 600B Mono Head I often use with it. I need to get an AIR Mono for that box.

    -Marc

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    Re: Elinchrom Quadra Flash System Review

    If anyone is interested in a really cheap option, an Alien Bees B800 is 320w/s and with a Vagabond Mini Lithium will give a 1.5 second recycle time at around 700 shots per charge. Total cost is $520, weight is 6 pounds total and the stuff is pretty durable, I've knocked my Bees to death. It will also hold big modifiers.

    Not quite a Quadra but for wedding use it's very cheap, very chuckable and more importantly, that battery pack will provide substantially more pops and faster recycle time.

    Perhaps something to consider if you are on a budget..
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