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Thread: Quadra Updated!

  1. #51
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Ben, no worries. the Dual Lock is great stuff.

    Still not 100% clear on how Marc is mounting is, but in hindsight, I think my earlier RadioPopper mount idea is not what he's needing.

    Ben, on the RadioPopper - how do you find it? Am thinking of moving away from Skyport that are a left-over from my Eli days and since using Profoto now, there only a trigger. While PW makes sense for my AcuteB 600R, it would also be trigger only. The JrX units seem to have a good rep re: reliability and range and a JrX Trx+Rv pair is less than one Plus II.

    I also am intrigued by the idea of using the JrX+Cube to be able to remotely control the power manually with some old Nikon SB-80DX units I have - hell, for an extra $30 for the Cube the ability to simply dial down a Nikon (or Canon) TTL compatible unit from the hotshoe is almost a no brainer - if it works.

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    if it works..

    There seem to have been some teething problems with the JX cube, google it for details as I've not been following it much, most of the problems seem to be canon related but caveat emptor (or however you spell it), etc.

    I'm using the PX units, they just work unlike the pocketwizard ones which are finicky to work with and use their own version of ETTL which I can't deal with. I use a PW TT1 just as an on camera transmitter for my plus II's, it's a lot smaller and not that much more expensive, I fire it with a PC sync to hotshoe cord from Kaiser. Why they never put a PC or otherwise socket on the TT1 I'll never understand.

    Radiopopper is a company worked out of someones shed. My PX's arrived all with different firmware and because of that they only work in the legacy P1 mode which doesn't include all the new stuff. As they only ship in the US and I'd had it shipped to a friend in the US and from there to the UK (with the associated costs) I haven't had the time or patience to work out getting them back to radiopopper for firmware updates. Shouldn't really be a problem for US orders though, they offered to send a shipping label, etc.

    So all in all, when they work, they work great. Unlike PW where the problem is underlying design mess up. You need to do research first and make sure that they work in the field and then you're set to go. The cube idea really is very very interesting, as I shoot with Alien Bees, the concept of being able to control power 3 channels with either strobes or speedlights is very versatile.

    I shot my first wedding with just speedlights (no strobes) and the radio poppers a couple of weeks ago. Was actually very liberating not bothering with the strobes, using the same transmitters I was changing from using the off camera lights in ETTL to manual to ETTL, to manual, etc depending on what kind of thing I was shooting. Extremely versatile and why I like the idea of the PX's for my uses.

    p.s. ordered a yard of the dual lock, looking forward to using it!
    Last edited by Ben Rubinstein; 17th May 2010 at 12:22.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Thanks for the great input Ben - good food for thought. Will do some more research, but one option is to just go Plus II's for now and see how the RP gear shakes out. Think you'll like the Dual Lock.

  4. #54
    Marcin Harla
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Hey Marc,

    I looked closer at the Quadra, heads look really small and portable. It may be a good solution for weddings for those that don't want to carry bigger packs (like Pro-7b, or even AcuteB), and you won't run into speedlights shutting down on you
    Have you tried attaching small softbox or BD, or are you mostly going to use it with standard reflectors and umbrellas?


    BTW, thanks for the introduction

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Ben, no worries. the Dual Lock is great stuff.

    Still not 100% clear on how Marc is mounting is, but in hindsight, I think my earlier RadioPopper mount idea is not what he's needing.

    Ben, on the RadioPopper - how do you find it? Am thinking of moving away from Skyport that are a left-over from my Eli days and since using Profoto now, there only a trigger. While PW makes sense for my AcuteB 600R, it would also be trigger only. The JrX units seem to have a good rep re: reliability and range and a JrX Trx+Rv pair is less than one Plus II.

    I also am intrigued by the idea of using the JrX+Cube to be able to remotely control the power manually with some old Nikon SB-80DX units I have - hell, for an extra $30 for the Cube the ability to simply dial down a Nikon (or Canon) TTL compatible unit from the hotshoe is almost a no brainer - if it works.
    Here's how I used it on the H4D/40 yesterday (see attached). Actually this works fine if you can just leave it on the flash ... thus the need for a couple more Skyports to avoid removing it. I added velcro to the bottom of the Stroboframe foot, and in combo with the bungie it's pretty secure and +/- adjustments are easy.

    I really can't use a bracket because of the way I have the hand strap/shoulder strap rigged to a Arca Swiss type quick release plate. Weddings are so fast and furious that mobility becomes the priority. On-tripod for posed stuff, then to a monopod for candids, then to hand-held outdoors.

    When I used the Leica M9, I didn't use on-camera fill. I got the 16' extension accessory and plugged the second fill light into the B port which my assistant held up behind me on a boom arm (BTW, that Interfit Boom arm really works well. I wouldn't put a Profoto Compac 1200 on the end of it, but for this kit it's perfect).

    -Marc

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin Harla View Post
    Hey Marc,

    I looked closer at the Quadra, heads look really small and portable. It may be a good solution for weddings for those that don't want to carry bigger packs (like Pro-7b, or even AcuteB), and you won't run into speedlights shutting down on you
    Have you tried attaching small softbox or BD, or are you mostly going to use it with standard reflectors and umbrellas?


    BTW, thanks for the introduction
    Marcin, if you haven't seen these in person you really don't realize how small it all is. It really is a great alternative to speed lights for highly mobile off-camera.

    As to softboxes or strip-lights ... I wouldn't hang anything off these ... they are just too small to bear any load. However, I DO have an idea how to do this.

    In digging around my pile of studio junk I found one of those speed ring brackets to mount a shoe mount flash in a soft box. It is the speed ring bracket that attaches to the stand or light-stick boom arm and bears the load ... the Quadra head then just goes along for the ride. Now I have to find the soft-box that goes with this speed-ring :ROTF

    -Marc

    I may look at a regular Profoto speed-ring and see if I can modify it with a L bracket added in the proper place. Then I could use some of the smaller Profoto stuff I already have
    Last edited by fotografz; 17th May 2010 at 17:38.

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    How are you finding the recycle time and the capacity in the real world Marc? Can you use the packs while they are plugged in for charging, i.e. as a regular non battery strobe?
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    How are you finding the recycle time and the capacity in the real world Marc? Can you use the packs while they are plugged in for charging, i.e. as a regular non battery strobe?
    Ben, you seem interested, so I'll try to give you a more in-depth with a wedding bias, as you have so kindly done with various subjects in the past:

    I've only done the one shoot so far. I did a bit over 100 shots in about 2 hours not counting test firing before leaving and at the location (advertised number @ full power is 150 pops). About 50% of the shots were using 100% power level, either one head @ 400 w/s into a 60" umbrella to light backgrounds, or two heads with asymmetrical distribution (my location was a cave with fairly low ambient). The remaining was done at various power levels: usually 200 w/s ... with just a few all the way down to 25 w/s when using a smaller shoot-through on the light stick held close to the subject for fill. The battery still had plenty of juice left. I didn't have to use the second battery, but suspect I would at a full wedding and would say I'd swap batteries in the car before using it at a reception.

    All of these shots were done with the box set to fast recycle, and with the reflector diffuser caps in place even when using a shoot through umbrella ... so I made it work a little harder than it need to.

    Recycle was exactly as advertised, about two and a half seconds on 400 w/s @ fast recycle, a little over a second on 200 w/s, and seemingly instantaneous @ 100 w/s or less.

    The box is auto dump, so when you make +/-adjustments the next flash is ready. I did notice that when I made the adjustments from the camera using the Skyport, the auto dump-to-ready recycle took longer than if I had the assistant do the +/-adjustment right on the box.

    Range of the Skyport was good ... better than experiences with my Hensel radio, but no where that of a Pocket Wizard. This location was stacked to the ceiling with all kinds of carny machines , etc., and I once accidentally triggered a completely hidden strobe about 150 feet away while fiddling with the sync cord issue I mentioned earlier (advertised indoor distance is 164'). A reception hall would have to be pretty big for this not to work, but it is conceivable to exceed the range.

    Yes, you can plug in the charger into a mains outlet and use the box like a standard generator ... but it doesn't charge the battery simultaneously. 1.5 hours for a full charge, and you can top it off any time with no ill effect.

    My biggest question right now is whether I keep the second two head kit I secured from B&H. Obviously, setting lights at a reception would benefit from two separate 400 w/s units out of the way bounced into ceiling corners using an A-B channel to remotely control the level of each to light backgrounds .... then roaming with an on-camera TTL fill.

    The other consideration would be whether I can adapt a larger beauty dish (or speed ring) to mount directly to a stand or boom arm with a L bracket to secure the Quadra head independently. That would really make this kit more usable for weddings and portraits.

    -Marc

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Marc,

    Thanks - now makes sense to me. Only thing I could suggest to make it more secure would be the obvious gluing (PL Premium would be my suggestion - MUCH better grip than epoxy) a cold shoe to the of the Metz - which will not be that attractive re: resale. It would be a one way trip - once on (PL), it isn't (ever) coming off.

    Using the Quadra head with a modifier, as you noticed, really requires a modifier that support it's own weight - then DIY'ing a bracket to hang the head off of it. The Q adpater is of little use. It, combined with the required Eli speedring, sets the Quadra flash tube back quite a distance from the inner base of a dish or box and it's robustness is less than confidence inspiring - my Demi just bopped up and down like a doll on a 'cuda dashboard as the adapter flexed with the slightest touch of the dish. Chimera Eli inserts have the least 'offset' or 'setback' but the adapter's 'setback' and strength remain an issue.

    A Mola Setti or Euro dish (I'll omit the Mantti ;>) with it's integrated handle and mount (something my Demi lacks) would work nicely - you'd just need a solution to get the Quadra head tight against the base of the dish to get the tube where you want it - and seal the gap between the head and the dish opening.

    If you want to try a Profoto mount - a 4" outside diameter ABS pipe coupler makes a perfect Profoto mount. The rubber collar clamps on to it like it was made in Sweden. The thick sidewall doesn't flex when you clamp the sleeve down and allows you SOME modest room to adjust the position of the light as well.

    The speedlight bracket I made using one and some L bracket supports my 22" Demi with no issue. Unlike the Quadra adapter - no bobble-doll action. That said, no longer having a Quadra, I don't know if a head would fit in/could be married to the ABS coupler.

    Would be curious as to what solutions you come up with.
    Last edited by robmac; 18th May 2010 at 03:22.

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Thanks for the indepth reply Marc. If I think of it as a 200w/s unit to obtain the recycle time I need I think it would help for my purposes. That and shooting slower

    You might be interested in this:

    http://www.elinchrom.com/products.php?p_id=216#content

    The new speed transmitters, built better and with better sync. Just announced today I think.
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Thanks for the indepth reply Marc. If I think of it as a 200w/s unit to obtain the recycle time I need I think it would help for my purposes. That and shooting slower

    You might be interested in this:

    http://www.elinchrom.com/products.php?p_id=216#content

    The new speed transmitters, built better and with better sync. Just announced today I think.
    Ben, I'll be doing a wedding this Saturday at a place where supplemental lighting is almost mandatory ... a true cave of a place with dark painted walls and rich woods ... mammoth ornate interior space, super high ceilings with no natural light at all, and ancient tungsten lighting set at very low levels. I'm going to gel the Quadras and shoot with the H4D/40 MFD ... and do a second approach using the Leica M9 shot available light with the Noctilux and 21/1.4 ASPH. Should be interesting.

    Looks like that new sender will not provide all functions with the less expensive Quadra set I bought ($630. off the B&H price for the same thing) ... but it still looks like I could use it with the same functions I have now .... but with a better built unit and better design elements. I really don't care about the extras like strobing and stuff like that.

    -Marc

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Looks like it might also give you an extra 1/50sec of sync - at the price of 1/2 the range. This is assuming the speed Trx and the older receiver in your pack will enable it.

    My guess, and it's just that is that speed mode disables some interence robustness feature or related error checking - dropping the latency from shutter release to trigger, but at cost of clean range. Would love to hear how they did implement it if anyone knows....

    Ben - looks like I'll try a RP JrX Studio kit and Nikon cube and if works out add from there. The RP range and per trigger reliability, due I guess to the uncrowded (vs PW) freq range and interference robustness they use looks amazing. Seeing as how my Skyports are just simple triggers now anyway, a better more robust trigger that uses same batts as my meter vs ;()$" sealed rechargables and the ability to manualy control (no interest in the TTL capable PX line) the power of older TTL speedlights from the shoe is a nice added bonus.

    Eventually will move to AiR when either move to D1s and pack and/or and eventual full AiR battery unit.
    Last edited by robmac; 20th May 2010 at 04:37.

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Looks like it might also give you an extra 1/50sec of sync - at the price of 1/2 the range. This is assuming the speed Trx and the older receiver in your pack will enable it.

    My guess, and it's just that is that speed mode disables some interence robustness feature or related error checking - dropping the latency from shutter release to trigger, but at cost of clean range. Would love to hear how they did implement it if anyone knows....

    Ben - looks like I'll try a RP JrX Studio kit and Nikon cube and if works out add from there. The RP range and per trigger reliability, due I guess to the uncrowded (vs PW) freq range and interference robustness they use looks amazing. Seeing as how my Skyports are just simple triggers now anyway, a better more robust trigger that uses same batts as my meter vs ;()$" sealed rechargables and the ability to manualy control (no interest in the TTL capable PX line) the power of older TTL speedlights from the shoe is a nice added bonus.

    Eventually will move to AiR when either move to D1s and pack and/or and eventual full AiR battery unit.
    This is my quandary ... I have a second Quadra kit ready to be shipped back to B&H. I can't decide if I want a second set or not now. And if so, whether to wait to see what the next "RX" iteration brings ... so far nothing I'd use.

    The thing is so darned small I wouldn't mind having two set-ups that I could position separately @ 200 w/s for fast recycle.

    I finally had a chance to look at the D1's in person, and with an inverter for remote use, the kit is just to big and heavy. I already have the older lead battery Porty 1200 that I don't use very often because of size/weight. (mostly for commercial stuff with two assistants, never at a wedding).

    I wish I could see the 13 lb Hensel Lithium 1200 in person to see how big it really is ... the problem there is still the size of the heads. Smaller than D1s for sure, but not anywhere as small as the Quadra heads, or Broncolor Mobilites ... to bad the Broncolor A2R box is over 20 lbs.

    A new Profoto Lithium 800B with 2 outlets would be perfect for on the run remote work so I could use the fortune in profoto modifiers I already have . Are you listening Profoto!!!!!

    Sorry for the ramble ...

    -Marc

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    An 800B Life with two outlets and the ability to dial power independently between heads (why not dream..) - yumm. No farting around with DIY to use decent modifiers, no having to play with multiple systems (if a Profoto user), etc.

    I'd think it reasonable to expect PF to, at some point, digitize and downsize the 600B pack - make it their version of the Quadra. The leading-edge packs are digital, they now have LiFe batteries and their own remote power control system - so eventually tech will be pushed down the stack to the lead-acid, stone-cold reliable and robust, but 80s-level tech in the lower end units.

    When it comes to uber-small and light in a pack system, if you can work around the limitations of the head re: modifiers and mounting, the Quadra is CURRENTLY the best game in town. I stress 'currently' as I don't see that position lasting long as other players do the same as Eli - downsize or create downsized versions of existing battery units to take advantage of new tech, and to digitize their old units so they can better market their proprietary wireless control systems.

    Also a lot of speculation the new Ranger update will look more like a Quadra and less like the old Ranger - much like the new Rx monos may absorb a lot of BXRi DNA. As for the new Quadra RX - I agree, I see nothing of any merit (for me) to justify paying up for a new unit vs an existing old stock version if I were Quadra shopping.

    As a random thought - I wonder if it would be possible to have a pigtail made to use an AcuteB head on a Quadra pack? You'd almost certainly lose the modeling light, but while larger than a Q head, uber-light with Allah's-own swivel mount and access to any modifier you care to throw on it. I wonder....

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Yeah, exactly ... one freaking system with one set of modifiers ... with the always popular, assistant proof Profoto mount

    Most certainly I'd make it an "Air" for control from the camera, while allowing use of current Acute B heads). NO freaking 8' power cords either ... 12' standard so you can get the light up high on the stand, and have to use only one power extension cord for the second head.

    Oh, and a kit packaged with 2 heads and the Air transmitter please Leave out the stupid little umbrellas and wimpy stands. Don't need a case either,
    never use the one that comes with .... too big for a little kit. I have the Quadra generator/battery and a spare battery/charger in a smallish Kata shoulder bag that looks like it was designed for the Quadra (Kata SB-902).

    BTW, while I wait for the new sender, I set this up with Pocket Wizards as back-up ... and to use on the Sony A900 which some genius designed without a PC outlet so I can't use on-camera TTL flash and the Quadras.

    -Marc

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    The A900 doesn't come with a PC sync? WTF?
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Yeah, as you say Marc, what genius made that decision?

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    The A900 doesn't come with a PC sync? WTF?
    My words exactly Ben.

    I can do off-camera with PWs using a couple of manually ratio/set HVL 58 flashes using a special Sony shoe adapter for stand mounting. Which I proved to be worthless since the 58s capacitor limiter shuts down the flash prematurely when set to full manual (also an issue with the 580EXs and SB900s).

    Of course I can use a standard adapter in the shoe with a PC connection ... but with the A900's proprietary hot shoe mount, it all gets a bit Rube-Goldberg at a wedding when you are trying to connect this to that, and use the right combination of adapters for this or that ... WTF is right!

    F it! is my response ... thus the Quatras.

    Now what I have to find is ONE adapter that has the Sony mount on both sides to preserve TTL, but also has a PC outlet to trigger the Skyport. Didn't need it until now ... and don't even know if it exists. Hunt time

    The Leica M9 doesn't have a PC port either.

    -Marc

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post

    Now what I have to find is ONE adapter that has the Sony mount on both sides to preserve TTL, but also has a PC outlet to trigger the Skyport. Didn't need it until now ... and don't even know if it exists. Hunt time

    -Marc
    I wonder if these two adapters stacked will allow TTL with addition of PC sync? Have not seen a single adapter.


    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...uctId=11039136

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665199970


    Bob

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    I wonder if these two adapters stacked will allow TTL with addition of PC sync? Have not seen a single adapter.


    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...uctId=11039136

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665199970


    Bob
    Thanks Bob! Really appreciate the ideas.

    However, No cigar.

    You have to use the Sony proprietary connector not a standard PC cord. If you tried to stack them there is no place to put one on the other since the sync adapter doesn't have a mount on top , and the Off-camera Shoe is a standard mount rather than the Sony one. I have a sync adapter ... it's useless for this purpose.

    The only camera I current have that I can use a TTL shoe mount speed light and trigger the Skyport is the H4D/40 ... which is my primary camera for this sort of work anyway.

    But come on people ... no standard sync port? WTF!

    -Marc

  21. #71
    Marcin Harla
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Marcin, if you haven't seen these in person you really don't realize how small it all is. It really is a great alternative to speed lights for highly mobile off-camera.

    As to softboxes or strip-lights ... I wouldn't hang anything off these ... they are just too small to bear any load. However, I DO have an idea how to do this.

    In digging around my pile of studio junk I found one of those speed ring brackets to mount a shoe mount flash in a soft box. It is the speed ring bracket that attaches to the stand or light-stick boom arm and bears the load ... the Quadra head then just goes along for the ride. Now I have to find the soft-box that goes with this speed-ring :ROTF

    -Marc

    I may look at a regular Profoto speed-ring and see if I can modify it with a L bracket added in the proper place. Then I could use some of the smaller Profoto stuff I already have

    It'll be interesting to see what you're going to come up with.
    Without decent modifiers I can just use qflash if I need super portable. Would be nice if you could safely mount a BD or a 1x4 stripbox.

    Marc, I wonder if something like Bruce Dorn offers for speedlights and qflash could be the answer. Put the head on the bracket and stick it in some Chimera speedring. There would be no stress on fragile Quadra heads because the bracket holds it.
    This wouldn't work with BD however, but at least you could use a softbox.
    Here is the link to give you an idea: http://www.idcphotography.com/kart/i...d=73&parent=24

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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin Harla View Post
    It'll be interesting to see what you're going to come up with.
    Without decent modifiers I can just use qflash if I need super portable. Would be nice if you could safely mount a BD or a 1x4 stripbox.

    Marc, I wonder if something like Bruce Dorn offers for speedlights and qflash could be the answer. Put the head on the bracket and stick it in some Chimera speedring. There would be no stress on fragile Quadra heads because the bracket holds it.
    This wouldn't work with BD however, but at least you could use a softbox.
    Here is the link to give you an idea: http://www.idcphotography.com/kart/i...d=73&parent=24
    Thanks Marcin !!!!! That site has a strip light which is one thing I would like for this Quadra kit ... and it is an asymmetrical mount which would be perfect for use on a light-stick boom arm or monopod

    True, in your case a Quantum Q flash serves for the lighter duty mobile function .... as you have Profoto B7s with you for the serious stuff . But, that's more than I want to take with .... I already have a 1200 w/s Hensel Porty and all the modifiers including the best beauty dish I've ever used (I'll show you next time we meet) ...but only use that for corporate/commercial assignments, or location portraits where I'm not so rushed.

    I'm trying this Quadra as THE lighting kit for both functions at weddings. The Q tops out at 160 w/s if I recall correctly, compared to 400 w/s for the Quadra. The bigger Q that delivers 400/w/s is still a one head solution and is no smaller. These Quadra heads are so small, I just leave them on the stands in my Light Caddy

    I have an idea to solve the Quadra modifier issue ... all I need is a tube the diameter of a Profoto head with a stand mount and an L bracket to place the Quadra head up tight to the tube. Heat isn't an issue since the Quadra modeling lights are cold lights. I have all kinds of spare Profoto stuff laying around the studio I can cannibalize. Mac Gyver to the rescue


    -Marc

  23. #73
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    Re: Quadra Updated!

    Tube diameter of Profoto head - a 4" (outside diameter) coupler for black ABS pipe (any hardware store). See post #59 above. Work brilliantly. If you need a thinner sidewall for the Q head to fit, just need to make sure the Profoto collar doesn't distort the tube out of round when clamped.

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