Elinchrom has been very busy developing some amazing new flash equipment lately. First came the announcement of the ELB 400, an updated version to the popular Quadra. This pack improved overall performance and offered a user-friendly OLED display to change settings. Then came the new EL-Skyport Plus HS. This transmitter was revolutionary to my work. Why? Because it was designed to take full advantage of Hi-Sync, meaning I could shoot shutter speeds all the way to 1/8000 and still have perfect flash exposures. Take a look at this blog post I did earlier using the EL-Skyport Plus HS. And now comes the icing on the cake. Elinchrom also designed a new flash head, the Quadra HS head, which takes Hi-Sync to an entire new level. In a flash system that weighs about 5 pounds!
This head has a slow flash duration, which vastly improves Hi-Sync performance. The slower the flash duration, the better the sync can be re-timed to hit the ‘flash tail’ after the initial burst. Okay, so for the non-tech folks, what does this mean and do I care? Let me put it this way; the new ELB 400 combined with the EL-Skyport Plus HS and Quarda HS heads has changed my entire workflow in flash photography. I love to shoot at F2.8 and F1.4 for outdoor portraits (see image at top). Even with a low ISO, shooting at F1.4 will require a shutter speed of 1/1250 and often a lot faster…closer to 1/4000 if I am in the sun. With the new HS heads and Skyport Plus HS, I don’t have to worry about fast sync speeds. I just set my shutter speed as fast as I need to get the right exposure and shoot away. What is really impressive is I can shoot these new HS heads through large octoboxes and get plenty of light with a nice even consistency. If I want to darken down the sky, I can shoot at 1/4000 and easily darken a midday sky.
This is an exciting time in flash photography. Just when you think you have seen it all, Elinchrom introduces new technology and products that literally change how you shoot. Here is a link to the Elinchrom website to read more about these exciting new products.