Okay, I’ll admit I like new photo gear, but getting the new Elinchrom Ranger Quadra delivered to me in Wyoming while teaching a photo workshop was better than my first bike at Christmas! Yep, this lighting system is going to change the way you use flash. I’ve longed for more power and faster recycle time than I get from smaller flashes, but pack and head systems are just too big to carry when traveling or hiking to remote locations. The Quadra changes all that. Weighing just over 6.6 pounds, I can easily carry the quadra and heads in my photo backpack with room to spare. The Quadra packs 400 watts of power, recycles in 1/2 second at full power, has a built in Skyport receiver for wireless firing and flash output control, shoots 150 flashes at full power, and recharges to full power in 1 1/2 hours…WOW!
I had a chance to try the Quadra in Wyoming . Using the A head (A is for action) with the standard reflector, I dialed up the power to 400 watts and had my assistant aim the flash at the fly fisherman (woman!) from about 12 feet away. No problem getting F14 amount of light at ISO 100. The A head has a flash duration of 1/3000 (1/6000 in the B port), which is going to be great photographing fast moving sports. And if you are not shooting at full power, the Quadra can deliver thousands of flashes before needing to be recharged. For this fishing image we had to hike across boulders to get in the right location. My assistant had no problem scrambling around with the Quadra hanging on her shoulder and getting the head aimed at the fisherman. I broke out in a sweat imagining her falling into the river with my new pack…I’m pretty sure I would have fainted!
Two other things that are really exciting about the Quadra heads…with an adapter they can be used with almost all the beautiful Elinchrom lightboxes and Octabanks. And they use a LED light for a modeling light which works great for a video light. How excited am I about this new light? I leave for Mongolia tomorrow with the Quadra in my backpack and an Octabank in my suitcase…stay tuned, in two weeks when I return I will post more on this amazing new lighting system! Tech: Nikon D3, 24-70mm, ISO 100, 1/6 at F14; Ranger Quadra with A head and standard reflector, 400 watts, output and firing controlled using a Skyport transmitter from the camera.