Testing the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra

I fell in love with an extremely light (weight) lighting system at a camera show back in December.

In early March, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and acquire this Ranger Quadra kit. Although pricy, having the equivalent of four (4) Nikon SB910 firing at my subject for the cost of only three SB 910s made sense to me. No, don’t ask because I will never know why it made sense; it just did! One has to have a reason to buy a new toy, right? Besides, it is so much lighter than 3 SB910s!

The flash head itself is extremely light, weighing in at 8.8 ounces (0.25kg). The battery pack does weigh a bit, but is an extremely comfortable 3 pounds (1.4kg) over the shoulders. I did carry it for almost five hours last Sunday.

The kit comes with a 5.3” reflector and a diffuser / protective lens over the diffuser. I also purchased the Reflector Adaptor that will accept all other Elinchrom reflectors plus a snoot and a 10-1/4” 50 degrees sports reflector (on e-Bay).

Last week in the Dallas Zoo I carried the gear with the snoot plus grid to photograph some not-so-wildlife. The photos did have something unique…. A bit of a sparkle in most of the animals’ eyes, just what I wanted.

The photos in this link show the performance of the flash with different accessories in front of the bare light. The tree is 55’5” (approx.. 17 meters) from where I set up the tripod, the wall is only 8” further back. Never mind focus, I am looking for light patterns here. All flashes were at the same 100% power setting, 1/250 sec. and f/3.3 on the AI AF DC Nikkor 105mm f/2.0D.

What was immediately visible was the strength of the flash with the 50-degree reflector. By far the most even and powerful light.
I will buy a 7” (17.8cm) 60 degrees Reflector to see what kind of difference this makes and report back once I have it in hand. It might just make the preferred package a lot lighter and allow for on-camera hot shoe operation.

The main thrust for the idea was wildlife in general, safari in particular, and just as a walkabout. I think I nailed it with this setup. I will need to see how it does on the fast setting with birds in flight. I will report back.


Nikon D4

Took the D4 for its first test drive — at the zoo!

I am impressed with everything I have seen so far, especially resolution, much wider dynamic range than I am used to, and very high ISO noise capabilities.

There is one major issue, and that is ….. COLOR. I am not sure if this is camera firmware or Post software related.
I am sure there will be soft or firmware changes that will fix this, but the manner in which ACR and NX2 read the “auto” color is way too cool – as in blue!

All lenses I have tested so far appear to be dead-on and do not require any change in Fine Focus Adjustment. The D3 needed quite a bit! A few more lenses to go tomorrow.

Here are the images…

Time to walk away from the computer now. Tomorrow the camera will get some indoor racing photo opps!.