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.

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