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First Impressions: Elinchrom Ranger Quadras

April 16, 2010

2 Quadras. high main, low fill. shoot-through umbrellas

I have been looking at the relatively new Elinchrom Ranger Quadras for a while now. I have read several reviews, and I have been eager to try them out. I had the chance to use a set today (thanks to Bob Fitzgibbons at Showcase here in Atlanta) for a family portrait of my friends Lew and Gregoria, and their beautiful daughters Sophia and Estella. I figured that shooting outside at high noon would be a pretty good test of these little lights. You can find out all of the specs at Here are some of my thoughts…

We used them in a couple of different situations today and they did a great job. I ended up using one light for most of the setups. I was able to shoot at 1/160-1/250 of a sec at f/16 and handle the afternoon sun fairly easily. If I had the slightest bit of shade I was able to work below maximum power. We added a hand-held diffuser to knock down the overhead sun on a couple of setups to knock down some harsh shadows. If you were using these little guys inside I don’t think you would have any trouble at all. The ratio between heads when you use both heads from one pack makes it REALLY easy to set up a basic main-and-fill portrait.

1 Quadra w/ shoot-through umbrella

I used a shoot-through umbrella for a few shots, but the light with the little stock reflector is surprisingly nice! A lot of folks complain that you have to use Elinchrom umbrellas because of the smaller umbrella mount that’s built in to these. I simply mounted the Quadras on a regular umbrella bracket and didn’t have a problem.

I didn’t notice the recycle time very often, and I think that says a lot. There were only about three frames that didn’t get lit because I keep my D700 on ‘continuous high’. Other than that I didn’t catch up to the pack very often between shots. There is a fast recycle setting, but I don’t think you would need that for your average portraits.

Have you noticed that I had fun with these lights? Great light that’s as easy to setup and move around as hot-shoe strobes. I will most likely purchase the 2-head Quadra A kit. I’m definitely planning to bring this setup with me to Costa Rica in September. These will be great for teaching our students learn about lighting on location.

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