I’m copying some older reviews that might be of interest to the new blog.
The first one in this series is the review I did for the Quadra when it was just released, I’ve added more to the end of the review updated with the experience I have with the units now.
May 23, 2009:
Yesterday late the box arrived at the studio and as you can imagine I was more than interested in these little wonders. I’ve seen and tested them on several exhibitions before but it’s always totally different when you can use them yourself. The Quadra arrived in a nice hardcase with room for the Quadra, a spare accu and two heads. Also included is a skyport remote to trigger the Quadra. Settings are just as simple as the rangers and other strobes from Elinchrom, in other words if you’re already used to the Elinchrom system it will be very easy switch to the Quadra.
Say hello to my little friends
Some products are released and they look nice on paper but in reality there are alot of things that are not as good as you thought and in the end you wonder why the product was released in the first place, with the quadra this is not the case. As we’ve come to expect from Elinchrom the product has been thought out and the design team made a product that is not only very handy but also looks incredibly……. cute ? Well looks can be deceiving as we all know, the Quadra might look cute but it gives you a very versatile system to work with. This could be a product that can change your way of working on location completly. When I’m on location I’m always carrying the Ranger RX speed when I want to use strobes, but let’s be honest it’s a big unit and it’s heavy. But on the other hand it gives me more than enough power.
There are however a lot of situations were you don’t need 1100Ws or a large accupack.
There are a lot of photographers that are now working with speedlights and wish for something that packs a little bit more but they don’t need the ranger or can’t not handle the size or weight on a regular shooting day. Those photographers are in fact dreaming of a small system that packs a lot of power, is light weight and can be triggered without the need for cables and all fits nicely behind the seat of the car. Well…… enter the Quadra.
For most photographers the 400Ws of the Quadra will be more than enough power for every day shooting, and the small size and the incredible small flashheads will make the quadra an almost invisible setup that allows the photographer to work very fast on location and still get stunning results that a speedlight often can’t produce because it’s underpowered. Add to this the fact that you can fit some of elinchroms “big” system modifiers like the 1.00mtr rotalux softboxes, reflectors and umbrellas and you can imagine what this product can do for your work.
One of the most important things for me when working on location is ease of setup, break down and of course the operation speed of the unit. But also the flashduration is something I really like to be fast. On all three counts the Quadra delivers, when fitted with the A heads the flashdurations are in the region of 1/3000 to 1/6000, the S heads are slower but sill in the 1/2000 range which for a strobe is very nice. Also recycling is fast, you can opt for slow recycling or fast recycling (slow will give you more time to shoot) but even on slow the recycling is very nice but I’m not a photographer that shoots 9 frames a second to be honest, but even with that information I think you will not have to wait for your Quadra in most normal situations and you can just work like in the studio.
And when the battery is empty there is the extra one that is delivered with the Quadra and the batteries are charged in app 90 minutes. I will start using the Quadra next week on the 27th and 29th both location work and I will try to empty the battery to get a good feel of how long they will last in the field.
When you’re a photographer that loves to use strobes but often is leaving the studio without strobes because that day you’re not in the mood to carry arround a lot of gear. You also know the feeling that you sometimes have during the shoot …… “I wish I took the strobes with me” The Quadra will be the right solution for those people. There are no excusses anymore for not carrying your light with you.
The Quadra simply rocks.
It’s indeed a photographers best little friends.
Update February 22nd 2011:
It’s been a while since I wrote this review and I can wholeheartedly say that the Quadras are now one of my favorite packs to play with outside. The sheer fun of carrying them around with it’s lightweight but still powerful output has never been less fun than it was in the begin. And ok it’s not as powerful as the Ranger but in most setups you don’t need to fight the sun, you just need a little bit of fill or a bit more to lower the ambiant to make the sky more intense, well the Quadra delivers.
In the meantime the Quadras are updated by Elinchrom to include PC/Mac control, much brighter display and some other enhancements 🙂
My conclusion is still that the Quadras are great to carry around when you need more power than the system flashes can give you but you don’t need to fight the sun into darkness, however…. add the maxilight and you will get a long way.
For our international readers I can recommend ordering from B&H: Quadras