Monday, 30 January 2012

Elinchrom Ranger Quadra v Speedlite Cost Comparison


What follows is a spreadsheet comparing a list of essential kit for use with Speedlites or hot shoe flash as part of some workshop notes and Elinchrom Ranger Quadra portable battery flash. I'll let you draw your own conclusions and it would good to get some comment and feedback.


Camera Manufacturers Speedlite/light/hot shoe flash Costs in GBP based on UK available stock! Elinchrom Ranger Quadra – single head
Output 100j 3 x 400 400j*
Cost per unit
400 1085
Lastolite Triflash
65 Not required
Industry standard 16mm 5/8th inch / Brolly Adaptor Extra 29 Inc
Use with softbox etc Extra 50 – 200 + Built in
Radio and/or Optical Trigger Extra 30 – 300 + Inc
Rechargable Longlife battery Extra 200 Inc
Battery Charger Extra 30 Inc
Exposure TTL etc
Manual
Shutter Sync High speed
Depends on camera manufacturer
and 3rd party trigger
Modelling Light Multi-strobe flashes
Low energy consumption LED 5900K equal to 100w and suitable for DSLR video work
System product Sort of. Relies on 3rd party accessories
Yes, retro compatible
Accessories Limited by 3rd party providers
Part of a truly pro system, compatible with existing studio flash
Single Speedlit/light and gear ready use
£1,059.00 £1,085.00
40 x 40 Softbox Lastolite Ezybox £95.00 £94.00

Lastolite Quadra adaptor £18.00
Speedlites have a place in every photographers tool kit, as do portable battery flash units. If you buy Elinchrom Skyport receivers your hot shoe flash can be used in conjunction with Quadras! Fill flash or where eTTL or iTTL are needed.
Extra umph! Just when you need it in a portable self-contained package.




In summary:

Elinchrom Ranger Quadra A head with Lastolite adaptor in Ezybox.
an efficient setup as no light leaks from the back of the unit as it would with a hot shoe flash and the tube spreads light inside rather than projecting as the enclosed flash tube of a hot flash does.
  • Speedlite/lights or hot shoe flash are seen as a cheap option by many “photographers” as they have one or more in their existing inventory. In reality they can be an expensive option once all the necessary accessories have been purchased to enable them to be used in a similar way to battery powered portable flash!
  • If you are going to take Strobist style lighting seriously invest in good grip gear, i.e. the stuff that you use to fix your flash to lighting stands or whatever. I strongly recommend the Frio cold shoe adaptor and Manfrotto Umbrella Adaptor 026 for starters. My brolly adaptors have been in use since I can't remember when, and are much better built than the majority of those from other providers.
  • The Speedlite in-built zoom head can be used as a control for the light beam, but the flash tube is not in the optimum position for most efficient working with most, if not all light modifiers as the tube is within the Speedlite head assembly and is designed to project, rather than spread light.
  • To equal the power of battery portable flash 3 or more Speedlites need to be used in combination with a specially designed bracket, especially where shorter recycling times or short flash durations are required. 
  • Hot shoe flash can be done “on the cheap” by using inferior quality products, but to me kit is an investment, not a cost; I'd rather have kit that's going to last rather than having to spend money twice-over. 
  • Hotshoe flash will not stand the pace of day-long shoots, it's designed for intermittent, not persistent use.
  • TTL flash is metered by the light reflected from the subject and will be subject to changes in tonality or lighting and consequently can give inconsistent results. Manual flash is not affected by external influences and provides consistent results.
Hot shoe flash in radio remote rig compared to Elinchrom Ranger Quadra head.
The Quadra head is connected to the battery and controller via a cable making a more stable unit in use as the weight is away from the flash head.
  1. Canon 580 EX II Speedlite
  2. Radio Trigger
  3. Frio Cold Shoe
  4. Manfrotto 026 Umbrella adaptor
  5. Manfrotto 5001 Nano stand (foreign copy, but just as good)
  6. Elinchrom Ranger Quadra head with reflector
  7. Elinchrom Ranger Quadra head without reflector - note size of head and not top-heavy like the hot shoe flash set up
  8. In-built umbrella attachment. OK, it will only fit Elinchrom brollies with a 7 mm shaft, but that's not the end of the world!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the comparison, I also love to see a comparison made ​​with a Light meter at 2m, to know the nºf gives each unit.

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