It's a bit of a weird way to do a review but here is another bit of the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra (ERQ) review. Rather frustratingly, most of the images that I'm doing with the new kit are for clients who would rather I didn't show the world the pictures before they get a chance to publish them. Most of the magazines that I'm currently working for have a one or two month lead time and that means a long wait to show off those pictures.

This week I asked one or two of the people that I was shooting for a job if they minded me taking a couple of "technical images". They are both teachers of outdoor education and both agreed. These first two pictures show how good the ERQ is at matching daylight - even using a shoot through umbrella.
This is a simple test. The image on the left is without flash and the one on the right using an ERQ on half power (200 w/s) with a 1 metre shoot through umbrella at a distance of 1.2 metres (4 feet) from the subject. The exposure in the camera is identical: 200 ISO, 1/180th of a second at f11. To put that into context, that's a very bright morning in the UK in summer. You can see that even on half power and using a very inefficient light modifier, the ERQ can easily balance with the daylight - shown by the proper exposure of the grass.

This second test is a bit more "real world" and it shows the ability of the ERQ to actually overpower the daylight at the same time of day. The subject is in the shade of the tree but you can see that the sky, gras and building are all at least one f-stop underexposed. Again this is with the very inefficient shoot through umbrella and the ERQ is 1.2 metres way. The pack is on full power a this stage (400 w/s) and the exposure is 1/180th of a second at f16.

With a decent soft box or with no light modifier I have no doubt that the ERQ can match or overpower daylight under any lighting conditions here in the UK. I'm pretty sure that it could handle all but the very brightest midday light on the equator too.

These are useful tests and I hope that they help answer a few of the questions that I have been getting from people interested in the ERQ system. As an aside I have been looking for a semi-rigid bag for the kit and so far haven't found exactly what I'm looking for. The closest has been a Lightware case but it isn't perfect and so the search goes on!

© Neil Turner June 2009


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