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Author Topic: Anyone use the Elinchrom ELB 400 with the Quadra HS head?  (Read 3278 times)

nemophoto

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Anyone use the Elinchrom ELB 400 with the Quadra HS head?
« on: May 02, 2016, 04:58:13 pm »

I'm a fashion shooter and for the past few years have been in search for the "perfect" portable monolight for location strobe/daylight shooting. I found about 6 or 7 years ago, I had a model who just couldn't keep her eyes open when shooting on the beach with reflectors. I finally pulled out a Canon Speedlite, never having really used it extensively, and shot at 1/1000 of a second with the strobe as "reflector". Miracle! She could open her eyes. (Many years before, I had used my Hasselblad 500ELM with a Norman 200B and 400C for similar reasons. I was ignorant about the advances in Speedlites and HSS until the above example.) Since then I've been on the hunt for better/more powerful/faster recycling monolight-type strobes. (I still have a couple of Canon 600EX-RT speedlites, but need heavy-duty, non-enclosed flash tubes. I also tried a Quantum, but found it less capable and powerful than the Canons.)

I own Einsteins with the Vagabond, but with the pocket wizards, I can only realistically get the sync up to about 1/400 without cut-off (shooting low power for faster recycle). I then bought about a year and a half ago the then-new Phottix Indra 500. It was... OK. Not super fast recycle times and you can ONLY use it with HSS on E-TTL, not manual. I shoot both ways, but the Phottix only shooting high-speed sync is limiting if only TTL. About year ago, I excitedly purchased the Priolite Hot Sync MBX500. Similarly to Elinchrom, it uses long duration strobe, relying upon the camera's shutter to freeze and balance the light. I have mixed feelings. Sometimes it works very well (such as a shoot I did in the Everglades about a month ago), and other times not as well. My main reservation is that the max recycle, no matter the power level, is about 2+ frames per second. Pretty slow for my style of shooting. I've had to modify how I shoot to utilize it. The other two factors are that, 1) it weighs about 10 lbs (my assistant walks around with a monopod holding it, or a light stand), and 2) I had a couple times when it crapped out on me shooting in the sun for extended periods. Obviously over-heated. Not something I'd expect from an open flash tube, but have seen with Speedlites.

Which brings me to Elinchrom. I'm tempted to buy it, but I just can't blow another large sum on yet another light that may or may not work for me. I can't find anyone who rents them. (Too bad no demos from Elinchrom.) The Indra was a tad over $1k, and the Priolite, with extra battery etc. was about $2k.

Does anyone have first-hand experience? Not what you've heard or read, but truly used in hand. Please don't suggest the Profoto B2. I rented it. Actually two units. They both malfunctioned and I feel they are overpriced, as most Profoto gear is. Thanks for the help.
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BobShaw

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Re: Anyone use the Elinchrom ELB 400 with the Quadra HS head?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2016, 06:20:23 pm »

I haven't actually used it but you should be aware that the key to the the HS is the Skyport HS trigger. It can actually be used with a number of Elinchrom flash units, not just the ELB400 and HS head. Google "Elinchrom Skyport HS compatibilty".You can also mix and match Quadra RX units. You should be able to hire some of these.
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meierruedi

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Re: Anyone use the Elinchrom ELB 400 with the Quadra HS head?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 04:46:44 pm »

I've been using the Quadras since they came out (2010?) and I have bought a new ELB 400 together with the Skyport Plus HS a few months ago.

The first generation worked very reliably. I didn't really like the display nor the menu and the protective rubber around the top tended to come off but it never let me down.
After all those years and many many thousands of flashes one of the outputs and the display finally stopped working properly a few weeks ago. Elinchrom put a new ELB-print and -display in the old housing and voilą now I've basically got two ELBs.

I recently took portraits in full daylight at 1/4000s sync and it worked perfectly. You sure lose a lot of power, so you might want to use a HighPerformance reflector via the Quadra reflector adapter.


Before the Quadras I worked with Lumedyne packs and heads and yes they were reliable as well but boy what a bricolage.

Cheers
Ruedi


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nemophoto

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Re: Anyone use the Elinchrom ELB 400 with the Quadra HS head?
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 11:18:42 am »

Thanks, Ruedi. I went ahead and bit the bullet and bought the 400ELB, the Quadra HS head, and while I was draining my bank account, the Ringflash. (I've had the Alien Bee ringlight for five years, given it hard use, and wanted to replace it. I will miss the model light built in!) I'll be using all the above for a catalog/advertising shoot all next week, so hopefully the weather in NYC will cooperate so I can really evaluate it well.

I've been using the Quadras since they came out (2010?) and I have bought a new ELB 400 together with the Skyport Plus HS a few months ago.

The first generation worked very reliably. I didn't really like the display nor the menu and the protective rubber around the top tended to come off but it never let me down.
After all those years and many many thousands of flashes one of the outputs and the display finally stopped working properly a few weeks ago. Elinchrom put a new ELB-print and -display in the old housing and voilą now I've basically got two ELBs.

I recently took portraits in full daylight at 1/4000s sync and it worked perfectly. You sure lose a lot of power, so you might want to use a HighPerformance reflector via the Quadra reflector adapter.


Before the Quadras I worked with Lumedyne packs and heads and yes they were reliable as well but boy what a bricolage.

Cheers
Ruedi

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