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Archive 2013 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?
  
 
derbarrett
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p.1 #1 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Hello,

Iím looking for a portable system for my wedding portraits and e-sessions. I am currently using an Einstein/vagabond mini setup. It works great but the Einstein is a little too heavy sometimes. It can be a little too top heavy for a light stand/monopod in windy conditions, and it can be kind of cumbersome to move around. Initially I wanted to go with the Ranger Quadra because of how light the heads are, but after spending $5000 over the past 2 weeks upgrading other equipment I canít afford to spend another $1200-$1500 right now. I am considering getting one of these generic Ebay kits (link below) but have doubts that they are really 400ws (cant find many reviews on the web). Can you guys advise if these are any good or offer other alternatives?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultra-lightweight-400W-Pro-Portable-Studio-Flash-Light-Lighting-Kit-outdoor-S347-/290771238494?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b350fe5e

PS... I only need one head and speedlights wont cut it as I need at least 400ws of power



Apr 03, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Jim Cowsert
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p.1 #2 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


I'm sold on Quatum Qflash's but this looks real promising...
http://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/cl-combo.htm



Apr 03, 2013 at 07:32 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #3 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Jim, but that is basically a speed light setup with a little more power. There's a recent review about these on FM somewhere.

I think having both speed lights and mono or packs ready when you need them is a good way to go. This way you use what you need when you need it. What circumstance do you find yourself in where your OCF can't handle it? Bright sun in the early afternoon? even then the Quadra may or may not cut it because they are still less power than your current Einstein.

Are you looking at these (and the other recent spending spree) as a need or want? If a want, you might as well go with the Quadras because the yearning may not end until you have them

The ebay light you link to is similar to another light with a handle. There are reviews on Flikr about these. From what I recall the reviews where 'okay'. Nothing bad per se, but I believe most were referring to the lack of modifiers that can be placed on it because the housing is plastic; though I have no problem with plastics myself. I wish I had the links I once had to direct them out to you.

Edited on Apr 03, 2013 at 07:47 PM · View previous versions



Apr 03, 2013 at 07:44 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #4 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Jim Cowsert wrote:
I'm sold on Quatum Qflash's but this looks real promising...
http://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/cl-combo.htm


That CL-180 is only 180Ws (which is plenty for many people), but according to rumors floating around they'll soon be announcing the CL-360 (based on the Witstro AD-360, just as the CL-180 is a Witstro AD-180).

That's close enough to the OP's desired 400Ws to be a real contender. They're still not cheap, though.

Another option would be going used, and a Ranger or 400Ws Quantum might be had at an acceptable price.



Apr 03, 2013 at 07:47 PM
hdibani
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p.1 #5 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


I am myself looking at buying this Godox monolight. The 600WS one costs 525Euros here in The Netherlands. it might be what you are looking for.

http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Portabe_Flash_EX_Series.html



Apr 04, 2013 at 02:43 PM
DigMeTX
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p.1 #6 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


hdibani wrote:
I am myself looking at buying this Godox monolight. The 600WS one costs 525Euros here in The Netherlands. it might be what you are looking for.

http://www.godox.com/EN/Products_Portabe_Flash_EX_Series.html



Just a quick Google revealed reports of color consistency problem and build quality that would make one nervous to mount softboxes on it

http://neverstopshooting.blogspot.com/2012/07/godox-ex600-first-dibs.html

brad



Apr 04, 2013 at 03:14 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #7 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


hdibani wrote:
I am myself looking at buying this Godox monolight.


I wonder why Godox is calling that a monolight; the battery pack and control unit is separate from the handle-equipped flash head.



Apr 04, 2013 at 09:50 PM
bobk
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p.1 #8 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Same situation, I have E640/VML, but sometimes they're just too heavy (especially top-heavy). I'm thinking of a second-hand Lumedyne kit. I had one once, wish I hadn't sold it when I got the Einsteins. They're pretty darned reliable, cheap, and comparable to a Quadra in size. Also, they take normal 8mm umbrella shafts and reflectors/modifiers are easier to adapt.


Apr 05, 2013 at 02:41 PM
hdibani
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p.1 #9 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


DigMeTX wrote:
Just a quick Google revealed reports of color consistency problem and build quality that would make one nervous to mount softboxes on it

http://neverstopshooting.blogspot.com/2012/07/godox-ex600-first-dibs.html

brad



True, but at least you can remove the handle which is handy to mount the flash+modifier to the stand rather than the modifier directly on the flash head.
it is the cheapest option I could find. I expect it to have some drawbacks. but I haven't seen anything that can't be worked around so far.



Apr 05, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #10 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


First, for weddings I would think your top priorities would be quality, reliability, weight, and ease and speed of use, and light modifiers Nothing can really match the Qudara for all of these but the Quantum would be the closet. However that's still a lot of money after to add the battery pack. I sure wouldn't trust any Chinese crap shooting weddings.


Apr 05, 2013 at 04:13 PM
 

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Michael White
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p.1 #11 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Quantum QFlash comes in two setups the T and the X versions the T models use a turbo battery and iirc are rated around 150ws and the X model runs on a qpax setup and runs 200-400 ws per the QTM.com site Unser specs. I hope this helps.


Apr 05, 2013 at 04:31 PM
myam203
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p.1 #12 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


I just posted about the Quadras as as well, and I thought, imagine if Paul Buff put out something to compete with them... that would kick ass.


Apr 05, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #13 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Maybe. It would probably be less money as he sells direct with no distributor mark up but that wouldn't make it kick ass. To make it for much less you'd have you use even cheaper parts or Chinese labor or both. My guess is if he did it would be on the concept of the Einstein but the real beauty of the Qudara is lot of power, short flash duration, and light weight. If you don't care about the power then just use Speedlight's. Again the Quantum delivers on the power and light weight end but not the 2 head feature or light modifier offering part.


Apr 05, 2013 at 05:40 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #14 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Gregg Heckler wrote:
...the Quantum delivers on the power and light weight end but not the 2 head feature...


Two QFX5d-R heads can be attached to one Qpaq-X power pack, and the Qpaq-X can be configured up to 800Ws.



Apr 05, 2013 at 06:44 PM
derbarrett
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p.1 #15 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


This lighting setup would just be used to get some dramatic shots of bride/groom and bridal party portraits. So I'm not that concerned with color accuracy (as long as it is not ridiculous) since it can be fixed easily in post. Here's a couple of examples of what I'm trying to doÖ. I believe the first pic was taken by another member on the board.














Apr 05, 2013 at 08:56 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #16 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Pretty simple with a single Quadra head and beauty dish or Maxilight reflector. However, for the first image you'd want all the power you can get or a very efficient reflector.

Edited on Apr 06, 2013 at 05:05 AM · View previous versions



Apr 06, 2013 at 05:02 AM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #17 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


You can stick 4 speedlights into one of the new Lastolite Ezybox II modifiers. Very portable, but quite expensive, especially if it blows over.


@Gregg Heckler: Made in China doesn't always equate to poor reliability. Canon and Nikon have gear made in a variety of locations, including China, and they (usually) work great.

The CL-180 that's sold by Cheetah doesn't sport the advanced features of a Qflash, but it's dead easy to use and gets the job done as long as a lot of power isn't needed. The color temp of the flash varies about 150 degrees throughout the power range. Cheetah modifiers are a different story, producing a color temp around 6600, compared with 5500 with Lastolite modifiers on the same CL-180. This has been reported to Cheetah, and I think they're trying to find a different source for their diffusion fabric. Custom WB, of course, solves the problem. YMMV.



Apr 06, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #18 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


I know it doesn't always equate to poor reliability but there is a difference in material and build quality. I've been in the electronics assembly business for 30 years. I have Apple products so I buy Chinese. However companies in this business aren't the size of Apple and don't have a captive contract manufacturer like Foxconn. At least if you choose to buy Nikon or Canon's stuff made in China you know it, it's labeled. But I choose to buy their made in Japan stuff.

I also use multiple Speedlights and the Pocktewizard TT system for certain applications but with the Quadra I don't have to worry about brackets, AA's, modifiers, and I only need one transmitter and no receivers. Also if you shoot weddings or events like I do the last thing you want is a lot post processing later for color inconsistency for 100's or 1000's of images. You might save a few dollars up front but you'll waste it in post later.

To the OP. Sell a lens or something and invest in the Quadra or Q Flash.



Apr 06, 2013 at 05:07 AM
derbarrett
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p.1 #19 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


Any other thoughts/recommendations/opinions on alternatives?


Apr 17, 2013 at 03:05 PM
photosymbol
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p.1 #20 · Less Expensive Ranger Qudra Alternative?


As mentioned the Quadra kind of is in a league of its own... I've never used Quantum, nor have i the AD/CL 360, but i have extensive experience with the Quadra. And i love it.

That being said, i do plan to pick up a CL-360 simply because some venues require more power than the 600EXRT's can provide. I can't use a Quadra in the way that i use my 600EXRT's. I'm hoping the CL360 will fill that gap.

Examples with Quadra:


SarahJiJinEngagementPreview5 by Boston Wedding Photographer - SymbolPhoto, on Flickr


NikiVimalEngagementPreview3 by Boston Wedding Photographer - SymbolPhoto, on Flickr


Tarun-Tahiliani-Delhi-Bridal-Shoot-019 by Boston Wedding Photographer - SymbolPhoto, on Flickr


Sayjal-Santosh-Engagement-54 by Boston Wedding Photographer - SymbolPhoto, on Flickr



Apr 17, 2013 at 04:33 PM
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