How powerful is the Elinchrom Quadra?
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pr4photos
Registered: Sep 17, 2008
Total Posts: 1110
Country: United Kingdom

Very curious as to how a Metz 60 CT-4 would fare side by side with a Quadra.

Have looked on the web and it doesn't appear that the Quadra is a lot more powerful

I'm not interested in battery life, as I know the Quadra would outlast the Metz, I just need to know the raw power difference.

Also, I see on ebay there are 600w portable flashes from Hong Kong that come with over the shoulder battery packs (like the Quadra). What are they like?



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

Used outside with a Quadra standard reflector to match a Metz 60 CT-4 standard reflector you will only find about a half stop difference. This based on not a Quadra and Metz 60 CT-4, but based on a 400ws Quantum and Sunpak 622 (the Metz 60CT and Sunpak are identical outputs).

Why so little difference?

The reflectors on the Metz and Sunpak are far more efficient at covering the image area than the parabolics over the same area. Outside, a lot of light goes to waste, inside with walls to reflect the parabolics perform better, but only by the inclusion of reflected light.

If anybody has a Metz 60CT and a Quadra to compare -- outside -- it would be quite interesting to know the actual difference.



Gregg Heckler
Registered: Aug 07, 2005
Total Posts: 1933
Country: United States

I'm not sure it's a good comparison based on price and versatility. If you want more power you can pay as much as you want for it. These are even close in price to compare. I think most would buy a Quadra or other battery powered studio type flash for the versatility in light modifiers, two heads, wireless control, stand mounting, etc. If need raw power get a Ranger.



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2007
Country: Australia

I put together a table listing Guide Numbers of various battery powered flashes, mostly from the manufacturers instruction manuals or web sites.

http://photocornucopia.com/1033.html

The Quadra and Metz 60 are at the bottom of the table. Although I don't have both and have never compared them I suspect there is very little difference in power, and the Quadra should be weaker based on the GN from the manual. Given that you can buy a Metz 60 for about $150, I think the Metz has a certain advantage. As already stated, the Metz has an excellent reflector which allows it to make the most of it's power.













If anyone can contribute some measurements for the table in the link I'd love to add to it. Thanks, JJ.


pr4photos
Registered: Sep 17, 2008
Total Posts: 1110
Country: United Kingdom

Excellent responses. Many thanks. If I wanted to move up from my Metz flashes which portable system gives the best bang for the buck - or pound in my case?



Sheldon N
Registered: Feb 13, 2006
Total Posts: 683
Country: United States

Based on some quick searching the Metz is around 200 watt seconds. This makes it roughly 1/2 the power of the Quadra. Don't pay attention to guide numbers, unless all you plan on doing is shooting bare flash. Put a flash in a softbox to get some decent quality light and all these reflector differences are equalized. You should be able to get a full stop of exposure more from the Quadra inside a softbox.

The stock reflector on the Quadra is VERY inefficient, and has wide coverage. The guide numbers from the Quadra are skewed because of this.

Put it into a proper modifier and you'll get much more realistic results. This shot was at f/22 ISO 200 with the Quadra in a 27" Deep Octa, not quite at full power and maybe 5-6 feet off the subject.







Put it into a reflector like the Maxilite and you get roughly f/32.5 at 6 feet, plus it's a really nice quality of light, not just bare flash.


ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

pr4photos wrote:
Excellent responses. Many thanks. If I wanted to move up from my Metz flashes which portable system gives the best bang for the buck - or pound in my case?


I'd buy used Lumedyne. For 300 you can get a 400ws pack, battery and Head. Beyond that, its how many bells and whistles you want or might find useful.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

Sheldon N wrote:
Based on some quick searching the Metz is around 200 watt seconds. This makes it roughly 1/2 the power of the Quadra. Don't pay attention to guide numbers, unless all you plan on doing is shooting bare flash. Put a flash in a softbox to get some decent quality light and all these reflector differences are equalized. You should be able to get a full stop of exposure more from the Quadra inside a softbox.



I disagree, because I've tried it.

A bare Metz inside a softbox will match a Quadra in exposure value.

A 200ws Metz and reflector will match a 400ws barebulb Quadra in a softbox, but the Quadra will provide a better quality of illumination to the softbox. The Metz won't provide an even coverage but its exposure value on subject will be the same.

The same happens with an 80ws speedlight @24mm zoom and a 160ws barebulb in a softbox.

Annoying, but true.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2528
Country: United States

You can't just go by the guide number. The speedlights produce a thin, beam of light with the flash going through the fresnel style lens. The light quality will be much better and easier to control with the quadra's design.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

The Metz 60 and Quadra are completely different animals and each offer their own benefits. Being able to add a second head isn't only applicable to the Quadra as the Metz can too. The Metz offers better camera automated functions, the Quadra has radio remote settings. In order to use the Quadra you need an assistant or light stands, the Metz can be easily held etc.. etc.

Suitability for purpose is what's really important so if you've been using a Metz successfully for what you do, are all the different things a Quadra does important to what your needs are?



pr4photos
Registered: Sep 17, 2008
Total Posts: 1110
Country: United Kingdom

The Metz does indeed do most things I need. I can use it with umbrellas and softboxes ands it works very well. There are rare occasions when I need more power - to overpower the sun, and that is why I got thinking what would be the next step up, but still be very portable.
I run the Metz from radio remotes, have lengthened the power cable so can have the head nice and high up whilst keeping the battery on the floor.
Am guessing that the other difference would be battery life. I can get approx 60 full power shots out of the Metz before the battery has had enough - thats a new battery as well. The Quadra probably gets a lot more than that.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

pr4photos wrote:
The Metz does indeed do most things I need. I can use it with umbrellas and softboxes ands it works very well. There are rare occasions when I need more power - to overpower the sun, and that is why I got thinking what would be the next step up, but still be very portable.


I had a couple of 60 CT's but found them less convenient than the SunPak 622's. For a few reasons.. the recycle time of the Metz are not particularly good even with new batteries.. the need to have an external power pack.. and the difficulty to fit them in a shoulder bag with all my other 'to hand' camera equipment.

With your softbox use you won't see much noticeable difference in 'overpower the sun' type use with your regular head. The results might be different, although you might be hard pushed to discern the difference.

With the SunPak, it has reflector heads, zoom heads, ringlight heads and bare bulb heads. Having both bare bulb and reflector heads made comparing them in a softbox pretty easy. There is definately a discernible difference in output or GN between the two. Comparing a Sunpak barebulb @ 160/200ws with a 400ws Quadra would certainly illustrate a difference also.



pr4photos
Registered: Sep 17, 2008
Total Posts: 1110
Country: United Kingdom

Interesting. I will have to have a look at the Sunpak. I also use a Metz MZ-70 which has the battery in the handle. Its hasn't got as much power as the 60 series, but is more portable



JohnJ
Registered: Jul 09, 2005
Total Posts: 2007
Country: Australia

pr4photos wrote:
...
Am guessing that the other difference would be battery life. I can get approx 60 full power shots out of the Metz before the battery has had enough - thats a new battery as well. ..


There are ways around this. I have external SLA 6V batts (I don't remember how many AH) which I've wired into my Metz batteries. These last about 2-3 times longer than the standard 4.2AH batts. In fact in the last 4 years of using them this way I've never run out of juice and I drive them very hard. But yes, this makes them even heavier and more cumbersome, but the mod only cost about $40 per battery to do (not including the battery charger for the SLA batts).

The Metz is an ideal flash for certain kinds of photography because the next 'level of flash' (and I dont consider the Quadra to be that, being different not better) is far more expensive, physically cumbersome or both.

One significant disadvantage of the Metz, especially when trying to overpower daylight, is that the Metz has a very long flash pulse at full power, approx 1/125 sec. If you shoot at 1/160 then you will already see a slight reduction in power and this increases as you increase shutter speed towards 1/250th or even higher if your camera can cope. This is where other flashes can kill the Metz as their shorter durations are not truncated by the shutter speed being used. I try to shoot at a max shutter speed of 1/160, some times 1/200th, but I try to stay at 1/125 to get the most from the Metz.

The argument that the Quadra has a 'better' light may be true but ONLY for certain applications, ie with modifiers. Many people, like myself, use flashes without modifiers because they suit the subject matter. Shooting cars with brollies, softboxes etc simply doesn't work, for example. To me 'better' light is the focused light of the Metz 60, because it's a more efficient use of the available light.



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

Sad thing is.. the Sunpak 622 Pro and 622 Super are discontinued so you need to find second hand ones... or, I think B&H might still have stock. Having the battery in the handle is useful, it makes for a more compact unit and using newer 5Mah or higher rechargeables reduces recycle time and increases longevity.



pr4photos
Registered: Sep 17, 2008
Total Posts: 1110
Country: United Kingdom

I didn't know about the shutter speed on the Metz. I have been shooting at 1/250 so I had better change that as and when I can.

I would be very interested in a write up of the battery modification



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

Going from 1/125s to 1/250s flash sync won't cut half of the Metz output, but it will cut half of the ambient. Optimally if this is the objective then 1/250s is still better.

1/60s is the optimal shutter speed for speedlights, (along with many other flashes), but you wouldn't want to use this 'optimally' except if you could shoot in the dark.



pr4photos
Registered: Sep 17, 2008
Total Posts: 1110
Country: United Kingdom

Ah, fair enough. I do like to cut the ambient as much as possible



ukphotographer
Registered: Dec 12, 2009
Total Posts: 1275
Country: United Kingdom

JohnJ wrote:

There are ways around this. I have external SLA 6V batts (I don't remember how many AH) which I've wired into my Metz batteries.


I thought these ideas were interesting from your website here: http://photocornucopia.com/














Being able to drop your equipment into place without too much messing around is always useful.


thumphrey
Registered: Nov 22, 2002
Total Posts: 36
Country: United States

You can build up the Metz and Sunpac all you want. You obviously haven't used a Quadra. I thought it was good practice to put it on a stand. Can you control either of them from camera? I use mine for fill. I don't care about overpowering the sun with it. I understand not being able to purchase a Quadra, but don't try to make it look inferior when it isn't. I've owned both the Metz and Sunpac. They will get the job done, but they aren't a Quadra. It is an awesome tool whenever you need it.



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