We tend to settle into fairly stable, long term relationships with our equipment. Light modifiers being no exception. I still have some modifiers from over ten years ago, and they’re fine for what they’re used for. But now and again, some small incident makes you reassess your gear, or forces you to replace it.
Okay, so I’m a stills guy. I photograph, and I do a lot of it. I’ve photographed since 1966, when I got my first camera, and that’s my gig. I like what I do, and I’m happy at that. So, a good friend of mine says “You know those blogs you do? You should video the behind the scenes stuff!”. Yeah, thanks Damien!
Following my experience with the Metz 64 AF-1, and it’s subsequent replacement after the Olympus FL-900R review, I wanted a cheap backup TTL speedlight. I took a look at the Quadralite Stroboss 60 EVO from Pixedo, and quite liked the listed spec and features. And here we are.
The up front and honest bit : First of all, just so we are completely transparent, I’m an Elinchrom Ambassador. Secondly, I happen to be an Ambassador because I use Elinchrom, not the other way around. Obviously, there are some perks to this, such as having the opportunity to use and test the latest equipment before its public release. As I use four ELB400 units for my location work, the new ELB500 announced earlier this year is of particular interest to me. My four ELB400s are used most days, with a variety of subject matter, and in varied conditions. And whilst I was quite confident I’d have no issues using the ELB500 in place of an ELB400, I wondered how much real difference this new unit would make. After all, I’d been perfectly happy with my current setup for over two years. No issues, no dramas and certainly no disappointments. And considering my investment in those four units, how much advantage would the ELB500 bring, and would it put my ELB400 relationship at risk?
I use a lot of folding softboxes in various forms, and all in an effort to create a smaller, lighter location kit. I’ve got numerous larger folding Octas and the like, but wanted a smaller softbox for closer work. I’d purchased “no name third party” previously, only to be disappointed with the build quality and the fact it had no inner difuser. So when I renewed my search, I came across the Quadralite Litebox 50×50 folding softbox which was listed on the pixedo.com site.
This review basically came about after a number of conversations I’ve had regarding my “run n gun” setup, which to date, was a Metz 64 AF-1. My original reason for choosing the Metz was the ability to use an external battery pack for reduced recycling times, whereas the current Olympus lineup have no external power option. It kinda came to a head when I did the review for the Quadralite Reporter 200 TTL (Godox AD200 variant), as I found the Reporter 200 to be far more consistent in TTL mode than my Metz. There was a brief conversation with a commenter onLighting Rumours, and it made me reassess my “run n gun” kit. Hence the Olympus FL-900R.
My location kit consists of high powered battery strobes. That said, I do tend to pack half a dozen speedlights for fill and the like, and it’s surprising what you can get out of a speedlight when needs must. Now, considering my location kit is “mature”, and does everything I need, it doesn’t stop me casting a sidelong glance at some of the gear that I see advertised online, such as the Quadralite Reporter 200 TTL and it’s various incarnations. This one came from Pixedo, [https://www.pixedo.com/en/] and arrived extremely quickly and well packed. What made me push the button after so long? Well, I’m an Olympus shooter, and the possibility of radio linked TTL was intriguing. The Reporter 200 is not system dependant, as it has no hotshoe. Instead, it receives it’s TTL instructions, or any communication, via a system dedicated transmitter, such as the Navigator X. Obviously, mine was for the Micro Four Thirds system.
I had the opportunity to use the ELB1200 ahead of it’s release at the start of September 2017, and it was something I’d been looking forward to since Elinchrom’s announcement earlier that year. My location kit comprises of 4x ELB400 with an action head and a HS head for each one. And I have to say, they are just superb. They’ve done everything I’ve asked of them and more. So whilst I was keen to road test the ELB1200, I did have that little nagging voice at the back of my mind, quietly whispering “What can it do, that the ELB400 can’t?” I brushed those thoughts aside with the obvious reply “Power!”, but is there more to it?
My initial interest in this unit had nothing at all to do with studio work, or even lighting for that matter. It basically utilises your mobile as a wireless, feature rich remote release. There is some overlap with the Miops Smart, such as the HDR mode and timelapse mode, but with a slightly different approach. The unit is small. Well, it’s actually tiny.