It’s no secret that I love my Ranger Quadra kit. I can think of only a few photo sessions I’ve done without it since I picked it up. My basic theory has become if I’m bringing my camera, I should probably bring my Quardas. I have not been disappointed.
It’s also no secret that I love lithium-ion batteries. They have better power, charge faster, and don’t suffer from “memory” problems like other rechargeable battery types. In fact, lithium-ions really only degrade under two conditions: excess heat (regulated by their chargers, which is why li-ion chargers tend to be costy), and time. They’re basically the best battery we’ve come up with as a society. And now, you can pick up some lithium-ion batteries to replace the lead acid ones your Quadra Rangers came with.
Why would you want to? Well, according to Elinchrom’s documentation, here are the pros:
- Works with all Ranger Quadras sold (original and RX)*.
- Shorter: Lead Acid – 8.27” – Li-Ion 7.28” = just under an inch shorter
- Lighter: Lead Acid – 3.75 Lbs. – Li-Ion 1.61 Lbs.= 2.2 Lbs lighter.
- More shots (fast/slow recycle): Lead Acid – 110/150 – Li-Ion 280/320 = 170 more shots per charge.
- Recharges faster (80%/Full): Lead Acid – 1hr/2hr. – Li-Ion 45m/1.5h.= 15/30 minutes faster.
- Recycles 15% faster than Lead Acid.
There are a few gotchas you should be aware of. One is that thanks to the temperature thing, lead acid will still be a better choice when you’re shooting out in the Arabian desert. Also, the battery indicator in the pack can’t read the lithium-ion’s status, so a more accurate indicator has been put on the side of the battery itself. And, lastly, while these will work with the original Quadras and the newer RX ones, there are a very few heads that will need modified to be compatible. To find out if your head is among those, here’s the instructions:
- make sure the head isn’t plugged in
- Carefully remove the flash tube, use a paper towel to keep your finger grease and moisture off it
- Look in the smaller hole you can now see
- If you see ‘Elinchrom 50.0044.01″ printed in there, you’ll need a modification.
At this time, we don’t know what the modification is, nor how to get it. We’ll report back. But for now, if you have one of those heads, we wouldn’t recommend throwing your cash at a new battery yet. For the rest of you, the links below will get you to the goods. The battery will set you back about $375, or $500 if you want the charger (you do). An extra charger if your cats chews through yours will run you $160.