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Quantum flash systems

NB. prices listed here are from Quantum's Jan 2007 pricelist. I do not sell Quantum gear so don't ask me for them.

Why consider a Quantum flash system?

  • for most people it will be overkill, and they will be happy with their proprietary digital TTL flash ($500-1000) such as:
    • Olympus FL-50R for Olympus E dSLRs
    • Canon Speedlite 580 EX II ?$A799 plus ST-E2 wireless transmitter ($A269 new on Ebay) for Canon dSLRs
    • Nikon SB800 plus SU-4 wireless TTL flash controller plus SU-800 wireless speedlight commander for Nikon dSLRs
    • and if they need extra battery power they can just buy a Quantum battery with connector for the flash model
    • but as good as these units are, they tend not to have a wide range of flash modifiers, but worse, they are not compatible on different brand cameras, so if you use a compact Olympus for social events and a Canon 1D for serious work, and a Bronica medium format film camera for fun stuff, you need a different flash set up for each, which not only is it expensive, but it means you have to have duplicate setups if you are taking the same scene with different cameras and its more to learn the vagaries of each system.
  • Quantum (and Metz flash) have systems that will work well on all brands, you just have to have the correct TTL adapter for your camera and connect it to the system and away you go.
  • Even better, the Quantum system's wireless solution can also act to wirelessly trigger your cameras - even an old motor driven Bronica SQAi or Olympus OM 35 film camera like mine!
  • Lastly, Quantum have a long history of providing external power sources for cameras & flashes and these can be used to power both a Quantum flash (or Metz or proprietary flash for that matter) as well as your dSLR.
  • the main problems with choosing a Quantum system are:
    • its expensive - but not as expensive as buying 3 different proprietary systems
    • its modularity means its also a bit confusing and bulky with power cables all over the place
    • no macro flash system
    • over-exposure problems with subjects closer than 2m at ISO 200 or higher, at wide apertures < f/4 as minimum output is 1/64th power (~1/10,000th sec flash duration giving minimum GN ~9m at ISO 200)
      • this may be a BIG problem when shooting fill-in flash portraits using ambient lighting and fast apertures - you may be forced to place diffusers over the flash to decrease its output, or at least use a bulky softbox.
    • “Pre-programmed white balance settings in the camera are for the camera manufacturers flash. The Qflash flash tube has a different color temperature, plus lighting can vary at each photo shoot. Doing a custom white balance will save you time and money”
    • relatively long flash duration at full power (common with most modern flashes) of ~1/300th sec may cause some problems with:
      • fast motion
      • X-sync 1/500th sec for daylight fill-in flash may result in flash under-exposure of ~0.5EV eg. medium format film cameras
    • remote camera trigger capability does not have an intervalometer.
    • wireless transmitter does not have AF illuminator as does the Nikon SU-800, but the flash unit does, so for this capability you need to mount the flash on the camera and attach a wireless transmitter to it, so you then need to buy a 2nd flash unit for off the camera wireless TTL flash with AF illuminator capability.
    • do you really need wireless TTL?

A typical Quantum QF5d-R setup for wireless TTL flash with Canon/Nikon dSLRs:

NB. prices are RRP from their website as in 2007

QF5d-R flash head either:

  • T5d-R flash GN50 $US863 
    • plus power supply, either:
      • Turbo Compact $US570
      • Turbo $US550
      • Turbo 2×2 $US730
      • Aust. charger $US70
      • cable to power a Metz $US71
      • cable to power Canon 1D $US112
  • X5d-R flash GN50/70 $US987
    • plus power supply, PX QPaq-X command module ($US839) with either:
      • PB-1 battery pack ($US339)
      • PB-2 compact battery pack ($US288)
      • plus QPaq Aust. charger PR1A $US59
      • optional PX-C 200Ws add-on module to give GN 70 ($US279)

TTL camera adapter ($US166):

  • D13w-R (for Canon) or D10w (for Olympus) mounts on camera hotshoe
  • NB. there are film SLR adapters as well such as Bronica SQAi TTL adapter QF20 $US276

THUS, a base unit without wireless TTL might be:

  • T5d-R flash GN50 $US863 
  • Turbo Compact $US570
  • Aust. charger $US70
  • D13w-R camera adapter (for Canon) $US166
  • totals $US1669 - considerably more than a proprietary flash but much more versatile

Quantum FreeXwire wireless TTL system to trigger the flashes:

  • FreeXwire FW9T Transmitter $US250 (mounts on the camera adapter or hand held for triggering camera)
  • FREEXWIRE digital transceivers or receivers for wireless TTL flash, either:
    • compact FW7Q receiver:
      • no batteries needed ONLY for Qflash 4d/5d flashes $US200
      • range 100-200m
    • FW8R receiver
      • for ANY flash $US250
      • range 150-300m; pole mountable 
      • battery-operated unless connect via a FW31 cord to a QFlash
      • remote shutter release via cords such as:
        • Bronica SQAi with motor drive - motor drive cord 463
        • Canon 1D / 1Ds / 5d 2-step shutter release cord FW43
        • Canon Digital Rebel / XT / Xti 2-step shutter release cord FW41
    • FW10w transceiver
      • functions as either FW8R or FW9T but at half the range $US329
      • in addition:
        • flash sequencer function to trigger multiple flashes sequentially for each subsequent shot to allow action sequences shots without having to wait for recycling.
        • half-press shutter release as well as full-press shutter release when used on a camera.
        • camera awake function

Optional flash accessories:

  • remote flash head $US208
  • snoot $US34
  • telephoto reflector QF63s $US104
  • softbox QF68 $US88


photo/quantum.txt · Last modified: 2011/09/26 22:57 by gary

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