When the original Elinchrom Quadra came out a few years back, I was very excited. The Quadra was a small 400 watt pack that used Elinchrom’s popular Skyport wireless system. If you were a speedlight shooter and looking to step into a flash pack system, this was a great choice.
Wedding shooters loved the pack, and I found it fantastic for shooting adventure sports. I hauled these packs way into the mountains to light rock climbing and kayaking. At just over 6 pounds, this was an easy pack to carry. Why a 400 watt pack over a speedlight? More power, faster recycling time, and the ability to attach Elinchrom’s extensive soft box lineup.
Things just got better. Elinchrom just released a new lithium battery, and this battery really improves performance. The original battery is rated to 150 full power pops; the new lithium is rated to 320 full power shots, more than double. But in actual shooting the reality is even better. I have found I can get closer to 350-400 full power shots out of this battery! Better yet, the lithium battery weighs 2 pounds less, and is noticeably smaller.
There are some differences using the lithium battery. First, the battery uses its own charger, you can’t use the charger for the lead acid batteries. The battery will not show battery life on the top panel of the Quadra. Instead, 4 green LED lights show the battery life when you depress a button on the side of the battery.
I’ve had a number of people ask if you can travel by air with this lithium battery. This battery is rated to be safe for air travel, just take out the fuse to make the battery inactive, and leave the battery attached to the pack. I carry battery information that Elinchrom supplies if I get asked any questions. I have made multiple flights with the lithium battery and have had no problem. Of course, you might just find the one security person who won’t let you pass. But I haven’t had any problems.
The battery with charger costs $499, and the battery alone costs $375. If you want to use your Quadra all day and not worry about batteries, consider the lithium option.