Tag Archives: 100cm Deep Octa

Styleme Louey

I had the pleasure of working with stylist and model extraordinaire Stylemelouey, who came up from Seattle to shoot with me, and style a shoot for Peenkay T.
We kept it simple and knocked out 4 looks in 2 hrs! Enjoy 馃榾

SML vs AA-5 SML vs AA-4 SML vs AA-3 SML vs AA-2 SML vs AA-1

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Elinchrom RangerRX in India

Elinchrom Ranger RXspeed AS

So I始m just a little nuts, I decided to leave Canada and make a go at things in one of the craziest places on earth, India.. specifically the wonderfully messed up city of Mumbai. In between getting my bearings in this country, finding an apartment, getting harassed by pimps/drug dealers, and networking, I始ve made some time to shoot some personal work as well. I left my favorite piece of kit back in Canada; the Elinchrom Ranger RX Speed AS pack, luckily the great folks at Photoquip India and Mehta Enterprises came to my rescue and kindly lent me a pack and head for my work out here.. I honestly can始t thank these guys enough for their help… I woulda been shelling out a good chunk of chai money on renting gear :)

So I just wanted to talk about this gear, why I use it, and how it始s different than other alternatives available on the market.. hopefully I can avoid fielding a bunch of 鈥渨hy wouldn始t you just do it with speedlights?鈥 questions.



The Ranger is 1,100Ws of photon goodness, couple that with a 2.8 second recycle time and I始m laughing like a group of Japanese girls at a bubble tea joint. I like shooting key shifted (underexposed backgrounds) images, which means I始m shooting anywhere from f/16 to f/22. This requires a lot of light, especially when my light source is going through a modifier and is farther away from my subject. Now all this power tends to eat batteries fairly quickly, and while the Ranger batteries are stated as offering 250 full power pops, I始m pretty sure the folks at Elinchrom work some voodoo magic on these things to make them last far longer.. I始ve easily fired off 300 frames and been able to get through half a shoot the next day on one battery.. especially if you begin dialing down the pack, the battery life doubles for every stop you dial down, which means you始re going to get a lot of shooting in before you need to quickly swap batteries.


The Ranger also kindly dials down to a mere 5.7Ws, so I can also shoot in low light at wider apertures as well. This ensures that I don始t need to deal with swapping systems from shot to shot and I can work all day with the one unit.. I始m already carrying enough stuff around, I don始t want to also have to bring another light and modifier with me as well. Back to the batteries.. if you dial this baby down, you始re going to be able to shoot on one battery. all.frikken.day. Again, if you始re at 100Ws on the ranger that始s equivalent to full power on an SB900 zoomed to 200mm. So if you始re using a speedlight you始re shooting at full power which is A) murdering batteries B) taking 7 or more seconds to recycle, and C) especially in the case of the SB900, you始re going to overheat and possibly damage the unit. The Ranger will be near instant recycle, you始re definitely not stressing the unit and it始s not going to overheat..speaking of overheating, I put the Ranger in a black backpack and carted it around in 45 degree heat… and the unit just kept on tickin始 like a timex!


~The main competition to the Ranger is the Profoto 7B, which is a whopping 27lbs! while the Ranger is 17lbs. This is a huge difference when that puppy is on your back and you始re hiking a mountain in the heat. The 7B is so heavy that I don始t even like using it in the studio! Another benefit of the weight is that the Ranger can double as a sandbag for your light stand (I like to just hang the Ranger from my C stand by the shoulder strap). Now I know the Ranger Quadra is light as a feather.. if Elinchrom can pack 1,100Ws into that package I始ll find a woman and marry her just so I can give them my first born..


As the internet loves to say 鈥渨hy didn始t you do A with B instead??鈥 sure, you can overpower the sun with 10 speedlights like Joe McNally.. but you ever try to rig 10 of those into one softbox, or better yet, a beauty dish? Cant.Be.Done. I like the ease of just using one head to get the job done..I fussed around in the past with multiple lights and it始s not fun (granted, I never had one of those fancy tri-flash brackets) so I just lock in the head and rock and roll.
And speaking of modifiers, I始m in love. I bought the 100cm Rotalux Deep Octa when I first got here and it始s just about the best thing ever..next to real Indian chai tea of聽course :)
But really? what more could you ask for? The octa stays attached to the speedring, so you just collapse the unit in 10 seconds when you need to travel. I can then pop it open and add diffusion panels in less than a minute.. The same can始t be said for the old fashioned rod and speed ring variety, those are a total PITA to deal with. not only is it easy to set up, it始s light as a feather while still being built tough, I始ve got a photoflex softbox that seriously weighs three times as much. But it始s not the weight (or lack thereof) or the speed ring system that I始m in love with..it始s the versatility of this modifier that does it for me. I can pop in just a deflector (which you can only do with an Elinchrom head so ditto with other heads that can be used with Rotalux) and I始ve got a big ass portable beauty dish. I can go one step further and put in just the internal diffusion, which gives me a soft yet crisp light, this is definitely my favorite way to use the deep octa. Finally, I can pop on the outer diffusion and I now have an extremely soft light that still manages to maintain its character.. I find that some soft sources are soft and 驶flat始. All in all, I know the Deep Octa is going to be my go to mod for a long time (Even though I始m grabbing the 150cm octabank in a week that guy will mainly be a used in the studio).


Let始s face it, photography is an expensive craft, so why spend more cash than you need to?
So you want a Profoto 7B, a head and a spare battery? That始s gonna cost ya a cool $6,450 before shipping… seriously, a spare battery alone is $1,100. So don始t even get me started on the newer B4 generator that始s just under 8K :)

Or you can go and grab this kit for $2,399 before shipping and you get the pack, head, 2 batteries, shoulder strap, reflector, varistar umbrella, sync cable, and hard case. Wow. That leaves you enough cash for a couple of mods and a used car.

So just a final breakdown as to why I use this gear over some other options:
Elinchrom Ranger Quadra>> Only 400Ws
Speedlights >> Lack of power, longer recycle, modifiers, overheating issues, changing light power while light is up high.
Alien Bees >> lack of power, and generally just not a fan of their units.
Profoto >> Weight and price
Broncolor >> Are you frikken kidding me????!!!??

Ohh and some pictures :)

Elinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Deep Octa India Sadhu Aaron Aubrey Photography DreadlocksElinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Deep Octa India Sadhu Aaron Aubrey Photography VaranasiElinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Deep Octa India Sadhu Aaron Aubrey Photography VaranasiElinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Deep Octa India Sadhu Aaron Aubrey Photography Mumbai Bombay Dhobi GhatsElinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Deep Octa India Sadhu Aaron Aubrey Photography Mumbai Bombay Dhobi Ghats BandraElinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Deep Octa India Sadhu Aaron Aubrey Photography Varanasi
And one of me hauling around the kit! thanks to my trusty assistant Ankur Jadhav for the photo and all the help!!
Elinchrom RangerRX Rotalux Octabox Deep Octa India Aaron Aubrey

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