Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS and Quadra Hybrid Test Photo Shoot


Earlier this month I made the big financial leap to invest in another portable flash system from the Swiss masters at Elinchrom. I sourced two Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Hybrid AS RX powerpacks with Standard (S) flash heads from a US retailer, and the brand new Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS transmitter from an Aussie store. I will be shooting primarily snowboarding with this killer kit, but wanted to give the high-speed flash-sync capabilities a test drive before I head off overseas.

Radich Elinchrom Quadra and EL-Skyport Plus HSThe big advantages of this system are:

  • Lightweight lithium-ion batteries and flash heads: each unit weights just 2kg, much less than the high-powered, lead-battery Elinchrom Ranger RX pack and head I already own – ie super portable in a backpack;
  • Built in wireless receivers in the Quadra Hybrid, which pair with Elinchrom’s transmitters – so no more fliddling with Pocketwizards, their batteries and all sorts of cords;
  • 400ws of power, which should be enough for most applications; but most importantly,
  • The EL-Skyport Plus HS has a new “Hi-Sync” feature that works with either Canon or Nikon cameras (you buy a specific transmitter) to allow flash synchronisation up to 1/8000th of a second! Previously I was flash-syncing at just 1/250th of a second with Pocketwizards. And with this Hi-Sync feature, it now means that I can easily increase the shutter speed to freeze the action, as well as underexpose (and therefore, darken) the background to make the subject “pop” off the screen. This means that you can get much more usable light out of the 400ws of flash power.

So to test, I dragged my brother to the local primary school basketball court in the afternoon. It was a pretty rushed shoot, but really I wanted to get a quick idea of how well this Elinchrom system can capture the action, darken the background, and what the range of the wireless transmitter was. And the result of the test? I love it! Easy to use, great range, quick flash refresh times. It’s going to make all my future photo shoots so much easier to set up.

So for those that are interested, I’ve included the settings by which the photos were taken. All shots were under bright, but cloudy daylight settings, with post-production editing in Lightroom. Click on the photos to see them larger.

For more information about the Elinchom EL-Skyport Plus HS click here and Hi-Sync.

For more information about the Elinchom Ranger Quadra Hybrid AS RX click here.


1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


Yep, the flash works. First photo, making it look more like dark twilight than the bright, cloudy afternoon that it was.  1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


1/4000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


1/4000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 800.


Moody. Testing the range of the transmitter. This was taken about 100m away, through a cyclone-wire fence, and around a brick wall and wooden fence. A few more metres away and the flash didn’t fire. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


Turning the tables, handing the camera to my brother and becoming the subject. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


Trying to make it rain. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


Like Mike? Doing my best to emulate Jordan’s Playground. 1/2000 sec at f2.8, ISO 400.


5 Responses to “Elinchrom EL-Skyport Plus HS and Quadra Hybrid Test Photo Shoot”

  1. 1 Macca
    Monday 21 December, 2015 at 8:13 PM


  2. 2 Kevin
    Wednesday 26 October, 2016 at 10:20 AM

    Hi, You have no idea how long Ive been looking for a post/review like this so thank you!!

    I have a hybrid set with A heads and Ive been wondering if I could shoot outdoors and use the Skyport HS to bring down the ambient while keeping low apertures.

    I guess I will be purchasing it then 🙂

    • Friday 6 January, 2017 at 2:50 PM

      Hi Kevin,

      Sorry for the slow reply. I’m glad the blog post was helpful. Enjoy the Skyport – I haven’t tried it with the Ranger yet, but I have the adapters to give it a go, and i expect it will work as well as the Quadras.

  3. Saturday 7 January, 2017 at 5:58 PM

    Kevin – take a look at a couple of snowboarding at night and in low light shots I took in Japan using the same set-up as this basketball test shoot: https://radmania.com/2017/01/06/japan-backcountry-snowboarding-photos-hakuba-and-nozawa-onsen/

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