When I was looking for my first flash set up portability was my first concern. I knew I would be out in the snow miles away from the closest out let and cigaret lighter. That would immediately narrow it down to just a few companies for me. I also ruled out speed lights because of the lack of power, unless you want to bring out a whole backpack full of them with 7000 batteries.
After that I was looking at flash duration and batterie life. That brought it down to Profoto and Elinchrom. At the time there was no hyper sync so I was looking for the fastest flash head available. Which of course is the Elinchrom ranger A Head. I needed the shorter flash duration to freeze the motion to create a sharper image. I was still in between Profoto and Elinchrom, even with the shorter flash duration on Elinchrom side.
The next step was, "what am I really going to put the flashes through." I was just thinking a little snow, some sand and some water. I was even factoring in the size and weight for travel. At the time the Ranger was one of the only weather "resistant" pack out there, it could also be set down in 6 inches of water. I looked at the Profoto and it has a ton of openings to let in the weather, not good for me. Profot was also heavier, and I need every ounce I can get for air travel.
Super long story short I ended up going with the Elinchrom Ranger Speed AS. I felt the resistance to weather would be the best for me. Little did I know at the time what these packs were really going to go through! Over the past few years I have had these in rain, snow, hail, sand storms, water, lakes, oceans, negative degree weather to well over a hundred degrees. They have been strapped to snowmobiles, boats, planes, helicopters, snow cats, dog sleds, cars, 4 wheelers, dirt bikes, dune buggies. They have flown around the world and back on countless airlines.
I have never had one thing go wrong with any of my packs or flashes yet. They have been trough it all. I keep them in Burton F-Stop packs which only provide a limited amount of protection. Even the packs have been though it all with them. They have been sucked into snowmobile tracks, ran over by snowmobiles, landed on my helis, back up on by snow cats, survived long trips on ski boats with 10 people on them, stuffed into jetskis (which were half submerged), dropped down massive cliffs, and teeter tottering on ladders over water.
This is where I would like to thank my packs for never failing me. They always fire no matter what condition. They are always there no matter how much I abuse them, and they always give me the light I need to create my images. So here's to you Elinchrom Rangers!
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