When I was looking at reviews of the Elinchrom Ranger Quadra, one of the most common complaints people seemed to have was the fact that they couldn’t mount standard umbrellas on it (Elinchrom uses a 7mm umbrella shaft, while most others in the US use an 8mm shaft).
Now this seemed kind of silly to me – first off, the Quadra head is extremely small and lightweight – hanging anything larger than a *tiny* umbrella off it just seems like a recipe for disaster. Secondly I thought to myself “I mount umbrellas on speedlights all the time and they have no umbrella holder whatsoever – why is the quadra any different?” The solution:
The plain ol’ vanilla Umbrella Swivel. Beloved of “Strobists” everywhere, it provides a secure slot/mount for the umbrella, placing the weight & torque on itself rather than the strobe head. Screw in a post on top, plop the Quadra head on that and good to go. You can even still use the angle of the quadra head itself to hit the sweet spot of the umbrella.
Personally this is just fine for me. works great for my umbrellas, Apollo softboxes and Softliters…but let’s say you need the light more “on axis” with the umbrella shaft (maybe to fit the hole in one of the new PLM diffusion screens for instance…) I found the easiest thing is to simply take a second swivel, and use it to “hang” the head off the umbrella shaft itself. The head is light enough that it doesn’t put undue strain on the shaft (or the swivel).
Kinda kludgy but it works. Personally I don’t bother – mounting it on the swivel itself is quick, easy and gets the job done with hardware that I’m already carrying anyway for my speedlights.
So there you have it: Mounting umbrellas on the Quadra made easy!