Equipment Review – Inconsistent Flash Problems?
Imagine how many moments you would miss if your flash recycled slowly and did not fire consistently. And even if you replace your batteries often, how do you know exactly when the batteries are beginning to go? Chances are, by the time you notice, you will have missed a few moments. Furthermore, going through dozens of AA batteries a wedding is costly, even at bulk pricing.
A solution that our studio was introduced to by our friend and mentor John Solano, is the Quantum Turbo C Compact Battery Power Pack. According to Quantum, “the Turbo C’s energy comes from Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) technology, providing concentrated power, quick flash recycling, no memory, and long life.”
An important downside to this product is that if you connect the cable from the battery to your flash incorrectly, the battery will “fry” your flash unit and it will no longer work (we learned this the hard way). This occurs when you connect the cable to the flash upside down. Although there are grooves that guide you to connect it to the flash correctly, the cable still fits easily in the slot upside down, making this costly mistake very easy to encounter.
Furthermore, although this product serves as a power source, you will still need to use a set of batteries in your flash unit. Another important note is that you should not use these units with rechargeable batteries, as they will permanently decrease the life on your rechargeable batteries.
Here is a list of features for this product, followed by our comments about each claim.
“When charging, which takes just 1 ½ hours, the “fuel gauge” displays the charging progress.” We’ve been very happy with the short charge time, which is faster than the charge time for our camera batteries and our rechargeable AA batteries. Furthermore, the gauge has been very handy in letting us know the remaining power.
“Our smallest Turbo yet, the Turbo C weighs just 16 ounces yet packs almost the same power of a standard Turbo.” The light weight is definitely a plus for anyone concerned with injuring his/her hand from carrying heavy equipment.
“A self-contained thread screws into the socket on the bottom of a camera, and Turbo C itself accepts tripod threads for mounting.” The attachment to the camera is simple and sturdy; and the tripod mounting is useful any time you need to mount the entire unit on a tripod. Additionally, the battery can be mounted on a flash stand, giving you the ability to use it with your off-camera flash. Having consistent off-camera flash is sometimes as important (or more important) than having consistent on-camera flash.
“Special, shorter cables for cameras and flashes neatly connect to your equipment. Flash Cables for under Camera mounting,with no dangling extra wire” Although the cables are short, they can still sometimes dangle and get in your shots, especially with Fisheye lenses. However, this is not an issue if you stay alert and keep this in mind.
Overall, we recommend this product for anyone who takes a lot of flashed shots in a single day and/or anyone who is photographing “must-have” moments at any type of low light event. If you snap the occasional photo here and there or photograph things that do not require constant, consistent flashing, i.e nature, architecture, etc, then you probably can do without this product. Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment with your experiences.