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Quantum introduces Canon and Nikon wireless-compatible strobe system  
Friday, October 27, 2006 | by Rob Galbraith

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Unwired: A Quantum Qflash 5d-R with a Qnexus NX module attached will act like a full citizen in a Canon or Nikon wireless flash setup. Click to enlarge. (Graphic courtesy Quantum)

Quantum is poised to ship a new version of its Qflash that can be controlled and triggered by a wireless-capable Canon Speedlite such as the 580EX, a Nikon Speedlight like the SB-800, the built-in Commander mode of certain Nikon digital SLR cameras or wireless sender units from either company.

A QFlash 5d-R with an optional Qnexus NX module attached, says Quantum Technical Support Specialist Gerald Krauss, is the functional equivalent of a remote Canon or Nikon flash unit in almost all respects, only the Qflash is considerably more powerful and therefore potentially better suited to placement inside larger softboxes or used wherever more light power is required.

The Qnexus module offers the same channel and group options as found in Canon's and Nikon's wireless systems, and can be configured from the master flash in the same manner as well: to set the output ratio between groups in the Canon system, for example, or to change the output mode and dial in exposure compensation in the Nikon system.

The Qflash 5d-R/Qnexus NX combination isn't compatible with Canon's and Nikon's high speed/FP sync or stroboscopic modes, says Krauss, but is otherwise a full citizen of each company's wireless systems.

The new QFlash 5d-R, when used with Quantum's FreeXwire radio remote, also now supports exposure compensation on a per-group basis. As before, the Qflash 5d-R is being produced in two models: The 150w/s QFT5d-R is powered by a Quantum Turbo series battery (including the new NiMH Quantum Turbo SC) or alternative, such as the Digital Camera Battery. The QFX5d-R is powered by Quantum's Qpaq-X battery system, or compatible packs from Lumedyne and Norman. Depending on the pack, the QFX5d-R has a maximum output of either 200w/s or 400w/s.

In addition, Quantum is offering upgrades for earlier Qflash units, both the T and X variants, says Krauss:

  • A 2 or 2d Qflash can be tranformed into a special upgrade-only model called the 3d-R, which has most of the capabilities of the 5d-R except for compatibility with the Qnexus NX module.
  • A 4d or 5d Qflash can be transformed into a full-fledged 5d-R, including compatibility with the Qnexus NX module.

Both models of Qflash 5d-R, the Qnexus NX module and the Turbo SC battery are in production, says Krauss, and Quantum has stock of these items ready to ship to dealers who order them. Quantum is also in the process of rolling out several related accessories, including a diffuser for the Qflash called the QF69 Mini Folding Softbox and the Camera Mount for FreeXwire Transmitter FW9T. The U.S. manufacturer's suggested list prices (MSRP) for the new items are:

Product MSRP in the U.S.
QFT5d-R US$839
QFX5d-R US$958
Qnexus NX US$202
Turbo SC US$553
QF69 Mini Folding Softbox US$76
Camera Mount for FreeXwire Transmitter FW9T US$29

Note that Quantum's MSRP is usually higher than the typical selling price for their products in the U.S. And in the case of the Qflash, MSRP is a LOT higher than what the units actually sell for at reputable pro photo retailers. In addition, says Krauss, the 5d-R models are expected to sell for about the same price as their 5d equivalents.

A press release below has more information on Quantum's new products.

Press Release

QUANTUM UNVEILS MOST EXTENSIVE NEW PRODUCT ROLLOUT IN COMPANY HISTORY!

PhotoPlus Expo 2006—Quantum Instruments Inc., of Hauppauge, New York, is introducing three major new products, as well as numerous new accessories and upgrades. This marks the largest one-time line expansion in the company’s history and reinforces its role as an essential supplier of professional photographic instruments:

NEW Qnexus—When mounted to Quantum’s new-generation Qflash 5d-R flash units, this ingenious receiver/decoder “reads” wireless TTL signals directly from Canon and Nikon shoe mount master flashes. It integrates multiple high-power Qflash 5d-R’s into Canon or Nikon wireless TTL systems where they act as dedicated, full-function remotes controlled totally from the camera’s flash menu. Qnexus supports all Canon and Nikon wireless flash functions including Manual, Automatic, TTL and TTL-Ratio.

A Qnexus equipped Qflash 5d-R produces 150 to 400 watt-seconds of beautiful studio-quality lighting (models QFT5d-R and QFX5d-R respectively). Qnexus greatly expands creative options for portrait and event photography. For example, photographers can make a great portable portrait set-up by using a Qflash in a softbox or with an umbrella, as the main light source, and use their Canon or Nikon flash for fill. Or, for those tricky, large group photos, they can use any combination of Qflashes with camera manufacturer’s flashes as remotes, all controlled by a Nikon or Canon wireless controller. Qnexus/Qflash adds both power and versatility to the system.

Qnexus features a multi-function LED that indicates it is programmed for either Nikon or Canon wireless flash commands. Qnexus also indicates when the unit receives a command from the on-camera master flash or controller. A channel dial corresponds to the channel settings for Nikon or Canon systems. In addition, “Group” settings can be utilized to control multiple Qflashes with TTL ratios, or combine them in one group for extraordinary wireless flash power.

NEW Qflash 5d-R—(“d” for digital and “R” for Ratio)- is the latest evolution in Quantum’s proven Qflash portable flash line. The new 5d-R series used with Quantum’s FreeXwire digital radio system, now support wireless control of all dedicated camera-flash functions—Manual, TTL, Auto, Auto-fill and TTL-Ratio—up to 500 ft. away!

Qflash 5d-R units blend seamlessly with Canon, Nikon and other popular, professional, digital camera systems using Quantum’s proprietary QTTL adapters. In some situations, Qflash even provides capabilities a camera system may not support- such as wireless remote Fill-Flash. Exposure ratios for local and remote Qflashes can also be set from an on-camera Qflash 5d-R, even if the camera system does not support TTL-Ratio.

Combined, the Qflash 5d-R and FreeXwire systems open up an exciting new world of wireless- creative freedom, where even the most complex lighting set-ups can be accomplished quickly, easily and reliably.

The new 5d-R series includes two models: the Qflash T5d-R powered by Quantum Turbo-series batteries, and the Qflash X5d-R powered by Quantum’s Qpaq-X battery system. The T5d-R provides up to 150 watt-seconds of beautiful, studio quality lighting (vs. 50 watt-seconds for shoe mount flashes) while the X5d-R units deliver up to 400 watt-seconds each.

NEW Turbo Slim Compact— A new, ultra-lightweight, ultra-slim, ultra-compact addition to Quantum’s popular Turbo battery line. The new Turbo SC (“S” for Slim and “C” for Compact) provides typical all-day flash shooting capacity like the standard Turbo, yet weighs less than a pound and fits easily in a shirt pocket! “It’s so small, light and easy-to-carry”…said one photographer who tried it…“that I completely forgot it was there!”

State-of-the-art NiMH batteries power the Turbo SC for lightning-fast recycling times and high capacity. Despite its mini proportions, it provides up to 225 full-power flashes with Quantum’s Qflash units, or 400 shoe mount flashes, on a single 1.5-hour charge. And, like all Quantum batteries, the new Turbo SC features a computerized “fuel gauge” that clearly displays the amount of power remaining and monitors charging progress.

The Turbo SC is compatible with all Quantum “C” and ”CC-Series” flash cables. It includes a removable belt clip and a 100 – 200 volt charger. When the unit is registered, Quantum will send the customer a free leather shoulder strap. 

Quantum Instruments, Inc. is dedicated to providing photographers with the finest quality products, proudly designed and manufactured in the USA. For more information visit www.qtm.com or call 631-656-7400.

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