Steven Brokaw Photography

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Vagabond Mini Lust

It's Mini, but powerful   

It's Mini, but powerful


I did an editorial fashion photoshoot yesterday on location.  The location was a local drinking establishment - some might call a "dive" bar.  The lighting plan was to use only one key, an Elinchrom D-Lite 4.  The problem identified after scouting the venue - limited access to power / plugs.  Not good.

Portable power, I needed portable power.  But, since I normally shoot out of my studio - nope, don't own any battery packs.  To get around this issue I borrowed a photographer friend's Paul C Buff, Vagabond Mini.  I've heard good things about the Mini, but have never used one.  

I'm glad I had the chance.  The Vagabond Mini was very easy to use and extremely portable. I simply hung it from my light stand, plugged the Elinchrom into one of the two plugs, turned it on and away I went.  

I charged the unit the evening before, so it had a full charge.  The Elinchrom was fired approximately 400 shutter activations at a lower power setting (3.2).  The Vagabond Mini worked like a champ.  By the end of the shoot there was still 3 charge status lights glowing green which meant at least 75% power.

One caveat, I didn't shoot in burst mode, but single shots.  The audible warning was turned on the D-Lite so I knew when the strobe was ready to go.  There appeared to be no lag versus having the light plugged in.  This was completely unscientific because I didn't do a side by side comparison.   OK, a second caveat, I only operated 1 light off the battery.  Although there are 2 outlets on the battery, I didn't test it this way.

So, my vote, thumbs up for the Vagabond Mini.  For $240 in the USA (direct from Paul C Buff) it is a solid portable power source.  

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