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.