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Author Topic: On location lighting Profoto B2 250w - but is there a viable alternative?  (Read 1153 times)

FataMorgana

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Hi there.

I have a particular technique I use to some affect which is a single mono head atop a monopod. The mono light itself is attached by long cable to a battery that is smaller than mini iPad and works a treat - it sits in my jacket pocket or pack side pocket. There are no attachments to the head as far as I am aware.

However my problem is that I would like to expand this system a little and I've been looking at the ProFoto B2 250 Air set up, but it's 1.9K here in the Uk for a 2x head, 1 (?) x battery kit.

One of the things that I do not have access to in the present setup is being able to change the output of the light nor is it TTL - which are very much care for anyway.

The other issue that I have at present with the current system is twofold: one is that there is no longer a distributor in the UK and my attempts to establish communication with others that sell this Chinese made head have come to naught. One cable has already failed. And now I'm just waiting for a bulb to blow - and then I'm up the creek without a paddle.

So the question really is what alternatives can you suggest please to a one or two head system that is relatively modular in that I can apply soft boxes, umbrellas, perhaps a snoot., perhaps barn doors (as examples)?

The ProFoto battery slings around your medical shoulders we can bring a backpack and I certainly wouldn't want the battery to be any bigger and the battery can run 2x 250W heads simultaneously which I haven't really thought much about the simple reason that much of the time when I'm being peripatetic I simply have one head on a long "stick", camera in the other hand.

I appreciate the ProFoto is also TTL with the extra gizmos.

Thanks for any / all comments.

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paulgrundy

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    • Paul Grundy

I use Elinchrom Ranger Quadras. Cheaper than the Profotos. Small and compact. At first I had numerous reliability issues especially with the cables but they seem to have improved the build quality and over the last couple of years I have had no problems recently. They come with a Skyport trigger.

Pixapro portable flash systems are around half the price of the Rangers. I have no experience of them but if you are near Birmingham it might be worth going to the Photography Show there in the next couple of weeks. It will give you a chance to try them and they normally have some very good deals.

Paul
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FataMorgana

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Good thinking about B'rum.

Cheers.
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David Eichler

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Quantum strobes, or the Godox knock offs of Quantum.
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Conner999

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Another option is the Profoto AcuteB 600. There's no remote control, but small, light, utterly reliable, top build quality, 600Ws, can use any Profoto mods with no adapters needed, use a Ring Flash, can be used with some speciality heads light the stick/ strip lights  will make all Profoto mods perform as designed (the flat face of the B2/B1/D series can be sub-optimal in some tin and larger modifiers). You can even use a Profoto Acute2/D4 Twin head into two AcuteB packs to get 1200ws (works great).

The bottom has also fallen out of their prices due to the B1/2 series. Probably one of the best buys in portable lighting out there if you don't need TTL and remote control. 
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Ken Doo

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If price, portability, and lightweight are key considerations---as well as TTL, HSS, and being able to control power from the wireless remote are required, I would look at the newly released SMDV BRiHT 360. It doesn't have quite the power of the Godox 600 and all her cousins, but it is substantially lighter and smaller, and from what an associate photographer tells me, the SMDV remote is much better than its competitors.  I have no interest in purchasing the SMDV as I am fully invested with Profoto and no longer doing weddings--which I think the portability of this light makes it ideal, but have been asked to test/review the SMDV since the distributor knows I have the Profoto B2 system. I've instead let associate photographers more familiar with Godox et al. use the SMDV lights, and so far comments have been very positive.  I'll probably consolidate their comments into an informal review on my blog at a later date.

The lightweight portability means it is much easier to put on a monopod as you have been doing or use a light stand without worry about being top heavy. Supposedly more power than B2 (haven't checked specs with light meter yet), yet light and compact. Reflectors are surprisingly well built with similar metal as Profoto reflectors. Very easy to stick one or two light kits into a small photo backpack.

Ken

Harold Clark

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Considering the output you require the soon to be released Godox AD200 might fit the bill, Completely self contained units at bit less than 2 lbs total. I am going to have look at them for small, quick setups.
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FelixWu

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Hi there.

I have a particular technique I use to some affect which is a single mono head atop a monopod. The mono light itself is attached by long cable to a battery that is smaller than mini iPad and works a treat - it sits in my jacket pocket or pack side pocket. There are no attachments to the head as far as I am aware.

However my problem is that I would like to expand this system a little and I've been looking at the ProFoto B2 250 Air set up, but it's 1.9K here in the Uk for a 2x head, 1 (?) x battery kit.

One of the things that I do not have access to in the present setup is being able to change the output of the light nor is it TTL - which are very much care for anyway.

The other issue that I have at present with the current system is twofold: one is that there is no longer a distributor in the UK and my attempts to establish communication with others that sell this Chinese made head have come to naught. One cable has already failed. And now I'm just waiting for a bulb to blow - and then I'm up the creek without a paddle.

So the question really is what alternatives can you suggest please to a one or two head system that is relatively modular in that I can apply soft boxes, umbrellas, perhaps a snoot., perhaps barn doors (as examples)?

The ProFoto battery slings around your medical shoulders we can bring a backpack and I certainly wouldn't want the battery to be any bigger and the battery can run 2x 250W heads simultaneously which I haven't really thought much about the simple reason that much of the time when I'm being peripatetic I simply have one head on a long "stick", camera in the other hand.

I appreciate the ProFoto is also TTL with the extra gizmos.

Thanks for any / all comments.

With the B2 even have two heads attached to generator it still outputs 250w/s max....you don't get twice the output with two heads.

Unless you wanna invest in the profoto system (and it's a good system with a lot of lighting and modifier options), I would check out the AD200. Looks interesting and its so small. I don't consider B2 as small for its power.
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FataMorgana

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Thanks
Update:

At the show Mon Tues and there many Godox units, under various names!
B2 quite beautiful, I will let you know my thoughts later in the week.
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nemophoto

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I have three different solutions I own (soon to own a forth). All have batteries as you use (integrated or separate),  but the key for you is having radio transmitters for adjusting the light. I tried out the B2 and, frankly, hated it and thought it was overpriced. Some of these solution may not. E avail to you in the U.K. Other than by special order, but all are cheaper, and in my eye, better. These are:
Phottix Indra 500 with the Odin II radio
Elinchrom ELB400 (I use the HS head but there are two others) w/Skyport EL
Paul Buff Einstein 640 with a vagabond battery and Pocket Wizard TT1 or TT5

I also own a Priolte MBX500 HS and radio. Nice light but heavy and for my purposes, a bit slow for recycle. I have just ordered from Adorama the new Orlit 610 which can be purchased with a Canon or Nikon radio or use the native Canon RT transmitter. It also has an integrated battery, so no cables. Any of these I'd stack up against the Profoto and all, even the Elinchrom, are cheaper.
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