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Author Topic: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?  (Read 1490 times)

vchiline

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Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« on: March 04, 2018, 04:35:35 PM »

Hey there,

I've been shooting with Einstein lights from Paul C Buff for what feels forever (since they came out), and I'm honestly, looking to move onto something else - I've a 50% failure rate with the 10 I own, and truly don't like the mounting mechanism - there are just too many things that annoy me. I make my living shooting mostly products, luxury goods. I have been starting to do more and more fashion work.

So... I've been looking at getting perhaps a Broncolor system, or a Profoto one. Currently, looking at the D2 vs Siros 800 S. I'm in Canada. I haven't seen any side-by-side tests. The D2 appears to have incredible stopping power for action shots, which I don't do regularly. They also recycle faster than Broncolor. I do enjoy the color fidelity that Broncolor appears to deliver. The app seems interesting.

Modifiers are quite extensive, and I see myself mostly getting a few softboxes, octabox, and the awesome Para 88 or 133.

What do you think of each? I've got budget... so it's not about "skimping". I want to "invest" into this.

Thanks!
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UlfKrentz

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2018, 02:13:43 PM »

You wonīt go wrong with any of those. Iīm a broncolor guy and couldnīt image switching to another brand, especially for stills I enjoy the color fidelity that comes with broncolorīs technology and their reliability. That said, Iīd suggest to check avaiablility and service / support for both brands in your region and that may end up in favor for Profoto. One other thought, tough- why do you plan to use all in one units? I see so much more advantages in the generator / lamp systems.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 09:24:24 PM »

As a casual profoto user (D1 and B1) I am overall happy but the one aspect I don't like about the Profoto system is the recessed flash bulb in those portable monoblocks.

The issue is that using these with the very appealing para 88 is apparently not a good idea since the light is too focused to benefit from the parabolic effect because of the recessed bulb.

Another thing is that, although Profoto shorter flash durations at high power outputs, the way the light is cut off isn't as sharp as with Broncolor, which results in less appealing water droplots in case you like the frozen water look.

I have been hesitating about changing over to Broncolor because of these, but just can't justify the cost with my current usage.

Cheers,
Bernard

DP

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2018, 09:59:51 PM »

I've a 50% failure rate with the 10 I own

ten E640s at once ? are you using them all at once or just have enough spares ?
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Two23

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2018, 10:25:02 PM »

I own eight White Lightning X3200 and mostly use them outdoors.  And, mostly during winters on the Northern Plains in temps down to -30F.  After eight years I've never had one fail.  However, I have no experience with the Einsteins.  How are they failing?  If you are sure you want to change, I'd go with whatever system you can keep your current modifiers, if possible.  Profoto modifiers are just outrageous in price.


Kent in SD
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vchiline

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 07:45:50 AM »

I've asked my dealer to provide me quotes for both Broncolor and Profoto systems, guess that's going to play into the equation in the end as well. Both systems are quite evenly matched it appears. In my city, Montreal, Canada, there is a profoto repair shop, so that's another +1 for that brand.

As to why a monoblock - well, they are substantially lower in cost overall though still not cheap - I'm trying to understand what more I'll get out of a powerpack and some "satellite" flashes. I've always worked with monoblocks... maybe that's why I'm looking at that. I would need action stopping to a degree, and the current Pro-10 is insanely priced for only 2 outputs. At least the Broncolor Scoro 3200 S is 3 outputs and a bit less. Perhaps looking at the used market could be a thing to do.

The biggest negative for profoto is that recessed flash tube.... it's what I've been reading everywhere. I heard to use with the Para 88, you'd need to get the Para 133 adjustment tube so it can move the light further out so the 70% angle can cover more of the parabolic umbrella.

As for the Einsteins, no, not using 10 at a time :) Using 4-5 normally. And I know one of the others are about to give way again. I really don't like the modifier holding system with those fingers. My Alien Bees on the other hand, had been very tough (owned 8, sold them all many years ago). Just color and freeze flash weren't at the party.

Thanks for your replies!
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DP

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 08:58:56 AM »

I really don't like the modifier holding system with those fingers.

yes, that was the bad choice and why they don't have the guts to simply change it or offer an option to have alternative mount now beats me
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Rob_Strovich

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 09:36:40 AM »

I'm using the Profoto D2 and B1's. Really awesome lights and portable. I have bought a couple of glass domes to mount on them replacing the glas covers, so it makes a perfect light with some modifiers (beauty dish, the Fresnel, etc.). See the images with and without glass dome (the glass plate makes a dark shadow in the middle of the light spread). Bye!
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UlfKrentz

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 05:29:41 PM »

Ok, I see the price point which clearly is in favor for the monos. With a head / pack combination you have the smaller and lighter unit, which make a lot of sense once you rig it up your light high or on a boom stand or for example fit it in a Para88. You have easy access to all your controls (now with the monos having a remote this is probably not really a point any more) and some more options like twin heads or purpose build lights like strip bars, fresnels etc. and high power. One more thing is the electronic is apart from the modeling light and flash tube so it usually runs cooler this may result in better reliability. In case you might want to take the broncolor route take a look at pre owned Grafit A packs as they sometimes go for small money and perform close to the recent packs.

Kirk_C

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2018, 02:59:35 AM »

I have' had Profoto D1s since they were introduced. Added the domes immediately. The recessed tube is the dumbest thing they've ever done. I also have Profoto 6 and 7 packs and heads. A few Acute packs/heads and B packs/heads as well. Not one of the them has ever failed. Nor do I have issues with color. All my PF lights are within 150K from min to man output. I know because I have a Minolta color meter and the Broncolor meter. If you have a shift that's greater than that you've got an environmental influence or a bad flash tube.

Profoto and Broncolor modifiers are expensive and worth it. I use a lot of both brands. I just bought the Para 133 and it works fine with an Acute head. I wouldn't put the Siros or anyone else's monoblock in it. It becomes front heavy and hard to handle. The Para 88 would be worse. Paras need real flash heads. That's what they were designed for.

The B1s, B2 system, the Broncolor Siros L and now the Elinchrom ELB500 TTL are all about the TTL feature. The primary lighting market today is wedding photographers, like it or not. Any monkey can shoot an auto focus camera using TTL and get something acceptable. Not Pro quality, but you see it all over FB, Snapchat and Instagram.

I used a Metz TTL system with my Hasselblads and film back in the day. That was TTL worth using because you could dial it in. Again, invented for the wedding shooter but not at all like the current TTL results.

Broncolor is great stuff but in 30 years as a Pro, the times I've needed a short flash duration I could always get it with my Profoto lights. If I need short flash duration with a lot of light I use the D1s. Their shortest duration is at full power. Before the D1s I used the Profoto Freeze packs with Pro heads. If I need a short duration at low power I use the Acutes. Their shortest duration is at min power. I have twin tube heads that can be split between packs to give me short duration with mid level output.

I use the best modifiers from Profoto, Broncolor, Elinchrom, Bowens, Chimera and Mola. They're the key.

I expect we'll see an update to the Siros and Move pack this year. They have a firmware upgrade now for the latest HSS RFS 2.2 but nothing shipped with that revision in 2017. So if you decide to go that route ask about the RFS version.




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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2018, 08:22:55 AM »

If I need short flash duration with a lot of light I use the D1s. Their shortest duration is at full power.

Are you 100% sure about this part?

That's not my understanding.

Cheers,
Bernard

UlfKrentz

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2018, 01:19:45 PM »

Are you 100% sure about this part?

That's not my understanding.

Cheers,
Bernard

The D1 have a more classic design, so yes they have their shortest duration at highest voltage which is at max power. With the D2 design the flash duration is faster at lower settings as it is with broncolor. If you compare just the numbers donīt forget there is a huge difference in t0,5 and t0,1 readings.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2018, 10:05:52 PM »

Interesting, thanks.

I’ll do a few tests with my Sekonic.

Cheers,
Bernard

Kirk_C

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Re: Age old debate.. Profoto or Broncolor.... D2 or Siros S?
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 11:35:55 PM »

Are you 100% sure about this part?

That's not my understanding.

Cheers,
Bernard

Yes I'm sure. As Ulf confirmed. It's really the only reason I keep the D1s. They're good lights but they are just too limited by the tube being recessed. I was one of the first to buy them so I have first generation D1s that cannot have the firmware updated to allow slower recycle / charging rates for the capacitors and therefore are too demanding to run on batteries, even the PF SLA Batpack. A serious drawback so they live in the studio or I bring a Honda generator.

I just did a shoot today using all Broncolor modifiers and Profoto heads. The current Broncolor softboxes and the latest design Paras are really outstanding. Studio shoot with high end products and models. Exposure varied by little more than a stop from set up to set up so no color shift, consistent light output and a flash duration of 1/5300 sec. t.5. Pixel peeping showed sharp images, including blowing hair on the models.
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