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Mix and match Profoto with other brands
  
 
cambyses
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


Ok, we recently got two Profoto B1's, and love them both. They should be enough for most, if not all, of our work on location. Now for our work in the studio (garage and occasionally rental), we would like to get two more strobes for hair/rim/background lights. And unfortunately we don't have the budget to add two more Profoto monolights. And hence the question: Which strobes would you recommend to mix and match with B1's, mostly for studio work?

Some of the specs I have in mind:
1) Cost -- Hope to stay below $1000-$1200 total for the two strobes.
2) Good color balance and consistency in light quality when used together with B1's
3) Support for infrared slave functionality, so we don't have to buy additional radio receivers. We don't have PW's. For B1's, we use either IR slave (using Nikon SU800 as the commander) or Pixel King radio triggers. We will get a Profoto Air Remote once they have the Nikon iTTL version.

Would appreciate any input in advance...

Thanks...



Jun 09, 2014 at 06:56 PM
delsol9400
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


I would go with the Paul C Buff Einstein's, or even the older Photogenic Powerlight 500's (which I have 3 for sale)... both match pretty close


Jun 10, 2014 at 05:22 AM
cambyses
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


Thanks. I have been thinking about E640's too. But then based on someone's comment in another forum, I think it may be a good idea to go with older Profoto compacts. The key benefit would be that I would be able to use all our modifiers on all our lights. But then E640 is based on newer technology and has many more features, including much finer control over power level.

So which would be better? buying new E640's, or used Compact 300 or 600's?

Thanks...



Jun 10, 2014 at 04:47 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


Your decision should also depend on what light modifiers you have. If you have profoto I would buy Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4's or BX-RI's and their Elinchrom to Profoto speedring.

When you say "infrared salve functioning" do you mean photocell triggering? Yo may be thinking about Speedlights like Nikon. But I don't know of any studio strobe that would work with your SU-800.



Jun 10, 2014 at 10:11 PM
cambyses
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


Gregg Heckler wrote:
Your decision should also depend on what light modifiers you have. If you have profoto I would buy Elinchrom D-Lite RX 4's or BX-RI's and their Elinchrom to Profoto speedring.

When you say "infrared salve functioning" do you mean photocell triggering? Yo may be thinking about Speedlights like Nikon. But I don't know of any studio strobe that would work with your SU-800.


Thanks...For now, I only have a couple of Profoto modifiers (3' octa, beauty dish, zoom reflector, umbrellas). I do sometimes rent other Profoto modifiers (e.g., 5' octa). And I like to consider the possibility of adding more Profoto modifiers in future.

On infrared, actually Profoto B1 does support it, and I can indeed trigger it with either SU-800 or the pop-up flash in our D800E. But I guess just a photocell triggering on the additional strobes would do as well since they would be triggered on the flash from my B1 key/fill lights, and I won't need to buy additional radio receivers.

So would Elinchrom's meet my budget constraint (i.e., staying below ~$1000 for the two additional strobes)? E640's and used Compact 300's would meet that but I haven't checked the prices on D-Lite RX or BX-RI. Will look into those too. Thanks.



Jun 10, 2014 at 10:32 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


A D-Light X4 is $395. Used Profoto compacts are not a bad Idea either. But I like the Elinchrom idea because you can use your beauty dish and other modifiers and if you want wireless triggering when you use only the Elinchrom you could add a $100 Elinchrom transmitter. You could then also buy Elinchrom's excellent light modifiers and get a Profoto to Elinchrom adapter, so you'd have a choice of both systems to use.

Edited on Jun 11, 2014 at 04:37 AM · View previous versions



Jun 10, 2014 at 10:55 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


Gregg Heckler wrote:
Your decision should also depend on what light modifiers you have.


Emphasis, this.

I'd rather use a household light bulb with the right softbox than a $2,000 mono with the wrong modifier.

Once you get past umbrellas, modifiers get pricy and they can have huge impact on the characteristics and quality of light. For me, universal compatibility between my lights and modifiers is a first priority.

Regards,

Chuck






Jun 11, 2014 at 03:27 AM
 

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cambyses
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


nolaguy wrote:
Emphasis, this.

I'd rather use a household light bulb with the right softbox than a $2,000 mono with the wrong modifier.

Once you get past umbrellas, modifiers get pricy and they can have huge impact on the characteristics and quality of light. For me, universal compatibility between my lights and modifiers is a first priority.

Regards,

Chuck


Thanks Chuck... Yes, that is the reason I am thinking about Profoto compacts, though I have also heard good things about E640's, and Paul Buff modifiers. At the end, I may decide to just use our SB910/SB600 speedlights for background/hair/rim light for now, and save for a couple of Profoto D1's in future.



Jun 11, 2014 at 05:06 AM
Waki
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


I have Profoto 1200R and 600R packs, a B1, a D1 set and an E640 with VML. I use the E640 with a 79" parabolic softbox from Rime Lite and recently with the new PCB Omni reflector and diffuser. I do own a few other speedrings for the Einstein so I could swap out a Profoto ring for it but its never really been necessary. The E640 stays on the Rime Lite about 90% of the time although I'm using it on the Omni more and more. It works well with the Profoto equipment. I do most of my work outside my studio and take the E640, 600R and B1 most of the time using speedlights to augment where necessary. I pretty much use the PCB Omni, a Profoto Magnum reflector, regular Profoto 7" reflector, grids, and a Mola Beauty Dish coupled with 3 Westcott Para umbrellas and diffusers, a few smaller umbrellas, and a 60" Softlighter II instead of softboxes. Once in a great while I bring out a softbox or octa. Usually thats the 39" deep octa from Elinchrom. I just bought a XXL Rapid Box for Profoto too. I have not tried it yet. I've found the para umbrellas and diffusers work real well and will probably replace the Westcott's with the XL Profotos and diffusers when they wear out. If ever. Using the umbrellas lets me use the E640 and VML, or a D1 and VML, 600R and my B1 without worrying about speedrings. I can control the light a bit more too by moving the light on the shaft. I like the portability and the lighter weight. I bring C-stands and use the 40" grip arm to boom a light and umbrella - no problem with a sandbag, some big rocks, water jugs, etc. helping the C-stand out.


Jun 11, 2014 at 05:40 PM
cambyses
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


Thanks a lot for your comment. Glad to hear that you find E640's working well with Profotos. And sticking to umbrellas and Softlighter II instead of softboxes certainly makes sense as far as flexibility of the mount is concerned,

Waki wrote:
I do most of my work outside my studio and take the E640, 600R and B1 most of the time using speedlights to augment where necessary.


Just curious, how do you reliably trigger all these different strobes and speedlights outdoors? Do you have a PW receiver on every light?

Thanks...



Jun 11, 2014 at 06:22 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


I have a pair of Profoto Acute B 600 portable strobes, and have suplemented them with Profoto Compact 600 studio strobes for more options when AC power is available. In your case used Compact 300 or Compact 600 strobes make a lot of sense. I really like the Profoto mounting system, and have a wide variety of modifiers that all easily go on to my strobes. All my strobes have the traditional protruding frosted bulb, which allow positioning at the focus of any modifier with out adding a "fake" dome. Adjustable focus on the many Profoto reflectors that support that feature is really nice, and you would keep that if you get Profoto Compacts.

I have the option of slaved strobe or built in PocketWizard triggering, or of course using an external Pocketwizard, and use all of those modes at times depending on the situation. You should make sure that what ever solution you decide on has a clear and simple solution for triggering.



Jun 11, 2014 at 06:48 PM
Waki
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


@cambyses - I trigger using a combination of pocketwizard and profoto air remote or just Air Remote depending on what I'm using. I tend to use no more than 2 -3 lights most of the time. I do use a PW on any non Profoto light. For instance, I use a plus III on camera, another plus III plugged into my Air Remote to trigger the profoto lights that are air sync capable. I put these two in my pocket or bag. I set light levels with the Air Remote and trigger them with the PW. I use a Plus III anywhere else. If I'm using only Profoto then I use just the Air Remote since my B1 and D1's are air sync capable.


Jun 11, 2014 at 07:45 PM
Lapada
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


I got 2x b1, 1x d1 and an air remote. I also have pocket wizard (tt1 and tt5) if I ever need to borrow lights that are non profoto. You can use both pocket wizard and air remote apparently. I was never in a position were I needed to test this out but I do have it. http://plbphoto.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/mixing-pocket-wizard-and-profoto-air-sync/

If you can save up for a d1 air it will make your life easier in the long run. I sold my Einsteins and got a d1 air for 2 main reasons. The air remote makes life easier to trigger/adjust power and I only need modifiers for profoto. If I ever needed more then 3 lights I can always rent more profoto d1 air from local rental places and still trigger them with the air remote. I shoot Nikon also and got an air remote as it can work as a receiver to trigger other brands of lights when the TTL-N remote comes out. Only down side I see is your married to the profoto ecosystem which can get very expensive fast but I don't see it as a downside really since they are great products.



Jun 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Waki
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Mix and match Profoto with other brands


The Profoto ecosystem though is a mixed environment as far as triggers. Several of my Profoto lights, an Acute 1200R and 600R have built in PocketWixard support. I wish I could go with all Air Sync and Air Remotes/TTL-N but it's not possible. Unless I buy a few Air Sync triggers for $400+ to plug into the packs.
Given I have to use PW anyway, I find it no bigger an issue to keep my E640 Einstein and use it since it's not really being used with any Profoto modifiers. It's very portable, produces great light and works.



Jun 12, 2014 at 11:54 AM





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