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Thinking about switching to profoto
  
 
sungphoto
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Business has been going extremely well the past year and has evolved quite a bit, and I am starting to understand some of the advantages of profoto that extend beyond just quality of light.

I travel about 3-4 months out of the year for shoots, primarily between NY, Seattle, SF and LA and occasionally internationally but almost all of my work right now is US only. Most of my business is commercial/advertising nowadays, where I have a healthy equipment rental budget.

My current lighting kit is all godox (2x AD600, 2x AD200, 1x AD360), and though I have no problems with output, quality of light, batteries, etc I am getting a little nervous about depending on them as they age as obviously they are built to a price point and I've already had a couple failures. Also, I am not getting any younger, and bringing my lighting kit plus everything else when I travel by air is starting to literally wear on my body and I love the idea of just renting a profoto kit at any decent rental house and just flying with my camera kit.

I'd probably just buy a couple B1s, and a B2 to start.

Would love thoughts on pros/cons of switching over to profoto strobes. I am not considering Broncolor as they are a bit out of my budget.



Oct 10, 2017 at 04:34 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Ha I move fast. Just picked up a couple b1s to play with. Iíll likely keep a couple of my godox strobes around for non-commercial work


Oct 10, 2017 at 08:30 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Glad we could help.


Oct 10, 2017 at 11:13 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Ha my crazy thinking was supported by a few other photog friends that do a similar mix of commercial and portrait work, and I got a hell of a deal on a B1 location kit with the air remote. Keep the Godox kit for portrait work and on-call stuff in the city where I don't necessarily have time to run to the rental house, and probably pick up one more B1 to make three and and a B2 to round out a good base for my commercial work that I can add to through rentals. Feeling good about the decision.


Oct 11, 2017 at 12:39 AM
kdphotography
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Thinking about switching to profoto


B1, B2, and D2 are easy to use and also makes for a good travel kit. Easy expansion on location with rentals as you note. Great choice of modifiers. I predict your Godox kit either gathers dust on the shelf or gets sold.


Oct 11, 2017 at 12:45 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Thinking about switching to profoto


kdphotography wrote:
B1, B2, and D2 are easy to use and also makes for a good travel kit. Easy expansion on location with rentals as you note. Great choice of modifiers. I predict your Godox kit either gathers dust on the shelf or gets sold.


Unfortunately the resale value of godox gear isn't great. I could get one more used B1 with the proceeds of selling my 2 AD600s, 2 AD200s, and AD360 haha. I am going to keep the Godox kit around for a couple weeks to bridge over some shoots while I get my profoto kit nailed down, but yeah will likely sell them.

I love my Westcott modifiers so will probably just swap out the integrated speedrings from bowens to profoto as they are pretty cheap from westcott. That also would usher out my godox kit because I would no longer be able to use my softboxes with them.



Oct 11, 2017 at 12:55 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Another thing that pushed me to profoto was the Godox trigger. The Profoto Air Remote is so much easier to use than the Godox X1 trigger. I'm not sure if it's my eneloops starting to age, but my triggers seem to be going through batteries a lot faster. Perhaps this is more to do with the fact that I've been shooting a lot the last year too


Oct 11, 2017 at 01:00 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Profoto gear is lovely to use, the system is good and looks good to clients. If you can afford it, do it if it is something you use so often.


Oct 11, 2017 at 06:57 AM
Gust
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Thinking about switching to profoto


don't think longer: do it
best you can work with



Oct 11, 2017 at 09:59 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Mark_L wrote:
Profoto gear is lovely to use, the system is good and looks good to clients. If you can afford it, do it if it is something you use so often.


I now have... 4 B1s coming. Go big or go home right?

And yes, totally agree that clients notice profoto - especially with commercial/advertising work where it's kind of the standard. One of the production studios that I work with has all profoto lights in house too, so it'll be sweet to literally just show up with an air remote and my camera/lenses for shoots there.



Oct 11, 2017 at 03:36 PM
 

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sungphoto
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Gust wrote:
don't think longer: do it
best you can work with


The only thing that I'm pondering right now is if I should pick up a B2 at all considering the price on the used market for them isn't that far from a used B1. They don't really pack up that much smaller but I suppose the B2 is a bit lighter and the pack and head setup would be better for running and gunning with a voice activated light stand ie assistant.



Oct 11, 2017 at 03:44 PM
kdphotography
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Thinking about switching to profoto


The B1 and B2 go hand in hand. Nice travel kit. B2 offers a totally different form factor. The weakness of the B1 is putting so much weight high up on a lightstand; add a large modifier on a windy day and you have a perfect sail. The B2 pack keeps weight lower and is more manageable. The Phottix Indra bracket is easily adapted (add a longer velcro strap) to hold the B2 pack onto a lightstand more securely.

See, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1284784-REG/phottix_ph01200_indra_battery_mount_for.html

The B2 is definitely better with your voice activated light stand. The B1 can be unwieldy.

If Profoto would update the B2 (or the former Acute2 B600) with more power, I'd sell my B1 and get those instead. Not a fan of the A1.

Ken



Oct 11, 2017 at 04:26 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Thinking about switching to profoto


kdphotography wrote:
The B1 and B2 go hand in hand. Nice travel kit. B2 offers a totally different form factor. The weakness of the B1 is putting so much weight high up on a lightstand; add a large modifier on a windy day and you have a perfect sail. The B2 pack keeps weight lower and is more manageable. The Phottix Indra bracket is easily adapted (add a longer velcro strap) to hold the B2 pack onto a lightstand more securely.

See, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1284784-REG/phottix_ph01200_indra_battery_mount_for.html

The B2 is definitely better with your voice activated light stand. The B1 can be unwieldy.

If Profoto would update the B2
...Show more

Got it, thanks for the insight. I will likely add a B2 to my kit in the coming months once my credit card recovers a little haha.

I just wish the B2 had more power. Generally when I'm shooting on location with lighting, I prefer to have my AD600 over a smaller strobe because in a pinch I'd rather have more power than have less weight, but the remote head attachment makes the package a lot less unwieldy.



Oct 11, 2017 at 04:40 PM
jlafferty
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Agreed on the B1. It's such an awkward set of design choices: default flat glass is strange; not as much power as would be preferable, esp. given the size and weight; batteries are pretty bad. Literally the only practical upsides are "access" to a few Profoto mods and rental integration.


Oct 11, 2017 at 04:49 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Thinking about switching to profoto


jlafferty wrote:
Agreed on the B1. It's such an awkward set of design choices: default flat glass is strange; not as much power as would be preferable, esp. given the size and weight; batteries are pretty bad. Literally the only practical upsides are "access" to a few Profoto mods and rental integration.


Yeah the rental profoto B1s I've used pretty much all have loose batteries. Those suckers have lived hard lives though. I end up gaffer taping over the batteries to make sure they don't lose power



Oct 11, 2017 at 04:53 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Thinking about switching to profoto


sungphoto wrote:
I now have... 4 B1s coming. Go big or go home right?

And yes, totally agree that clients notice profoto - especially with commercial/advertising work where it's kind of the standard. One of the production studios that I work with has all profoto lights in house too, so it'll be sweet to literally just show up with an air remote and my camera/lenses for shoots there.


You only cry once. Well, until you get to the modifiers that is...



Oct 11, 2017 at 07:03 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Mark_L wrote:
You only cry once. Well, until you get to the modifiers that is...


On the subject of modifiers, I need to figure out if I want to just swap out the integrated speedrings on my westcott softboxes to profoto or swap out my modifiers to profoto as well.

I am leaning towards just keeping my westcott ones because they've proven to hold up under a lot of usage and travel, and the umbrella design makes them really quick to set up on location. I also am not buying (literally and figuratively) the whole overpriced profoto deep umbrella thing. It seems ludicrous that you'd price an umbrella comparably to the softboxes, but I suppose you're paying for the brand name on the side of the brollies.



Oct 11, 2017 at 07:20 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Thinking about switching to profoto


sungphoto wrote:
On the subject of modifiers, I need to figure out if I want to just swap out the integrated speedrings on my westcott softboxes to profoto or swap out my modifiers to profoto as well.

I am leaning towards just keeping my westcott ones because they've proven to hold up under a lot of usage and travel, and the umbrella design makes them really quick to set up on location. I also am not buying (literally and figuratively) the whole overpriced profoto deep umbrella thing. It seems ludicrous that you'd price an umbrella comparably to the softboxes, but I suppose you're
...Show more

There are loads of their modifiers that are just wildly overpriced. The general rule is profoto's reflectors are possibly the best out there so worth buying but you can buy the rest elsewhere. Knockoff profoto mounts are never quite as good though I have to say.


Edited on Oct 11, 2017 at 07:38 PM · View previous versions



Oct 11, 2017 at 07:36 PM
tcphoto
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Thinking about switching to profoto


My favorite soft box is the Elinchrom 150cm Indirect. I also have the Profoto 2x3 soft box for general use and may add a Mola beauty dish shortly. I'll admit that I've been into the Kinoflo Diva's lately.


Oct 11, 2017 at 07:37 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Thinking about switching to profoto


Mark_L wrote:
There are loads of their modifiers that are just wildly overpriced. The general rule is profoto's reflectors are possibly the best out there so worth buying but you can buy the rest elsewhere. Knockoff profoto mounts are never quite as good though I have to say.


Agreed, I love the quality of light from the profoto magnum reflector.

And yeah, it does seem like the quality of the knockoff profoto speedrings are pretty inconsistent. Depending on the review it sounds like they tend to either be oval and too tight, or too loose even with the clasp on.

Westcott has speedrings for my rapid boxes for $70 (you have to order them directly ie they're not available retail) that I may purchase looking at the prices of the various knockoffs. I've also never loved the quality of light from the profoto modifiers, but I am eyeing the 3x4 and 2x3 ones as that is a hole in my lighting kit.



Oct 11, 2017 at 08:32 PM
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