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Old 15th September 2012   #1
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Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

I have always figured I would eventually be buying a Pro8a for its fast recycling and very short flash duration.

Now with the ProB4 introduction I am kind of temped to completely skip the Pro8 and buy ProB4's.

The way I see it the B4's have a shorter flash duration (can be set there via freeze) and even faster recycling. The B4 can be taken outside and used with the charger in place. The B4 has 11 stops of power range over 10 for the Pro8.

Besides having over a stop more of light (only for the Pro8 2400) the Pro8 does not seem to have anything over the B4. The B4 is even cheaper.

Am I overlooking things here or has the Pro8 become kind of obsolete with the introduction of the B4?
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Old 18th September 2012   #2
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Pretty amazing, Profoto is definitely a company that is always making substantial technological advances. It's great that Broncolor and them constantly try to out perform each other. I wish the medium format companies were on this same innovation path.

If I were buying one, I'd probably go with the new B4. From what i have read, What this also does is allow you to not have to worry about the amount of power a studio has available. Because when the B4 is charging its just pulling power for the battery, not to power the flash. No more popped circuits in smaller studios!!! And if you really need that 2400 ws, buy two and use a bi-tube flash. Granted, that adds up if you get a bunch of them. But at that level of gear, price isn't going to likely be a determining factor.
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Old 19th September 2012   #3
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

The B4 is one amazing bit of lighting kit and the choice I'd make over a Pro8 however if you continually need more than 1000ws (not much in a big studio/set/modifier) or totally hammer the number of flashes in a day, (fashion) potentially the charger may not keep up as I don't think the studio dock is compatible with the B4.

IMO the ProB4 and the new Rollei electronic shutter are the most exciting new products at Photokina this year.
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Old 19th September 2012   #4
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Quote:
Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
The B4 is one amazing bit of lighting kit and the choice I'd make over a Pro8 however if you continually need more than 1000ws (not much in a big studio/set/modifier) or totally hammer the number of flashes in a day, (fashion) potentially the charger may not keep up as I don't think the studio dock is compatible with the B4.

IMO the ProB4 and the new Rollei electronic shutter are the most exciting new products at Photokina this year.
Main's dock definitely doesn't work with B4,if you have a B3 it,s best to sell them as a set..B4 supposedly doesn't need the dock.....
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Old 19th September 2012   #5
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

IMO the ProB4 and the new Rollei electronic shutter are the most exciting new products at Photokina this year.[/QUOTE]

+1 for the B4,its awesome ...
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Old 20th September 2012   #6
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

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Originally Posted by RVB View Post
IMO the ProB4 and the new Rollei electronic shutter are the most exciting new products at Photokina this year.
+1 for the B4,its awesome ...[/QUOTE]


ProB4 the most exiting...? No i think the more exiting is the Broncolor Move - less weight and more freatures:

MOVE - New battery pack - Live from Photokina - YouTube
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Old 20th September 2012   #7
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

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Originally Posted by xpixel View Post
+1 for the B4,its awesome ...

ProB4 the most exiting...? No i think the more exiting is the Broncolor Move - less weight and more freatures:

MOVE - New battery pack - Live from Photokina - YouTube[/QUOTE]

it certainly looks good.. from Bron's site..

Battery-operated power pack including rechargeable plug-in lithium battery and charger.
- flash energy: 1200 J
- f-stop: 64 1/10
- flash duration:
min: 1/20'000s (t 0.5), 1/8500 (t 0.1)
max: 1/1'000s (t 0.5), 1/350s (t 0.1)
- charging time: 0.02 1.9s (Speed Mode 0.02 - 0.9s)
- recharging cycles up to 4000x
- up to 50'000 flashes at minimal power
- up to 170 flashes (230 Eco Mode) at full power (without modelling light)
- control range up to 9 f-stops in 1/10 f-stop
- 2 lamp outlets fully asymmetrical with flash cut-off and ECTC
- up to 200 W modelling lamp
- modelling light timer
- continiuous light mode
- automatic switch-off of the power pack after selectable waiting time
- RFS 2 inside
- 6.2 kg, 21x17x23 cm

Its light but the B4 offers 11stops range vs 9 on the Bron and B4 flash duration down to 1/25000 vs 1/20000 on the Bron,the B4 offers 220 flashes at full throttle and the Bron 170.. and the B4 offers symmetrical or asymmetrical power output and the Bron only asymmetrical.

One big advantage of the Bron is weight,it's very light at 6.2kgs vs 9.8kgs for the B4..

I can't be sure but I think broncolor modulators are dearer and spare flash tubes are much dearer,I use B3 air's myself.
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Old 27th September 2012   #8
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Don't these battery units have limitation with modeling lamps?
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Old 27th September 2012   #9
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Yes they do - when used with batt (not mains dock). On my B3 You can flip it on for a short while if needed during setup but it will really drain the battery if left on.

I agree the B4 looks amazing!

M
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Old 29th September 2012   #10
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

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Originally Posted by BJNY View Post
Don't these battery units have limitation with modeling lamps?
The Broncolor heads shown in the video are LEDs, are daylight balanced and use less juice for longer duration of use.

How much longer we have no idea since the battery capacity of the B4 is apparently greater.

Question:

On the B&H site, they list the Acute 2 D4 flash head as a B4 accessory (???) is this an error, or can you use them on the B4? If so, this makes the B4 even more attractive.

Broncolor is great, but if you are vested in Profoto it is not an option.

I do like the Para 88 system, and that can be ordered with a Profoto mount.

-Marc
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Old 30th September 2012   #11
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Marc
I think this may be a misprint - the B4 should only take pro heads - they are promoting the pro head plus with the packs (would be nice if the acute worked!) I checked the profoto site - they list only the pro head series for compatibility - we will see!

Michael
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Old 30th September 2012   #12
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Thanks Michael, I checked that out on the Profoto site also.

A couple of Pro B Plus heads, and this pup is really some serious coin.

-Marc
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Old 15th October 2012   #13
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

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Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
A couple of Pro B Plus heads, and this pup is really some serious coin.
Sure is some serious money involved buying Profoto gear but they sure kick out a beautiful quality light compaired to the Bowens kit I also use.

I'm tempted by the ProB3 but if money was no objective the B4 is a no brainer.
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Old 13th November 2012   #14
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Yeah... the money part

I just stuck my little toe in the water and bought 3 Pro Plus Heads. These will replace the acute heads I currently use with my D4Air. Now I only need to get myself in another delirium to buy the B4 but at least I don't need to buy heads now
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Old 13th November 2012   #15
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

What prompted you to replace the Acute heads ?

I have Pro 6 and Acute heads and find them pretty interchangeable. The Pro 6 head is a different tube and cover but I've never noticed a significant difference in their light.
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Old 13th November 2012   #16
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

The biggest reason, the 2-speed thermostat controlled fan. I often work in my small studio and the acute heads simply make too much noise. I bought a 2nd hand Prohead which makes no noise at all (it now seems the fan is broken ) so I figured the Prohead Plus would make less noise than the Acutes. Now I find they do make less noise but they are not completely silent. It sounds odd but working with less background noise is less tiresome. I never realized how much noise I had from the Acute heads until I replaced them.

The other reason is that I can use these heads with the D4 as well as the B4.

OTOH, I also have Acute2 generators which can take the Acute heads.

Not sure if the light is very different, time will tell if I do experience a difference. I do find the construction of the heads to be a bit sturdier, especially the fastening.
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Old 26th February 2013   #17
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

Well, I bit the bullit and have treated myself on a B4. Lets assume the pain of the purchase is long gone while I still enjoy using the pack
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Old 26th February 2013   #18
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

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Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
Well, I bit the bullit and have treated myself on a B4. Lets assume the pain of the purchase is long gone while I still enjoy using the pack
Lucky-Ducky you!

Do Tell!

Be sure to come back and share your experiences!

-Marc
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Old 7th March 2013   #19
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Re: Profoto Pro8a vs ProB4

I too have bit the bullet...whew that was a tough one. I sold the D4 and 4 heads to help finance the B4 system which certainly helped. I have read my manual, charged the battery and am anxiously awaiting my new Pro B Plus Heads.
Its a bitter sweet change as I have to make changes in the studio with available heads (Pro B4 has only 2 sockets) and will use the Pro B4 for key and fill lights and my D1's for hair and kickers. I also can now be fully mobile on location with the Pro B4 and the D1's. Having full control of all lights via"Profoto's AIR SYSTEM" is very seamless. I will probably try the Air USB as I always shoot tethered.
I believe the Pro B4 will be a great tool and look forward to some creative sports portraitures and in studio water projects....we will see.
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