This is really interesting... small and light and looks versatile!!
Profoto Blog -
This is really interesting... small and light and looks versatile!!
Profoto Blog -
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I'm not sure what to make of these........?
I'm sure it will be great but it does remind me of those excellent (Godox?) cheaper Chinese battery packs now on the market. Just hope this is not the replacement to the AcuteB2.
Last edited by gazwas; 2nd March 2015 at 15:17.
It reminds me of using Quantum Qflashes at weddings---but with an updated approach. Nice small kit for wedding photographers, which I guess is the selling point. Personally, I'd want more power than the B1, not less----to justify opening my wallet.
They do look nice but agree I want more juice.
Last edited by mmbma; 2nd March 2015 at 18:06.
I need 500 watts for outdoor fill. More would be great but I can get by with 500. I like the size of these though
Guy, how much more punch are you getting with the 500 watts (B1s I'm guessing) that you're using now vs. your old Quadra system? (The pack I bought from you is doing wonderfully by the way -- updated it with a lithium battery.)
Given the desire for subjects to be photographed at or near sunset, one doesn't need 500 watts as the sun goes down (and in afterglow, a regular flash can be too much).
Profoto is clearly going more "mainstream" with the B1 and now B2 introductions and it's an exciting time to watch what's happening with portable lighting.
The one nice thing with more power is you can at times dial back which picks up recycling time. I actually been thinking of going back to a Quadra as the value seems better. Have to compare the pricing and features but Profoto is typically not very wallet friendly. I really only need one head for fill.
I'm also shooting Sony which is not supported yet in Profoto for TTL which would be a nice advantage over the Quadra.
So far that's sort of looking like Phottix Pro. My main gripe is that they make you choose between the AC and battery version. I don't get why the AC pack isn't just included though. If Profoto made an AirTTL-S controller then I'd buy into their system today as they have the widest range of light modifiers it seems.
This is very important.. and Profoto have the best selection around..Although I like Bron modifiers too.
Profoto also has excellent worldwide support with rental houses and repairs.
I think the B2 is a great kit to compliment a B1 or B3/4 kit,if it was 500w it would probably cannablise B1 sales.
Waiting for a Sony controller is risky,I dont have figures but I think Sony makes up a small percentage of shooters that use strobes,Canon and Nikon dominate and even the Nikon controller took a while.
Been looking at the Phottux stuff the last hour. For portable flash it looks really nice but you still need the dang old hot shoe for the transmitter part.
Like to get there portable plus there Indra .
Need a good source to figure this all out for Sony . Thought about driving to Vegas for WPPI but it's almost over . I have a shoot the next two days
Profoto Blog Nikon Shooters, We Got News for You
I do think they should bring it to the market,I use a Leica and that's not covered either,but hopefully this changes.
One other thing that I'd like to see them do is merge the D1/B1 by making a wall plug adapter that fits in the battery slot of the B1. That would give B1 users the best of both worlds IMO. I am considering these B2 as well but it may be possible to still buy two sets of Acute B600 AirS LiFe for about the same cost as the B2 Twin kit.
I may just start with the Mitros + as my main flash and sell my Sony flash. Than I can add the transmitter even the old one for off camera. Than I may jump all over even the Indra 360 and maybe two of them. Like to get a litlle more portable than what I have today which really is none except my Dynamite 1600 pack and three heads which I would keep.
Guy they are making a 1, 2, or 3 light Indra 360 bundle as well that saves you a bit of money from buying separately. That being said if Profoto supported Sony with the TTL and HSS the only choice would be to start with one or jump head first in the water. At the time I bought my options for transmitters were really PCB Cyber Commander or Profoto for the fact that they can both transmit fast enough to sync with any camera on the market to include the compact leaf shutter cameras like the RX1 or X100T.
The Indra does look nice a capable light with features I'd want and I've been reading up on them the past week. I'm debating selling my PCB Einstein to a friend who shoots Nikon if I go the Phottix/Profoto route.
I follow the Flashhavoc web site and apparently yet another China-based manufacturer, Cononmk, has four wireless TTL triggers for its K4T strobe under development --Canon, Nikon, and the new and old Sony shoes. How far along this is -- and it's availability outside of eBay (they use Comet mount modifiers too by the way) -- are major questions. Though apparently B&H markets this strobe as its Impact portable, so maybe...
CONONMK – ABC TTL Transmitter For K4T Strobe Released | FLASH HAVOC
Gotta say that after we unwrapped our B2 here at Capture Integration I was very impressed by it. The size and weight is amazing; I have a friend who wants to get some portrait work done for her website about hiking, and I have zero qualms about taking this thing up the side of a 4000' mountain for the shots, rather than lugging a heavy monoblock up there. The weight of the battery/pack is just incredible; half the size of the old Q-pacs.
The really impressive thing for me was the new OCF modifiers. The octabank with the folding tines for the speedring was just....nice. Very nice. The quality and feel was what you'd expect from Profoto; high class all the way.
Look forward to using this and hopefully getting it up on our blog soon.
I would like to have HSS and TTL for my Sonys. Wish the made something for Sony
Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.
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Like Gazwas, at first I was not quite sure what to make of these.
I'm primarily a Profoto AIR these days because I use full power sync at 1/1000 quite a bit with my Leica S ... from D4-2400R packs, a bunch of D1 AIRs, a 600B AIR Lithium kit, and recently added a B1 AIR with 2 batteries. So, the B2 AIR could fit nicely into that round up.
Although 250W/s seems a bit limiting (and it is), more power probably would have increased the size. That small size coupled with being 3X the power of a top speed-light and being much easier to modify, makes it attractive, even if the price isn't*.
Monos, including the B1 AIR, are tough to work with in studio when boomed high overhead ... I currently use my 600B with the pack attached to the stand for things like a hair light because the head is so small. I could see this B2 doing that sort of milder duty in studio.
However, this seems mostly designed for "run-and-gun" event work like weddings and mobile portrait assignments. While 80% of that work could be done with 250W/s (I've used the 400W/s Quadra stepped down to that level frequently), it will run out of juice when fighting the sun (I've had it happen often even with 600 W/s!).
I'm always fighting the sun ... I shoot in Michigan in Summer and Florida in Winter. Unfortunately, wedding shooters do not have much control over when formals/portraits are slotted into a schedule, and all to often it happens when the sun is at its highest/brightest/harshest ... worst.
Don't really care all that much about TTL or HSS, except it would be nice when used at-camera in place of a speed-light for TTL fill when used in tandem with a key off-camera light such as the B1 AIR. At-camera TTL is far more important to me to control fill when working in mobile situations.
The Sony A7R is a bitch to use with lighting outdoors because of the limiting 1/160 sync speed. Even at its lowest ISO you have to stop down too much to control bright background exposures. I'd kill for a FE 24-105 leaf-shutter lens!
* The price is a bit steep considering that something like all this in mint condition would cost about the same as the two head B2 kit without any modifiers:
Elinchrom Quadra - fotografz
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I personally think the main flaw with the B2 is the Profoto mount IMO. With Profoto's insistence to use their regular mount has made the heads too big for such low powered units. Yes I know they are quite small already but should have been even smaller like the Quantum or Elinchrom heads. Why did they not make the heads smaller then offer an adapter ring of some description to step up to the full size Profoto rubber band.
If they had done that Gazwas, I'd write off a B2 as a possibility immediately. One of the best aspects of the Profoto line is their mount.
Both the Quantum and Quadra require reflectors, and the B2 doesn't ... so it's not all that much bigger.
The adapter to use standard EL modifiers on the Quadra heads makes it bigger, and it's not all that secure when using a larger modifier. For example, the 27" Rotalux Deep Octa on a boom arm is okay, the 39" one isn't IMO. I doubt that would be an issue with these B2 heads using the Profoto mount.
What is of some interest here is that you can mount this head on a really large, light eating soft-box and use the lower power to shoot with strobes using a more open aperture.
What I do wonder is whether the front flat glass is removable and whether there will be glass domes made available for better use of some modifiers (like they did with the B1s)?
I've never used the Elimchrom's but its nice to have the option to change the lighting characteristic with a modifer or just have an open bulb sometimes than the fixed B1/B2 method with the frosted glass. Sticking a heavy full size Profoto speedring and large modifiers on B2 heads just seems silly to me as I don't inderstand why you would buy a very compact flash system to just stick massive modifiers on?
Open faced the B1 was neither a wide spread of light or a tight beam and I found without modifiers they were a bit boreing where as the Pro and Acute heads are great in any configuration.
Last edited by gazwas; 12th March 2015 at 14:05.
As a singular solution, I would think these will probably be used most frequently with an umbrella or beauty dish by mobile shooters.
Don't get me wrong I think its a great looking unit and probably performs very well but I guess I'm just annoyed that the OCF B2 is probably a replacement to the AcuteB2 which I loved and was 95% perfect for any photo shoot I've ever used them on, however they just lacked modern digital controls and Air Remote.
I guess the growing OCF market is where the money is now....
I think If I was in the market for a solution like this I'd now take the new Elinchrom - Elinchrom ELB 400
Last edited by gazwas; 13th March 2015 at 01:31.
I think this B2's appeal is that it is even smaller for one person use, has two outlets, and is TTL for Canon and Nikon. Many wedding and event shooters use multiple speed-lights and this would be a qualitative improvement replacing at least 3 regular speed-lights and the radio stuff for them.
The B2s are nice but they could be much better if they were 500w/s lights. Otherwise no complain. Hope Profoto will make some 500 packs and on the other hand, make power plugs for B1s.
I think we're missing the point of these lights.
You can mount them on a camera bracket ... try that with a B1
For a vast majority of wedding/event/mobile portrait applications 250W/s is plenty of juice.
They are easier to handle on the end of a painter's pole than a B1 ... holding a standard mono-light with a 27" Octa modifier out 8' for a couple of hours is not an easy task.
If I used a Canon or Nikon I think these coupled with a B1 would be the perfect duo. Key and fill with up to 750 W/s of TTL controlled lighting.
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@ 250 ws it just doesn't compute. At that power level it just is a bit restraining. I want to take advantage of ISO 64 and unless I have a scenario that welcomes a bit more texture and noise I need a light that compliments my Nikon D810 @ base native ISO....IMHO
It appears that the AcuteB2 600 Lithium AIR pack/head has been discontinued (according to B&H website).
That is a shame.
However, I'd suspect that this B2 concept may be beefed up to 500 or 600/Ws later on.
I am just in the middle of making a lighting decision, and (finally) decided to add a second B1 500 rather than this B2 no box, and no cords for mobile work is the reason. I already have a tiny Elinchrom Quadra Lithium that does the same thing as the B2.
It eventually took a month to repair the light as the repair guy was away for training (on how to fix the B2) so I have had a good taste of what the B2 is like.
1. DESIGNED FOR MOBILITY: It's smaller and lighter than I expected. man it feels much lighter compared to B1. It's small and fits nicely in almost any case or bag. Very good for air travel. Extremely we'll made.
2. ON CAMERA FLASH: It's so heavy when used on camera. My 1Dx with lens and with bracket and with the B2 head and cable and battery pack attached...it's not nice. Such a cumbersome set up for event shootings. Cable is annoying for on camera work. it also takes much longer time to set up the B2.
3. RELIABILITY: B2 can fire fast but in my experience it missed fire occasionally and sometimes completely blast out and over exposes the shot in TtL and continuous shooting mode. I cannot duplicate that but it happens. However, With single fires it did not miss a beat.
4. CHARGE: 215 full power flashes at 250w/s is limiting. Bring a spare battery always. I shot with it in studio while charging. Never ran out of power. Huge plus.
5. POWER: At 250w/s it's simply too weak to overpower the sun. I wanted to overpower the sun at a wedding and no luck. It can do if you put it right next to your subject but it's very limiting. It struggles to balance strong daylight bareheaded at a little distance, let alone trying to get creative and soften the lights. You get the point.
Verdict: it's a sweet kit from Profoto. If you are a run and gun wedding shooter who rely heavily on natural light and want to throw a bit of fill, if you shoot at extreme condition and need to take minimal set up, if you work with an assistant and do a lot of boom shots, you should try out the B2 kit. But for my mixed uses, I was happy that my B1 came back.
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Excellent report Felix.
Contrary to my post above I did get the B2 AIR with one head and two batteries.
I found it to be a perfect companion to the B1 AIR for wedding and event work when working with an assistant. Rather than use the B2 as an on-camera light (which, like you, I would think to be a bit unwieldy), we used it on a mobile boom arm as fill for a stationary B1 on a stand. For example, at a wedding reception we set the 500W/s B1 off in a corner of the room equipped with a Profoto globe reflector, then as I moved around the reception and dance floor my assistant moved with me to provide fill from the opposite side of the Key B1 light. Much easier to work with the tiny B2 head on the end of the boom arm than it would be with the larger/heavier B1.
I also used the mobile B2 as key directional lighting on a boom arm or stand, with an on-camera TTL speed-light acting as fill. This application was by far the most used at the shoots I did with the B2. Worked perfectly.
Zero mis-fires however, I was working with a Sony A99 and Leica S(006), neither of which are supported for TTL with the B1 or B2 AIRs.
Read it twice, and also read the follow up comments which helped clarify some apparent comparative omissions on the author's part … especially given that the premiss was to examine Profoto's so called "marketing hype".
I have the good fortune to own and use the two systems being reviewed: Current Elinchrom Quadra with Lithium batteries and both type heads; plus Profoto B1s and the new B2 … plus a third battery choice with our Hensel Porty 1200L kit featuring three types of radio control built in (Hensel's Strobe Wizard and FreeMask … and more importantly, Profoto's AIR which allows mixing it in with Profoto AIR gear). Unfortunately I am not sponsored by anyone, nor receive any free gear. I have worked with all three Brands over many years, and kept updated on all three as new technology became available.
Each system has its charms and functions, and frankly one could not go terribly wrong with any of them … including, I would add, Broncolor Move 1200L if one is flush with cash. These modern portable units are all quite capable and convenient compared to past choices we had … and all of them are much better choices over multiple speed-lights.
That said, my portable preference has skewed more toward Profoto with the advent of the B1 and B2 battery systems strobes. Beyond HSS and TTL, the Profoto mount is one consistent reason for this preference. IMO, creative use of a wide range of modifiers is one of the main reasons to use strobes, and the mount is extremely important to that end.
While one of Quadra's chief attributes is the size of the tiny heads, it is also the primary drawback due to the proprietary plastic mount that requires use of an adapter to use standard EL modifiers. I've had two of those flimsy plastic mounts break on the job, rendering the head unusable with the chosen EL modifier. I've also had my share of difficulties with the standard EL mount, including larger EL modifiers stressing the mount and falling off. I've also had three Skyports fail over the years. The newer ones are a bit better, but one of those three was the newer design. In comparison, the Profoto mount has proven idiot proof even with less experienced or clumsy assistants, and has the added attribute of allowing the modifier's qualities to be adjusted by sliding the mount back and forth on the Profoto B1 head. The AIR transciever has been bullet proof (so far). FYI, the small B2 head doesn't require an adapter to take the standard Profoto mount.
One of my favorite sets of modifiers are the Elinchrom Rotalux line due to their wonderfully easy and swift set-up for mobile field work. I especially like the versatile 27" and 39" Rotalux Deep Octas, (BTW, the big 39" is suspect when used on the adapted Quadra head, and I wouldn't recommend it). When Elinchrom offered Rotalux speed-rings for Profoto, I broke into my happy dance. I switched all my Rotalux mods to Profoto mount. Since then, the Quadra's have virtually sat unused.
BTW, the author is mistaken regarding consistent B1/B2 TTL results … once TTL is performed the user has the option to lock it in. The B2 is a two head asymmetrical pack where the Quadra is a fixed 1/3, 2/3 distribution.
In my applications, I found HypeSync to fiddly to deal with when under pressure, and since I use 1/1000 sync AIR with my leaf-shutter camera frequently, with full power output, the B1 B2 combo works to overcome most any bright sun situation … when more is needed, I bring the Hensel 1200Ws box and can mix it with the B2 for fill because both are fully controlled at the camera with the Profoto AIR transceiver.
Just my working experiences.
Last edited by fotografz; 29th July 2015 at 13:35.
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Anybody else using the Profoto B2's?
Looks very enticing.
I'm actually liking the B2 better than the B1, primarily because the weight of the B1, with its battery attached, is unwieldy by comparison. The B1 center of gravity/weight is quite a bit when placed up high on a stand. Depending on light modifier used, it gets worse, with large modifiers becoming a sail in the wind. Bring a sandbag they say--- yeah, but then I might as well just bring a pack system which serves double duty as a sandbag at the base of a light stand. Still keeping the B1 but I picked up the Profoto B600 also. Very nice location kit combo with B1, B2 and B600. Not a fan of TTL, but then again it may be just me so used to shooting manually. Magnum reflector adds about a stop of power to the B2, which surprised me because you can't add the glass dome as you can with the B1. I've adapted an Omni reflector (Balcar) to Profoto mount and am testing now. Also just received two very interesting new "Speedboxes" with Profoto mounts to review----very promising.
Thanks Ken...... the B2 is becoming more & more interesting.....