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Thread: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

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    New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Just saw this anouncement on the Phoblographer

    I don't care about the TTL support, but the flash duration and integrated battery certainly caught my attention. Looks to be the same package as the D1 but with a new Einstein-like display.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    And a first impressions follow up. Price is mentioned as "$2000 per head" but I've seen nothing official.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Just in time for Christmas at B&H:

    Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Monolight 901094 B&H Photo Video

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Yummy.

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    NICE!! Add it to the list.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I almost wet my pants when the email came in. There you go guys you now know what to buy me for Christmas.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I just hope the things are a tad smaller than the D1's especially shorter. In that case they fit a lot better in those nice Elinchrom soft bags...

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Wow! This could be quite useful where I shoot. Speedlite duration and 500w/s are very tempting. The PB E640 was also fast and portable, but I hated the PW antenna sticking out the top.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Add a bit more power and I'd be happy....

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Pre-ordered two lights plus the controller. Can't wait.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Per the Profoto website, the new B1 500 Air ttl-c (canon) does not support the 1D series. Profoto claims they are working on 1D ttl compatibility, but that's just plain weird that the "flagship" Canon bodies aren't included as ttl capable on initial release.

    TTL is not a deal-killer for me, but I would have thought that a lot of "pro Canon photographers" are using 1D/1Ds/1Dx series bodies as opposed to say, Canon Rebels. No B1 TTL capability for Phase DF body, but I'm sorta hoping you can use the Air Remote ttl-c as an ordinary Air Remote Transceiver, sans ttl mode of course.

    ken

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I'm not interested in TTL, and not quite a fan of the B1's flat face like the D1. The bulbs of the AcuteB or D4 are much more useful in certain set ups, imo. Also, the weight of the B1 air with a modifier on a stand would certainly require a sandbag. Nonetheless, a cool, portable light for fast location work.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    You can swap out the flat glass front on the D1 for the dome type, so I'm sure you can do the same with these B1s. Although, IMO they should've come with the domes and offered the flat glass as an option.

    I like the flat glass because it takes the very small set of slip-on grids that are useful for certain applications and are easy to carry installed.

    I'm sure it'll be a frosty day in Hades before TTL is supported for Sony or my S2, so that dog don't hunt for me anyway.

    Hope they fire sale the Acute B2 AIR Ls because of this

    - Marc

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    This from the Profoto blog:

    "8) Will there be any additional Air Remotes for other camera brands?

    We’re currently devoting our full attention to making the compatibility with Canon and Nikon as good as it can possibly get. That being said, we’re not closing any doors. Ideally, we’ll have Air Remotes for all camera brands in the future....."

    ....but I agree with you it will probably be a cold day in the inferno before TTL support is expanded beyond Nikon/Canon especially for the rather limited makes of the Leica S2 or Phase DF. I'm still bewildered why the Canon 1D bodies aren't B1 TTL compatible now.

    ken

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Not sure how anyone can not be impressed by theses lights and I got onto my dealer and ordered two with the controller as soon as I got the email on the 5th.

    I personally think Profoto are totally miss selling these lights to speedlite shooters and TTL only flash photographers as they seem like the perfect light weight location battery lights to me for any working commercial photographer. The B1 head with battery is lighter than the AcuteB2 generator, battery and head but only marginally less powerful but still delivers the shame number of full power flashes per battery charge. Cost a lot less even with the additional glass domes and have a new Air controller that allows TTL control but more importantly shows the power settings if each light on an LCD display rather than the remember the number of button presses or walk over to the light approach of the current air controller. Who gives a crap about TTL support on a S2, DF or even a 1D body when everything else it offers puts in more in the ProB4 territory rather than the AcuteB - never mind a speedlite.

    I can't wait to get shooting with mine and the potential for future feature upgrades via firmware (HSS) is really exciting.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Not sure how anyone can not be impressed by theses lights and I got onto my dealer and ordered two with the controller as soon as I got the email on the 5th.

    I personally think Profoto are totally miss selling these lights to speedlite shooters and TTL only flash photographers as they seem like the perfect light weight location battery lights to me for any working commercial photographer. The B1 head with battery is lighter than the AcuteB2 generator, battery and head but only marginally less powerful but still delivers the shame number of full power flashes per battery charge. Cost a lot less even with the additional glass domes and have a new Air controller that allows TTL control but more importantly shows the power settings if each light on an LCD display rather than the remember the number of button presses or walk over to the light approach of the current air controller. Who gives a crap about TTL support on a S2, DF or even a 1D body when everything else it offers puts in more in the ProB4 territory rather than the AcuteB - never mind a speedlite.

    I can't wait to get shooting with mine and the potential for future feature upgrades via firmware (HSS) is really exciting.
    It is all very impressive. No doubt about it. I just noticed that you can get additional lith batteries for the B1 which makes it even more impressive!

    However, there are some application differences which you are overlooking. For some applications a 7lb Mono head on the end of a painter's pole is unwieldy, where an Acute B 600 head is less than half that.

    I agree about TTL, as I would rarely use it anyway ... but a read-out of each light at the camera is a very nice feature of the new controller. Hats off to Profoto.

    Now, what can I sell to get at least one of these B1s

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    However, there are some application differences which you are overlooking. For some applications a 7lb Mono head on the end of a painter's pole is unwieldy, where an Acute B 600 head is less than half that.
    I agree the compact generator heads are much better for some specific applications like you mentioned and I'm not about to give up my AcuteB2's (which I love) for these lights but they sure make a great accompaniment and hence my comment about Profoto miss selling by aiming at speedlite shooters. TTL would put lots of pros off these lights but the controller and lights offer much more than the way Profoto are marketing these lights as the equivalent of setting the camera to programme mode.

    I have been itching after some more Acutes for a while but put off by the lack of Air control like all the newer Profoto gear now has. I thought this release was going to be a digital AcuteB3 but mono heads could be a better solution for me especially for the industrial stuff I shoot where cables are always a big hazard.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I agree the compact generator heads are much better for some specific applications like you mentioned and I'm not about to give up my AcuteB2's (which I love) for these lights but they sure make a great accompaniment and hence my comment about Profoto miss selling by aiming at speedlite shooters. TTL would put lots of pros off these lights but the controller and lights offer much more than the way Profoto are marketing these lights as the equivalent of setting the camera to programme mode.

    I have been itching after some more Acutes for a while but put off by the lack of Air control like all the newer Profoto gear now has. I thought this release was going to be a digital AcuteB3 but mono heads could be a better solution for me especially for the industrial stuff I shoot where cables are always a big hazard.
    I think I understand their speed-light strategy. There has been a real "stobist" movement towards using speed-lights for their TTL ability when shooting in quick changing situations ... something I never quite understood or bought into because you either have to jack up the ISO (and lower the IQ), or gang a bunch of speed-lights into one modifier to get anywhere near enough light ... then pound the crap out of the speed-lights in any extended shooting situation.

    I freely admit to trying that myself for a portrait gig with some little kids ... all it did was trip the speed-light's thermal protection and shut the key speed-light down for 10 minutes while it cooled down. So, the first time I tried it was the last time. 10 minutes was an eternity with a bunch of squirmy rug-rats waiting for me to get up and running again.

    My main use of the Acute B kit is on a painter's pole with a TTL speed-light in the hot-shoe for fill ... total mobility. Control from the camera isn't an issue since an assistant is working the B 600 pack and boom-pole, I just indicate up or down for any adjustment. I want a second Acute 600B because I could plug in the Acute Bi-Tube and put out 1200 W/s when needed.

    My main unit is a Hensel Porty 1200L which does have Profoto AIR built in, and unlike the 600B can be adjusted from the camera using the AIR transmitter. I favor it because I have a few nifty heads that plug into that pack ... like a Carbon Fiber ring-light and a true Fresnel head.

    However, as I am backing off the commercial work, I probably should re-think all this and maybe pare it all down to D1s and a couple of these B1s, and stick with the one 600B.

    It's always something to ponder with these technological leaps

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    My requirements often involves lighting equipment in large spaces or hiding lamp heads out of site. Working mainly alone means lots of walking for the final lighting tweaks with the Actutes. Industrial power supplies in factories (three phase?) means regular lights (Pro packs or D1's) cannot be used and battery is the safest power source. The ProB4 is ideal but out of my budget so the B1's sound perfect with their Air control and LCD power info for each attached lamp.

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    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Not sure how anyone can not be impressed by theses lights and I got onto my dealer and ordered two with the controller as soon as I got the email on the 5th.

    I personally think Profoto are totally miss selling these lights to speedlite shooters and TTL only flash photographers as they seem like the perfect light weight location battery lights to me for any working commercial photographer. The B1 head with battery is lighter than the AcuteB2 generator, battery and head but only marginally less powerful but still delivers the shame number of full power flashes per battery charge. Cost a lot less even with the additional glass domes and have a new Air controller that allows TTL control but more importantly shows the power settings if each light on an LCD display rather than the remember the number of button presses or walk over to the light approach of the current air controller. Who gives a crap about TTL support on a S2, DF or even a 1D body when everything else it offers puts in more in the ProB4 territory rather than the AcuteB - never mind a speedlite.

    I can't wait to get shooting with mine and the potential for future feature upgrades via firmware (HSS) is really exciting.
    I agree to an extent... Try mounting your AcuteB2 generator on a 12 foot stand (just to make a point) because that more closely resembles the weight for the B1 air. Now add a 3 foot octa or beauty dish... Not an ideal solution for many location shoots. The Acute can be carried in a backpack and the lights are considerably lighter for chasing your subjects. Don't get me wrong, I like this new light too, but will use it to compliment my current lights and modifiers as needed. The bi-tube is a must for the AcuteB!

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    My requirements often involves lighting equipment in large spaces or hiding lamp heads out of site. Working mainly alone means lots of walking for the final lighting tweaks with the Actutes. Industrial power supplies in factories (three phase?) means regular lights (Pro packs or D1's) cannot be used and battery is the safest power source. The ProB4 is ideal but out of my budget so the B1's sound perfect with their Air control and LCD power info for each attached lamp.
    Perfect use for these lights IMO.

    I used to do industrial photography quite a bit ... clients like American Axel ... and the distances were a giant pain in the *** when adjusting lights ... even with an assistant.

    I went with Hensel for a lot of that work back then because they already had an on-camera adjustable transmitter ... unfortunately, the max distance was nothing like a PW or the new AIR units.

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I like this new light too, but will use it to compliment my current lights and modifiers as needed. The bi-tube is a must for the AcuteB!
    I couldn't agree more and IMO we are overdue a AcuteB3 from Profoto with similar functionality as the B1. As I'm not a people shooter the vast improvement in functionality of the B1 over the AcuteB2 far outweighs the head weight on the end of a boom problem and is why I ordered the B1 over another AcuteB2 pack.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Here's the B1s in action ... on the end of a boom arm no less ...

    Profoto Blog Michael Corsentino Tests the B1 Off-camera Flash for Resource Magazine

    Bummer that AC can't be used . But it'd be nice to have in studio in some cases anyway since it has no cords running across the set when using a background light.

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Great find Marc!

    Looks a little heavy on the end of that light stand however, certainly manageable. Will be nice to loose the head cable of the AcuteB head (always too shots or in the way when up high).

    AC is probably possible but Profoto might think that would take too many sales away from the more expensive Acute and Pro battery packs?. I don't see why they can't produce a power adapter that swaps out for the battery pack that supplies the head with juice. Would be a great and rather an elegant addition but these are after all being offered as off camera flash rather than battery versions of the D1 (which I still find weird?).

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I think it's looks a little heavy too. Not an issue with several assistants and HD Matthews stands though...Completely different scenario if your in remote, breezy locations with just one assistant who also has to hold the reflector! Packing bigger sand bags negates the portability, however. I'll use this light for when I shoot snowboarders and skiers because I frequently place the light low anyway and Profoto's range for the Air remote is absolutely the best in the biz. I'm certain more versions of this light will be available (250W/s, 1000W/s), but agree that a Acute B3 is would be nice too! I eagerly await my B1!

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Adding these to your existing kits or even alone looks very tempting. I would love to have 2 of them myself. Ill at least get one starting in January for sure.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Adding these to your existing kits or even alone looks very tempting. I would love to have 2 of them myself. Ill at least get one starting in January for sure.
    Thought Nikon model was not released till 2nd quarter of 2014?
    Last edited by aztwang; 16th November 2013 at 22:10.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by aztwang View Post
    Thought Nikon model was not released till 2nd quarter of 2014?
    I believe only the controller is brand specific. If you're a Nikon shooter you can fire the B1s with a current Air transceiver (without TTL support obviously) and add the appropriate controller when it is available to get the extra features.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by aztwang View Post
    Thought Nikon model was not released till 2nd quarter of 2014?
    Another example of why I think Profoto are wrong just pitching these at strobists. Without the the TTL feature these are still amazing lights for so many applications and can be fired with a Nikon, Phase, Hasselblad, Sony etc, etc with the normal Air Sync transmitter or Air controller. Non Canon shooters can use these lights just fine and should consider them battery D1's rather than off camera flash (??).

    I hope these features filter up the range to the AcutesB's as even without the TTL function the new TTL Air controller looks just brilliant.
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    There here!

    Andrew at AJ's come through early on these beauties but still waiting for the AirTTL controller to arrive. Its just a shame I'm too busy today to even get these out of the box for a play.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    There here!

    Andrew at AJ's come through early on these beauties but still waiting for the AirTTL controller to arrive. Its just a shame I'm too busy today to even get these out of the box for a play.

    Lucky you!

    Are the smaller boxes the domes (I hope)?

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Are the smaller boxes the domes (I hope)?
    Yep, domes and transport caps.

    Never used the D1 style heads and not sure what to expect from the flat glass so giving the domes a trial. Many people I speak to claim the domes make very little difference to the light output for every day use and you only notice the differences testing against a flat white studio wall.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Yep, domes and transport caps.

    Never used the D1 style heads and not sure what to expect from the flat glass so giving the domes a trial. Many people I speak to claim the domes make very little difference to the light output for every day use and you only notice the differences testing against a flat white studio wall.
    I have three D1's I use ... two 500s with domes, and a third 1,000 with the flat glass.

    While the D1 domes aren't quite as effective as the domes found on other Profoto heads, they still do make a difference because they project into a modifier (like an Octabox) and use the whole interior reflective surface ... also when employing the sliding modifier feature such as Magnum it is more efficient projection of light I think.

    I kept one without the dome because I really like the little slip on grids for the D1s ... which can't be used on heads with domes in place.

    - Marc

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    While the D1 domes aren't quite as effective as the domes found on other Profoto heads, they still do make a difference because they project into a modifier (like an Octabox) and use the whole interior reflective surface ... also when employing the sliding modifier feature such as Magnum it is more efficient projection of light I think.
    Yes, I always thought the glass domes on Profoto heads were what contributed to their beatifully crunchy yet soft light light output but we shall have to see. Makes sense that the light is more uniform in bigger soft lights and reflectors and why I wanted to give them a go. Also better for bare bulb when you need to hide a light in a machine or behind a table to give some accent lighting.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    First trial with the B1's today so not an extensive test for the quality of light output but from a pure user experience I'm really impressed and would strongly recommend these light to anyone looking as a battery option.

    What I first noticed when opening the boxes is the compact nature of these lights, even down to the XS bag that ships with the light. Much easier to pack into the car than the already compact AcuteB bag.




    The quality of the included bag is excellent - very padded and well made and the head fits beautifully inside. Removing one on the spacers also allows the B1's to be stored with Domes and transport caps permanently - something I was worried about.



    As expected, all is excellently made and functions as you'd expect a Profoto head to. The battery locks very firmly onto the head and the new charger has a great charge level indicator rather than the amber/green of old.

    The main thing I noticed today (shooting interiors) was what a revelation it is to have no cable and generator attached to the lamp head - felt very strange at first but soon very liberating.

    Can't wait for the TTL controller to arrive to add more functions but I honestly think even as a battery D1 this is a very special product from Profoto
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Congrats on the B1's...

    I'm not a fan of flat diffusers, even with domes, but for table top, and softboxes they're ideal. I also see the attraction for architecture too...no cables. I'd like to know what these are like on a stand with a BD, slightly extended on a boom because the weight of the B1 would be similar to my B2Air batt pack. Have fun with these!

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    How does the size of the B1 compare to that of the D1?

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    How does the size of the B1 compare to that of the D1?
    Exactly the same I think, just the battery on the side of the B1 makes it a little wider than the D1.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Thanks! That is a bit of a pity. I would have loved for them being just a tad shorter (some cm's). The same size will work too though. The Elinchrom softbags for their monoblocs are ideal bags. You can fit 2 D1's in them. The bag has the ideal ratio of space and protective material., eg. you end up with being able to carry 2 in really small package.

    I think I will just order 2 too and see for myself. There is currently a special tax depreciation period that allows 50% write off at once (until 31-12-2013) Just the excuse I need

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Has anyone in the US received the B1's? I pre-ordered from B&H a few days after the announcement but keep getting a back order email from them. I talked to them last week and was told they only received two B1's so far.

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    What about Phase One/Profoto high speed sync 1/800th or 1600th when using the B1 ?...

  42. #42
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Got my pair of B1's and Air TTL controller today. Can't wait to put them to use.
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  43. #43
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I think this is the most dynamic product released this year in the photographic industry.
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  44. #44
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Sharokin-

    How long did it take for these to arrive from Profoto after placing order?

  45. #45
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnygoesdigital View Post
    Sharokin-

    How long did it take for these to arrive from Profoto after placing order?
    Took 3-weeks for the B1's with the Air controller following up a few days later.

  46. #46
    Senior Member johnnygoesdigital's Avatar
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    thanks...enjoy!

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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharokin View Post
    I think this is the most dynamic product released this year in the photographic industry.
    Yes, they really are something else! These babies must have almost obliterated AcuteB2 sales over night.

    A great feature of the Air TTL controller I love is when adjusting power in manual mode you +/- in 1/10th stops but after a few seconds of making your adjustment the setting disappears on the AirTTL display. That may sound backwards but its very intuitive to use when assessing lighting ratios as I don't need to know the actual numeric setting on the light, only how much I need to adjust the current ration to get the effect I'm after. If you hit min or max power the controller beeps to let you know you have reach the limit of adjustment.

    Only taken a couple of snaps in TTL when I got the controller and it seems to work very well but I won't be using the TTL mode and my test wasn't very scientific for a 100% reliable conclusion. Always a great additional option if one day I need it though.

  48. #48
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I actually love the TTL. I shoot the aperture I want (for the most part), dial in the exposure, then go to manual. Works great!

  49. #49
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    I do agree about sales for the AcuteB2 Air being affected, but perhaps that's be phased out anyway. Looking forward to my B1's!

  50. #50
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    Re: New Profoto B1 500 AIR TTL

    Hope that is true, and they fire-sale the Acute B600L AIRs with B600 head. I'd like a second one if it were inexpensive enough. If they replace the B600 with full digital AIR, it'll cost an arm and a leg.

    No way am I hanging a B1 off an overhead boom arm, any more than I'd hang a D1.

    - Marc

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