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Thread: Broncolor Love?

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    Broncolor Love?

    I've got Profoto AcuteB2 Airs and the new B1's as my mobile battery lights and have been very happy with the kit up to now but I long after a higher power pack. I've seen the info on the net about the ProB4 and how wonderful it is so I attended a photo show here in the UK this week to have a look in person at the Profoto stand.

    Shock horror(!) that ProB4 is supposed to be location lighting! Its only 1000Ws and (I appreciate its made like a tank) is way too large and heavy for outside the studio.

    Disappointed!.......

    SO........ while I was discussing Profoto parabolic's with a dealer he quietly told me to walk over to the Bron stand and their (better) offerings. True to his word, the Bron Para's are worlds better than the Profoto Giants but it was there I spied the unknown (to me) Move 1200 pack.

    Apart from my dislike for pressy power buttons (but all Bron packs seem to have these and all age well) this seem like a dream come true for me:

    More powerful, smaller and lighter pack, smaller and lighter head, LED daylight modelling lights (250W tungsten equivalent), better colour stability, faster flash duration over higher power, cheaper and in kit form comes with everything.

    Really tempeted to order one and if I'm as impressed as I think I am then I might jump ship and get a few of these Bron packs.

    So, apart from the fact the if like me you know very little about Broncolour then please, tell me what is the catch with these beauties and why are they not stomping all over Profoto's domination in this market.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Broncolor is a great name in lighting, as is their arch rival Profoto.

    Profoto's Parabolics aren't like the Briese Parabolics (or the copycat Brons). They don't feature sliding focus and aren't really shaped like a true parabolic. Some people just mount their Profoto heads on a Briese which they rent.

    The specifications for the Move 1200 and Pro-B4 packs are different, and each may fit varying needs differently. Horses for courses.

    B4 has 1/2ish stop less output, but allows 11 stop adjustment verses the Bron's 9 stops. A bit more energy output verses a bit more control.

    B4 t0.5 duration range: B4: 1/25,000-1/2,200 verses 1/20,000- 1/1,000 for Bron Move (Profoto doesn't seem to publish their t0.1 durations, or I can't find them). t.01 durations for the Bron pack are 1/8,500 at minimum energy (4W/s), and 1/350 at maximum.

    Recycle on the Bron in "speed" mode looks to be the same as the B4 (although Profoto claims to be the fastest). I don't know what the B4's "Freeze" mode is, (probably the same as "Speed", but maybe not) … I do not know what continuous use penalty there may be for using "Speed" mode on the Bron. Suffice it to say that at a reasonably good light output @ 1/2 power, you won't be waiting for the lights to catch up with your rate of shooting with either pack.

    The B4 charges so quickly (45 minutes) that it can be used plugged in for studio work without interruption. It also has a USB port input for updating, which I do not know if the Bron has.

    I like both packs a lot. I'd go Profoto because of all the modifiers I already have, and I like the sliding modifier mount for more versatility in controlling the light over any other … and I need the AIR radio system because my S2 and CS lenses can sync to 1/1000.

    Can't go wrong with either choice IMO … and you'd be one lucky duck to have either.

    - Marc

    BTW, Profoto probably has a better grip on the market because they are a staple at rental houses … a pack goes down, need another head, or if you are traveling, Profoto is usually a phone call away.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Hi Marc

    I hear what you are saying about all the benefits of the Profoto gear and was pretty much the reasons why I recently started to invest in their gear.

    However, have you seen this YouTube video?

    Karl Taylor Compares - Broncolor Move Vs. Profoto B4 - YouTube

    Rather than the usual "sponsored" videos, this tells it like it is. As soon as the video starts and you see the Move and B4 sitting together I was impressed by the Move.
    Last edited by gazwas; 9th March 2014 at 00:55.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Yes, I've seen that video.

    Impressive.

    I didn't see him set the "Freeze" mode on the B4 like he did "SPEED" on the Broncolor, but that's neither here nor there, and takes nothing away from the performance comparison.

    For that specific type work, I'd probably rent the Move pack also.

    If I were buying, I'd still stick with Profoto because I prefer the modifier mount to alter the light shape, intensity, and quality … plus I would want to also use such an expensive pack in the studio. I'm not giving up the AIR system for anything.

    Lighting is just like cameras … you can spend a fortune swapping systems because one takes a lead over the other, then shortly afterwards, they swap positions. Broncolor and Profoto have been doing that for years.

    It does beg the question as to how all the great fashion shoots of the past were done before this type of lighting became available.

    - Marc

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    You can get the Profoto B4 pack, by itself, for the price of a Broncolor with 2 heads, a softbox, an umbrella, and a bag to carry it all in. That is a big difference. A spare battery for the B4, $1,000... for the Move, $620.

    Personally went with the Move 1200 and haven't looked back. I've always loved the mounting system of the Profoto (rubberized collar) and it's ability to change angles, but it wasn't enough to keep me from going Bron.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Last View Post
    You can get the Profoto B4 pack, by itself, for the price of a Broncolor with 2 heads, a softbox, an umbrella, and a bag to carry it all in. That is a big difference. A spare battery for the B4, $1,000... for the Move, $620.

    Personally went with the Move 1200 and haven't looked back. I've always loved the mounting system of the Profoto (rubberized collar) and it's ability to change angles, but it wasn't enough to keep me from going Bron.
    That is a compelling argument Mike.

    Even though I am vested in Profoto, I also use a Hensel Porty 1200L for location work which also is a different modifier mount. The Porty does have Profoto AIR built-in, but even the Move could work with other systems by adding an AIR receiver to the Pack to provide the 1/1000 sync speed I need.

    It's all to rich for my blood these days … I just want to scrape together enough coin to get a B1

    - Marc

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I didn't see him set the "Freeze" mode on the B4 like he did "SPEED" on the Broncolor, but that's neither here nor there, and takes nothing away from the performance comparison.
    Marc, I watched the video again as I thought he discussed the "freeze" modes and in his conclusion he does in fact say he used freeze mode on both packs in the test. The Move pack had a stop more power at its optimum setting over the B4's optimum. He even goes on to say in regular mode the Move has much better flash duration and colour accuracy over its complete power range.

    Pretty compelling stuff considering the B4 and Move were release about the same time and are "same generation" offerings from both companies.

    ...... Why is the B4 so huge and heavy but offers less performance?

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Last View Post
    You can get the Profoto B4 pack, by itself, for the price of a Broncolor with 2 heads, a softbox, an umbrella, and a bag to carry it all in. That is a big difference. A spare battery for the B4, $1,000... for the Move, $620.

    Personally went with the Move 1200 and haven't looked back. I've always loved the mounting system of the Profoto (rubberized collar) and it's ability to change angles, but it wasn't enough to keep me from going Bron.
    Mike, good to here you are loving the Move - first person I've seen on here mention owning one?

    Seem's like a no brainer if you're in the game for a powerful battery generator and with all the extras you get for the same cost as the B4 pack alone......... I'm even more tempted now.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Me thinks if Profoto gets wind of this post someones getting fired! I have both the B4 and the Move .gazwas, Mike last summed it up well, Big huge price difference. Performance overall are about the same. Aside from cost there are two big selling points that were important to me, the move is fully asymmetrical ( The B4 is not) and the modeling light is led ( balanced to strobe kelvin, 5500) and you can use it for 2 hours OR plug in the head to the adapter and plug it in to the wall. You really can't appreciate the size and weight savings (8 1/2 pounds savings over the B4) till you load & unload and carry the move around in its shoulder case on location for an afternoon.
    Both are well made. Yes I do love Profotos mounting system but I'm crazy for Broncolors Para 88....amazing!, thats another conversation. IMHO if you add it all up, size, weight, quality, asymmetrical, modeling light, battery cost, and system kit option & cost, It's a no brainer especially if your not already invested in Profoto.
    I am very happy with Bron, customer support is great and their quality is amazing. Anybody looking for a couple of excellent B4's priced right??

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by aztwang View Post
    Aside from cost there are two big selling points that were important to me, the move is fully asymmetrical ( The B4 is not) and the modeling light is led ( balanced to strobe kelvin, 5500) and you can use it for 2 hours OR plug in the head to the adapter and plug it in to the wall.
    Yes, I forgot to mention that. Apart from the huge size difference Colin the Bron guy showing me the Move at the show said it was fully asymmetrical which I couldn't believe. Plugging two heads into this pack if you don't need the full 1200J actually makes sense rather than the funny split on the Profoto.

    The only down side to the Move I could see was the head connectors are not a patch on the Profoto plug and the side positioning on the pack looked a bit strange. Horizontal on the side or better on the top as Profoto would be better but I suppose such a small trade off compared to all the multitude of benefits I can live with.

    I thought the daylight LED modelling would be great as a video light also, especially when using the continuous power adapter (that's included in the kit!).

    Can the Move be plugged in and used as a studio pack like the Profoto?

    Gareth

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Marc, I watched the video again as I thought he discussed the "freeze" modes and in his conclusion he does in fact say he used freeze mode on both packs in the test. The Move pack had a stop more power at its optimum setting over the B4's optimum. He even goes on to say in regular mode the Move has much better flash duration and colour accuracy over its complete power range.

    Pretty compelling stuff considering the B4 and Move were release about the same time and are "same generation" offerings from both companies.

    ...... Why is the B4 so huge and heavy but offers less performance?
    The Profoto is probably overbuilt for rental duty.

    A good friend of mine owns the largest commercial studio here, and also is the official Profoto rental outlet in my area (there is no Bron rental here), and he tells me horror stories about how some of these pack are treated.

    - Marc

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The Profoto is probably overbuilt for rental duty.

    A good friend of mine owns the largest commercial studio here, and also is the official Profoto rental outlet in my area (there is no Bron rental here), and he tells me horror stories about how some of these pack are treated.

    - Marc
    Now that I can understand as I imagine with the battery dropping out of the B4's and loosing all previous power settings they would get kicked about!!!

    Joking aside, I do agree the build of the B4 is bomb proof but as I'll be buying the packs myself and I baby my kit, I hope that won't be an issue.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    Now that I can understand as I imagine with the battery dropping out of the B4's and loosing all previous power settings they would get kicked about!!!

    Joking aside, I do agree the build of the B4 is bomb proof but as I'll be buying the packs myself and I baby my kit, I hope that won't be an issue.
    In the B4's defense, I have never had a problem with batteries popping out.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    We are using bron since they introduced the grafit A packs, which were the first units that were color-controlled and equipped with the IGBT cutoff circuit. We worked with a lot of brands including profoto which of course is all over the place if you are going to rent. I was actually very surprised when I first saw the move, that is a "mini-scoro" at reasonable price plus offering portability. Go for it, you will never look back. I was moaning about the push buttons when we got our first units 20 year ago, you´ll get used within a couple of hours and again, you´ll never look back to dials. Full asymmetry, never care about using which socket for what power level and of course variable flash duration and color. That video you were referring to is no advertisement - it is simply summing up the facts.

    Cheers, Ulf

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Hi Ulf, I've decided to take the plunge as I've now sold most of my Profoto battery gear. To begin with I'm going to order two Move kits and a Para 133 with the plan of adding another Move in a few months when these have paid for themselves.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by aztwang View Post
    Me thinks if Profoto gets wind of this post someones getting fired!
    I missed this comment and just for the record to quash any fires if this is taken the wrong way, it wasn't a Profoto dealer on the stand but just a conversation I got into with someone at the show.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    There here!!
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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Just some small points I've noticed that I think get over looked in the reviews I've read and watched that really impressed me.

    1. The backpack/roller case is brilliant. Well made with lots of pockets for storage.
    2. The case/jacket for the pack has access for both head plugs and battery removal/charging so the pack can live in the case.
    3. USB on the pack for updates?
    4. Battery charger is excellent quality and has a three stage charge cycle. Fast charge to 75-80%, trickle charge to 100% them maintenance charge so battery could remain on charge constantly. To me that probably means much better long term battery reliability than just fast charge/flatten/fast charge/flatten etc, etc.
    5. Battery can be charged in the pack while using the pack as the B4.
    6. This one is just genius! The MobiLED heads have a built in pan and tilt head..... so what you may say. Well, all previous heads I've ever used you unscrew the main knob on the head to tilt and slacken the stand mount to pan but on these Bron heads you lock the head to the stand as normal but then slacken the built in pan handle and it both tilts AND pans at the head. No need to touch the locking nut on the stand mount.
    7. MobiLED light can be stand mounted as normal vertically on the stand but three are also holes to allow horizontal mounting onto a stand or boom.
    8. RFS 2.1 transmitter is tiny and does all the same functions as the Profoto Air romote.

    I'll add more as I find them.
    Last edited by gazwas; 25th May 2014 at 23:37.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Following this thread with interest - love what the Move packs (and the Para 133 and 88) offer.

    The Pan & Tilt mount is one thing I LOVE on the Profoto Acute & Pro heads - and the lack of it is something I dislike about the D1s. As you say, brilliant and much more secure - and saves adding more weight to a boom using a Magic Finger, etc., swivel mount.
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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Gazwas....after having Bron Move packs and accessories for a couple dozen shoots I have NO complaints. Specularity of the Para is amazing, the best bar none. The 133 is coming soon, I understand it's even a bit nicer. No regrets..OH and for you diehard Profoto B1 lovers I have one for sale...
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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by aztwang View Post
    OH and for you diehard Profoto B1 lovers I have one for sale...
    Yes, absolutely no regrets selling off my Profoto gear. I wasn't bothered about the B1 (great light what it does but I didn't like them) but thought I'd really miss the little AcuteB's but the Move is just so good and I'm now a very happy owner of three Move kits.
    Last edited by gazwas; 28th May 2014 at 03:16.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Gaz, did you buy a para 88 or different light modifiers? Looking forward to seeing some shots lit with the Broncolor kit.

    Mat

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    Gaz, did you buy a para 88 or different light modifiers? Looking forward to seeing some shots lit with the Broncolor kit.

    Mat
    I got the Para 133 over the 88 and waiting for a P70 and honeycomb grid set to arrive today.

    I've also had the 30x120 strip softbox from Bron's new range of softboxes to try out. Nobody seems to talk about Bron softboxes, only Profoto and Elinchrom so wanted to try them out before I bought any more. They just seemed too cheap compared to the competition but I can safely say they are extremely well made with very high quality fabrics and sturdy metal rods which are built to last years. The diffusers are great quality too and I got the optional third diffuser which produces a very clean even light.

    The huge rectangular window light softbox with third diffuser might be my next purchase.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Looks good, I have been looking at modifiers to expand my options a little, I'll have a look at the bron models. I've read that the para 133 is superb, I was thinking about using the B1 on a para but feel the recessed tube may hinder the performance, not entirely sure though.

    Anyway, good luck with it all, I hope it's good to work with.

    Mat

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjr View Post
    I was thinking about using the B1 on a para but feel the recessed tube may hinder the performance, not entirely sure though.
    I've seen a B1 being used in a 180 Giant and it seemed to be doing a pretty good job but Bron's Para's are more parabolic shaped than the Profoto Giants. Not so sure it would reach the outer petals of the reflector for that wrapping effect? Pyrex dome might help on the B1 but I thought they were a bit of a compromise as they diffuse the direction of the light to widen the spread rather than diffuse the light direct from the tube as the Pro/Acute heads do.

    I wouldn't buy one on the assumption it works with the dome, I'd try and hire/try one first.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Gazwas just a note...If you can find used Bron ext cables they can be rewired so that they work with MobiLED ( so that the modeling light works )..saves a few hundred bucks! I traded a Profoto ext cable with a repair shop for a used Bron cable that he modified for the MobiLED. With the length or lack of cable legth on the MobiLED's, ext. cables are a must when using 2 lights per pack. Also if you have some images from the 133 send 'em over, would love to see them! I agree on the B1, Its a nice light but honestly when shooting a scene with my Move, I'm usually pretty dam close if not spot on with light levels first frame. The B1 takes the trial & error out of the equation , MOST OF THE TIME, but as we all know TTL is an average of the sensor, depending on settings and can be easily fooled depending on the background. On another note, IMHO the B1 can be a disadvantage to the photographer when it comes to learning light as it removes a good amount of theory and practice from strobe lighting. Don't get me wrong, its a great product and I can see a photographer grabbing it out of the bag for a shoot where they literally have minutes to capture the shot, but for now give me the Move and some great modifiers and I'm off to the races..Ciao...
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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    I'm going to rent some kit next week, including a Leica S, business is actually going quite well at the moment.

    I use the B1 fully manual, I'm a nikon shooter currently, what I like about the B1 is that I can be out in the forest, have it up high on a stand and be completely independent from it. I'm sure there's plenty of systems that can give you that freedom but as a newcomer to strobes, I'm learning to see what the light is doing and adjust from there, I'm getting so I can estimate pretty well to start and then it only takes a couple of shots to get things right, all good fun.

    Anyway, I'd too like to see the quality of light from the 133 so looking forward to seeing some shots, no pressure Gaz!

    Mat
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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    t.01 durations for the Bron pack are 1/8,500 at minimum energy (4W/s), and 1/350 at maximum.
    Just wanted to correct that now having got the packs, the t.01 flash duration of 1/8500 on the Move is not just at its minimum power setting. The Move is still pumping out 1/8500sec (t.01) flash durations at 5.8 on the power settings (65Ws) which is a pretty health lump of power.

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    Re: Broncolor Love?

    "I've also had the 30x120 strip softbox from Bron's new range of softboxes to try out. Nobody seems to talk about Bron softboxes, only Profoto and Elinchrom so wanted to try them out before I bought any more. They just seemed too cheap compared to the competition but I can safely say they are extremely well made with very high quality fabrics and sturdy metal rods which are built to last years. The diffusers are great quality too and I got the optional third diffuser which produces a very clean even light.

    The huge rectangular window light softbox with third diffuser might be my next purchase."

    [/I][/SIZE]

    I have the smaller octa and agree, they are well made. I wish they made a 6ft strip. I never thought about the "3rd diffuser" on the large softbox. I bet its very even & creamy.

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    Arrow Re: Broncolor Love?

    Quote Originally Posted by aztwang View Post
    I wish they made a 6ft strip.
    Don, they do - well, at least to the UK :

    Softbox 30cm x 180cm - Hasselblad UK Ltd Store

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