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Thread: Profoto Air Remote question!

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    Profoto Air Remote question!

    Hi All,

    I would like to know if I use the Profoto Air remote and D1 lights in a system, can I use for example PCB Einstein in the mix, but use that as the main light to freeze action and have the air remote trigger the Einsteins for its shorter flash duration to freeze the subject, while the profoto is used as accent lights?

    Any foreseeable issues I might have?

    Thanks in advance!
    Po
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Im thinking possible ghosting may be present if accent power level is close to key light level & if action is extremely fast, 1/2600th is the fastest possible on the D1. Color balance will most likely present a challenge as I would anticipate inconsistency between the two brands.

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    What kind of "action"?

    I'd try the PCB alone to see what power setting will freeze the specific action, then add the D1 accent lighting to see the effect at the ratio you need.

    However, using t.1 duration data:

    According to the PCB published t.1 flash duration and color temp comparison charts, the D1's shortest t.1 duration is at full power and t.1 duration gets longer as power is lowered, where the Einstein E640 starts out at the same t.1 duration as the D1 but gets shorter as power is lowered.

    Paul C. Buff - Einstein E640

    If you mix PCB and the D1s, this would argue for using the D1 @ full power as Key, and PCBs for accent. The PCB set to constant color mode remains at 5500şK, where at full power the D1 is "supposedly" 6100ş˚or so. This could be mitigated by using the Profoto minus 600şK dome or flat glass plate to bring it down to 5500ş˚.

    Profoto D1 domes | B&H Photo Video

    OR, if the action is very fast, and lower power levels will suffice, (like 160W/s, @ approx t.1=1/6000, or 80W/s, t.1=1/9000 in Action Mode) … then maybe consider just using all PCB Einstein lights?

    - Marc

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Hi Marc,

    Any idea if there is a way to trigger the Einsteins with the Profoto Air remote? I haven't been able to find any solid answers online! There doesn't seem to be an Air receiver!

    Thanks
    Po
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    My other option is adding the Profoto B1 Air to the mix as the main light instead of the PCB, but that's quite a chunk of cash to throw at it but I guess it will work!
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Hi Marc,

    Any idea if there is a way to trigger the Einsteins with the Profoto Air remote? I haven't been able to find any solid answers online! There doesn't seem to be an Air receiver!

    Thanks
    Po
    The AIR radio is a Transceiver. You press the button to toggle between transmit and receive.

    Like most radio remotes, it has a mini-plug PC port, so you can hook it up to any strobe with the correct PC to strobe jack.

    HOWEVER, I've yet to get this configuration to work on non-AIR Profoto D4/2400 generators, or my older Hensel 1200 MINI generator.

    Riddle me this:

    I hook it all up, 1st AIR radio with PC cord to generator box set to "receive", press the test button on the 2nd AIR Radio set to Transmit, and it fires the strobe.

    Put the 2nd AIR Radio transmitter in the hot shoe of ANY of my cameras and it will not trigger the strobe.

    Without changing anything, I turn on my D1 Mono and the same 2nd AIR Radio in the hotshoe fires the D1.

    So it is not the hot-shoe connection. It is not the connection from receiver to generator.

    Usually I can figure out this sort of issue, but this one has me baffled.

    So, if you try the PC AIR connection to the PCB, be sure you can return any extra AIR Transcievers you may purchase.

    - Marc

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    That's bizarre.

    I use AiR remotes to trigger Acute B's , Acute 1200s, Compact 600s as well as D1s, no issues. Also use with a speedlight on occasion. I tend to use AiR units on my Acute B 600 R and Compact 600 Rs for consistency. As far as the AiR units are concerned, a Compact or Acute unit is no different than an Eli mono, Hensel pack, etc - it's just a sync socket with no intelligence behind it.

    To get even odder, I inherited some PWs as part of a transaction and wanted see if could mix and match. So yesterday I experimented and had an AiR unit (set to receive) cold shoed to a PW X and the two linked via a short sync cord. That rig was clamped to a my tether stand. All slave cells turned-off/covered.

    The on-camera AiR unit triggered a D1 Air and the 2nd AiR receiver triggered it's linked PW X, which in turn triggered an Acute B 600R and a Compact 600 R. Worked all day at max (1/200) sync, no latency or reliability issues.

    I do notice that some AiR unit develop a bit of a 'personality' like test buttons getting a bit wonky, but my 1/2 doz units have always triggered anything they're hooked to w/o fail.

    To answer the OPs question, you can use any radio unit to trigger an Eli, be it AiR or otherwise via a cord and the Eli's port.

    As for Marc's issue - bizarre.

    Edit: One possibility. Are you testing standing close to the pack and then on camera back on tripod, etc? The AiR receiver in the D1 MAY be more sensitive and if batteries are low in either sender or receiver.... About only thing I can think of. The only time my units tend to misfire is when batteries are near-death.

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Thanks Rob, that helps knowing it isn't some weirdo tech thing.

    I'll replace all the batteries in the AIR transceivers and see if that does the trick. Since the test button worked fine, I didn't think that it could be the battery. Simple enough to do and find out.

    Thanks again,

    - Marc

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The AIR radio is a Transceiver. You press the button to toggle between transmit and receive.

    Like most radio remotes, it has a mini-plug PC port, so you can hook it up to any strobe with the correct PC to strobe jack.

    HOWEVER, I've yet to get this configuration to work on non-AIR Profoto D4/2400 generators, or my older Hensel 1200 MINI generator.

    Riddle me this:

    I hook it all up, 1st AIR radio with PC cord to generator box set to "receive", press the test button on the 2nd AIR Radio set to Transmit, and it fires the strobe.

    Put the 2nd AIR Radio transmitter in the hot shoe of ANY of my cameras and it will not trigger the strobe.

    Without changing anything, I turn on my D1 Mono and the same 2nd AIR Radio in the hotshoe fires the D1.

    So it is not the hot-shoe connection. It is not the connection from receiver to generator.

    Usually I can figure out this sort of issue, but this one has me baffled.

    So, if you try the PC AIR connection to the PCB, be sure you can return any extra AIR Transcievers you may purchase.

    - Marc
    Marc,

    I have seen this with the S2-P and one Olympus camera even with the D1 500 Air...I found that a SafeSync in the hotshoe D1 Air Transmitter on it and using the PC cable connection from the Wein to the Transmitter allowed it to transmit and fire the units.

    SO a bit of extras but seemed to solve my problem.

    Still better than the Bron RFS 1 that my Bron Mobil A2L LED uses.

    Bob

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Interesting... on the S2-P, etc. I forgot to note I'm using Nikon and at one point Canon.

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Thanks for help guys!
    Po
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    Interesting... on the S2-P, etc. I forgot to note I'm using Nikon and at one point Canon.
    ROB, you were right … used my battery checker and half the batteries didn't even register anything and the others were really low. Duh!

    Of course, I just changed batteries in a bunch of other stuff, so I'm out of AAAs and will have to get some tomorrow to re-power all the AIR Transceivers.

    I'll report back.

    Bob, I've never had an issue with the S2P and AIR transcievers when using the Profoto D1 AIR or the Acute B600L AIR. Only when I was trying to use Transceiver-to-Transceiver triggering.

    So, Rob may be right, units with the AIR built-in may be a bit more sensitive than using two transceivers, because when I could trigger the D1, I was close to the strobe. However, I was just as close to the D4/2400 generator with transceiver set to receive, which would not trigger.

    Evidently, the test button isn't the same as being triggered by the camera … since I could trigger the D4/2400 box with the test button, but it wouldn't trigger on the camera. Weird science

    So, apparently, if the power gets low it'll show up there first.

    BTW, I know it is not the S2P hot-shoe because I hard wired to the AIR Transceiver the using the S2P's PC port … which also didn't work when using Transceiver-to-Transceiver.

    Are we having fun yet

    - Marc

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Great. Just speculation on my part, but good to know.

    The on-board D1 receivers may have more juice, better antenna, etc., or it may have to do with the protocols enabled with maintaining comms with the transmitter to enable power adjustments vs. simple sync with a stand alone receiver.

    The test button / hot shoe thing is a bit odd, but WTH, all radio units have a "personality" - some more a PITA than others. For me the AiR units have the best "Benefits/PITA" ratio.

    Glad it was a help.

    R

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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    A couple of questions I want to ask here:
    1) What mount is the Hensel? (Hensel Porty L 1200)
    2) What do you guys think of the Profoto 7a 1200, and would Air Sync work with this generator, my guess is that you will not be able to control power levels, but only make the flash fire, am I correct here?
    3) What Flash head is recommended for the 7a?

    Thank you!
    Po
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    PO,

    1) Hensel has its own mount. In my experience, it is the second easiest to mount/dismount and most secure mount … with Profoto being the easiest, most secure. Speed-rings to use popular light modifiers are readily available. Most notable of these is the Elinchrom Rotalux line of soft boxes, in particular the highly thought of 27" and 39" deep octas.

    Elinchrom Rotalux Speed Ring Adapter for Hensel/Expert EL 26533

    (Note: Rotalux speed-rings are also available for most makes of strobe heads, including Profoto, and Broncolor. I use the above 27" and 39" Rotalux deep octaboxes on Profoto heads).

    I chose the weather sealed, digital controlled Hensel Porty 1200L for my main battery generator which has Profoto AIR built-in, so the power levels can be controlled from the camera … therefore it can be mixed in with Profoto AIR generators and D1/B1 AIR Monos. Coupled with EH Pro Mini 1200-P SPEED head, it can deliver 1/1750 to 1/5000 flash durations.

    I also use the Porty 1200L in studio with the AC adapter. (Hensel makes some interesting options to use with the Porty, or any Hensel generator: My favorite is the reasonably priced Fresnel Head, which is a true focusing Fresnel stand-alone head rather than an add on to an existing strobe head).

    Of interest are the Hensel Nova D studio generators which have three radio receivers built-in: Profoto AIR, Hensel Strobe Wizard, or FreeMask … Freemask is a fascinating tool for shooting studio images that have to be outlined and dropped into different backgrounds.

    Check this out:

    Hensel freemask - automatic cut-out masks made easy - YouTube

    2) The 7A is an out of production generator known for rugged service and fast recycling times. It is not a battery unit, the 7B is. It offers 6 stops of adjustment from 1200W/s to 37.5W/s … t 0.1 durations are not published. t 0.5 durations are 1/1600 Max, 1/12,000 Min power.

    The 7A doesn't have AIR built-in, and would require use of two AIR transceivers. Power would not controllable from the camera. I do not know if the 7A can be updated with AIR … I believe the D4/1200R and 2400R Generators can be upgraded to AIR (at least that was what I've been told).

    I have two D4/2400 generators that can take Pro heads or Acute D4 heads. We use the Acute 2 Twin Bi-Tube head to connect to two packs set to 1/2 power allowing faster recycle and shorter durations while still delivering up to 2400 W/s of light on the subject. Each box set to 1/4 power goes even further while putting out 1200 W/s.

    3) I believe the 7A requires use of Pro heads and cannot be used with Acute heads: Profoto ProHead Plus rated to 4800 W/s with 250-500 W modeling lights, or the smaller/lighter Pro-B Plus rated to 1200 W/s with 100 W modeling light.


    - Marc
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Marc,

    Thank you for taking the time for the detailed reply, I really appreciate it!

    I am really interested in the Hensel, and know that there was an adapter that can take Profoto Flash heads, but this is no longer the case. Also it seems the B&H does take a long time for Hensel stock. I was interested in the Porty for it's shorter flash duration and the fact you can have it in the AIR mix. Also the fact that it is a pack and head allows me to worry less about putting it on the end of the boom. The extra stop of power will allow it to be the main light and D1 accents to the side and for background. The AC Adapter is great, but pricey too.

    The 7A came about because of the now cheaper prices on Ebay, but I am not sure about it being an older system, if it will last and if future servicing will still be available for it. My finances are tight but I taking steps for my newly built studio space. I also love the fact it has short flash duration and quick recycling. The 8A is out of my pay grade!

    The considerations are for my studio kit. I also have the Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed and Ranger quadra units for location.

    My question from your reply is why would the 7A require TWO Air receivers for it to work?

    Thanks
    Po
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Marc,

    The Hensel Freemask is totally awesome, and their Monolights (Expert D) and generators (Nova D) offer good flash durations at reasonable prices. Why do people still go with Profoto costing more and slower (D1)?


    I also wonder if Hensel will still be around in the years to come?

    Po
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Marc,

    Thank you for taking the time for the detailed reply, I really appreciate it!

    I am really interested in the Hensel, and know that there was an adapter that can take Profoto Flash heads, but this is no longer the case. Also it seems the B&H does take a long time for Hensel stock. I was interested in the Porty for it's shorter flash duration and the fact you can have it in the AIR mix. Also the fact that it is a pack and head allows me to worry less about putting it on the end of the boom. The extra stop of power will allow it to be the main light and D1 accents to the side and for background. The AC Adapter is great, but pricey too.

    The 7A came about because of the now cheaper prices on Ebay, but I am not sure about it being an older system, if it will last and if future servicing will still be available for it. My finances are tight but I taking steps for my newly built studio space. I also love the fact it has short flash duration and quick recycling. The 8A is out of my pay grade!

    The considerations are for my studio kit. I also have the Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed and Ranger quadra units for location.

    My question from your reply is why would the 7A require TWO Air receivers for it to work?

    Thanks
    Po
    Po, The 7A doesn't have AIR built-in … so if you wanted it triggered by an on-camera AIR radio, you'd need the on-camera Transceiver, and another AIR Transceiver for the 7A. If you already have an AIR sender, then you'd only need one other for the 7A (but don't forget "spares/back-ups").

    However, if this is for your studio, all you need is one AIR sender and one AIR pack or D1/B1 mono to receive, all the remaining ones can be triggered by their slave … so you could use any generator or mono without any radio. This is why I never had my D4/2400s adapted to AIR … I just use a D1 AIR to trigger them in studio.

    Outdoors and at distances, is a different need. I use my Hensel Porty 1200L as the key light, and D1s powered by PCB Mini Vagabond Lithiums when working on location … all controllable from the camera using AIR.

    I've used Hensel along with Profoto for over 10 years. Had the previous Porty before the Lithium version I now have. Also still have a Hensel Pro Mini AS 1200, which is a small 4 outlet studio generator that uses the same heads as the Porty. I cannot speak to service issues as I've not had a single failure in all those years … I even stocked in modeling lights but only had to change one so far.

    - Marc
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Quote Originally Posted by pophoto View Post
    Marc,

    The Hensel Freemask is totally awesome, and their Monolights (Expert D) and generators (Nova D) offer good flash durations at reasonable prices. Why do people still go with Profoto costing more and slower (D1)?


    I also wonder if Hensel will still be around in the years to come?

    Po
    Probably because Profoto is something of a standard in the US and somewhat dominates the rental houses … you can get almost anything over-night, or when traveling on location. When I worked as an art director in advertising, I never saw any other studio strobe system being used in Chicago, NY or LA … or for cars here in Detroit. Before I got into photography and lighting myself, I never realized any other brand even existed.

    Personally, I prefer Profoto because of their mount … not only is it the most secure by a wide margin, it is more versatile because you can alter the light by sliding the modifier back and forth on the head.

    Hensel has never been all that big in the US, the Porty was their primary product here and was carried by many rental houses because it was weather sealed and digitally controlled very early on.

    Hensel is a German company, and much more well known and popular in Europe. I doubt it'll be going anywhere soon. It is a well established company.

    - Marc
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    Re: Profoto Air Remote question!

    Would Marc or anyone be able to explain to me how the glass domes work or what they do?

    I know some affect the color temperature (self-explanatory), however, then there are the clear and frosted ones too. How should they be used with other modifiers Reflectors/softboxes etc) or by itself?

    Are they attached with spring clips or some mount, these questions are specific to the D1/B1.

    Thank you!
    Po
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