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Thread: Profoto B2

  1. #51
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2 vs B1 - query?

    Many folks mention that the B2 is only 250W, while the Quadra's are 400W and the B1 is 500W.

    Is this really an issue in the day and age of high ISO cameras?

    I really low ISO is useful for HSS with fast primes, but under other conditions is 250W really a drawback?

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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Many folks mention that the B2 is only 250W, while the Quadra's are 400W and the B1 is 500W.

    Is this really an issue in the day and age of high ISO cameras?

    I really low ISO is useful for HSS with fast primes, but under other conditions is 250W really a drawback?
    This question depends on what, where, and when you tend to shoot ... and a bit of what camera gear.

    I think the B2 was primarily designed as an alternative to using speed-lights off-camera for directional lighting, which has become fairly popular. Profoto seems to be marketing the B2 as such.

    When thought of in that context, the advantages of the B2 become more apparent:

    > Speed-lights are harder to modify than strobes, and the array of strobe modifier choices are greater and more varied.

    > Many of today's TTL speed-lights have thermal limiters to protect the unit from over-heating ... so in hot conditions and/or fast/heavy use, they can shut down at the most inopportune times and take an eternity to recover ... not an issue with strobes.

    > You would have to gang 3 high-end TTL speed-lights and manually set all of them to full power in a single modifier, to equal one B2 ... hard duty that can beat the crap out of expensive speed-lights.

    > A B2 doesn't have enough power to overcome full sun, but it can mitigate bright ambient backgrounds much better than a speed-light.

    > when working with TTL & HSS, you will place more pulsed light on the subject than with a HSS/TTL speed-light.

    Using higher ISO sensitivity affects both the ambient and flash exposures. So the ratio remains the same. An overexposed background just gets more over-exposed when you lift the whole image by increasing the ISO. The objective is to darken the background while placing enough light on the subject to balance it out.

    It is shutter-speed that affects the ambient exposure, while (within boundaries) having no affect on the flash exposure ... (because the flash duration is faster than the sync shutter speed). Which is why I prefer working with a leaf-shutter camera to control the ambient. So, where my Sony is 1/180 sync, the S camera is 1/1000 sync ... giving me almost 3 more stops of ambient control in brighter conditions.

    In dark conditions, you do the opposite ... rather than the highest sync speed, you use slower shutter speeds to capture more ambient (which is commonly called "Dragging the Shutter") and strobes to light the foreground subject which is "frozen" due to the fast flash-duration. In these cases, I try to use the lowest ISO possible based on ambient conditions and rarely need more than ISO 800 or 1000.

    BTW, my preferred method of using these portable strobes for fast paced run&gun work ... a B2 providing off-camera directional key light in tandem with a TTL speed-light on-camera for fill. I use a grip to hold the radio sender and hard wire it to the camera's PC port, leaving the hot-shoe free to take the TTL speed-light.

    Here are 4 pics using strobes ... only the big group pic with the sun in the frame would have been impossible with the B2 (that one required 1200W/s and a Magnum reflector)

    https://fotografz.smugmug.com/Photog...3265&k=4sQSW6z

    - Marc
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  3. #53
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Thanks Marc, that is most useful, and will assist a lot in making my final decision.


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    Re: Profoto B2 vs B1 - query?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Many folks mention that the B2 is only 250W, while the Quadra's are 400W and the B1 is 500W.

    Is this really an issue in the day and age of high ISO cameras?

    I really low ISO is useful for HSS with fast primes, but under other conditions is 250W really a drawback?
    B2 is only good for fills or used as main light unmodified. B1 will give you more juice under bright sunlight. If you use B1 at 250w/s (half power) you will get twice as many flashes and instant recycle time.

    Sure B1 is top heavy when placed on a stand and even so with heavier modifiers, we can get someone to hold it or sandbag it. We are photographers who provide solution to problems. With B2's limited power there's no work around if you need to shoot at a particular location in bright sunlight.

    Some people opened up B1 tested and found capacitor is more like 420w/s not 500w/s Profoto claims. But so far I am quite pleased with B1. The Broncolor move surely looks nice but its heavier and bigger when you count the heads as well. B1 is smallish so with the profoto location backpack I can fit 2 B1s, 1635, 2470 and carry my 1dx+70-200 around my neck.

    Regards
    Felix
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  5. #55
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Well, I took the plunge and bought a B2 location kit with 2 heads.

    1st impressions - it is a sweet little rig.

    Look forward to playing around a bit.

    Cheers, S
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  6. #56
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2 vs B1 - query?

    Quote Originally Posted by FelixWu View Post
    B2 is only good for fills or used as main light unmodified. .... With B2's limited power there's no work around if you need to shoot at a particular location in bright sunlight.

    ....
    On the contrary, the B2 is quite usable with modifiers as a main light. It depends on what you are using the B2 to photograph; it would not be a good choice for groups.

    In bright sunlight, even the B1 might be under powered. But you learn workarounds to get the shot. Leaf shutters help. Try using a Magnum reflector on the B2 (or B1)----you will be able to get a stop more light output on your subject. That's a great workaround if you find yourself constrained by the power of the B2 in bright sunlight.

    ken

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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Well, I took the plunge and bought a B2 location kit with 2 heads.

    1st impressions - it is a sweet little rig.

    Look forward to playing around a bit.

    Cheers, S
    Check out all the videos on the Profoto site under blog ... scroll deep into it and look at the "Great Wall" stuff.

    I only got the one head B2 kit because I still have the Acute B600 AIR kit.

    I think they make an extension cord for the B2 head so you can place the second head a distance away.

    Best of luck! Looking forward to seeing your results.

    - Marc
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    Re: Profoto B2 vs B1 - query?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    On the contrary, the B2 is quite usable with modifiers as a main light. It depends on what you are using the B2 to photograph; it would not be a good choice for groups.

    In bright sunlight, even the B1 might be under powered. But you learn workarounds to get the shot. Leaf shutters help. Try using a Magnum reflector on the B2 (or B1)----you will be able to get a stop more light output on your subject. That's a great workaround if you find yourself constrained by the power of the B2 in bright sunlight.

    ken
    Yep, the Magnum does boost any Profoto light ... plus, any deep octa like the 27" Rotalux without diffusers acts the same way, except as a larger source.

    Beating really brutal open sunlight with full control usually takes a couple of B1s or a 1200 W/s battery pack ... but I try to avoid that anyway. I get a lot of that here in Florida, but don't have to shoot in it very often ... so I don't lug around a ton of lights when working mobile "just in case". I may have a pack in the vehicle if I think I may get trapped into such a situation, but haven't had to resort to it yet.

    The B2 off- with a speed-light on camera for fill seems to cover it pretty well 98% of the time.

    - Marc

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    Re: Profoto B2

    SOPHA has done some testing with the Magnum reflector in comparison to others and basically finds it rather useless as far as boosting output (B1). The telezoom reflector does seem to do the trick however you'd have to be wealthy to own even one.

    http://sophastudio.blogspot.com/2015...-telezoom.html

    Dave Black seems to go to the telezoom reflector along with switching out the frosted glass to clear glass (B1) quite often. He claims a boost from 500ws to 1200ws by doing so.

    -Chad

  10. #60
    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by 180q View Post
    SOPHA has done some testing with the Magnum reflector in comparison to others and basically finds it rather useless as far as boosting output (B1). The telezoom reflector does seem to do the trick however you'd have to be wealthy to own even one.

    http://sophastudio.blogspot.com/2015...-telezoom.html

    Dave Black seems to go to the telezoom reflector along with switching out the frosted glass to clear glass (B1) quite often. He claims a boost from 500ws to 1200ws by doing so.

    -Chad
    Chad, I don't see any mention of the Profoto Magnum reflector in the link you provided; it seems the testing was with the normal zoom reflector, Buff's PLM, a few others, and a Profoto Telezoom reflector test done by another photographer, not even the author himself.

    I have tested informally output levels in studio and on location using a light meter, the B1 with and without glass dome, and the B2----with the Profoto Magnum Reflector. There is a one-stop increase in light output, when using the Magnum, even without the glass dome. The B1 and B2 both have internal reflectors, though quality of light may be better with the dome installed on the B1. Light output will decrease slightly, but you can also use a diffuser with the Magnum reflector to soften the light.

    ken

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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Chad, I don't see any mention of the Profoto Magnum reflector in the link you provided; it seems the testing was with the normal zoom reflector, Buff's PLM, a few others, and a Profoto Telezoom reflector test done by another photographer, not even the author himself.

    I have tested informally output levels in studio and on location using a light meter, the B1 with and without glass dome, and the B2----with the Profoto Magnum Reflector. There is a one-stop increase in light output, when using the Magnum, even without the glass dome. The B1 and B2 both have internal reflectors, though quality of light may be better with the dome installed on the B1. Light output will decrease slightly, but you can also use a diffuser with the Magnum reflector to soften the light.

    ken
    Hmmm, you're right. I could have sworn that he had used the Magnum. At any rate, he's done quite a bit of testing with various reflectors (minus the Magnum).

    http://sophastudio.blogspot.com/search?q=b1

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    The testing protocol of lighting modifiers (from the provided link) leaves a bit to be desired, such as the use of tape to hold modifiers onto the head. But I think more important to take away is that there are lighting modifier options besides those offered by the manufacturer.

    The Buff Omni Reflector is an inexpensive reflector, but actually works quite well on the Profoto B1 and B2. Using an adapted Profoto speedring, I was able to attach it to the Omni Reflector; the optional B1 glass dome passes through the opening perfectly. ~$80 for the Omni and it includes a diffusion sock. A grid is available as well.

    I'm currently testing for review a rather novel speedbox for on location use, double removable diffusion panels and an available grid---Profoto speedring and works great with both B1 and B2. Not inepxensive, but not attached with tape either.

    ken

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I'm currently testing for review a rather novel speedbox for on location use, double removable diffusion panels and an available grid---Profoto speedring and works great with both B1 and B2. Not inepxensive, but not attached with tape either.

    ken
    Any info on this softbox, Ken....?

    I was very happy to see that my Lastolite Ezybox series fit to the Profoto OCF ring.......

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    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Well I'm very impressed by the light quality of the B2's - I've only carried out a few test shots with the 2 head rig using the optional extension cord.... and the system is very easy to use.

    Problem.... now I'm drooling for a pair of B1's.......as it would be nice to use our other larger light modifiers.....

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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by Swissblad View Post
    Well I'm very impressed by the light quality of the B2's - I've only carried out a few test shots with the 2 head rig using the optional extension cord.... and the system is very easy to use.

    Problem.... now I'm drooling for a pair of B1's ......as it would be nice to use our other larger light modifiers.....

    Thus begins the side down the slippery slope!

    I'm off to a little job this afternoon by myself. A shoot in an office building where space and headroom will be the real issue. Everything's in one roller bag including the B2 AIR one light kit with cameras/lenses/accessories.

    B1's would probably be overkill, perhaps even too big for this job ... so, the little B2 get's its opportunity to shine ... so to speak

    - Marc
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  16. #66
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Have fun Marc......

    I have to take some pix of the neighbours new baby.... great opportunity to try out the B2's..
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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Sorry missed your post. I hope to have my review on the new lighting modifier up in December. It's worthwhile.

    Marc noted earlier elsewhere that B&H removed the Acute B600 from it's website listing---a sign of that model being discontinued. Profoto recently removed it from their website, so I guess it is finally official---and I hope a sign of better things to come. I think there is a huge gaping hole in the line-up at present. I would love to see a B2 on steroids and moreso I really would especially love to see basically a lighter B600, with maybe more power too. I'm keeping my B1, but really don't like the weight of the B1 on the lightstand, and with a large modifier and a touch of wind, it becomes a sail. I'm liking the B2 and B600 form factor more....

    ken

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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    Sorry missed your post. I hope to have my review on the new lighting modifier up in December. It's worthwhile.

    Marc noted earlier elsewhere that B&H removed the Acute B600 from it's website listing---a sign of that model being discontinued. Profoto recently removed it from their website, so I guess it is finally official---and I hope a sign of better things to come. I think there is a huge gaping hole in the line-up at present. I would love to see a B2 on steroids and moreso I really would especially love to see basically a lighter B600, with maybe more power too. I'm keeping my B1, but really don't like the weight of the B1 on the lightstand, and with a large modifier and a touch of wind, it becomes a sail. I'm liking the B2 and B600 form factor more....

    ken
    Which mod Ken?

    We were just discussing all this on Photo.net's Wedding Forum ... same opinion that the B1*, as compact and well designed as it is, can be too top heavy for use on a stand outside with larger mods (same for most any mono-block) ... and the B2 can fall short in taming the midday sun when it's backlighting a subject, or you have a really hot background with the subject in the shade. So, you're right IMO, there is a hole in the Profoto highly portable line-up with the removal of the Acute B600 AIR Lithium pack.

    Right now, the B600 as key, with the B2 as fill, is a pretty sweet set-up (850 total available W/s with no power robbing extensions necessary). I like the B600 head with glass dome, and hope the B600 replacement uses that head ... or one like it but maybe with LED patches for a modeling light like Elinchrom uses with the Quadra so it draws less energy.

    Since I sold off all my big D2400 Packs and Acute 2400 heads, the B600 is the only head I'll use for boomed overhead lighting (where the B1s are too big and heavy out on the end of a overhead boom dangling on a baby drop-down pin over a model's head). The B2 head can't handle the big mods for this sort of application, but the B600 head can.

    We'll see what Profoto does next.

    - Marc

    *I have used the B1 AIR's as much in studio as on location so far (two 500s and one 1000). They can be placed on set with no cords running all over the place, or in the shot when placed behind the subject. They have been super useful for interior work where power outlets are hard to find or not in the right place. I've taken them to wedding receptions many times ... tuck them into a corner with no power cords for guests to snag. The B1-1000 can kick out enough to work in nuclear sun situations (assistant holding the B1-1000 light on a monopod I converted to a painter's pole type portable boom arm).
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  19. #69
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    An in-between system would be great.

    For most of my use the B1's are too large - and as stated - the B2 cannot handle large light modifiers.....

    Hopefully Profoto reads this thread....

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    Re: Profoto B2

    I wonder why Profoto didn't just update the AcuteB2 with B1's functionalities. It will be sweet. Make it 800w/s to sit between B4 and B1. There are too many flat head designs in the lineup at the moment so hopefully Profoto can release the dome head models (in one of Broncolor's latest videos they absolutely dismissed the recessed design). And hopefully hopefully the pack is compatible with existing heads and can be used both in studio and on location. Last but not least let it be affordable.

    With regarding to light modifiers...how about some better designed parabolic softboxes/reflectors?

    On top of that, the adaptor for existing B1s...

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    Quote Originally Posted by FelixWu View Post
    I wonder why Profoto didn't just update the AcuteB2 with B1's functionalities. It will be sweet. Make it 800w/s to sit between B4 and B1. There are too many flat head designs in the lineup at the moment so hopefully Profoto can release the dome head models (in one of Broncolor's latest videos they absolutely dismissed the recessed design). And hopefully hopefully the pack is compatible with existing heads and can be used both in studio and on location. Last but not least let it be affordable.

    With regarding to light modifiers...how about some better designed parabolic softboxes/reflectors?

    On top of that, the adaptor for existing B1s...
    And don't forget----keep it as light and portable as the Acute2 B600 pack. I'll place bets something is coming with an update. But affordable from Profoto? I guess it's all relative... It's been an expensive year already, but I'd love to see an upgraded Acute 2 B600....

    ken

  22. #72
    Senior Member Swissblad's Avatar
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    Re: Profoto B2

    This morning my old Broncolor Impacts showed their age (≈ 20 years) and left me in the lurch.... no alternative but to pack out the B2's and carry on with the shoot....



    Needless to say - we were all more than impressed!


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