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Thread: New Profoto Monolights released

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    New Profoto Monolights released

    D1 – Profoto Performance... Your Passion.
    2009-02-16
    Stockholm, 5 February 2009 – Ask any professional photographer why they use Profoto strobes and the answers are identical: consistency, consistency and more consistency. And, oh yes, Profoto´s are the most durable and trouble free units on the market. So it’s not surprising that the company’s new D1 line of digital compact electronic flashes are the same. What makes them so consistent is the microprocessor controlled, dual mode SMPS capacitor charging system. Consistency is important for two reasons: precise exposure from flash to flash and precise colour temperature. These are important qualities for portrait and studio photographers who want an easy-to-pack, rugged, monolight design. The new Profoto D1 monolight system, available in 250, 500 or 1000 Ws versions, can be adjusted from full to 1/64th power in 1/10th stop intervals. This gives you a range of seven f/stops in precise, repeatable and consistent output.
    The D1’s have other important qualities: quick recycling time (0.2–0.95 s), short flash duration (1/1000th– 1/2600th s), compact size (300x130 mm) and weight designed for portability (2.4 kg); this for the 500 Ws version. The head has the same size as other Profoto strobes, so the full line of light modifiers, such as beauty dishes, snoots or grids, can be used. There is a built-in fan cooling system, an audible affirmation (that can be turned off) and a photocell for triggering.
    The D1’s come with a 300 W quartz-halogen proportional modeling light, which together with the flash tube are covered by a strong protective glass. The unit can be used with any worldwide voltage, from 90–130 and 200–240 V without having to change the modeling light. They are also available with the optional Profoto Air System, allowing remote triggering and control of output from as far as 300 m away. You can also use a PC or MAC to control lights in a multi-light setup.
    For 40 years Profoto has set the standard in professional electronic flashes. The new D1 line is keeping with that reputation.
    About Profoto
    Profoto is a Swedish company manufacturing flash equipment for the professional photo market. Established in 1968, Profoto is one of the leading flash manufacturers in the world, and counts among its customers a great many of the leading photographers and rental houses. Profoto has its headquarters in Skarpnäck south of Stockholm.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Guy,
    Thanks for posting this. There was some earlier discussion about these new D1 units, but not much detail. Just checked the prices (suggested retail on B&H, though they do not have them in stock yet). Looks like a range of about $1K for the 250ws without Profoto Air to $1,700 for the 1000ws with Profoto Air capabilities. At first, that seems like a lot per head, but the prices may adjust at B&H, AND these are pretty impressive units, backed by the Profoto line of stuff. If one has Profoto stuff already, and was looking for nice, compact monolights, these are really nice looking and functioning units that will probably hold up very well in heavy use.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    What other comparable heads can do accurate 1/10 stop adjustments?
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    What other comparable heads can do accurate 1/10 stop adjustments?
    There are actually quite a few that have gone "digital" with controls:
    Bowens DX series
    Elinchrom DX Style
    Hensel Integra Pros
    Norman
    Photogenic PLRs

    Probably others also, but these quickly come to mind. The question then goes back to how consistent the light output really is flash to flash. From there you get into available modifiers, ease of rental if needed, and stuff like that.

    LJ

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    Ranger 9
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    I especially like the idea of the "audible affirmation" feature: Does it whisper "You are a fabulous photographer and a great human being" when enabled?

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Just what I need: snarky comments from my lights

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    Oxide Blu
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    What other comparable heads can do accurate 1/10 stop adjustments?
    Not to detract from your question -- is 1/10-stop accuracy critical to photography?

    I think I would prefer flash to flash consistency. I can deal with 1/3-stop (3/10-stop) adjustments if the light output is consistent.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Well, the more anal amongst us (such as yours truly) like to meter f/16, not f/16.2
    I can do that just fine with my elinchroms
    -bob

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    I will not admit to maybe being quite as anal as Bob has about some of this (even though I too will move lights and stuff to hit the f-stop I want to shoot at), but yes, that amount of difference can and does matter. The control would keep one from having to move lights forward or back, which changes the character of the light spread. If it was not so critical, then why do some of the light modifiers that folks use even go down to 1/4-stop adjustments? If the technology is there, all the better to put it to use. I also agree that flash-to-flash consistency, both color and duration, is very important also.

    While the packs and heads have had this level of control for some time, it is nice to see it on the monoblocks now, as some photogs like using them instead. I think this is good to see.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    Not to detract from your question -- is 1/10-stop accuracy critical to photography?

    I think I would prefer flash to flash consistency. I can deal with 1/3-stop (3/10-stop) adjustments if the light output is consistent.
    It isn't for me, not in the slightest. For E-6 shooters and a large section of studio photographers it is though. I know that for them profoto is good for the accuracy within setting a 1/10 of a stop so was just wondering if any other makes make units that accurate so I could compare the $1000 price tag within it's peers/competition. I'm not going to be so stupid as to winge about the price before knowing what it competes with unlike others on some forums I could mention!
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    I can see how being able to set the power levels repeatably in 1/10ths would be a time-saver if your flash meter reads out in 1/10ths, which many of them do. It also would make it easier to record setups so you can reproduce them later.

    It might not seem like much -- but if your day rate is X thousand dollars (which mine certainly isn't, but I'll bet there are people on this forum who fall into this category) then saving a few minutes of setup time puts a few more bucks in your pocket.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Ben,
    Not to jump in on your comments to Oxide Blu, but the prices of many of the digital controlled monoblocs that I mentioned are also running near the $750-1,200 price tags themselves. These new Profoto D1 units look a bit more costly, but then they may be offering more critical and repeatable control....just do not know right now. I will say that Profoto has been putting a lot of effort into things lately, and stuff like their new Pro 8a pack is really impressive for what it can do. I mention this only as it seems like some of that tech may be working its way into other Profoto things, which I think is very good....still not cheap, but very nice to see. Not trying to defend Profoto or their prices. They have a solid reputation for performance. Personally, I would love to outfit completely with their gear, but I need to eat and support other things ;-) Instead, I shoot with DynaLites (packs and heads, not monos), which have a bit less fine tuning (1/10th stop stuff), but have very consistent output in both color and duration, plus they are small, light and do not cost nearly as much. They may not be as overall bulletproof rugged as Profotos, but they deliver what I need....still lust for the Profotos, however.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    I can see how being able to set the power levels repeatably in 1/10ths would be a time-saver if your flash meter reads out in 1/10ths, which many of them do. It also would make it easier to record setups so you can reproduce them later.

    It might not seem like much -- but if your day rate is X thousand dollars (which mine certainly isn't, but I'll bet there are people on this forum who fall into this category) then saving a few minutes of setup time puts a few more bucks in your pocket.
    I think this is an important main point. I used to keep a notebook with set-up sketches and measurements just so I could easily put everything into place quickly and dial in what was needed to save time on things that were repeatable lighting sets. On the other end is that ability to dial the lights up or down a tiny bit if you add a gel or set things just a bit differently. That is important to folks that are particular about their lighting. As Bob said, it is hard to set you camera to f16.2, but it is a lot easier to adjust the lights to f16 without moving things around.

    LJ

  14. #14
    Oxide Blu
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    I think this is an important main point. I used to keep a notebook with set-up sketches and measurements just so I could easily put everything into place quickly and dial in what was needed to save time on things that were repeatable lighting sets. On the other end is that ability to dial the lights up or down a tiny bit if you add a gel or set things just a bit differently. That is important to folks that are particular about their lighting.

    I think (perhaps incorrectly) ProFoto has software that does that lighting scenario stuff now, will interface with packs to recreate a lighting set up. I was reading about it a couple years ago, was buggy at the time, thought it was ProPhoto.

    Now that I think about it, the 1/10-stop setting is digital technology kissing up to the old analog dials for light output. Used to be infinite adjustability, now it's down to only 1/10-stop.

    Gels - the quality of gel manfrg is very high, very consistent, both in color and density. The spec for whatever gel you are using will accurately describe the f-stop adjustment necessary (or light loss) for any gel you use. You shouldn't have to hunt around for the right light output setting.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    I think (perhaps incorrectly) ProFoto has software that does that lighting scenario stuff now, will interface with packs to recreate a lighting set up. I was reading about it a couple years ago, was buggy at the time, thought it was ProPhoto.

    Now that I think about it, the 1/10-stop setting is digital technology kissing up to the old analog dials for light output. Used to be infinite adjustability, now it's down to only 1/10-stop.

    Gels - the quality of gel manfrg is very high, very consistent, both in color and density. The spec for whatever gel you are using will accurately describe the f-stop adjustment necessary (or light loss) for any gel you use. You shouldn't have to hunt around for the right light output setting.
    That is true about the gels, but you still have to get the light output dialed in to get the adjustment you want. So if a gel says 0.8 stop difference, you need to make the adjustment in your lighting. If you have multiple lights set up to achieve a certain lighting, fixing that one gelled light would be easier without disrupting other things in process. One can do things the old fashioned way and find the closest adjustment....that still works too.

    Profoto's software was for controlling the light output adjustments from a computer. In other words, a tech could dial things up or down for individual lights without having to jump up to make those adjustments on the packs and such. I do not recall their having anything that automatically set up lighting arrangements. Seems like that is still at the purview of the shooter. So the photog or assistant would trip flashes and take readings and then tell what adjustments to make. The new Profoto Air device has sort of put all of that in the hands of the photog. You can turn individual lights on/off, trip, take readings and make adjustments while you are at the subject, or just dial in known settings, like down 1.7 stops on background or whatever. Sure beats climbing up to lights and making the adjustments on the backs of each one separately. Nice technology.

    Continuous lighting has had near infinite adjustments by dialing things up or down (rheostats), but flash units have always been in steps, like 1/3-stop increments. Some folks may not care so much for fine control, but for those that prefer it, it is nice to see it more easily accessible.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Can someone explain why infact packs and heads might be better for certain jobs than monolights like these? I understand that they make a stand top heavy and if you need more than 800 or so W/S then it's better to have the main unit of the floor, but otherwise what are the pro's of such a system?

    I'm taking a bit of a 90 degree turn business wise, moving towards more commercial photography and less wedding so I'm suddenly far more interested in pro level lighting details than I've had to be until now.
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Ben,
    I know others, like Marc and Bob may chime in with views, but here is some thinking from my perspective.

    Packs and heads, for the most part, have had more power and fine control over most monolights...until now. It is also a bit easier to set a pack on the floor, run a couple or three lights from it to boxes or even overhead boomed hair lights, and be able to control the light outputs from that single pack or multiple packs.

    On the flip side, monolights are nice because the are completely self-contained units, and can be placed wherever needed, without a cord snaking back to a pack. This is useful for lighting in places like homes and architectural settings, where you might want to light some things that are quite a distance from a pack. So the expense of multiple packs to serve multiple heads gets knocked down by having the controls right in the head.

    Weight should not be too much an issue with good stands and careful weighting with sandbags or whatever is needed. Most heads are weighing in a bit less than most monolights, but that difference is getting smaller all the time as electronics take over.

    There are some other +/- things to consider. If you shoot with packs and heads, you usually want to have an extra head in case one trashes, or at lease extra flash tubes in case one blows. The bigger problem comes if the pack dies, then all of your heads become useless. With the monos, being self-contained, if one dies, you either replace the flash tubes or the entire unit, and it does not disrupt the other units like having the pack die. So you have to start thinking about and balancing expenses....several more expensive monos, or a few really more expensive packs with several less costly heads going to them.

    Personally, I think there is a good argument for having both in your kit, but that can start costing a lot more to maintain, unless they are all compatible for lighting accessories. Profotos, for example, all use pretty much the same mount for any head and accessory. Others have different "lines", and you may wind up having to get different rings and mounts to use them, meaning you may be changing stuff out more....always a chance to misplace or forget the right pieces for a shoot. If you are in studio all the time, not such a big deal.

    I am sure there are other arguments to be made pro/con for each, and will let some other folks add to the discussion. It is a good question that was once more easily answered when there were big discrepancies between packs and heads vs. monos. Now that things are becoming a bit closer for performance, it gets a bit harder to say one is better than the other all the time. Both have their applications.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    I have come to a setup that I find pretty cost-effective (ok, cheap) as well as flexible.
    I ended up with Elinchroms, mostly because I started with the need for a battery pack, and I think that for the money, the Rangers can't be beat. We will see about the new lithium battery units, but I think that the jury is still out.
    Given that starting point, I found that I had a 1100 WS head with a pack on the floor. Perfect for a hair light or anything up high, or even as main if the WS were needed.
    To keep my modifiers the same, I bought a couple of Elinchrom 600RX units, which as monolights are pretty useful. I thought of the posibility of profoto monos, but I believed that I wanted to keep things simple and use the same modifiers for both the monos and the battery packs. What I now have, is my strongest light is the Ranger at 100ES, and the Monos do a decent job at 600WS. Since the skyports allow adjustment of each light group from the remote, it didn't matter too much if the light was up on a high stand or down low. I also use the usb skyport interface and adjust the lights from the same computer I am tethered to. I still need a step-stool to move the damned thing, which I need to do about as often as I might change a level. I guess if I needed something more powerful than 1100WS, I would probably opt for a pack based light, because the high-output monos get pretty unwieldy. 500-600WS is pretty much the trade-off point where I find the mono to be more convenient. Hotter than that, then it probably will be a pack.
    Since I have two ranger packs with three heads and two monos, I am pretty good as far as redundancy is concerned, although I am thinking about adding either another mono or 2400WS Pack
    OTOH I rarely have the need to go higher than 1100WS, but it would be nice to have in the kit.
    -bob

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Bob,
    I think it does depend what you shoot. If one is only doing portraits or something, then tons of light power may not be required, even if shooting low ISO and stopping down a fair bit. But once you open up the scene, or move to something bigger where the lights have to start being set further back in order to light things, it is pretty amazing how fast you need to start cranking up the juice.

    My DynaLites are 2000ws heads, but I generally am not shooting them much above 1/16 power for any portrait stuff. I just started doing some new set-ups for larger sets, and with softboxes, things changed quickly. I was going to get a couple arena heads and packs for shooting some equestrian stuff, but started to cringe at the costs of those 4000ws heads and packs, knowing that they may barely cover the long range with enough light....even using long throw reflectors. So, some of these monolights, though very attractive for size in a situation like that, would not cut it on power.

    I know all of that sounds terribly obvious, but the reality sinks in when you actually set things up and find you are cranking the ISO higher and higher just to get the settings you want. Most studio stuff, except big item shoots like cars and stuff, do not normally require too much light, so many of the smaller units work well. All depends on what you plan to shoot.

    LJ

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    Super Duper
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Repeatable quality of light IS very important, but most of the top brand names deliver that. It's the price of entry at that level of strobe lighting.

    I think perhaps the point of these new Profoto Mono-blocks is being missed.

    First off, Profoto is playing catch up with Elinchrom, Hensel, etc. with their new "Air" control system. Previous Profoto Monos were available with Pocket Wizard built in for control up to 100m, and were terrific for their time ... but for some very high demand shooting, this system proved to be flawed. Also, the PW solution did not provide for critical control from the camera position ... you couldn't turn off a strobe to meter each light individually, or adjust the power of a mono enclosed in a covered soft box, or 12 feet up. Now mind you, these issues don't effect most shooters, but they are issues for others in a time crunch or working alone . "Profoto Air" claims 300m distance, and addresses those other issues.

    The new D1s have a handle. Hope it's stronger than the one on the Elinchroms.

    Ben, the difference between a generator box system and a mono-block system are become less than they once were. In the past you could not control monos from one position like you could with a box. These built-in wireless multi-controllers are changing all that.

    However, the generator in the studio is still king of flexibility ... many newer units (like my Profoto D4-2400s) are controllable from the computer ... so when shooting tethered I can be at the computer, shoot, and adjust up to 4 heads, and quickly fire another shot to see the effect. It's all digitally controlled. Most boxes also have faster max durations. Boxes also offer more versatile strobe heads ... things like twin heads where one light has dual plug-ins to the generator to effectively double the output while keeping the duration speed; or a light stick; or different ring flashes, and so on.

    I think if you are starting on a new direction, monos with a good wireless system of control like Hensel, Elinchrom, and now Profoto offer is a viable way to go in the beginning. I rarely drag the boxes on location unless it's my Hensel Porty battery powered kit. And in studio they function quite well (as long as there's a wireless control system). Monos can also be used without an AC power source with mobile power generators like the Hensel Visit MPG which will power ANY monos up to 1000 w/s combined output.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    I pretty much had both setups at one time or more in my life and i pretty much have come down to a good battery unit . using the Ranger now with 1 head but I do want one more of these and have 2 heads and 2 rangers. Outside these have really proven to be essential shooting exteriors and such. This shot is with only one Ranger but a second one would have ben even better as i could have lit the house a touch more. Than I have 3 Monolights from Elinchrom actually 4 one is broken they are he older R units 600 watts and one 1200 RX which I use for as the main. Actually like to upgrade the 2 Rs mono's to get the RX so i can control them from the skyports transmitter. The skyports i can group each head into it's own group and adjust the power from the camera or I can mix and match the groups. Nice useful feature with the skyports. The only thing I do not like is the Elinchrom mount system. Profoto has the best design for mounting than anyone . But right now the extra Ranger pack and head are needed. This shot is just one ranger pack and even that looking into the sun did a excellent job of filling in, another setup would be even better.
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Well, I just read up on the Profoto Air system, and found that not only does it have 8 channels, and controls up to 6 light groups, it can be controlled from the computer like my D4 can, but wirelessly from 1000 feet distance using a Profoto Air USB 2.0 Transciever!

    Plus the Profoto Air Sync will wirelessly trigger any camera, mono-block or generator with a receiver of any type. Now that interests me since I have both Profoto with Pocket Wizard and Hensel strobes with different recievers and neither system has the range of the Air Sync which is 3X that of a Pocket Wizard, (i.e., 1000 feet.)

    But these pups are pricey. Gotta sell a couple of Profoto 600s pronto. Watch the F/S section for a decent buy.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Marc,
    Glad you chipped in on this conversation, as I know your experiences and perspectives are very helpful.

    Your comments about what the Profoto Air wireless can do is also what impressed me, but I failed to convey that in my other posts. It really does look like Profoto has transferred some tech, reduced other, and maybe added some new twists. I am impressed by their new device, and started to wonder how it may compare in features with the new PW devices. Seems like the Profoto Air does not cover as many channels, but does have a lot more control per channel, beyond just triggering. That is what counts, I think.

    And yes, these new D1s are a bit pricey....even for the non-Air versions, which I am not really sure why anyone would buy if they could get all the cool features of the Air units. (Guess some folks with mixed sets of stuff might stay manual, but not sure why. This is useful tech, in my opinion.)

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Seems i need to own a bank or have bucks to spend on many equipment, every year there are new cameras, lenses, lightings, products, seems photography nowadays is how much we can spend more than how many shots we are shooting.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    In the pro spectrum the prices have not changed all that much, lighting hasn't changed that much if at all, biggest changes seem to be at the lower end if anything, there never used to be a huge choice of entry level equipment. Pro's are choosing the equipment they need for their work and offsetting it against the work itself - nothing has changed there. I don't think the prices of Profoto are at all relevant to those who think it's expensive frankly. Heck if you want to see expensive start looking at movie lighting gear and budgets...
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    In the pro spectrum the prices have not changed all that much, lighting hasn't changed that much if at all, biggest changes seem to be at the lower end if anything, there never used to be a huge choice of entry level equipment. Pro's are choosing the equipment they need for their work and offsetting it against the work itself - nothing has changed there. I don't think the prices of Profoto are at all relevant to those who think it's expensive frankly. Heck if you want to see expensive start looking at movie lighting gear and budgets...
    I am not talking about Profoto prices itself, but when someone has for Example Alien Bees, then some will tell him go to Elinchrom, then another will tell him there is new Profoto products is coming and it is great even the prices are not high or expneive that much comparing to older models, and then someone will come and tell him: believe me, Bronocolor is the best lighting in the world, so what that man who is looking for high end or better quality products if he will keep changing or replacing lighting due to reviews and others experiences?
    I bought H3DII 39, someone told me go with 50, and there are some recommend to go with P65+, and sure not longer than 1 year we will see maybe Sinar or even same those brands will produce something around 80-100mp Dbacks, so what we can do if we always looking for the highest but money is an issue? here are some have that 50mp and P65+, how did they got it? and I am sure here are members using Profoto lights and many times i hear members saying they used to many lights or many cameras [expensive ones], how?

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Lots of lights will do the job.
    Take your pick, Profoto, Elinchom, Hensel, Bron, they all work fine.
    Now we look at them from the point of view of radio slave operation, computer control, and maybe most important in the long run, modifiers.
    The other thing to consider is how much you want to spend. That trade-off raised me above Alien Bees, but also kept me away from Bron and Profoto. If the latest Profoto mono were shipping when I took the plunge, I probably would be right back where I am, since I need a battery pack pretty often I first picked a ranger, and since I like to make my equipment budget stretch a bit, I decided to just keep using the Elinchrom line.
    In the end, I am pretty sure that several will work for you, there are exceptions, such as when you have the need for a 8 foot para, but then you could rent it for the job.
    -bob

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I am not talking about Profoto prices itself, but when someone has for Example Alien Bees, then some will tell him go to Elinchrom, then another will tell him there is new Profoto products is coming and it is great even the prices are not high or expneive that much comparing to older models, and then someone will come and tell him: believe me, Bronocolor is the best lighting in the world, so what that man who is looking for high end or better quality products if he will keep changing or replacing lighting due to reviews and others experiences?
    I bought H3DII 39, someone told me go with 50, and there are some recommend to go with P65+, and sure not longer than 1 year we will see maybe Sinar or even same those brands will produce something around 80-100mp Dbacks, so what we can do if we always looking for the highest but money is an issue? here are some have that 50mp and P65+, how did they got it? and I am sure here are members using Profoto lights and many times i hear members saying they used to many lights or many cameras [expensive ones], how?
    This exactly the discussing taking place about the Leica S2, as well as all this new strobe gear.

    However, if you know what your needs are then what someone else says is irrevelant.

    All that these type of discussions accomplish is the sharing of news that may be of interest to someone who's needs are not being met, and new technology solves that need. It sure isn't a race to see who can out spend the next guy ... not in this economy it isn't.

    For example, mono heads are the least of my studio expenses ... for the price of just one D4/2400 box, I could get a pile of monos. However, a couple of D1 Monos would help solve some issues I've faced in the past with my present Profoto 600R monos ... therefore may well be a considered business decision.

    Some have asked why I haven't gone for the H3D-II/50 over the H3D-II/39 . The answer is simple ... I don't need it. It's only an incremental improvement in resolution and shooting speed. I'll wait until there is a quantum leap ... and in the meantime I own my 39 and it's earning it's keep.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Lots of lights will do the job.
    Take your pick, Profoto, Elinchom, Hensel, Bron, they all work fine.
    Now we look at them from the point of view of radio slave operation, computer control, and maybe most important in the long run, modifiers.
    The other thing to consider is how much you want to spend. That trade-off raised me above Alien Bees, but also kept me away from Bron and Profoto. If the latest Profoto mono were shipping when I took the plunge, I probably would be right back where I am, since I need a battery pack pretty often I first picked a ranger, and since I like to make my equipment budget stretch a bit, I decided to just keep using the Elinchrom line.
    In the end, I am pretty sure that several will work for you, there are exceptions, such as when you have the need for a 8 foot para, but then you could rent it for the job.
    -bob
    That's why i am happy with my lights [Hensel], maybe i don't look much into specifications of different brands, and i always want something new technology to make life easier or to get benefit of that new technologies, but that will destroy my budget as well, i don't say it is always depends on the need, i can work with even Alien Bees for great results, but this not the point, but as you said, we can't always look at the latest gear if we are happy with older ones, and if those new products are improved, so how much we will miss to not having those new improvements, or to anther saying: is it must to get those new improvements for any reasons rather than needs?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    This exactly the discussing taking place about the Leica S2, as well as all this new strobe gear.

    However, if you know what your needs are then what someone else says is irrevelant.

    All that these type of discussions accomplish is the sharing of news that may be of interest to someone who's needs are not being met, and new technology solves that need. It sure isn't a race to see who can out spend the next guy ... not in this economy it isn't.

    For example, mono heads are the least of my studio expenses ... for the price of just one D4/2400 box, I could get a pile of monos. However, a couple of D1 Monos would help solve some issues I've faced in the past with my present Profoto 600R monos ... therefore may well be a considered business decision.

    Some have asked why I haven't gone for the H3D-II/50 over the H3D-II/39 . The answer is simple ... I don't need it. It's only an incremental improvement in resolution and shooting speed. I'll wait until there is a quantum leap ... and in the meantime I own my 39 and it's earning it's keep.
    And it will never end, always there are discussions about new products, and the problem is with those comparisons that shows how great and amazing those new products are comparing to older versions, for example like 5DII is superior to 1DsII in high ISO and Video, ok, and now D3X is the best DSLR maybe i don't know in what or how, so i want the best, should i upgrade then?

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    That's why i am happy with my lights [Hensel], maybe i don't look much into specifications of different brands, and i always want something new technology to make life easier or to get benefit of that new technologies, but that will destroy my budget as well, i don't say it is always depends on the need, i can work with even Alien Bees for great results, but this not the point, but as you said, we can't always look at the latest gear if we are happy with older ones, and if those new products are improved, so how much we will miss to not having those new improvements, or to anther saying: is it must to get those new improvements for any reasons rather than needs?



    And it will never end, always there are discussions about new products, and the problem is with those comparisons that shows how great and amazing those new products are comparing to older versions, for example like 5DII is superior to 1DsII in high ISO and Video, ok, and now D3X is the best DSLR maybe i don't know in what or how, so i want the best, should i upgrade then?
    Well, that's the point isn't it? If you don't know what you need, then you'll be at the mercy of every new development that comes along ... which will put your wallet in danger of being forever empty ... or you'll be disappointed with what you DO have because someone else says it isn't the best. That's how idiotic this has become.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    We also need to realize the life of lighting which is far longer than almost any camera we use out there. Lighting in general does not change often and the biggest changes are usually functions and some we can pass on for a generation or two before we may get behind a real curve in working. I had dynalites that lasted for years and frankly they have not changed much since than and that was awhile ago. Buying into almost any of the top brands will usually bring the top quality from them . Hensel, Elinchrom, Profotos, Bron , Dynalite are not the bottom end feeders with inconsistent light and color temp they are some of the best level you can buy into. So really almost any will get the job done very well. The trick is knowing what your needs are. In studio most will go pack and heads and if shooting fashion looking for fast recycle times. Product shooters in studio are looking for consistency and control of power and many times controlling them with a computer. Interior folks may have a mix with Mono , Battery and pack and head . Battery for there obvious need. Mono's to put in a room 100 ft away from you and such. So need is the most important element to look for , than functionally how it will work for you. These new profoto' sare very nice looking and could easily last a minimum of 5 years for you. Buy lighting for long term.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well, that's the point isn't it? If you don't know what you need, then you'll be at the mercy of every new development that comes along ... which will put your wallet in danger of being forever empty ... or you'll be disappointed with what you DO have because someone else says it isn't the best. That's how idiotic this has become.
    it is ashamed to say that this is the situation here exactly, i don't know why but maybe it is showoff, or maybe i don't want to be called old fashioned, or could be that i don't want to be less than others who got the highest quality, could be all those reason and more, but in all cases you are right, this making me to regret photography due to my Money lost every time and never get satisfied.

    the problem in my country is that we don't have much opportunity to get creative and inspiration and talented in photography, so for that another reason maybe we go to grow and improve our gear over our skills and talents.
    I just won recently with a photo from my travel, and i won before last year with another photo from my travel as well, couldn't win with our local photos, and i can't travel more than 1 or 2 times every year which low amount, so when i save money i save it to spend on gear, but i know that i will go no where by this way and don't know when i should stop.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    We also need to realize the life of lighting which is far longer than almost any camera we use out there. Lighting in general does not change often and the biggest changes are usually functions and some we can pass on for a generation or two before we may get behind a real curve in working. I had dynalites that lasted for years and frankly they have not changed much since than and that was awhile ago. Buying into almost any of the top brands will usually bring the top quality from them . Hensel, Elinchrom, Profotos, Bron , Dynalite are not the bottom end feeders with inconsistent light and color temp they are some of the best level you can buy into. So really almost any will get the job done very well. The trick is knowing what your needs are. In studio most will go pack and heads and if shooting fashion looking for fast recycle times. Product shooters in studio are looking for consistency and control of power and many times controlling them with a computer. Interior folks may have a mix with Mono , Battery and pack and head . Battery for there obvious need. Mono's to put in a room 100 ft away from you and such. So need is the most important element to look for , than functionally how it will work for you. These new profoto' sare very nice looking and could easily last a minimum of 5 years for you. Buy lighting for long term.
    OK, keep going, at the end i am the beneficial, other testing and using to have the reviews and we go with the higher positive reviews on any product, lil bit saving our time and money to test many products for our need and job!

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Professional,
    This is a very engaged and interactive community on this forum, and there is a lot of great talent and advice floating freely here. I think some of the things folks like Guy, Marc, Bob, and occasionally myself included are saying is that one should use whatever they can afford and that gets the job done. Some of the lower priced lighting gear can do a lot for not much investment. However, I have found that most of the time, a lot of that gear tends to be money somewhat wasted. In other words, you may not recover your spending, either in selling it later, as compared to better gear, and more importantly, when you are using it. There is a lot to be said for flash consistency, as several have pointed out. I have a philosophy that I have followed for a long time, and it has served me well.

    Basically I try to buy the best I can afford that gets the job done and gets out of my way when I am working. In other words, I do not obsess over the latest and newest, unless there are some really valuable new features that will allow me to get what I want with less effort and with greater consistency. Not everybody needs or wants this sort of thing, and that is fine. They are not paying my bills, nor doing my work. I do not succumb to all the competitive hype, but I rather evaluate what the gear can do for me and how I shoot or use it. I would have Profotos in my kit, if I could justify the need. Until recently, most of my work has been outdoor, available light, fast action sporting events (polo, equestrian, auto, etc.), and there has been little "need" for lots of lighting gear. I have been able to get by with very reliable and accurate DynaLites, but after years of shooting with them, and realizing some of my changing needs, I see some of their limitations for me. Does not mean they are not good lights, but I am starting to outgrow their capabilities with the greater use I am giving things as my focus changes.

    I think many of us go through that sort of thing, so we do change gear....some more frequently than others, but most folks keep the bank account in mind, and buy things that will pay for themselves with use. The more prudent path is to buy into good lines of gear so that you can expand as you need to. The better brands of lighting, as discussed here provide that sort of growth opportunity, and the makers pay attention to the folks buying and using their gear, to some degree, constantly improving and offering features that are useful, and not just for marketing.

    Trust me, I get a few pangs of envy when I read about Marc getting some new lighting gear, or Guy cycling through some new camera system, but I learn from them and offer up my own perspectives and experiences, not worrying if what I shoot with is the latest, the most expensive, etc. My stuff does what I need it to do, and when it no longer can, it gets replaced, or the kit grows with new things for my needs, not at anybody else's urging or comments. I respect the inputs from folks, but a 50MP MF system is beyond what I need right now, as are $10-11K Profoto Pro 8a Air packs plus heads. That may change as my business changes, and if it does, I will look at whatever best serves my needs then. These new Profoto D1 Air monoblocs are not something I have been looking for, but I certainly appreciate what they could allow me to do maybe easier than my DynaLites are today, so I am seriously thinking about revamping my lighting kit with them in mind. That is me. Might not be the solution for anybody else.

    Sorry if this sounds a bit like a sermon or something. Not intended that way at all. I was just starting to sense some of your frustration over all this high dollar gear hype, and wanting to try to keep up a bit. Trust me, this forum can be dangerous in that respect, but the good thing is that if you know what you need, can afford, and how you want to use it, there are lots of folks here that can offer many perspectives, and that is great.

    As for not having many shooting opportunities.....create them. I used to be out chasing horses nearly every day, taking 3-4K shots per week in peak season. I am changing that, and now am spending more time shooting people, starting to create new kinds of product perspectives, and things that are forcing me to use different gear in different ways. I love it. Nothing terribly great yet, but it is important to keep the artistic side engaged also, and not just to chase the same old paying work all the time.

    Sorry for taking some of this off track, folks, but some of these new products have some really great features and promise, and it is sometime worth getting past specs and prices and thinking about how they can "get out of the way" for shooting. These Profoto D1s are looking that way for me, and I am not much of a monobloc person. Good stuff. Thanks for indulging my rant.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    However, if you know what your needs are then what someone else says is irrevelant.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Well, that's the point isn't it? If you don't know what you need, then you'll be at the mercy of every new development that comes along ... which will put your wallet in danger of being forever empty ... or you'll be disappointed with what you DO have because someone else says it isn't the best. That's how idiotic this has become.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    We also need to realize the life of lighting which is far longer than almost any camera we use out there. Lighting in general does not change often and the biggest changes are usually functions and some we can pass on for a generation or two before we may get behind a real curve in working. I had dynalites that lasted for years and frankly they have not changed much since than and that was awhile ago. Buying into almost any of the top brands will usually bring the top quality from them . Hensel, Elinchrom, Profotos, Bron , Dynalite are not the bottom end feeders with inconsistent light and color temp they are some of the best level you can buy into. So really almost any will get the job done very well. The trick is knowing what your needs are. In studio most will go pack and heads and if shooting fashion looking for fast recycle times. Product shooters in studio are looking for consistency and control of power and many times controlling them with a computer. Interior folks may have a mix with Mono , Battery and pack and head . Battery for there obvious need. Mono's to put in a room 100 ft away from you and such. So need is the most important element to look for , than functionally how it will work for you. These new profoto' sare very nice looking and could easily last a minimum of 5 years for you. Buy lighting for long term.
    Guy, I think that, in recent history and on-going, lighting has made quite a leap forward and solved many issues we all just put up before because there was no new technology to speak of.

    These new developments in digital radio controls, and Lithium batteries for portiable units, are two examples. For my applications, these are more important considerations than purchasing some incremental upgrade in the megapixel race ... and would have a greater impact on workflow and IQ than 10 more meg.

    I do agree that no matter what level, if you can prioritize based on need, buying the best lighting solution you can is still a good long term investment.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Yes Marc exactly , I did not really finish up what i was getting into. The newest lighting gear these days are lot about consistency with digital with regards to output , fast flash times and than the remote control systems, than some battery units are coming out with better battery setups.

    Let's start a shopping list . I think this maybe a good starting point of some things to look for when shopping.

    Power control. When you drop power in tenths or more you want the color temp to remain the same from full power to very little power. This one is a biggy and the cheaper systems do not do a very good job here and one of there main issues. So look for units that can do this well.

    Modifiers and mounts. I still think Profoto has the best mounts and Elinchrom makes great modifiers but a botched mounting system. Regardless you want to look at the system as a whole in regards to how many types of modifiers there are and how useful they are. Brons, Profoto, Elinchrom and Hensel have a very nice selection.

    Speed. Some packs like the New Profotos 8 are so fast they keep up with motor drives on recycle times. Great for the fashion shooter but not so important for a product shooter. Here you are going to pay for that speed so you have to analyze the real need for something like a Profoto 8 setup

    Type of pack. Obviously this one can be a easy pick or a tough decision . Pack and heads have been the mainstay for years and better power and controls. This has changed a great deal in recent years with Monolights which have gotten so good on both fronts. Some issues with Monolight is getting in a soft box and they become very top heavy. So you must have stands that can handle weight but there advantage is being able to put them almost anywhere that can handle AC output. Battery units are obviously just that , needs no external power has very limited modeling lamp and only lasts as long as the battery normally around 200 full pops. But great for outdoor type work. We could goon about the benefits of each setup and the down falls.

    Size and weight . Obviously if you are a traveling shooter this becomes important with airline restrictions and things of that nature. This maybe the most important feature for some shooters.

    Rentals. Another area to consider be it in town or on the road you only have so much and you need more lighting be it your went done or need extra. Nice to be able to rent lighting that will work with you modifiers or better yet rent a whole setup on the road and leave yours home. I did this doing annual reports traveling through Europe. I rented everything. It simply was much easier but I rented what I had so I know the system well. Many things to consider here .
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Price okay a sensitive issue some of this stuff is beyond your pocket and very expensive. But usually this is a big investment in time like 5 years or so.

    Remote controls. This gets better at almost every passing year they keep improve the remote systems not just to shoot but able to control output from your transmitter or even computer.

    My personal preference of system I would buy. I like the Profotos , Elinchrom and Hensels. After that some systems i just don't want to invest in them or they are so expensive it limits my buying power. Now my preference may not be even close to your needs so YMMV
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Guy,
    If I may add one more thing to your list of things.....

    Some of the newer monolights are also starting to cover a greater range of power and control than before. Having 7 stops of range with 1/10-stop adjustment is not something most monolights have, so one is gaining a fair amount of fine control.

    The only flies in the ointment, so to speak, is the incompatibility of some of the newer remote devices. The PocketWizards are great for their universal acceptance, but they only trigger things. The newer remotes on things like the Profotos, Hensels and Elinchroms may provide additional adjustment capabilities, but most are not compatible with PWs or anybody else. This may not matter for some, but it could become an issue for folks wanting to use mixed sets of things. Guess this is an argument for one manufacturer over another in the kit, but it sure would be nice if there was more wireless compatibility across gear, and even within some lines of gear.

    The rest of your points are on target with the things I have been thinking about. Good summary.

    LJ

    Edit: The Profoto Air Sync, as Marc mentioned, will act as a triggering device from the Profoto Air Remote or Sync when connected to other packs or lights that may not have radio controls or radio controls of some other bandwidth. You are only able to trigger things, but that is useful.
    Last edited by LJL; 1st March 2009 at 05:59.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    The remotes are a good example of proprietary advantage.
    To some degree, I look at these new Profoto monos as an attempt (and it looks like a good one at that) to respond to the proprietary elinchrom and bron remotes.
    Now if Sekonic would have a plug-in for them, that would be really convenient.
    I use a skyport velcroed to the back and a short cable. Not the best solutin, but it works for me. I just really like the ability to adjust the lights from the remote. It makes things a lot easier when walking the set and tweaking up the lights from the meter position.
    -bob

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Bob,
    I was thinking about the same thing. The PW radio chip built into the Sekonic meters is becoming less useful for some of these proprietary remotes. With the Profoto Air system, it does not work. However, the way around that is to use the Profoto Air Remote in "test" mode while triggering individual lights, and having the light meter just reading the flash, not triggering it also. Not sure if that is possible with the Elinchroms or Hensels if trying to adjust individual lights.

    Your Elinchrom Skyport velcro and short cable solution would be the same as attaching a Profoto Air Sync to whatever unit, but that would only permit triggering, not making adjustments. This is that ongoing proprietary battle among players with some workarounds. Basically, it is starting to look like everybody else is edging PW out of their place to some degree. I prefer the ability to control the lighting over just triggering the flash only from a remote device, but those options are few and none are that inexpensive right now.

    LJ

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Since the skyport transmitter is sitting there in my hand attached to the back of the meter, I can use it to adjust the lights too. Just have to select the appropriate group or "all". I imagine that the others might work similarly, but I haven't checked.

    When you try to mix and match these remotes, then almost all of the advantages just evaporate and you are back to PW equivalent triggers.

    That is the problem with proprietary solutions that are aimed, I think cynically, at keeping you within one line of equipment. This is more or less the same issue with all of the modifier attachments, although you can get adapters for more bucks.
    -bob

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by LJL View Post
    Guy,
    If I may add one more thing to your list of things.....

    Some of the newer monolights are also starting to cover a greater range of power and control than before. Having 7 stops of range with 1/10-stop adjustment is not something most monolights have, so one is gaining a fair amount of fine control.

    The only flies in the ointment, so to speak, is the incompatibility of some of the newer remote devices. The PocketWizards are great for their universal acceptance, but they only trigger things. The newer remotes on things like the Profotos, Hensels and Elinchroms may provide additional adjustment capabilities, but most are not compatible with PWs or anybody else. This may not matter for some, but it could become an issue for folks wanting to use mixed sets of things. Guess this is an argument for one manufacturer over another in the kit, but it sure would be nice if there was more wireless compatibility across gear, and even within some lines of gear.

    The rest of your points are on target with the things I have been thinking about. Good summary.

    LJ

    Edit: The Profoto Air Sync, as Marc mentioned, will act as a triggering device from the Profoto Air Remote or Sync when connected to other packs or lights that may not have radio controls or radio controls of some other bandwidth. You are only able to trigger things, but that is useful.

    Thanks LJ yes please folks add to that list i know we went a little OT here but great data is great data and all great stuff.

    Since we are on the remotes I can speak of the Skyports from Elinchrom. Maybe Marc on the Hensels and others as well on the remotes for more clarification because you are exactly right some will not work across system brands or be compatible with the popular Pocket Wizards.

    I will start with the Skyports from Elinchrom since I do use them. These are very small remotes which is very nice for on camera and also these will cross system lines but with limitations.

    There are two receivers for the Skyports on the RX models both in Monolights and in the Ranger Battery packs setup you can adjust the power from the transciever to go up or down in groupings . So in effect you can have one light in group 1 and say 2 lights on group 2 . You can either add or subtract group 1 from 2 and so on and there is 4 total groups so a lot you can do in the RX models with splitting power around from the transmitter.

    Also they have a Universal receiver that can be used with almost any other system for firing purposes you cannot control the power though but you can mix the system . The package comes with various plugs to hook up. So with the Phono Plug for example you can use that to fire Profoto gear on the same set along with other systems . This is very handy actually becuase i have some Elinchroms that are older units without RX but I can still use them in my system. Obviously there is a lot more to add here but that is basically the Skyports in a nut shell.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Since the skyport transmitter is sitting there in my hand attached to the back of the meter, I can use it to adjust the lights too. Just have to select the appropriate group or "all". I imagine that the others might work similarly, but I haven't checked.

    When you try to mix and match these remotes, then almost all of the advantages just evaporate and you are back to PW equivalent triggers.

    That is the problem with proprietary solutions that are aimed, I think cynically, at keeping you within one line of equipment. This is more or less the same issue with all of the modifier attachments, although you can get adapters for more bucks.
    -bob
    We posted the same time but exactly correct Bob . When mixing systems it is down to a triggering device only and you have to get up and walk over to your other units and adjust there power manually. Even so the unit size itself is much smaller than the PW units which on the camera i find a nice benefit. Also the Skyports are not very expensive either which is very nice but obviously they will have limitations
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    The skyports can be hooked up to the computer to change everything and fire from the computer. Don't think it has the range of the Profoto Air but that kind of range is pretty niche anyway.

    Thing is that with the Elinchrom (Hensel as well?) you buy the wireless control as an accessory extra, with these Profoto Air units you have to make the decision when you buy which although no doubt perfect for their marketing department, gives less choice to the consumer.
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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    I have balcars and am a little frustrated with the weight of them. I have the p4, concept p4 and b3 with 1600 watt heads and one 800 watt head. The b3 system is great for the power the battery can give but boy would I love that hensel lithuim system how nice and light. The other problem with the balcars is getting them fixed calumet takes for ever. I am thinkng of getting some other system. I think of elinchroms, monolights, but starting over is expensive.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    The skyports can be hooked up to the computer to change everything and fire from the computer. Don't think it has the range of the Profoto Air but that kind of range is pretty niche anyway.

    Thing is that with the Elinchrom (Hensel as well?) you buy the wireless control as an accessory extra, with these Profoto Air units you have to make the decision when you buy which although no doubt perfect for their marketing department, gives less choice to the consumer.
    Not for the Hensels. You have to select the PLUS model mono to get built in radio control. Hensel makes a plug in jack reciever for non-radio heads, but it's just a trigger like a PW.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    In the end you really have to be careful and investigate each choice throughly. As Guy said, lighting is really a long term investment ... and in reality there isn't much to improve on from one generation to the next ... maybe some convenience factors, and for a select group, more refined output control. But it's not like cameras or computers ... the last generation of stuff performs the job equal to the new one. 600w/s is 600w/s. Lighting is like film cameras ... it matured long ago, so it's added digital frills now. Nice, but in the end light is light.

    In my trek over 40 years of doing this, there is one benefit to paying more up front if you can swing it ... certain Brands just have better resale ability... higher % of the original cost back, and much, much easier to sell on the open market even 5 to 8 years later depending on degree of use. Try that with a digital camera.

    I've decided to stand pat with my current line-up of lighting ... and wait for others to do the shake down cruise with the D1 Monos. I'm skeptical about the flat front diffuser and built in reflector that delivers a narrower º of spread ... and how that will work with modifiers like my Profoto Globe, ProBox, Plume Wafers, and even a 60' umbrella. Profoto is suppose to be coming with some sort of dome, we'll see. Jury's out until someone actually uses them.

    Meanwhile, watch for the early adopters shedding perfectly good lighting that will do a marvelous job for 95% of those moving up to Pro lighting. Units that will cost close to nothing because they hold their re-sale value once the initial hit is taken by the earlier adopter.

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    Re: New Profoto Monolights released

    Like Marc, I am also hesitating just a bit on the D1 Air monos. I think they are a very attractive solution, but will deliver, as all Profotos have. My concern is as Marc's right now....the 77 degree beam angle spread of light from them. That will be great for most umbrellas (maybe up to 45" or so, depending on how far you can position the umbrella from the head), and should work with deeper softboxes or off of reflectors. Shallower boxes (like the Plume Wafers and other devices) may be more a problem with even light spread. There is a glass dome listed for the D1s, but I have not seen it, nor are there any reports on its use.....yet. I am hoping it hits the mark, but we will have to wait to see.

    If the D1 Airs hit the marks they are advertising, I do think them to become excellent solution options for lighting. Being able to control individual light output (at 0.1 stop increments over 7 stops) and modeling light output for up to 8 lights from a tiny control unit is darn attractive, and probably as much as most shooters would ever need. If you are doing heavy duty commercial shooting and need the bigger packs and heads, they would still be available, but these smaller monos may be able to cover a lot of ground with very good control and output.

    The debate will rage on about whether you are getting what you pay for, especially at the higher initial costs of some of these. That is a personal decision each shooter must make. If you shoot a lot with lights, getting better ones will be in your interest, versus buying cheaper ones several times to keep up. Just a thought.

    LJ

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