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Ari
27-Aug-2016, 11:39
I'm going through the decision process in my head, and maybe some of you can help me think this through.
I have the chance to get either two Einstein 640 units, or two Profoto Compact monolights (600 w/s each).
The Einsteins are like new, the Profotos have some wear but work well. Both are at almost the same price, the Einsteins being slightly more expensive.
These will be used for commercial work, i.e., corporate headshot, location portraits, and they'll travel somewhat.
I use mostly soft boxes, reflectors and grids.

Einstein:

compact, portable
advanced electronics
modifiers and accessories are inexpensive
can be used anywhere in the world with a minimum of fuss (of least importance, but a nice feature, nonetheless).
customer support


Profoto:

high-quality build and light source
simpler electronics
more consistent colour output


I owned a few Alien Bees heads until recently, and while they were compact and practical, the quality left a little to be desired (build quality and quality of light).
But I'd use them again if I had to, and I'm hoping someone will tell me the Einstein is vastly superior to the Alien Bees.

With that in mind, do they come out more or less equal, or do you think one is a better buy than the other?

Thanks for your thoughts.

Peter Gomena
27-Aug-2016, 11:58
We use Profoto 500 and 1000 Air monolights in our studio. The fact that the color temperature remains constant over the entire range of adjustment is a big plus, as is the ability to control the units from the hot-shoe wireless sending unit. Accessories are not cheap, and the heads do not take abuse very well. (I'd say they're a bit delicate.) Repairs are expensive and are done at Profoto HQ in New Jersey. Ours are used by students and as in-house rental gear. They take a beating sometimes, and don't take beatings very well. Quality of light is excellent, and the unit are generally very dependable. Just treat them nicely.

Kirk Gittings
27-Aug-2016, 13:22
What are you lighting?

Taija71A
27-Aug-2016, 13:46
... These will be used for commercial work, i.e., corporate headshot, location portraits, and they'll travel somewhat.
I use mostly soft boxes, reflectors and grids.

Taija71A
27-Aug-2016, 14:13
Ari... Have you ever given any consideration to the various Photogenic PowerLights?
They 'strike' a very nice balance... Between the Paul C. Buff Einstein Units and the Profoto Units.

Like they say... 'Just a Thought!'

Randy Moe
27-Aug-2016, 14:55
I own and use 4 Einsteins. 20 years ago I was impressed with White Lightnings.

I am planning on getting their battery pack, which sounds good.

I use the PCB Cyber gizmos, but the Commander is a little difficult for me. So many functions in a small device. No 'off' switch! Bring spare AAA Duracell, it will not run on rechargeables. 2 AAA are good for a full day shoot.

I find Einsteins are very linear and once metered i can simple change power without re-metering.

That's PCB's claim and it works for me.

I don't shoot color film, so I cannot comment.

DSLR color is fine for me.

Willie
27-Aug-2016, 15:14
Worked with two sports shooters who are lighting gyms and using the Einstein units. Also for large groups(football teams for Universities) and they love the lights.

Greg Davis
27-Aug-2016, 15:44
If those are the only two you are looking at, I would recommend the Profoto. I've used them and liked them. No experience with Einstein. I went with Bowens and am very happy with them.

Two23
27-Aug-2016, 16:10
If you ever try to add more lights, the Einsteins will more likely be found for less money. I have not tried Pro-Foto, but have been using Paul Buff lights for about 10 years now. I bought a couple of Einsteins and really like them. They are lightweight and solid. I bought them for their immediate recycle time. In the end I sold them to buy a couple more White Lightning X3200 monolights. These are big & heavy but pump out twice the power. I mostly use monolights outdoors, especially in winter. The Einsteins held up very well in below zero F temperatures.


Kent in SD

Ari
27-Aug-2016, 19:44
Ari... Have you ever given any consideration to the various Photogenic PowerLights?
They 'strike' a very nice balance... Between the Paul C. Buff Einstein Units and the Profoto Units.

Like they say... 'Just a Thought!'
Thanks, Tim; I've considered everything, and bought or tried many lighting kits. I've narrowed it down to these two.
I recently rented an Elinchrom D-Lite 2-monolight kit, and while the lights were ok, the accessories were terrible. The soft box never took less than 15 minutes to assemble (while quietly cursing a blue streak), and gave the worst hot spots I've yet seen.


I own and use 4 Einsteins. 20 years ago I was impressed with White Lightnings.

I find Einsteins are very linear and once metered i can simple change power without re-metering.

I don't shoot color film, so I cannot comment.

DSLR color is fine for me.
Thanks, Randy; again to use the D-Lites as an example, the colour temperature was all over the place on my last shoot, and it couldn't have been simpler: h&s portraits lit by one soft box.
My last kit of Alien Bees was a little all over the place, not as bad as these D-Lites, but still uneven.


Worked with two sports shooters who are lighting gyms and using the Einstein units. Also for large groups(football teams for Universities) and they love the lights.
Thanks, Willie; I like the practical/portable/DIY feel of PCB lights, I suspect a lot of people like them for those reasons too.


If those are the only two you are looking at, I would recommend the Profoto. I've used them and liked them. No experience with Einstein. I went with Bowens and am very happy with them.
I'm leaning toward the Profotos because, as much as I like the Einstein on paper, I don't want to wrestle with white balance on every shot, and I suspect the high-quality (more expensive in the long run) Profoto will deliver consistently.
My best assisting days were with a guy who used only Profoto packs and heads, and I do like the system, pricy as it is.


If you ever try to add more lights, the Einsteins will more likely be found for less money. I have not tried Pro-Foto, but have been using Paul Buff lights for about 10 years now. I bought a couple of Einsteins and really like them. They are lightweight and solid. I bought them for their immediate recycle time. In the end I sold them to buy a couple more White Lightning X3200 monolights. These are big & heavy but pump out twice the power. I mostly use monolights outdoors, especially in winter. The Einsteins held up very well in below zero F temperatures.
Kent in SD
That's the kind of practical information that keeps me from buying the Profoto outright; not that I plan on shooting much in subzero Canadian winters, but it's a testament to their solid build.
Good to know, thanks Kent.

Ari
27-Aug-2016, 19:46
We use Profoto 500 and 1000 Air monolights in our studio. The fact that the color temperature remains constant over the entire range of adjustment is a big plus, as is the ability to control the units from the hot-shoe wireless sending unit. Accessories are not cheap, and the heads do not take abuse very well. (I'd say they're a bit delicate.) Repairs are expensive and are done at Profoto HQ in New Jersey. Ours are used by students and as in-house rental gear. They take a beating sometimes, and don't take beatings very well. Quality of light is excellent, and the unit are generally very dependable. Just treat them nicely.

I would certainly treat them better than would a student; the part I'm not crazy about is the glass dome, which can break easily during transport.
Like all things Profoto, it's an expensive replacement ($200+).
Thank you, Peter.

Scott Davis
28-Aug-2016, 04:03
Another thing to consider is that should you need an accessory for them you don't own, either at home or on the road, most rental houses carry Profotos. Einsteins, not so much.

Ari
28-Aug-2016, 05:03
Thanks, Scott, it's a very important consideration; plus the used market is flooded with old, but usable, Profoto accessories.

Christopher Barrett
28-Aug-2016, 05:08
I've had Profoto D1's since 09, I think. I bought 10 initially but only carry 6 nowadays. They've been all over the country and to South Korea and back. During the first year, three had to go in for repair, 1 after falling from 20 feet. These came with a 2 year warranty and I never paid for a repair. After those initial fixes they haven't had to go back in since. So mine at least seem to be incredibly durable. Profoto used to make great software for controlling the heads from a laptop. They stopped supporting that and wrote new software which is utterly unusable.

I think I'm going to move to the Broncolor Siros, as you can control those from an iPad.

I have a colleague who swears by White Lightning and every time they break, they fix them for free. Either way, I'd buy new and make sure your units have a good warranty.

-CB

Noah A
28-Aug-2016, 06:46
I was going to mention what Scott said, so I'll second it. If you need to rent more lights or modifiers, Profoto gear is available in rental houses all over the world. I've never seen an Einstein in a rental catalog.

Also any assistant you may hire is already going to be familiar with Profoto.

I'm constantly impressed by the quality of light from the profoto heads and modifiers. And if you want to add more lights for a cheap price, you can sometimes find the old Compact monolights for sale at bargain prices. They're still great lights. Obviously marketing has something to do with it, but I still think that Profoto is a standard for many pros and rental houses for a reason.

To be fair I've never used the Einsteins. Back in my newspaper days I used a few White Lightnings for portraits and to light high school gyms for basketball games. They were ok, but the light quality always seemed a bit rough or harsh for some reason. I also had one blow while shooting a portrait once. It started smoking and then sparks started shooting out of the flash. So I gave up on them after that. But I know the Einsteins are a different design, so that comparison might not be relevant.

Ari
28-Aug-2016, 07:10
I've had Profoto D1's since 09, I think. I bought 10 initially but only carry 6 nowadays. They've been all over the country and to South Korea and back. During the first year, three had to go in for repair, 1 after falling from 20 feet. These came with a 2 year warranty and I never paid for a repair. After those initial fixes they haven't had to go back in since. So mine at least seem to be incredibly durable. Profoto used to make great software for controlling the heads from a laptop. They stopped supporting that and wrote new software which is utterly unusable.

I think I'm going to move to the Broncolor Siros, as you can control those from an iPad.

I have a colleague who swears by Alien Bees and every time they break, they fix them for free. Either way, I'd buy new and make sure your units have a good warranty.

-CB

Christopher, thanks; I'd prefer to buy new, but I can't afford to. A good used kit will have to do. I've been impressed with the good build quality of the Profotos; like the FLM tripods I sell, excellent build quality will carry the day and last much longer than less expensive alternatives. So whatever I get, it will be Profoto.
Also, remote control capability isn't a priority of mine, I just want to be able to use wireless triggers; the extent of my flash needs is limited to portraits of 1-5 people, and some still life. Two lights should be sufficient.


I was going to mention what Scott said, so I'll second it. If you need to rent more lights or modifiers, Profoto gear is available in rental houses all over the world. I've never seen an Einstein in a rental catalog.

Also any assistant you may hire is already going to be familiar with Profoto.

I'm constantly impressed by the quality of light from the profoto heads and modifiers. And if you want to add more lights for a cheap price, you can sometimes find the old Compact monolights for sale at bargain prices. They're still great lights. Obviously marketing has something to do with it, but I still think that Profoto is a standard for many pros and rental houses for a reason.

To be fair I've never used the Einsteins. Back in my newspaper days I used a few White Lightnings for portraits and to light high school gyms for basketball games. They were ok, but the light quality always seemed a bit rough or harsh for some reason. I also had one blow while shooting a portrait once. It started smoking and then sparks started shooting out of the flash. So I gave up on them after that. But I know the Einsteins are a different design, so that comparison might not be relevant.

Thanks, Noah. The Einsteins do seem tempting because of the price and features; I'd guess they are a cut above ABs and White Lightnings, but still a notch below Profoto or Elinchrom.
PCB might have excellent customer service, and offer quick repairs, but that doesn't help when you need a head to work now.
Much easier to rent a flash head or power pack when they're so ubiquitous.

Randy Moe
28-Aug-2016, 07:19
I always try for the most bang for the buck.

Buff products use the old Balcor light modifier mounting system. Which is handy if you have a pile of those. I did. The old Balcor tube cover also fit, but PCB suppliers a HD tube cover as OE.

More than one low cost supplier also uses Balcor mount. 'Fotodiox Universal Barn door Barndoor Kit' fits. A large variety of modifiers other than OE available.

Comparing Alien Bees to Einsteins is mead to champagne. Different generation product.

As for color shift, the Einstein has 2 settings, speed or constant color. Pick one. Below is lifted direct from their website.

"Two distinct operation modes are available from the rear panel: the Constant Color mode and the Action mode. In Constant Color mode, the emitted color temperature is held constant at 5600K (+/- 50K at any power setting or input voltage). The flash duration ranges from 1/540 second (t.1) at full power to 1/1700 second (t.1) at half power to 1/9,000 second (t.1) at the lowest power setting. In Action mode, the flash duration is minimized for maximum action stopping capability where absolute color consistency is secondary to motion freezing. At half power in Action mode, the flash duration is approximately 1/2000 second (t.1) and the color temperature is approximately 5750 K. In this mode, the color temperature rises as power is reduced."

When I shoot digital, I am often using Einstein at 10% or less power, which gives a very fast flash.

Taija71A
28-Aug-2016, 08:57
... So whatever I get, it will be Profoto...

Excellent! :)

Ari
28-Aug-2016, 09:18
Randy, it was hard deciding between the two, but I can go back on my decision later on, if I need to.
The specs for the Einstein are indeed admirable, but the real-world experience of some online users made me opt for the workhorse Profotos.

Alan Gales
28-Aug-2016, 11:54
Randy, it was hard deciding between the two, but I can go back on my decision later on, if I need to.
The specs for the Einstein are indeed admirable, but the real-world experience of some online users made me opt for the workhorse Profotos.

Ari, Stone owns a set of used Profotos and he told me that he is very happy with them. You might pm him.

Ari
28-Aug-2016, 12:10
Thanks, Alan.

Fred L
28-Aug-2016, 15:07
I use Bowens (company gear) and would prefer other lights as they're not the most intuitive. Also not as durable and also not what you were asking about, sorry ;)

Having said that, if money was no object, a pair or more of Profoto B1 500 Air heads would get my wallet opened. A couple of colleagues love them and they battery last pretty good and charge quickly. That two will fit in a backpack makes some location lighting jobs less of a hassle if you can't bring along slave.

If budget an issue, I was looking at Einsteins for the price and feature set. I know a few photographers who use them and are happy with the, For repairs, I'm pretty sure Kevin at KHB works on them.

Daniel Stone
28-Aug-2016, 18:41
As a (currently working) photo assistant in Los Angeles, I've been fortunate to have had working experience with pretty much every major type of flash(not "strobe", which is a continually pulsing light) system out there during the past 8 years of assisting full-time.

Build quality: Profoto and Broncolor are what MOST rental houses carry, because the systems are usually quite straightforward, and the build quality is (usually) better than the lower priced units. I have worked for a guy who has been using the same Dynalite heads and packs for 20+ years. They're battered, but are still working fine for lighting interiors and architectural work. I asked him why he didn't upgrade to Profoto or Broncolor, and his short answer was "why fix it if it isn't broken?" It rings true. He didn't NEED the main selling points of the "big player" systems like super fast flash duration, 1/10 stop control of light output, Some of the modifiers solely dedicated to that particular system(which, nowadays is pretty easy to source adapters) etc...

Personally, if (I) were to buy into used Profoto gear for portrait/headshot work, I'd be looking at used Pro-7B or B2 packs and PRO(not Pro "B") heads. Reason being: having the pack separate from the head means you don't have to drop the head to adjust settings when the light is up high.

A LOT of people here in LA have moved to owning their own lights now, BECAUSE of the Einsteins in terms of pricing versus Profoto and Broncolor. For the price of (1) Broncolor Move 1200 pack and a single head, I can get 3 Einsteins, batteries and some modifiers. Food for thought.

Also, for US(buy through a friend here in the USA if you can) customers MY EXPERIENCE has been that PCB customer service and repairs is second to none.

Yes, you'll need to show a little more care when handling them, and their modifiers(especially speed rings) are of "overseas" quality, they're peanuts cheap compared to a Profoto or Broncolor modifier brand new.

I'm answering this on my phone, if you have any questions Ari, we can talk on the phone if you'd like... Feel free to PM me if you want.

-Dan

Ari
28-Aug-2016, 19:58
Fred, thanks; I've rented some Bowens kits and I was underwhelmed, though they seemed respectable enough.

Daniel, I appreciate the offer of a chat, I may take you up on it.
I've owned Alien Bees, Dynalites and a host of smaller, older, lesser-known heads; I assisted using Profotos.
The specs and features of the Einsteins look pretty good, but I don't need the ultra-short duration or 1/10-stop variability; I just need a couple of solid heads that are easy to carry, set up and use.
I like many aspects of the Einstein heads, and there are also things I don't like about the PCB line in general: speed rings, the way modifiers clamp to the head, the generally cheap feel, the way the light scatters (uncontrollably, sometimes).
The only thing I don't like about Profoto is the price, but I'd rather pay extra if I feel the cost is warranted. I know that 1 Profoto head = 3 Einsteins, but it's not only about the price. If it were, I'd get the Einsteins tomorrow.
I'd also settle for a pack and two heads, like you said, being able to change settings from the ground is a lot easier than having to climb up a ladder to do it.

Fred L
29-Aug-2016, 04:15
with the Einsteins and Profoto Air monos, you can dial in adjustments from the camera via the remote trigger. Packs are great in studios (used to use Dynalights) but being able to place lights where ever I want as long as there's a plug or enough battery packs is very appealing.

But in the end as we all know, you get what you pay for and it can be a pay now or pay later situation.

SergeiR
29-Aug-2016, 04:47
I am sticking with Elincrome (1200 and ranger series) but ensteines are ok. Had used them few times, was getting less issues with colors ( still some but not like AB). Might also depends on with digital you will use - MF ones are very strict, dSLR for 35mm more forgiving ( but not totally) . Profotos are nice but do not take abuse well, as folks said and I don't like their modifiers anyway :)

Ari
29-Aug-2016, 05:49
Agreed, Fred; paying later usually costs more in the long run.
Sergei, I like the Elinchrom modifiers, not so much their way of attaching the modifiers, so maybe an adapter is in the cards.
I do use digital, but for every job I do, I try to also shoot film, if only as a back-up or just to amuse myself. So I can see getting an older type of flash kit, not just a digital-specific one.

DrTang
29-Aug-2016, 07:26
I like my Calumet/Bowens Travelights

sturdy, takes bowens bayo light modifiers (careful of Chinese made non Bowens or Calument brands though - some don't quite fit)

powerful (750ws) and infinately adjustable output and built in slave

I have three

Ari
29-Aug-2016, 07:55
I tried them on one occasion; they're good, seem solid, no complaints.
I wasn't crazy about Bowens mount, but the accessories are cheap and readily available.
Thanks, Dr T.

Ari
30-Aug-2016, 08:58
Just wanted to thank everyone for their input, I bought two Profoto Compact 600R monolights. They should be here in a week or so.
I spoke to a few people (both named Stone, thanks!) and the Profotos were just too highly recommended for everyday hard use.
Also, they're a little older, so they were made when film was still a big deal, whereas the digital Einsteins would have been good if I were only shooting digital stuff.
Thanks again!

Kirk Gittings
30-Aug-2016, 09:16
Also, they're a little older, so they were made when film was still a big deal, whereas the digital Einsteins would have been good if I were only shooting digital stuff.
This is a joke right? I missed the smiley face.

Ari
30-Aug-2016, 09:20
I expressed myself inadequately.
The Einsteins can go down to something like 2.5 w/s which is handy if you want shoot at f1.2 and 12,500 ISO (just an extreme example).
That was my point.
Of course a flash is a flash and 600 w/s is the same across the board.

Bob Salomon
30-Aug-2016, 09:43
I expressed myself inadequately.
The Einsteins can go down to something like 2.5 w/s which is handy if you want shoot at f1.2 and 12,500 ISO (just an extreme example).
That was my point.
Of course a flash is a flash and 600 w/s is the same across the board.

No, 600ws is not the same across the board. WS are a measure of the capacitors storage capacity, also called Joules. It is not the output of the flash. That is determined by the energy stored, the length and diameter of the wires between the caps and the tube. The number of connections between the caps and the tubes, the angle of illumination of the reflectors, the tube itself. So the most obvious example is the f stop attained at, say 10' with a 45 reflector, a bare bulb, an umbrella reflector and a snoot. All at 600 WSand all fired after the unit is 100% of charge, many ready lights come on at 80% not at 100%. A WS can not be translated into an f stop or a guide number as you have to know the loading on the caps to work the formula and no manufacturer declares that figure.
To know the output you can use ECPSor BCPS which are commonly used output figures or use a good flash meter.
WS or Joules is as accurate as horsepower in determining 0 to 60 times with a car, or mileage figures. WS is simply a marketing figure.

Ari
30-Aug-2016, 12:22
Noted, thank you Bob.

M Harvey
7-Sep-2016, 13:20
Glad you found a good solution, Ari-- can't really go wrong with the Profoto stuff, especially if the cost is the same as the Paul Buff equivalent. Track record aside, availability of accessories for rent is an excellent selling point, especially if you travel.

Just to add to the conversation for anyone considering this in the future, however: the Einstein 640 is a BIG improvement over the Alien Bees B800 in terms of quality of light, with very consistent color. I've used lower end Profoto pack-and-head systems in studios, and I don't find I'm missing anything in terms of quality of light with the Einstein. (Might actually measure differently, of course-- my standards are much lower than those of, say, a product photographer.)

What I most love about the Einstein, however, is how LOW they can be set. I find that I often do want to be able to use power settings under 10 w/s-- I mostly work on location, and low power is very useful in balancing the flash against daylight. This is the main reason that I prefer them to the Alien Bees and even many of the fancier brands. Looks like the new Profoto monolights match this low power capability.

My only real complaint about Einsteins is the interface-- hate having to beep through EVERY menu item (and the info screen) just to adjust the power or modelling light setting. If I could change one thing, it would be to add a (quiet) dial to control the power directly.

Ari
7-Sep-2016, 14:27
Thank you, Mr Harvey; I haven't received the Profoto monolights yet, but having worked with them before, I'm sure I'll be happy with them.
My local camera store rents Profoto lights and modifiers, so if I'm in need of anything and don't want to buy, that's an option.
I'm glad you pointed out a simple, but important, feature of the PCBs that annoys you; those things can make a huge difference to some people (me). I much prefer dials.
I rented another Elinchrom today, and don't think I could use them long-term; the interface is ok, the way of attaching modifiers is annoying, and I can't get a Skyport to work on any of my cameras.

The low power of the Einsteins is a great feature, not an important one for my uses, but there are lots of times I could see it being a gift to have.
Same goes for ultra-short flash bursts, I don't really need them, nor do I worry about recycle times, as long as they're under 2s or so.

dodphotography
23-Oct-2016, 14:31
I'll have to add my 2 cents as I'm a bit pissed off.

I received my Einstein this week and there's a small tweak that I instantly noticed.

On their website the back of the strobe says "Made in USA"...

The strobe I received has a cute "Designed in the USA"

Perhaps I'm showing my xenophobic , protectionist side but I grew up in a labor union family and this crap continues to piss me off. You pay the same price, they outsource, and pad their profit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

williaty
23-Oct-2016, 17:07
I'll have to add my 2 cents as I'm a bit pissed off.

I received my Einstein this week and there's a small tweak that I instantly noticed.

On their website the back of the strobe says "Made in USA"...

The strobe I received has a cute "Designed in the USA"

Perhaps I'm showing my xenophobic , protectionist side but I grew up in a labor union family and this crap continues to piss me off. You pay the same price, they outsource, and pad their profit.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

OTOH, it's entirely possible that you aren't paying the same price for foreign vs domestic production. If their choice was offshore or raise the price to $750, heck, probably even if the increase were only to $550, their customers would have abandoned them in droves had they raised the price. Almost everyone is highly price sensitive. Very few people actually refuse to buy a product because of country of origin.

Would you prefer the profit stay in the US (Einstein) or the profit stay in China (Youngnuo, etc that people would have bought instead of the Einstein) even if the manufacturing isn't here too?

Randy Moe
23-Oct-2016, 17:44
Good points.

I have 4 Einsteins and like them.

I will be buying more.

I hope PCB can thrive despite the recent death of founder and namesake, Paul C Buff. A real character, inovator and nice guy. He is missed.

dodphotography
23-Oct-2016, 17:57
OTOH, it's entirely possible that you aren't paying the same price for foreign vs domestic production. If their choice was offshore or raise the price to $750, heck, probably even if the increase were only to $550, their customers would have abandoned them in droves had they raised the price. Almost everyone is highly price sensitive. Very few people actually refuse to buy a product because of country of origin.

Would you prefer the profit stay in the US (Einstein) or the profit stay in China (Youngnuo, etc that people would have bought instead of the Einstein) even if the manufacturing isn't here too?

I'm in the minority, I know that... it's why I pay 350 bucks for red wings when I can some crap at sears for 80 bucks.

I definitely make decisions based on quality AND origin, the quality taking the cake.

But again, guess I'm in the minority.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Randy Moe
23-Oct-2016, 18:02
No u are not.

Ari
23-Oct-2016, 20:14
I'm not sure you can make too many decisions based both on quality and origin; buying the best (you can afford) often means looking outside your own pond.

Case in point: I ended up getting two Profoto 600R monolights, which were excellent, just fantastic.
However, I recently put them up for sale since I wanted to use them outdoors, and I found that reasonably-priced portable power options for the 600R were limited.
I also didn't like the idea of a top-heavy monolight losing a battle to strong winds.

I was in New York this week-end, I picked up a Profoto 7b outfit locally, and couldn't be happier.
The Profotos feel, look and perform better than any other flash/monolight set-up I've had before (including Alien Bees, Dynalites, Bowens and Elinchroms), and I'm sure this latest 7b kit will surpass my high expectations for it.
It feels unbelievably solid, robust and powerful; well-engineered, well thought-out and executed simply but elegantly.

dodphotography
23-Oct-2016, 20:21
So the counter argument is a more expensive item made in Europe...

It's less about waving the American flag and more about shaking my proverbial head at China... Where corners are constantly cut, labor is spat on, the environment is a joke.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Ari
23-Oct-2016, 20:41
So the counter argument is a more expensive item made in Europe...

Not really; it's about getting the best quality you can afford, regardless of country of origin.

Daniel Stone
25-Oct-2016, 07:30
Unfortunately, the Europeans are the only ones who are producing PORTABLE, battery operated battery pack+head options. Well, a battery pack that can actually act as a counterweight.

While Paul Buff makes lightweight, portable lighting options, sometimes a battery pack that actually has some heft to it helps keep a light stand steady in breezy/windy conditions.

Same as with tripods, I chuckle when I see a 5# tripod weighted down with 20# of sandbags, when the photographer has a 20# gitzo studex in the grip truck :p

Ari
28-Oct-2016, 05:45
Unfortunately, the Europeans are the only ones who are producing PORTABLE, battery operated battery pack+head options. Well, a battery pack that can actually act as a counterweight.

While Paul Buff makes lightweight, portable lighting options, sometimes a battery pack that actually has some heft to it helps keep a light stand steady in breezy/windy conditions.

A counterweight is putting it mildly; with the lead-acid battery installed, the 7b weighs 27 pounds (!), the batteries weigh slightly more than the pack without battery.
So great for shooting outdoors, in wind for example, but lousy on your back.
Might have to get me one of them new-fangled assistants.

thomas ciulei
1-Nov-2016, 03:15
this might be an interesting read regarding HSS and Hi-SYNC, as it might be important point of decision.
I would always bear in mind what you can do with these lights and with a DSLR, apart from large format.
High speed sync/ hi-sync is THE game changer for flash photography especially with DSLR.

https://fstoppers.com/originals/fstoppers-compares-profoto-hss-and-elinchrom-hi-sync-102293


cheers,
thomas

Ari
2-Nov-2016, 19:51
Interesting read, Thomas, and certainly more technical than I've ever delved into flash photography.
It really highlights the differences between strobes used for both digital and film.
The new B2 is only 250 w/s, but people are using it for HSS and to overcome daylight, the latter would be very hard to do on film, ISO 100 and maximum sync speed of, say, 1/500.

thomas ciulei
5-Nov-2016, 14:46
Ari, as far as i understand, the Profotos aren't really 250 or 500 when used to "combat" daylight. the pulse they do in HSS mode robs plenty of power. it would be great if this manufacturer would "double" rate their flashes. 1- regular use e.g 500ws, HSS say 125. This is where Elinchrom and say Priolite, maybe even some others, have a big advantage. that long flash duration of say 1/200 at 400 or 1000 W/S is exactly that. So, if used for film with compur type in the lens shutters and speeds of 1/500, Elinchrom (ELB 400) and Priolite (MBX 1000 HotSync), deffo have the advantage, as from effective 125 W/S to 1000, there are 3 diaphragms! not bad...

all in all, we film people can't combat the sun, just the clouds lol



Interesting read, Thomas, and certainly more technical than I've ever delved into flash photography.
It really highlights the differences between strobes used for both digital and film.
The new B2 is only 250 w/s, but people are using it for HSS and to overcome daylight, the latter would be very hard to do on film, ISO 100 and maximum sync speed of, say, 1/500.

Ari
8-Nov-2016, 10:31
Thomas, I'm no fan of the design of the D1, B1 or B2 heads; they look like solid flashes, but I like having a unit where the flash and modelling bulbs protrude and allow more flexibility for control and shaping.
My old 600R monolights crank out a lot of power, more than enough to overcome the sun at ISO 100, and the old 7b kit I bought does that twice as powerfully.