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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 15 Oct 2017 (Sunday) 15:21
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Profoto vs Broncolor

 
Ratishaw
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2 posts
Joined Oct 2017
Oct 15, 2017 15:21 |  #1

Hiya -

I'm a portrait and fashion photographer. I've built a business on less expensive lights but I need to upgrade to more robust lights and have narrowed down my choices to Profoto and Broncolor. There are pros and cons to each and I'm struggling with making a choice based on one particular hangup.

I love parabolic umbrellas but am concerned that the recessed bulb in the B1 and D2 may not make the best use of a parabolic design. Has anyone used a B1 or D1/D2 with either a Broncolor or Westcott (Zeppelin) parabolic umbrella? Is this something I should be concerned with?

Cheers and thank you!

CV




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RandallB
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Joined Mar 2013
Montreal
Oct 16, 2017 07:49 |  #2

This is what pushed my decision to Broncolor. If you google profoto/broncolor para there should be a few reviews discussing this. Most find using a recessed tube doesnt get the best performance out of a para.


6D w/Vello grip, 650 w/Canon grip, 85 1.8, 16-35L, 40mm 2.8, 100mm 2.8 L Macro Broncolor Siros 400S
BOWIE RIP!

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Alveric
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Joined Jan 2011
Canada
Oct 16, 2017 12:19 |  #3

I've never cared for Profoto's redefinition of 'bare bulb'. It still looks more like a flashgun design to me, with the light being projected rather than going in ~360° all around (a true bare bulb). When I was using brollies with flashguns, I did not get an even fill, but more of a hot spot.

Of course, Profoto claims, proclaims and acclaims that their design is best because it protects the bulb and the light still goes in all directions. Well, what can we expect them to say?


'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
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sincity
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Joined Nov 2014
Oct 16, 2017 17:35 |  #4

Interesting enough.. Just today HasselbladBron sent me a flyer that if I want to upgrade to a Siros they would give me free soft boxes and speedrings

Enclosed is the claim form~~ https://forms.na2.nets​uite.com ...did_javascript_redi​rect=T (external link)

And on top of that.. if you have a ProFoto set, they would discount my Siros a little..




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RandallB
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Joined Mar 2013
Montreal
Oct 16, 2017 19:51 |  #5

You Yanks get all the breaks! ;)


6D w/Vello grip, 650 w/Canon grip, 85 1.8, 16-35L, 40mm 2.8, 100mm 2.8 L Macro Broncolor Siros 400S
BOWIE RIP!

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Ratishaw
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
2 posts
Joined Oct 2017
Oct 16, 2017 20:22 |  #6

Thank you for this. I appreciate it.




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MayaTlab
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34 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Post has been last edited 1 month ago by MayaTlab. 2 edits done in total.
Oct 17, 2017 05:16 |  #7

Ratishaw wrote in post #18473352 (external link)
Hiya -

I love parabolic umbrellas but am concerned that the recessed bulb in the B1 and D2 may not make the best use of a parabolic design. Has anyone used a B1 or D1/D2 with either a Broncolor or Westcott (Zeppelin) parabolic umbrella? Is this something I should be concerned with?

CV

I feel that there is a little bit of confusion as to what exactly "parabolic" means :D.

"Parabolic" doesn't mean that a modifier is deep. It means that it conforms to the mathematical definition of a paraboloid (the 3D equivalent to the 2D parabola).

As a result, a parabolic modifier can be very shallow. The Broncolor Satellite, for example, is a parabolic modifier. And it's very, very shallow :D. In terms of fabric reflectors, you could argue that Paul Buff's extreme silver PLMs got as close as it gets for regular, cheap umbrellas, to the paraboloid shape. With these shallow paraboloid, the B1/B2/D1/D2 heads work reasonably well.

Regarding deeper paraboloids, the Broncolor and Briese are the best shaped fabric modifiers you will find. The Zeppelin isn't shaped at all like a paraboloid - doesn't mean that it's a bad modifier, just that it isn't parabolic (95% of modifiers sold as "parabolic" simply aren't anyway). With these, theoretically, the B1/B2 head won't work as well as a head with a completely exposed flash tube, but I'll leave to others the practical examples as most of my experience with Broncolor's paras is in association with their HMI lights or with Profoto's Acute or Pro heads.




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sincity
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Joined Nov 2014
Oct 18, 2017 04:57 as a reply to RandallB's post |  #8

In addition to the free soft box/ Speedring combo...

I will enclose the trade up program which list which models they will take from the ProFoto, BronColor, Speedotron, or Godox ...  :p

LINK~~ http://hasselbladbron.​com ...p-to-scoro-promotion.html (external link)




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simonbarker
Member
113 posts
Joined Mar 2009
Oct 19, 2017 07:57 |  #9

So you can trade in a Pro-7B or a Pro-B2 but not a Pro-B3? -?




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EricJrSax
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Joined Sep 2013
Baltimore
Nov 06, 2017 12:17 |  #10

Ratishaw wrote in post #18473352 (external link)
Hiya -

I'm a portrait and fashion photographer. I've built a business on less expensive lights but I need to upgrade to more robust lights and have narrowed down my choices to Profoto and Broncolor. There are pros and cons to each and I'm struggling with making a choice based on one particular hangup.

I love parabolic umbrellas but am concerned that the recessed bulb in the B1 and D2 may not make the best use of a parabolic design. Has anyone used a B1 or D1/D2 with either a Broncolor or Westcott (Zeppelin) parabolic umbrella? Is this something I should be concerned with?

Cheers and thank you!

CV

Hi,... they say there are differences between the output of Profoto's recessed bulb and the more traditional exposed bare bulbs you see on other systems. But not as much of a negative impact as Broncolor marketing would like for us to believe. There are a lot of users who think that Profoto's glass domes deals with over half of the difference it does make, but pretty much everyone says they are just way to over priced, and really should be included in the box.

I've been researching and reading up on these two systems as well. So far, I'm thinking Broncolor has the upper hand when it comes to light quality, but Profoto has pretty much everything else hands down. Broncolor doesn't sport TTL, HSS, or even a decent on camera trigger/controller worthy of quality of their lights. They got that stupid little Godox controller,... even Godox has moved beyond that crazy thing. They do have the Broncolor app which seems to be very slick,... however, it doesn't facilitate communication between the light and the camera like a true controller.

If Broncolor were to take that app and put it in a dedicated controller that fits on the camera's hot shoe, then incorporate true TTL and HSS into their Siros 800L,... there wouldn't be any question. So far,... all the reading I've gone thru points to Profoto as the best buy at the moment,... even given the recessed bulb.




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RicoTudor
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486 posts
Joined Jul 2014
Chicago, IL
Nov 06, 2017 19:05 |  #11

Looks like the company has done such a good job promoting D1/B1/D2/B2 that newbies are unaware of the real Profoto gear. Let's have a recap:

IMAGE: http://makino.fi/rico/fm/acutetwin.jpg

If OP is oriented to portraits and studio, the starting point of Acute and Pro lines is the bare bulb—with or without a frosted dome. Then you add the attachment design for security of the gear and safety of your subjects. Finally, you survey the extensive OEM and third-party modifiers to create your lighting tableau.

Profoto's latest orientation to predirected light, radio control and auto TTL exposure may expand their prospective market, but isn't the best choice for hardcore illumination. Of course, there's a time and place for casual shooting (I have a fleet of Speedlights, too). Nothing wrong with Bron, although cost might be even more fanciful. :)

Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

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simonbarker
Member
113 posts
Joined Mar 2009
Nov 06, 2017 19:40 |  #12

RicoTudor wrote in post #18490345 (external link)
If OP is oriented to portraits and studio, the starting point of Acute and Pro lines is the bare bulb—with or without a frosted dome. Then you add the attachment design for security of the gear and safety of your subjects. Finally, you survey the extensive OEM and third-party modifiers to create your lighting tableau.

Profoto's latest orientation to predirected light, radio control and auto TTL exposure may expand their prospective market, but isn't the best choice for hardcore illumination. Of course, there's a time and place for casual shooting (I have a fleet of Speedlights, too). Nothing wrong with Bron, although cost might be even more fanciful. :)

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Acute basically discontinued? Unless you find something cheap used I can't see the point going for it.

As for Pro... well I don't disagree with your advice in general but even used a Pro setup is a serious investment and I'm not seeing a real reason why they'd see a return on that coming from 'less expensive lights'. I can't see that as practical compared to just getting some monoblocks.

If it has to be Broncolor or Profoto then a used Opus/Topas/Grafit and some Pulso 2's is a reasonably affordable entry point but I keep wondering why would it have to be Broncolor or Profoto? If you don't need something specific (the performance, the consistency, special application heads etc) then why pay extra for them?




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RicoTudor
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486 posts
Joined Jul 2014
Chicago, IL
Nov 06, 2017 19:58 |  #13

simonbarker wrote in post #18490370 (external link)
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't Acute basically discontinued? Unless you find something cheap used I can't see the point going for it.

As for Pro... well I don't disagree with your advice in general but even used a Pro setup is a serious investment and I'm not seeing a real reason why they'd see a return on that coming from 'less expensive lights'. I can't see that as practical compared to just getting some monoblocks.

If it has to be Broncolor or Profoto then a used Opus/Topas/Grafit and some Pulso 2's is a reasonably affordable entry point but I keep wondering why would it have to be Broncolor or Profoto? If you don't need something specific (the performance, the consistency, special application heads etc) then why pay extra for them?

Only OP knows whether Profoto/Bron will yield a return on investment, but those were the brands he mentioned. Filling a para was his technical issue. As Maya has researched deeply, bare bulb is essential for optimal effect: perhaps that dome accessory for the new-generation Profoto products can serve. AcuteB is discontinued, but A/C packs and accessories are for sale new. Some attachments used by Acute/Pro heads are discontinued (e.g. ProBox). In any case, I expect a robust and affordable secondary market with repair options for year to come. My recent score from eBay was a FresnelSpot fixture with its 7" lens. Yummy!


Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

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MayaTlab
Member
34 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Nov 07, 2017 06:58 as a reply to RicoTudor's post |  #14

Oh I've never seen these Profoto protection caps with the locking rubber ring. These are for their tungsten lights, aren't they ? But I guess they should prove handy with all of their heads. I'm not concerned as I only own Profoto heads with recessed flash tubes, but as an assistant we've travelled often with the regular plastic protection cap. So far no issue to report, but maybe these can provide added security ?

Otherwise I don't know about the effect of the dome with Bron paras, as it's a combo I've never used. In fact I've never seriously used a Profoto flat head with a Bron para, I don't see the point and none of the photographers who I have assisted ever were interested anyway (I've only used Bron paras with Profoto Acute / Pro heads, Broncolor Litos and Pulso, and Bron / Kobold HMI lights). My opinion here is mostly theoretical. My guess is that you could still be able to get interesting lighting with a D1/para combo, but not what what intended when the para was designed.

Also, some heads with an exposed flash tube can be in practice partially recessed when used with the paras. Elinchrom's, for example. When pushed all the way inside, the body of the flash head blocks some light from illuminating entirely the para. Even Siros are a bit larger than Litos, themselves a bit larger than Pulso. My favourite are Profoto's Pro and Acute, because one can adjust exactly how they're positioned relative to the mounting cage.




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RicoTudor
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Joined Jul 2014
Chicago, IL
Nov 07, 2017 08:58 |  #15

MayaTlab wrote in post #18490644 (external link)
Oh I've never seen these Profoto protection caps with the locking rubber ring. These are for their tungsten lights, aren't they ? But I guess they should prove handy with all of their heads. I'm not concerned as I only own Profoto heads with recessed flash tubes, but as an assistant we've travelled often with the regular plastic protection cap. So far no issue to report, but maybe these can provide added security ?

A long time ago, Profoto shipped all heads with a metal cap. Now you have to buy them but one hundred bucks and change gives you solid metal construction, standard locking mechanism, and elimination of dust-attracting static. They are currently listed as an accessory for continuous-lighting heads but fit any Acute/Pro, including the 100mm dome of the Twin. Not that I plan to drop the Twin but it has some really expensive tubes up front. :)


Canon, Nikon, Contax, Leica, Sony, Profoto.

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Profoto vs Broncolor
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