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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 31 Dec 2017 (Sunday) 10:20
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PROFOTO B1X - views, issues, recommendations and advice

 
fotopaul
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Jan 01, 2018 07:45 |  #16

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530645 (external link)
---

Thanks - I just came across the Flash Havoc site, they have listed the best cordless/wireless/port​able strobes here:

http://flashhavoc.com/​cordless-ttl-strobes/ (external link)

It seems that 'on-paper' - the GODOX AD600B / XPLOR 600 TTL is technically very impressive:
Output = 600w vs 500w (circa)
No. of Flashes = 500 vs 325
Groups = 5 vs 3
Channels = 32 vs 8
...
Price = $750 vs $2,000 :lol:

Yes on paper it might be impressive, and for the price it's good.

However, the price benefit is only valid if you believe everything else is equal, or can live the shortcomings of the Godox system.

For me, the Godox falls short on so many more points than the Profoto B1.

Just handling the Godox, puts me off, the swivel mount is terrible in comparison, the lack of a handle makes matters even worse.

So I really encourage you to test before you decide.


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jlafferty
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Post edited over 2 years ago by jlafferty.
     
Jan 01, 2018 08:24 |  #17

If you need to shoot tabletop or portraits with the expectation your gear survives a slog through Afghanistan then hmm, I wouldn't suggest the Xplor/AD600. But then I wouldn't suggest a B1 either.

In either case, but certainly for the Godox/Flashpoint gear, I'd put it on a scale well above the minimum of what is needed to endure pro gigs - writing as a pro who shoots with them almost exclusively at this point.

In my experience the Godox lights aren't just good on paper, they exceed expectations in real life performance. By no means a perfect piece of gear (if that exists) their positives far outweigh some gripes or minor inconveniences. For me.

To put it bluntly: if we lived in a different world where the B1 was the cheaper product and I had to pay a premium to use Godox, I'd buy from the Godox line. It's lighter, produces more 1:1 shots per charge, does HSS really well, built in receiver, TTL as an option and the modifiers available might not hit every imaginable niche, but really good versions of the best things are there (as I said earlier: Photek, beauty dish, portable Octa, large umbrellas, etc.)

At the end of the day if you can't make it happen with the specs and actual performance of the Godox/Flashpoint line, the problem isn't the light. And if it's something as inane as the handle that keeps you from working - :D - you've got even bigger problems.

fotopaul wrote in post #18530414 (external link)
There is of course other budget alternatives than Godox, Phottix for example, if that's the route OP, wanna go. But considering he is going from ELC to B1X indicates that he probably want something in the same segment quality wise.

The Godox AD600 is cheap yes, but it's not equal in terms of build, eco system (legacy modifiers) yes it has bowens mount, which we can read about mismatch in every other thread..

Apart from the obvious differences in build, the UI, display, the colour shifts and the odd bulb design, it's not even close to be on par.

fotopaul wrote in post #18530702 (external link)
Yes on paper it might be impressive, and for the price it's good.

However, the price benefit is only valid if you believe everything else is equal, or can live the shortcomings of the Godox system.

For me, the Godox falls short on so many more points than the Profoto B1.

Just handling the Godox, puts me off, the swivel mount is terrible in comparison, the lack of a handle makes matters even worse.

So I really encourage you to test before you decide.


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fotopaul
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Jan 01, 2018 08:44 |  #18

jlafferty wrote in post #18530720 (external link)
At the end of the day if you can't make it happen with the specs and actual performance of the Godox/Flashpoint line, the problem isn't the light. And if it's something as inane as the handle that keeps you from working - :D - you've got even bigger problems.

Never said I couldn't work with them or similar budget strobes, im saying I'm not willing to because they simply don't offer the performance, build, and ecosystem I need and want for what I do.

As for the build and lack of a handle, for you, it might be a non-issue, to me it's simply stupid to not have a handle on a product that has the shape of a toaster.

If I were forced to use a chinese brand like godox would pick Phottix which i find have better build quality.

I know you think Godox is the hottest thing since sliced bread, and that's fine. We shoot very different things, and I can assure you we work very differently. So we simply pick the gear that supports what we do best. For you it's obviously godox for me it's Elinchrom.

But that doesn't mean I don't have access to other brands of gear to test and compare, I actually have an AD600E in my office, sure I'd never use it for work but I enjoy to test and compare when I have the time.


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jlafferty
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Jan 01, 2018 09:34 |  #19

Fair enough. I just find the posturing about build quality to be funny: common among guys talking gear on a forum but not really an issue in all but a few extreme circumstances in real life.

I don't know the survivability of any of my gear in a drop test and I intend to never find out. Everything sits on a stable stand and when not in use, goes back into a hard case.

I've traveled to Japan, LA, and a few other spots with my Flashpoint gear. Had it splashed with sea water. It's still working fine.

Likewise, the ecosystem. If you have a modifier your work style lives or dies by and it's not available in the Bowens mount, obviously you have no choice but to go elsewhere. But for me I think in terms of light quality, and there are usually multiple ways to get to the same destination. Bowens modifiers account for all but a few that I can think of (optical spot, magnum, hard box, large fresnel). TBH I think there is a Bowens spot around but it's such a niche light style I haven't chased it down. In any case if it's an issue of having creative choices at your disposal the Flashpoint/Godox options offer plenty of options for what I do.

fotopaul wrote in post #18530745 (external link)
Never said I couldn't work with them or similar budget strobes, im saying I'm not willing to because they simply don't offer the performance, build, and ecosystem I need and want for what I do.


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bobbyz
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Jan 01, 2018 23:06 |  #20

I have heard Godox is coming with more pro quality lights, not sure when. The studio versions of AD600 do have handles. They run on AC though.


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fotopaul
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Jan 02, 2018 00:05 |  #21

bobbyz wrote in post #18531356 (external link)
The studio versions of AD600 do have handles. They run on AC though.

Yeah... I'm not sure how that is relevant.. still the AD600's do not have handles regardless if other models from Godox have it.


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MayaTlab
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Jan 02, 2018 04:54 |  #22

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530645 (external link)
---
the B1X short-comings of the recessed flash tube is now fully NOTED & understood ---> feeling a little dismayed about that!

I'm fairly certain that it isn't quite that understood as reality is a bit more complicated than what's been said so far :D. Since you already own the ELC, I suppose that you have Elinchrom's basic umbrella reflector (the 16cm one). Compared to that, the B1X's design lights an angle that's slightly wider. Here's a B2, vs a softbox and a white umbrella, for example :


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How that affects light distribution inside a modifier is a complex issue that can't be summarised in a few sentences. With some modifiers there is no significant difference. With others it's rubbish. And with quite a few it's just a question of the design having benefits and trade-offs. Personally I'd rather have Profoto go back to exposed flash tubes at the entry level but that's unlikely to happen and they have done a pretty good job of exploiting that recessed design.

Besides, many lights which flash tube appears exposed are in effect behaving like recessed flash tubes once some modifiers are factored in, most of the time because of the depth of the modifier's mount collar. That's typically the case with the AD600 and most legacy Bowens S mount speedrings, but Elinchrom's flash tube isn't that omnidirectional as well in some modifiers. It really depends. That's an issue you'll never really have with Profoto's older heads with an exposed flash tube given the mount's design :D.

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530645 (external link)
---
I did not think beyond Broncolor (way beyond my budget) / Profoto (only possible because of my selling the ELC's)

Broncolor's Siros lineup, whether AC or battery powered, isn't necessarily more expensive than Profoto's D2 / B1X. They're very interesting products which just like any already mentioned in this thread have advantages and disadvantages over other options. One of which, for example, is that contrary to what's been said here, they don't have TTL. Whether that matters or not to you... is up to you :D.

The B1X can be an excellent choice for you or not depending on plenty of factors. Some people in this thread are just blowing their own horn and justifying their own purchases. I feel that you took that decision maybe a little bit too fast without enough information, but that shouldn't be a reason to dump those shiny new B1Xs.




  
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fotopaul
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Jan 02, 2018 05:35 |  #23

MayaTlab wrote in post #18531449 (external link)
That's typically the case with the AD600 and most legacy Bowens S mount speedrings, but Elinchrom's flash tube isn't that omnidirectional as well in some modifiers. It really depends. That's an issue you'll never really have with Profoto's older heads with an exposed flash tube given the mount's design :D.

A flash tube is either omnidirectional or not, whether the modifier take advantage of that is another matter. The Elinchrom mount seats most (if not every) modifier flush to the edge so light is spread omnidirectional for better/worse.

Regarding the AD600.. it has an interesting flash tube design, and it really surprised me how directional it was and the hot spot I got by just using it bare on a wall. So here it's not only the Bowens S mount (and the problem with fitting and seating depth) that comes into play, even with an AD600E (Elinchrom Mount) you will have much more directional (forward) spread.


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MayaTlab wrote in post #18531449 (external link)
The B1X can be an excellent choice for you or not depending on plenty of factors. Some people in this thread are just blowing their own horn and justifying their own purchases. I feel that you took that decision maybe a little bit too fast without enough information, but that shouldn't be a reason to dump those shiny new B1Xs.

In all fairness, my comments were made entirely with the premise that it was my opinion. (see my first posts) I also stated the recessed design may be more/less negative based on the modifier used. My concerns are of course not valid for everyone, I hope that goes without saying.


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aliengin
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Jan 02, 2018 09:40 |  #24

I had Einsteins before and moved to Profoto B1 (3 heads). Yes I agree there are a lot of 3rd party modifiers but my experience so far not stellar with those. There are couple of issues for me, either the mountings were too flimsy or the light quality was not there. I know Profoto modifiers are expensive but they do work and they last for a lot longer than any other brands.
That being said, setup and shoot on the go (without an assistant) outside is really fast with B1 system.


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Angmo
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Angmo. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 02, 2018 10:27 |  #25

I completely get the fast setup/takedown speed thing - and how they benefit the shooter particularly run-n-gun. So don't get me wrong...

In my experience, I show up early, take time setting up lights, test with flash meter, adjust everything, take care of the client, answer his questions if they have any. Do a bunch more collaboration and last minute communication. Then shoot & repeat. Time wise, a shoot can take up to many hours. One shoot took a week. BIZ executives can be in a huge hurry, but I am not.

In the scheme of things, for me, setup & takedown time does not substantially change the time on target by much. Sometimes, it means leaning a reflector up against a chair, other times several strobes and modifiers. I think streamlining the workflow in POST and doing everything right in camera trumps a quick setup stands... or whatever clever marketers call these "time saving" gimmicks.

Just my malenkij say for the year.


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Cham_001
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Jan 02, 2018 16:49 |  #26

aliengin wrote in post #18531577 (external link)
I had Einsteins before and moved to Profoto B1 (3 heads). Yes I agree there are a lot of 3rd party modifiers but my experience so far not stellar with those. There are couple of issues for me, either the mountings were too flimsy or the light quality was not there. I know Profoto modifiers are expensive but they do work and they last for a lot longer than any other brands.
That being said, setup and shoot on the go (without an assistant) outside is really fast with B1 system.

Hmmmm :roll eyes: If I do go-ahead with the B!x's I will stick to Profoto accessories and modifiers. Locals at my camera-club have stated the same about poor-quality 3rd-Party products. So I will stay clear of them for sure.

Yep, for sure the Profoto gear is expensive. Luckily, I do not have to find 'new-money' to get them. As for their modifiers, I will have to slowly build up a collection.

Agree entirely with you on your last comment: easy and quick setup of the B1X's - that's what is so compelling. Also, the flash-head controls are minimal and yet so effective.
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Jan 02, 2018 16:59 |  #27

Cham_001 wrote in post #18531919 (external link)
Hmmmm :roll eyes: If I do go-ahead with the B!x's I will stick to Profoto accessories and modifiers. Locals at my camera-club have stated the same about poor-quality 3rd-Party products. So I will stay clear of them for sure.

Yep, for sure the Profoto gear is expensive. Luckily, I do not have to find 'new-money' to get them. As for their modifiers, I will have to slowly build up a collection.

Agree entirely with you on your last comment: easy and quick setup of the B1X's - that's what is so compelling. Also, the flash-head controls are minimal and yet so effective.
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Cham_001
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Jan 02, 2018 17:18 |  #28

MayaTlab wrote in post #18531449 (external link)
I'm fairly certain that it isn't quite that understood as reality is a bit more complicated than what's been said so far :D. Since you already own the ELC, I suppose that you have Elinchrom's basic umbrella reflector (the 16cm one). Compared to that, the B1X's design lights an angle that's slightly wider. Here's a B2, vs a softbox and a white umbrella, for example :

thumbnail
Hosted photo: posted by MayaTlab in
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forum: Flash and Studio Lighting


How that affects light distribution inside a modifier is a complex issue that can't be summarised in a few sentences. With some modifiers there is no significant difference. With others it's rubbish. And with quite a few it's just a question of the design having benefits and trade-offs. Personally I'd rather have Profoto go back to exposed flash tubes at the entry level but that's unlikely to happen and they have done a pretty good job of exploiting that recessed design.

Besides, many lights which flash tube appears exposed are in effect behaving like recessed flash tubes once some modifiers are factored in, most of the time because of the depth of the modifier's mount collar. That's typically the case with the AD600 and most legacy Bowens S mount speedrings, but Elinchrom's flash tube isn't that omnidirectional as well in some modifiers. It really depends. That's an issue you'll never really have with Profoto's older heads with an exposed flash tube given the mount's design :D.

Broncolor's Siros lineup, whether AC or battery powered, isn't necessarily more expensive than Profoto's D2 / B1X. They're very interesting products which just like any already mentioned in this thread have advantages and disadvantages over other options. One of which, for example, is that contrary to what's been said here, they don't have TTL. Whether that matters or not to you... is up to you :D.

The B1X can be an excellent choice for you or not depending on plenty of factors. Some people in this thread are just blowing their own horn and justifying their own purchases. I feel that you took that decision maybe a little bit too fast without enough information, but that shouldn't be a reason to dump those shiny new B1Xs.

---
You're right about simplifying a complex topic - it will never happen by anyone - ever! (technical stuff fries my frail brain!). The ELC's have served me really well. I knew them, I liked them and trusted them. Quality of light and light-output faultlessly consistent. I am based between 3 countries: here in the UK, Brazil & Bulgaria. I cannot afford to keep 3 x sets of studio flashes for one in each location. So, whenever I have to travel I take the lighting kit with me. I use my lighting gear to assist and supplement other Professional photographers. I rarely get a chance to 'shoot'. I have seen their results and they produce STAGGERING & INCREDIBLE images - many of which cannot be 'publicly-published'. I am now venturing off in a new direction - to undertake lighting to create my own body of work. In the beginning, I will not be supported by any assistant or co-photographer. I will need to be 'self-reliant'. And I am starting on a very steep-learning curve. I am determined to create my own style of lighting that suits me. I will have to learn the limitations of any given studio flash solution and then either find work-arounds and/or just 'live-with-them' and resolve in PP. The simplicity and flexibility of the B1X's make this a highly desirable choice - based on my 'limited' knowledge.
I just checked online - and agree, the Broncolor's are actually only fractionally more expensive - so this is also an option for me. The lack of TTL will be an issue, the feature is desirable in many countless scenarios (but of course, not for all). So, for that reason I will have to discount the Broncolors.

HSS is an absolute MUST for me, many models were photographed in the approach to sunrise and that dramatic lighting is what I want to specialise in creating.


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MayaTlab
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Jan 02, 2018 18:02 |  #29

Cham_001 wrote in post #18531919 (external link)
If I do go-ahead with the B!x's I will stick to Profoto accessories and modifiers.

I strongly advise against that.

Just to give you an example : Jinbei and Interfit, and possibly others as well, sell umbrellas which are the same as Profoto's. We aren't talking here about substandard copies. We're talking here about the exact same parts, exact same materials, exact same construction, with only a few marginal differences in practicalities (such as the protection sleeve). All of them are most likely made in similar factories in the same area in China (pretty much all umbrellas come from a few places in China). The thing, though, is that they're much cheaper. IMO in 2018 if you want a deep Profoto umbrella, you're a fool to buy one.

I advise to look at it on a case by case basis. Personally I use very few of Profoto's own modifiers.




  
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MayaTlab
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Jan 02, 2018 18:10 |  #30

fotopaul wrote in post #18531462 (external link)
A flash tube is either omnidirectional or not, whether the modifier take advantage of that is another matter. The Elinchrom mount seats most (if not every) modifier flush to the edge so light is spread omnidirectional for better/worse.

The question I guess is : what does omnidirectional means ?

As far as I'm concerned the only direct comparison I've been able to make is between a Profoto's Prohead and a D1 / B2 with a recessed tube. In that case the difference was visible in a 120x30cm stripbox. But vs an Elinchrom light ? Honestly I'm not that sure that a Quadra + adapter + Elinchrom speedring would send significantly more light to the side than a D1 given where the flash tube ends up with that combo. I don't know, but I'd rather have direct comparative tests.




  
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