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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

 
Cham_001
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Dec 31, 2017 10:20 |  #1

Hi All, :-D

2018 will prove to be a defining year for me.
I am about to overhaul my existing equipment by selling off most of my kit with a view to Upgrading' to newer and hopefully better kit.
I am expected to receive the 6Dii imminently. I have spoken with a local store to accept this in 'Part-Exchange so that I can acquire a new 5D IV and to pay a small difference.
In addition, I am about to unload my lenses. I will keep the 100mm L IS USM f/2.8 & I will purchase the 24-70mm f/2.8L USM ii.
This latter lens will be my go-to lens for outdoor photography - street-life & general photography. The 100mm will serve me for both indoor & outdoor Portrait work.
To help me to achieve this I have finally decided to 'release' my prized ELC Pro HD's (500's) x 3. They are about to be sold.
Instead, I have selected to go for the Profoto B1X on-location Kit with the Air Remote TTL-C triggering system - this way, I can use these lights indoors & outdoors as I please. I am hoping that on travels, my kit will not break the 'weight-allowances' imposed by European carriers.

I have searched eBay extensively, and I have found many substitute brands that I can buy the peripheral accessories from and very cheaply!

I want to know from you seasoned professionals whether the B1X's are really any good and reliable for outdoor shoots. As always, the Profoto website and their brand ambassadors create really impressive videos to promote the product range - yes, guilty I have now succumbed!

Let me know what your experiences are with this stuff - I will have most of my new gear arriving around mid-Jan' 2018. I have now stopped 'assisting' other photographers on their shoots using my kit and systems. So, I now will be free to 'POST' my created images online unrestrictedly. I hope that 2018 proves to be a really successful New Year for us all.

:lol:


"... with a clear perspective - the confusion is clearer ..."
Body: Canon 5D-IV
Lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Flashguns: 580ex II x 4, MT24 macro flash
Accessories: Pkt Wiz TT5 x 4, AC3, MiniTT1, Sekonic L-758DR
Studio Lights: <... pending ...>

  
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fotopaul
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Dec 31, 2017 11:07 |  #2

B1X is not a bad strobe per se, it's built well and have a good eco system.

There is however two major concerns. (for me)

1. For outdoor use the weight on top is big no no. pack/head system is far better for location work.
2. The recessed tube is dealbreaker, unlike Broncolor (which give you a choice) Profoto limits you by recessing the tube so it can't sit flush to the edge of the modifier and illuminate it evenly

Also battery has not been proto's forte, they have had some bad luck with their batteries. Latest being the recall of the B1x Battery.


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Angmo
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Post edited 5 months ago by Angmo. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 31, 2017 11:36 as a reply to  @ fotopaul's post |  #3

True. I have ELC 1000s with Buff VLX Batteries but have been using pack-n-head outdoors much more often. I’ll be getting a few of the ELB 1200 units for more of this and leave the ELC 1000 as secondary lights/backups or keep them Home.

I’ve been using the Ranger RX AS Speed Battery pack and head will keep them and get the new ELB units. Thanks to advice here at POTN, I converted the lead acid Ranger to Lithium batteries.

And also agree about the recessed head on the mentioned Profoto units. While great, that is a limitation for me too. If you keep the ELC 500s, you may want to look into Buff VLX Batteries or the take a solid look at the Eli ELB units for reduced weight up top. Windy ocean beaches? I bring the Ranger.


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Cham_001
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Dec 31, 2017 15:49 as a reply to  @ fotopaul's post |  #4

Whoops, there's me thinking that the B1X's are faultless and perfect!

1.> My rationale is that I no longer want any trailing wires anywhere on any shoot. Also, I love the idea of built-in battery power 'all-in-one' units.
Having the power-pack solution means that the lights are still tethered so I stopped working with my dependable ELC Pro heads.
Also, just that one power-pack and the cables running to the light units is adding extra unwanted weight - storing and travelling with this stuff is annoying me.
Profoto B1X's are totally cable-free whilst on-shoot. Yeah, I see your point about the on-location weight. I will have to carry heavier stands to support these units!
This 'game' really isn't easy. You win in one way, then lose in another!

2.> oh no! - I just noticed that. I didn't pay much attention to the Videos of them in use.
I never considered how the Umbrellas/modifiers would be attached and whether there would be issues.
Just looking at the website now, I realise that the umbrella mounting on the flash-head looks ergonomic, I never thought it would be impractical.

I suppose, I will have to dispense with using umbrellas and will have to stick with using only reflectors and grids.

3.> Your last comment about the battery-pack will now give me sleepless nights. I am beginning to regret going down this road already.
:-(


"... with a clear perspective - the confusion is clearer ..."
Body: Canon 5D-IV
Lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Flashguns: 580ex II x 4, MT24 macro flash
Accessories: Pkt Wiz TT5 x 4, AC3, MiniTT1, Sekonic L-758DR
Studio Lights: <... pending ...>

  
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Cham_001
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Dec 31, 2017 15:57 as a reply to  @ Angmo's post |  #5

Thanks for this.

I really want to dispense with carrying around a power-pack and the associated cables.
I just want a simple, powerful 2-light setup for on-location shoots totally untethered.

I have plenty of experience working with Pocketwizards (untethered) lighting setups.

Now I want the same simplicity with proper powerful integrated flash-heads.

Is there a better alternative to the B1X that I have overlooked? :oops: ?


"... with a clear perspective - the confusion is clearer ..."
Body: Canon 5D-IV
Lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Flashguns: 580ex II x 4, MT24 macro flash
Accessories: Pkt Wiz TT5 x 4, AC3, MiniTT1, Sekonic L-758DR
Studio Lights: <... pending ...>

  
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fotopaul
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Post edited 5 months ago by fotopaul.
     
Dec 31, 2017 16:02 |  #6

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530362 (external link)
Whoops, there's me thinking that the B1X's are faultless and perfect!

1.> My rationale is that I no longer want any trailing wires anywhere on any shoot. Also, I love the idea of built-in battery power 'all-in-one' units.
Having the power-pack solution means that the lights are still tethered so I stopped working with my dependable ELC Pro heads.
Also, just that one power-pack and the cables running to the light units is adding extra unwanted weight - storing and travelling with this stuff is annoying me.
Profoto B1X's are totally cable-free whilst on-shoot. Yeah, I see your point about the on-location weight. I will have to carry heavier stands to support these units!
This 'game' really isn't easy. You win in one way, then lose in another!

Here is the thing, to take advantage of the packs weight you attach it to the stand, so there is no cable lying around it goes from the pack (which is now on your stand) to the head up on top.

It's very simple actually, surprisingly there is a lot of quadra/ELB shooters who don't work this way. Check my Instagram if you want to see how I attach packs to light stands.


Cham_001 wrote in post #18530362 (external link)
2.> oh no! - I just noticed that. I didn't pay much attention to the Videos of them in use.
I never considered how the Umbrellas/modifiers would be attached and whether there would be issues.
Just looking at the website now, I realise that the umbrella mounting on the flash-head looks ergonomic, I never thought it would be impractical.

Yes the umbrella mount is not as good as on Elinchrom which is centred, but more importantly the flastubes of your ELC can spread the light to the sides, Profoto shoots it forward. This is more/less of an issue depending on modifier used.

Broncolor has this design as well on some of their heads, but the "built in reflector/dome) can be removed when used in a modifier that needs the circular spread of the flash tube.

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530362 (external link)
I suppose, I will have to dispense with using umbrellas and will have to stick with using only reflectors and grids.

3.> Your last comment about the battery-pack will now give me sleepless nights. I am beginning to regret going down this road already.
:-(

Well it's not like they can't be used with umbrellas, it's just the aren't as effective with some modfiers as strobes that does not have the flash tube recessed.

The recall was made, and the issues is fixed. So i wouldn't worrry to much.

But unless you already got the Profoto, i would consider the ELB kits as well.


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Angmo
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Dec 31, 2017 16:40 |  #7

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530368 (external link)
Thanks for this.

I really want to dispense with carrying around a power-pack and the associated cables.
I just want a simple, powerful 2-light setup for on-location shoots totally untethered.

I have plenty of experience working with Pocketwizards (untethered) lighting setups.

Now I want the same simplicity with proper powerful integrated flash-heads.

Is there a better alternative to the B1X that I have overlooked? :oops: ?

There's no one answer. Like Paul, I attach the Eli Pack or Buff Battery/Inverter to the light stand. No wires lying about. But yes, wires to the pack. I suppose the only advantage is I can use up to 1,000+ws per strobe and have a ton of battery capacity. Then, again - (except for speedlights) I've never heard of anyone running out of battery regardless of brand on a shoot.


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jlafferty
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Post edited 5 months ago by jlafferty.
     
Dec 31, 2017 16:55 |  #8

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530368 (external link)
Is there a better alternative to the B1X that I have overlooked? :oops: ?

For sure. Look at the Flashpoint line from Adorama. I'm going to tell you right away, if you had/have the budget for a B1X, just get a single Xplor600 and a pair of eVolv200s, plus the twin bracket, and two extra bulbs. Then get the XPro-C trigger. Now you've got 3 strobes, one 600ws, and two 200ws, plus the option to use the two 200ws strobes as a single 400ws, all with built in receivers. The trigger lets you change power remotely. Absolutely 0 cables. For a travel portrait kit it's amazing, but it also does HSS action or full length fashion/portraits.

Pick up a medium Photek, a large silver reflective umbrella and diffuser (like the 7ft from Westcott), the Bowens mount Impact fresnel, and you're set. You've got soft key (Photek), hard key (fresnel), and either with a large fill (7ft Westcott). Two 7ft umbrellas can be amazing, too, as key and fill, or a single massive source. Or pick up any one of the quick deploy octas that are around these days - 38" Glow Parapop (fair build quality and cheap), SMDV options (a bit pricier and better made).

Check out Mark Kitaoka's blog as well as Rob Hall's YouTube for the most comprehensive and quality info:

http://www.markkitaoka​.com …doxwistro-ad600bm-strobe/ (external link)

https://petapixel.com …ad600-vs-2100-profoto-b1/ (external link)

https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=Nzzz_c6XNGc&​t=3s (external link)


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fotopaul
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Post edited 5 months ago by fotopaul. (2 edits in all)
     
Dec 31, 2017 17:07 |  #9

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.


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Lotto
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Dec 31, 2017 18:49 |  #10

The obvious differences is Broncolor, Profofo, and Godox have TTL. We all can pick and choose the facts that only support our own point of views, and often come up with complete opposite opinions. Have seen enough those on TV News.

To OP, enjoy your new acquisitions, and have a happy and exciting new year.


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fotopaul
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Dec 31, 2017 18:59 |  #11

Lotto wrote in post #18530475 (external link)
The obvious differences is Broncolor, Profofo, and Godox have TTL.

Yea with varying success, Profoto being the only one who secured access to proprietary protocols (for Sony and Olympus) the rest resort to reverse engineering.


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elv
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Dec 31, 2017 21:21 |  #12

Godox have an upspec version of the AD600 coming soon. Personaly I would wait to see what that is like, because its likely to be pretty impressive. Not a budget strobe anymore, though still very affordable compared to the B1X.

And you can then complement them with inexpensive AD200 when travelling lite.

I think Godox strobes are going to be hard to beat this year, though Profoto do have the advantage of the A1 for people that need an on camera master flash. I don't think Godox will refine their speedlites as soon as Profoto.


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Cham_001
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Jan 01, 2018 05:34 |  #13

elv wrote in post #18530540 (external link)
Godox have an upspec version of the AD600 coming soon. Personaly I would wait to see what that is like, because its likely to be pretty impressive. Not a budget strobe anymore, though still very affordable compared to the B1X.

And you can then complement them with inexpensive AD200 when travelling lite.

I think Godox strobes are going to be hard to beat this year, though Profoto do have the advantage of the A1 for people that need an on camera master flash. I don't think Godox will refine their speedlites as soon as Profoto.

---

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:

---

the B1X short-comings of the recessed flash tube is now fully NOTED & understood ---> feeling a little dismayed about that!
I suppose, the only way around that is to 'go-large' by considering the 1000w kit instead. I don't think I want to spend that much!

In the UK, the prices are far crazier than for people based in the USA. E.g.:
£ 3,231.60 for the B1X on-location kit (2 x 500w heads) AirTTL
£ 0,330.00 for the Air Remote TTL - Canon

Buying from B&H New York - does not help either - Taxes & Shipping bump up the price to about the same!

Mentally, the B1X was a done-deal decision. You guys (thankfully) are making me re-consider options - pointing out this Flash Havoc site has helped a great deal - Thank you all! ---> Happy New Year


"... with a clear perspective - the confusion is clearer ..."
Body: Canon 5D-IV
Lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Flashguns: 580ex II x 4, MT24 macro flash
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Cham_001
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Jan 01, 2018 05:42 |  #14

Lotto wrote in post #18530475 (external link)
The obvious differences is Broncolor, Profofo, and Godox have TTL. We all can pick and choose the facts that only support our own point of views, and often come up with complete opposite opinions. Have seen enough those on TV News.

To OP, enjoy your new acquisitions, and have a happy and exciting new year.

My camera decision is finalised.

It's the studio-flash solution that I really need help with. The feedback from the Forum based on real-world experience provides great insight and guidance.

For me, now "less-is-more". Hence getting rid of 3 flash heads and opting for 2.
I did not think beyond Broncolor (way beyond my budget) / Profoto (only possible because of my selling the ELC's)


"... with a clear perspective - the confusion is clearer ..."
Body: Canon 5D-IV
Lenses: 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
Flashguns: 580ex II x 4, MT24 macro flash
Accessories: Pkt Wiz TT5 x 4, AC3, MiniTT1, Sekonic L-758DR
Studio Lights: <... pending ...>

  
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simonbarker
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Jan 01, 2018 06:24 |  #15

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530645 (external link)
It seems that 'on-paper' - the GODOX AD600B / XPLOR 600 TTL is technically very impressive:

I own both, my only complaints for the Godox is they do a poor Bowens mount and the handling isn't as nice as alternatives but other than that they're probably the best bargain to be had in that category.

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 suppose, the only way around that is to 'go-large' by considering the 1000w kit instead. I don't think I want to spend that much!

I don't follow, why would having 1 more stop change anything? You've still got the inbuilt reflector which either suits your needs or doesn't, as long as you keep away from Paras and beauty dishes it's probably not the end of the world though.

Cham_001 wrote in post #18530645 (external link)
In the UK, the prices are far crazier than for people based in the USA. E.g.:
£ 3,231.60 for the B1X on-location kit (2 x 500w heads) AirTTL
£ 0,330.00 for the Air Remote TTL - Canon

If you buy the B1X kit from Wex it's £3213 but presumably you can claim back VAT so roughly £2677.
If you buy from B&H it's $4148 which at the best possible exchange rate is £3073 but the price excludes sales tax which would add almost 9% for NY and even if this wasn't already more expensive you're still supposed to declare it back in the UK.

If you're in no rush source a used copy of the remote, it should be about £150.

As a general rule we get relatively good Profoto prices in the UK.




  
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PROFOTO B1X - views, issues, recommendations and advice
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