Making the transition to Profoto lighting

May 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

After a 20+ year run with Elinchrom, I made the decision to switch to Profoto lighting. This decision was not taken lightly and without the help of Mark Rezzonico, Eric Replogle and Chris Fain, it would not have happened. When you are considering making this kind of change, there are many things to weigh out. It was a substantial investment in time and research. I watched many of the excellent videos on the Profoto site and read blogs by their featured photographers. I have to say this was a decision based on where Profoto is now and where they are heading into the future. I will elaborate on how that came to be at a later time, but for now, I want to illustrate some of the results from my maiden voyage with the incredible Profoto B2 system.

When I buy any new product, I try to spend as much time as I can getting acquainted with it. The more I use it, the more familiar I am and when I'm out on a job there are usually less "unknowns" to throw me off my game. You never want to be fumbling with your gear in front of your client.

First stop is a golf outing for the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors benefiting Habitat for Humanity. Hermitage Golf Course was our beautiful venue on a bright and sunny Spring day. I had an idea that just may make my life simpler. What if I mounted a Profoto B2 light on the cart canopy? I would have 250 watt seconds of power...all day long!

This is a close up of the Super Clamp that held it firmly in place all day long The power pack rode in the basket behind my seat

My thought was, I would drive up to the foursomes, hop out of the cart and take their picture. The light was mounted on the "drivers side" so I could simply stand up and shoot. It is worth mentioning that I have been shooting exclusively the Fuji X camera system. High Speed Synch (HSS) or High Synch is not an option for this camera. That said, I needed a lot of power to fill in for the sun since shooting at higher shutter speeds was just not an option. I was maxed out at 1/250 for my max shutter. How did it work? You be the judge.

There was no way could I get this even of lighting on a group with a speed light! Light under the hat brims and matching the back light on the subjects, I was impressed. The best part of this is, I did not run out of power and had super consistent files to work with, minimizing post processing time.

I am very impressed by the Profoto B2 for several reasons:

  1. It went all day long on one battery. That is super efficient power management.
  2. The standard head reflector was perfect for this situation. It matched the quality of sunlight and looked very believable.
  3. The head is rugged and sturdy, it never moved. (you can believe I checked it from time to time to see how it was riding)
  4. It did not overheat or shut down, even in the bright sun.
  5. Although it is rated at 250 Ws, it performs much better than that in my opinion. I was concerned it may not be enough but that was not the case at all. 

At the end of this long day, it was a very welcome surprise to see that my experiment worked. I am the first to admit this was overkill for a charity event. Or was it? I love the results and it made post processing much easier, it took no more effort than a speed light with many batteries. If I had tried that solution there is no way I would have achieved the same coverage and quality of light.

I will say this is the best equipment purchase I've made since my decision to go mirrorless with Fuji nearly 5 years ago. The ability to deliver JPEG's straight out of the camera with accurate flesh tones is still my first priority. This event was photographed with the 18-135mm lens on a Fuji X-T2 camera.

I've been busy shooting so I'll have more to share soon. 

 

 


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