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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Studio Strobes pros and cons? recomendations?
Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 10:05 AM on 02.21.16
->> I have been looking at picking up a set of studio strobes and looking for recommendations. My specifics are:

1. outside shoots so will need battery power
2. what power would be best
3. What brands have you used and what are the pros and cons of them?

I have used Elinchrom BX-ri and like them but the battery packs are not cheap.

Any recommendations are welcome just want to get more experienced users recommendations.

Jim
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 10:58 AM on 02.21.16
->> Love my Profoto B1's. Has all of the features that my Canon 600EX-RT (HSS/TTL) had, no cords, no hassles, and are also great in a studio set-up. I own 3 of them, sold my 600EX-RT speedlight location kit, sold my Paul Buff Einstein™ E640 Flash Units with Vagabonds and have never looked back.

The B1-500's are 500WS which is about equal to 5 Canon 600EX-RT's. However, if you purchase the clear glass plate and replace the frosted plate that comes with the unit, you can pick up another 2/3 rds stops. Now, purchase a Magnum reflector or a silver deep umbrellas and you'll pick up another full stop on top of that. All total, that makes your B-500 an effective B-1200.

I didn't hesitate when Profoto announced these lights a few years ago. They have made a big difference in my business and makes shooting with them simple and fast. The darn things just work.

You can follow my progress with the B1-500's here:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=42122

Patrick Murphy-Racey also has some good info in the Dynalight Baja lights here:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=42699
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Stanley Leary, Photographer, Photo Editor
Roswell | GA | | Posted: 11:25 AM on 02.21.16
->> I recommend the Alienbees with Vagabong and the Pocketwizard TT5, TT1, AC-3 & AC-9.

This will let you shoot indoors, out doors and at any sync speed.

http://blog.stanleyleary.com/2015/10/pocketwizard-ac9-game-changer-with.htm...

The only thing that the Profoto B1 or B2 has over the Alienbees is TTL.

However, I find that unless you are just grabbing quick shots and have not time to take a couple test shots then shooting non-TTL will give you more consistent results.

Alienbees B1600 $360
Vagabond Mini $240
Pocketwizard
TT5 $186
TT1 $169
AC-3 $ 69
AC-9 $ 54

Alienbees + Pocketwizard system TOTAL $1078

Profoto B1 $2095
Profoto B2 $1995
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 12:12 PM on 02.21.16
->> I second the Alien Bees as bang-for-the-buck but I'd go for the the Paul Buff Einstein model as it offers more control.
https://www.paulcbuff.com/e640.php

The radio receiver (
https://www.paulcbuff.com/csxcv.php) and transmitter (https://www.paulcbuff.com/cst.php) that are built for the Einstein are cheaper that the Pocket Wizards.
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Rob Sirota, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 1:40 PM on 02.21.16
->> I switched from Elinchrom to B1 and B2's. The color and light is great...
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 4:17 PM on 02.21.16
->> Profoto B1s are amazing.
So light to transport and the High speed sync is amazing.
The issue is that it is very expensive.

Another option would be to buy a used Profoto 7B pack and head. (just get the battery re-celled)
Those are the standard in every legit rental house across the country.

I think the profoto light modifiers are really good, so the 7B modifiers will also work with the B1.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 4:37 PM on 02.21.16
->> @Stan - "The only thing that the Profoto B1 or B2 has over the Alienbees is TTL."

With all due respect Stan... I disagree with you 100%.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:01 PM on 02.21.16
->> I use elinchrom quadra the ranger and I own tow rx 600 and two rx 1200 packs. The new sky ports which allow s heads to have a sync at 1/8000 are great. Quires used are quite inexpensive and work well . I am selling a quasar now with lithium battery. I do have an extreme lithium battery to power my 600 rx they recycle at 2.5 seconds with that head. They are much cheaper then profototo . I hate the softbox adapter system on alien bees, The quadra has nice small heads and can be used on location very easily in tight spots.,
I dislike the size of monoheads on profoto very big and I can use smaller lighter stands with the quadra, in fairness I have not used the profoto hey Rob is the color really better then elinchrom?
PS I have heard good thing about the godox system very cheap and battery powered but have never used them myself.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 12:09 AM on 02.22.16
->> @David - The B1 is certainly bigger and heavier but not that bad. You are correct, a sturdy stand is required. I use 12' AC Stands on location.
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Paul DiSalvo, Photographer
Highlands Ranch | CO | United States of America | Posted: 4:20 PM on 02.22.16
->> I've talked with Kevin and followed his posts on the B1's and have been heavily lusting for them. I'll probably replace a few of my aging speed lights with them this year. I also own 4 Einsteins and love them. I shoot tons of high school hoops and hockey with them plus a lot of T&I. They are a great option. The big issue for me is outdoor studio work. The Hyper Sync option is just not as flexible as HSS is so I end up using 2-3 speed lights and that's not always ideal. If you don't have the budget for the B1's, I'd look at the Einsteins. For those using the B1's, does anyone use them for indoor sports? What is their recycle time like? For most HS gyms, the Einstein is on 1/4th to 1/8th power and I can easily get 2-4 FPS, sometimes even a longer burst if they are on AC power. Can the B1 do that? If so, maybe I won't be lusting too much longer.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:22 PM on 02.22.16
->> Paul:

PCB E640

1/4 Power = 120WS with T1 duration in freeze at 1/2041 FPS=2
1/8 Power = 80WS with T1 duration in freeze at 1/4464 FPS=4


B1-500 (lowest power setting is 2)

150WS Power Setting 3 with T1 duration in freeze at 1/6700
100WS Power Setting 2 with T1 duration in freeze at 1/8400

As far as FPS - You tell me if this is fast enough (at power setting 2) Does 12 frames per second work for you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwHOAEUOlV0

Now there's way more to it than this. You will need to use a reflector and the one I use is the Magnum. It will increase the intensity of the light by 1 full stop. I also have replaced the frosted plate with a clear glass plate which increases output another 2/3rd's stop. BOTH to not have any impact on the physical power, recycle, or duration of the B1. So, with this configuration at power setting 2 you'll be pretty close to 300WS with a T1 duration in freeze mode at 1/8400 running 12 frames per second (if you use a Canon 1DX). For this reason, HSS is not the preferred method indoors as this configuration is much faster and more efficient.

You have to be realist with everything because 12FPS at an effective 300ws is likely to get you noticed by players, fans, and officials. I encourage you to be prudent and practical.

I'm typically at power setting 3-4 and shoot single shot knowing that my recycle time is immediate and ready for any subsequent shots. My power setting is determined by being no less than 1 stop over ambient. My preference is 2 however provided the background doesn't get too dark. Doing this helps to eliminate "ghosting" around feet, hands, and the ball which are moving. With improved lighting in HS and college gyms these days that's getting harder to do.

My final comment has to do with safety. Because the element sits behind a heavy glass plate there is no reason for putting Lexan over the front of your reflectors. If an element did explode or break, the glass fragments would stay behind the plate. My understanding from Profoto is that a failure like that would also cause the light to shut down immediately. Haven't tested that however.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 2:24 AM on 02.23.16
->> Kevin is the color better then elinchrom with the profoto. I cannot afford to switch and love the quadras but am very curious
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 4:10 AM on 02.23.16
->> @David - Can't help you there as I have never used the Quadras myself. I've only used Alien Bees (B800 & B1600) and the PCB Einstein E640's.

I'm not sure who you buy your gear from but I'm sure you could buy a B-500 and if it did not meet your expectations you could return it within their 10-14 day return policy period.

I will have to say that the Quadras, on paper, sound like a very nice system. If they are meeting (or exceeding) your business needs you may want to just stay right where you are. I would also say the same thing for any other lighting system for that matter.
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Preston Mack, Photographer
Orlando | FL | | Posted: 9:16 AM on 02.23.16
->> Elinchrom lights are solid. Great quality light and very consistent.
Very good and reliable packs and heads.

I used to own 2 Elinchrom Ranger kits years ago.
What I hate about Elinchrom is their speed ring system.
You have to spin them and lock it in. I was never able to easily secure big heavy things to the light. Many times me and my assistant would have to grab falling octodomes or soft boxes.

I really like the collar system for their speeding for Profoto. Easy and way more secure.
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Paul DiSalvo, Photographer
Highlands Ranch | CO | United States of America | Posted: 5:27 PM on 02.23.16
->> @Kevin.. I think I'd be thrown out of most events if I was flashing at 12/fps... but hey, it's good to know you can LOL. Right now I use the Einsteins on regular sync. Most of my gyms are so dark, I go 2.5-3 stops over ambient so that kills the ghosting. I'll set up another light to bring up ambient in the background to match a little closer. For hockey, most rinks are getting better lighting so I might be trying HSS there just to get some fill and make the colors pop. For now, mostly I use HSS for portrait work where I want to use wider f/stops. Hyper sync on Einstein requires full power so that does't always work.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 5:24 AM on 02.24.16
->> Preston - you make a very good point about the rubber collar system on the Profoto. Once you have experienced it ... it's hard to think about using anything else. I also like the umbrella mount on the B1's that have don't require a thumb screw for mounting. Everything Profoto makes is very well thought out (IMO).
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:05 PM on 02.25.16
->> Profoto B-1 500's now in the official arsenals of two of the most respected voices in the location photography world... Joe McNally and Dave Black. Both from the speedlight world of TTL, HSS, portability, and all of the things we love from compact lighting solutions that WORK.

http://blog.joemcnally.com/gear-type/large-flash-light-shapers/

http://www.daveblackphotography.com/daves-gear/
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:18 PM on 02.25.16
->> Dave talks about how to turn your B1-500 into a B1-1200 using a long throw reflector and replacing the glass plate. You can also achieve the same using a Profoto Magnum reflector or a 43" silver deep Profoto umbrella.

http://www.daveblackphotography.com/2015-october-watr-profoto-b1-and-high-s.../
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 11:06 AM on 04.07.16
->> So, you guys should take a page from the wedding and portrait shooters. There are some great options now that afford TTL and HSS, and have built in triggers and receivers. Sure the b1's are great, but super pricey.
Check out the Phottix Indras, which have a 360ws and 500ws units with lithium batteries, and built in receivers.
Also, even newer are the Godox/Cheetah Light versions...which are similar but the lithium battery is built right in, and are in the $500 price range for their 600ws unit. Both phottix and Godox units have speedlights that are capable of controlling their units affording both ttl and hss with no cords. Great times for lighting right now
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 04.07.16
->> I have heard the Godox quality control is not quite where it should be yet do not buy and then expect to use it the next day. Make sure you have time to test and use.
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Jeff Lewis, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 04.07.16
->> Profoto is good Bron is better.... But cost a fortune. Good thing about Profoto is you can rent it virtually anywhere. I have a basic set and rent what is needed based on the given shoot... And charge the client for all of it. Good luck!!
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Rudy Hardy, Photographer
Houston | Tx | USA | Posted: 10:13 AM on 04.08.16
->> After extensive research I just took delivery of one Profoto B1 yesterday. With less than 24 hours reading about and playing with it I can definitely say I will be ordering the second one real soon.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 2:00 PM on 04.08.16
->> I decided to go with 2 Alien Bees B800. I am looking at this as a stepping stone so these 2 combined with soft boxes and octobox should be a good starter kit. They are easy to use and setup that is for sure.


I have some T&I next week-end so they will get put to use very soon, other than practice that is.

Jim
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 8:17 PM on 04.09.16
->> Brad..Adorama has their own 360 ws one from their Flashpoint models...they look the same as the Cheetah's but less $$. I have a few friends using them. I am currently using dynasties and Alienbees but will probably change to these for even more portability
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:24 AM on 04.10.16
->> Here is the one from Adorama:

http://www.adorama.com/FPLFSL360K1.html?EmailPrice=T
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Gabe Souza, Photographer
Portland | ME | USA | Posted: 10:39 PM on 04.11.16
->> Debra,

I've been curious about the Flashpoint models, especially their 600ws one that supposedly does HSS well. What do your friends say about their 360ws models? Do they like them?
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John Flora, Photographer
Louisville | CO | USA | Posted: 7:54 AM on 04.12.16
->> I have a set of the Flashpoint RoveLight 600 Ws Monolights with On Board Power (Bowens Mount). They have plenty of power and the HSS works great up to 1/8000s. The build quality is decent and what you would expect for the price. The trigger is the weak point, although it allows you to control the power remotely. My issue is that the system goes to sleep after 5 minutes or so. As long as you remember to wake it before taking a shot, you're fine. You need a separate trigger with the system. I use a PW Mini TT1 on the body with the Flashpoint trigger in the TT1 hotshoe.

I used them this weekend at a bike race. I used one about 20' away with a magnum reflector set on 1/2 power. The other was ~10' with a standard reflector at 1/8 power. Here are some examples:

http://www.jmflora-photo.com/ACTION/Cycling/Disciplines/Road/2016/20160410-.../

Here is a great YouTube review:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuWimY7uZJQ

Hope this helps.
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Corey Perrine, Photographer
Naples | FL | USA | Posted: 10:18 AM on 04.12.16
->> Best bang for the buck and you can freeze action: Einsteins. $500 a head. But if you want an all-in-one Elinchrome or Profoto. Depends on what you are doing with the lights and how much dinero you want to cough up.
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Dave Breen, Photographer
Somerset | PA | USA | Posted: 4:04 PM on 04.17.16
->> Corey, isn't the Einstein an "all-in-one" (or do you mean something else)?
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 04.17.16
->> Gabe-all the photogs I know who are using them LOVE them.
I am traveling overseas in June and will definitely be picking up at least one of the 360 ws
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:03 PM on 04.17.16
->> this one-not the one John posted


http://www.adorama.com/FPLFSL360K1.html?EmailPrice=T
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:41 PM on 04.17.16
->> Only down stroke is that the Canon / Nikon versions are optical triggering for ETTL/HSS
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Michael Clark, Photographer
Santa Fe | NM | USA | Posted: 9:58 AM on 04.18.16
->> I'd check out the Elinchrom ELB400 system. The new Hi-Sync features blows the doors off the Profoto High Speed Sync in my opinion. This will stir up the pot - check out this comparison I did last year between the ELB400 and the Profoto B1:

http://blog.michaelclarkphoto.com/?p=3886

For some solid examples of the Hi-Sync in action check out the Elinchrom website.
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Thread Title: Studio Strobes pros and cons? recomendations?
Thread Started By: Jim Pierce
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