Profoto B2 – Both Strength and Agility

When the Profoto released their wireless TTL Flash B1 so beat it down with a bit of a bang in the Flash world. Now the sequel Profoto B2 here – perfect for actionsportfotografen or first day cover with a job in the field.

To this year so have Profoto not only developed the concept, but rather formats if you pressed with B1 on the simplicity and cord looseness. With the release of B2 so reintroduced to a cord, but it must be forgiven because it makes the whole package easier. B2 is basically a B1 which displaced the entire controller and battery to a loose battery pack that weighs around 1.6 kg with battery.

This then of course a Flash header, a small light story that weighs in at about 700 grams. This means that the head becomes much easier to handle, for example, you can pin it on a monopod and easily hold it with one hand.

The same technology – less strength

The various technologies that were in B1: TTL, HSS, etc, is of course also in B2. What has changed, besides the look, is that strength has been halved.B2 therefore offers 250Ws instead of ‘ 500Ws as B1.

The strength is not a problem in and of itself, sufficient 250Ws well for most people and if you would need more cream, you’re probably not in need of just a small flexible packages as B2.

The battery pack can control two Flash heads and the output power is entirely asymmetrical, it is running one Flash at max power and the other at the slightest effect.

Working with B2

B2 can be used on, in principle, two different ways. Either have it loose like a normal studio Flash, or it can be mounted on the camera. Not directly in the camera’s hot shoe, but via an external bracket that is screwed into the tripod socket on the camera so you can attach the Flash to the camera. Wearing one then the battery pack in a shoulder strap so you’ve got a very strong compact solution for taking pictures in the same way as with a standard external Flash, but with about five times more light.

The most common way that B2 will be used is probably a little more like a normal studio Flash, that is on a separate stand or on a boom that can be held by an Assistant or by yourself, well it actually goes. With a camera that is not too heavy so you can keep a monopod with one hand and camera in the other and take portraits with 250Ws.

It is quite unique. The advantage is so clear that you can be very flexible, with an Assistant, it is no problem for this to carry the battery pack and Flash head with a softbox or similar.

One of the things that the Profoto will return to when they presented the B2 was the simplicity. It should be easy to use their flashes, and it’s very simple. It doesn’t take long to understand most of the features and both the device and the transmitter has simple displays.

However, one thing that would be nice, and I had the same complaints when I tested B1, is if you could see what strength the Flash was on display on the transmitter. As it is now, you can let the TTL measurement manage light initially, and then adjust the brightness manually from the transmitter. But you look just how you adjusted based on TTL measurement setting. Not according to Flash’s total strength. Personally, I think it would be good to know if you are close to the limit for max or min in the transmitter, without having to look at the battery pack, where this information will appear on the display.

One of the drawbacks of the TTL is that it is not perfect. During the trial period I photographed on several occasions in situations where I wanted to be just a small part of the image would be illuminated by the Flash and the rest of the natural light, in such situations, will TTL-automatic system to overexpose the flash light. But it’s something you learn to compensate for and it’s nothing like the Profoto may be loaded for.

The advantage is that you can get a TTL metering, then adjust it manually to the strength you think is appropriate and then turn off the automatic system to be sure that the light will be the same next time.

PROFOTO launches a new range of accessories. Since the idea with these flashes is that they should be light and easy to get around and work with the new accessories made with regard to this. Tripod mounts on B2 is also not quite as durable as that of the larger lights.

The material of the softboxes and octaboxar are thinner, making them lighter and take up less space. Another reason for the new series of accessories is that the new Flash head is shorter and you cannot attach the same deep modifiers on the head. A new speedring is included among the new accessories, which is considerably easier than the previous one. However, it should be added that the second candle molds from Profoto B2 fits well, but the heavier may be used with some caution.

We tested a few of these accessories and the only thing that was a little awkward was that speedringen, that is, the bracket for soft boxes which then slid on the Flash, was pretty slow to get on the Flash. But according to Profoto so this will get better when the ring used a bit more and torn up. Otherwise worked the new accessories. Like lightning, they are easy to use and easy to carry.

For who?

B2 is a perfect choice for the photographer who needs a fast and smooth blixtkit to work with out on location. Perfect for actionsportfotografen or first day cover. Do you need even more power so you get turn to B1, but that they can listen out loud 250Ws from B2: s a long way.

B2 gives approximately five times more power than a regular camera Flash which makes it much more possibilities to light.

Sure, it’s still an expensive solution, but at the time of writing, there is actually nothing that beats the B2 when it comes to the combination of strength, agility and easy to use.