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Profoto B1 Investment

nhphotonhphoto Member
edited January 2014 in wedding photography
I am currently in my 1st year of wedding photography coming from a background of documentary work. My photography is very important to me and I have always taken the approach that buying quality is a worthwhile investment in the long run as you buy just once.

The reason I am considering the B1 is two fold. As a UK wedding photographer alot of the venues are old and have heavy set wooden paneling and / or poor lighting. Two. Turn around times are often despite input far too short and when things run late as they often do, it is the photography that gets squeezed.

I only have a budget for 1x ProPhoto and trigger.

My questions:

Will a single head provide enough even light for group shots? I currently use 2 x 250w heads (with battery packs) (cumbersome and I have no confidence in their reliability) to light from left and right of camera through umbrellas. Would a different modifier help as a single light source? Suggestions welcomed.

I often like to add a little light when shooting the portraits and currently use a 600ex and small battery pack on a monopod with umbrella or softbox if time permits. My wife often assists and my slight concern would be if weight with modifier for a smaller woman would start to become a concern?

When really pushed for time is the ETTL really sounds like it could be a game changer. I like to think that when darting from location to location in central London where you jump out the vehicle, make a shot and on to the next location it could really help to speed things up. Am I deluding myself as to how much I will actually use the ETTL feature?

I am very swayed but perhaps need grounding a bit. I just cannot see anything else on the market that comes close.




  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    I think that a single shoot-through umbrella and the B1 would give you lots of light, spread quite wide.

    And you could always do this - bounce the Profoto behind you.

    The TTL works slightly differently than you are accustomed to with your Canon speedlights and DSLRs. It's not E-TTL.

    With the Profoto, you're still better off shooting a static subject. It's not quite as on-the-run as a speedlight, although it is surprisingly portable.

    So for example, you'd set up the group and take the first shot in TTL … and you like the exposure. Then you simply switch the unit to manual exposure, and you're all set. You now have the ease of TTL (with the first exposure), and the consistency of manual flash, for the rest of the sequence you're shooting.


    What would set the B1 apart as well from your current setup, is the lack of cables and such. No battery pack cords, and wireless trigger cords and connectors. The B1 is self-contained.
  • Is there a rule of thumb for what applications you would need a B1 instead of one or two Canon 600EX's?
    I like to overpower the sund outside sometime but I see Neil do it sometimes with just a Flashgun and sometimes with something much more powerful.
  • Has Profoto come out with the B1 for Nikon yet?
  • @PDH7981 - not yet, but I see in a few reviews that it's intended for early 2014. From the vagueness of these reports, though, I'm thinking that this optimistically means first half 2014.
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