I’m very excited to announce that I just bit the bullet and ordered the revolutionary Profoto B1 Air TTL off-camera flash (the new version is called the B1x). I can’t wait for it to arrive so I can start shooting with this sucker!!
And now I’m going to assume, that if you’re read this far you ARE a photography geek like me and therefore would appreciate a little more info. Basically, the things that make the Profoto B1 Air revolutionary and just generally cool are as follows;
The battery is built into the strobe itself, which means no external battery, no cables between battery and strobe head, and most importantly, nothing to connect to start shooting. You just switch it on and go.
This strobe head, when used in conjunction with the Profoto B1 Air TTL allows you to shoot off-camera flash with TTL. Which means, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the term TTL, that the camera will measure the amount of light coming through the lens and automatically adjust the power output of the flash while it’s firing to give you a correct exposure. What does this mean in the real world? It means that your subject can move closer to or further away from the flash and the flash will adjust it’s output automatically to give you the best possible exposure. This means fewer wasted shots and time getting manual flash exposures right and more relaxed and productive shooting.
The B1 Air also has a “Freeze” mode where the flash durations are much shorter in order to freeze the action. Unfortunately, even in Freeze mode the flash duration at full power is too slow to shoot sports, meaning if you shoot at full power (ie shooting in strong sunlight) you will get motion blur. I don’t shoot as much sports these days so I’m not too worried about this, but I am keen to try fire the B1 Air with my Pocket Wizard wireless remotes in manual mode to achieve Hypersync and see how fast a shutter speed I can get the strobe to sync to. In theory because the flash duration of the B1 is so slow I should be able to achieve significantly higher flash sync speeds with PW Hypersync. I’ll let you know once I’ve tested it but I’m hoping to achieve 1/800th or so full power flash sync. Fingers crossed!
The B1 also has a burst mode where it can fire at up to 16 frames a second. I’m not sure what maximum power output the flash can achieve at these speeds but if it’s half decent this could be a god-send for capturing those awesome moments that can happen in the middle of a posted bridal party shot for example.
Anyway, enough blathering on from me – I’ll post more feedback when I’ve actually had a chance to properly test the units. In the meantime here are a couple of stock Profoto B1 shots to try and make you jealous…
For more info on the Profoto B1x (the new version of the Profoto B1 Air TTL that I own) check out the Profoto website.