Modifying Profoto A2

The Profoto Clic OCF Adapter II is now shipping for the A series lights. And as usual it is the high Profoto price of about £260 including VAT. If you add shipping to that, it isn’t cheap.

As I have a B10 that I can use the OCF modifiers with, I’m now not sure if I want to spend the money on this item but use the money elsewhere.

Which got me thinking, is there anything I already own that I could use with the A2? Will any of the modifiers I purchased to work with my Nikon Speedlights work with the Profoto A2?

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So I tried fitting the Rogue FlashBender Small Reflector to it. To my surprise it does go around the A2 with no problem.

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And it does flag the light pretty well.

But what about the Rogue 3-in-1 Flash Grid?

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It is a bit snug fit but does it matter what it looks like if it does the job?

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I’m pleased to say that it does a pretty good job in narrowing the beam.

For now it doesn’t make sense to get the Clic OCF Adapter II but it is always an option for the future.

Rotolight NEO 3 PRO

Rotolight have launched an Indiegogo for their NEO 3 PRO and AEOS 2 PRO lights.

From what I can tell, this version of the light there are minor bumps in specification. The light output has been boosted and it can be used with more remotes in flash mode. It is able to work with Godox, Elinchrom, Pixapro, Neweer and more importantly Profoto remotes. There are also some changes to the materials used on the PRO model. Gone are some of the plastics for metal.

Part of me wishes I had waited for this model to come out before buying my NEO 3. But would Rotolight have created this version if people had not purchased the first version. I doubt they would have put in the research and development if nobody was interested in that first version.

There aren’t enough new features in the NEO 3 PRO for me to consider getting one. I’m not planning to use my NEO 3 as a flash unit. It would be nice to have a brighter light output but nothing I have seen excites me about the PRO version.

Pixapro EF-Mount Optical snoot

I’ve realised that in my unboxing of the Pixapro EF-Mount Optical snoot I wasn’t getting the optimum amount of light out from the Profoto units.

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In my original testing I was hanging the optical snoot very close to the front of the light.

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As you can see there is quite a lot of space when the optical snoot has the Profoto mount attached to it. So to get the most light means pushing the units together as far as they can go. This will then allow the front of the light to be as close as possible to the back of the chamber in the optical snoot.

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What worries me about this set up is how much heat is being generated that can’t escape and will this might end up damaging the light? Do I want to risk having to repair a very expensive light?

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The optical snoot did come with a Bowens mount, which has a much lower profile than the Profoto mount.

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My thinking is to take the Profoto mount off and then get a continuous light with a Bowens mount. An Aputure LS 60d retails for around £367 inc VAT which is much less than having to replace the B10 or B10 Plus.

Profoto colour accuracy

I was looking back at my tests of the Profoto lights and realised that the B10 Plus, B10 and A2 gave out different colour temperatures from each other.

Here is a reminder of the readings.

A25698K664 lx
B105976K1430 lx
B10 Plus6004K2800 lx

Which made me wonder if they would look different from one another if used together.

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The answer is no. When mixed together, to my eye, I can’t see any colour shifts in the different lights.

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This is the A2 set as the back light.

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This is the B10 set as the fill light.

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And this is the B10 Plus as the key light.

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This is the B10 Plus and B10 on with the A2 off. And to be honest I think the B10 acted more like the key light than the fill light.

The white balance on the D850 was set to auto.

Battery power

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Speaking of batteries, it is amazing how they have changed over the years. From left to right is a power bank from around the year 2000 to a V Mount battery purchased this year.

The V Mount battery has USB C, so in theory can charge one of the latest Apple MacBook. I don’t have one to see if this is correct but that is what it says on the spec sheet. While the oldest power bank was designed to top up a non smart mobile phone.

Power is one of those things that is easily forgotten when talking about modern technology. The advances aren’t as sexy as mega pixels or processing speed. But without it that new piece of equipment is just an expensive door stop.

HEDBOX RP-DC50

Smart chargers aren’t always that smart.

I purchased a Hedbox RP-DC50 for my NPF batteries and thought that instead of having the same type of battery in both slots I would get a plate for my Nikon D850 batteries. Putting one of the D850 batteries in the charger and leaving it for a bit, I returned to the charger to tell me the battery was now at 100%.

Except this was a lie. Putting the battery into the camera showed that it wasn’t at 100% but 10% lower.

Charging the battery with the charger that came with the camera gave me a full reading.

Now I’m wondering if the RP-DC50 is charging my NPF batteries correctly. Maybe there is something to be said for dumb chargers.

Phone app for lights

There is a trend for new lighting equipment to have the ability for them to be controlled via your phone.

To be able to control your lights standing next to your camera rather than having to physically access your lights, especially if you have taken time to position the light at a precise angle is a big tick in my book.

The issues I have at the moment with working from my phone is that each manufacturer has a propriety app and with the connection problems if the phone and light decide they don’t want to talk to each other.

Jumping from app to app in your phone, if you have more than one manufacturer of light, quickly gets annoying. Granted, if you are only have one brand of light this isn’t going to be a problem.

Wasting time trouble shooting a phone not connecting with a light is super annoying. Especially when you have no idea what you did differently to make it work.

At this stage I’m not considering running lights via DMX control. My set up isn’t complex or large enough to warrant that type of investment. So in conclusion, until I don’t have to download multiple apps and they are 100% reliable will I be staying away from my phone.

High end gear

I was watching this YouTube video by MarkusPix and it made me question my current obsession with high end equipment.

If you scroll through the articles on here it is all about the top end expensive kit and very little about the entry level products that my wallet would appreciate.

First of all I have to say that there is no right or wrong in equipment choice so long as it does the job. The majority of people looking at a photograph, watch a film, listen to music or visit an art gallery will have at the top of their minds what tools were used to produce it. Most people will just enjoy what they are consuming.

So what are my reasons for splashing the cash? I wouldn’t be honest if there was an element of snobbery. But the main reason is that in my day job the procurement process for equipment isn’t simple. I can’t go into details but I often end up with the mid to entry level products that have to be pushed hard to get the best out of them. It is like sitting on a hard wooden stool. Does the job. So in my spare time I would rather recline in a soft leather sofa.

The little time I now have to do my personal photography I like to enjoy setting up the equipment I own. For now, that means no compromise in getting what I consider the best of the best.

Bye bye DSLR

The talk of the town has been that Nikon is shutting up shop on the DSLR market. There are many clickbait commentators saying that this is the end of the line for the company.

This video from Engadget is a much more balanced view of the situation.

I am well aware that my next camera is going to have to be a mirrorless version if I’m going to keep up with the changes in the industry. Do I feel sad or angry that it wasn’t that long ago that I brought my Nikon D850? No, why would I? Making this purchased gave money to Nikon for them to be able to invest in research and development to create the Z9.

None of the range of mirrorless cameras from Nikon available in July 2022 match what I want in a camera. So I’m going to wait for the right one to come along before I spend my money.

No, I don’t have itchy feet to move to another system. I like the feel of Nikon equipment over other brands and I can’t explain why. I just do. Fair enough if you prefer other brands but I’m getting a bit tired of online comments dumping on brands other than the ones you personally use. There is no right or wrong when it comes to buying kit.