Expanding my Profoto gear

Now that I have had the Profoto B10 for a few months, I’m at the stage where thoughts about expanding the system are on my mind.

With Profoto bringing out the B10 Plus I have been wondering what lighting combination I should have. A three light system with the 250w B10? Two B10s and one 500w B10 Plus? Or a two B10 Plus system with one B10?

My current thinking is to get a single B10 Plus and then decide which one will be the third light. It doesn’t make sense to get an all 250w B10 system just in case I might need that extra bit of power. The additional initial cost is worth the hit to have the ability to pump out a bit more from the flash.

Question is do I need this extra kit? Profoto equipment isn’t cheap. They are a brand that is at the high end. Think Ferrari (but more reliable).

Before I got the Profoto equipment I was learning the lighting skills from using Nikon Speedlights triggered by Pocket Wizard remotes. The set up is much cheaper and I did learn a lot from this.  But I was finding that I was coming to the limits of the equipment.

Being run from AA batteries doesn’t give you the recycle times that sometimes I wanted. Waiting for the flash to be ready was annoying. In an earlier post I wrote about external battery packs to help with this but they created problems too.

The biggest limitation of the Speedlight is that I wasn’t getting consistent results. One shot would differ from another without me changing anything.

Consistency is essential to learn about ratios with multiple lights. If one of the lights dumps more or less light than commanded it is harder to figure out if what you’re doing is right or wrong.

I’m sure there are ways to work around these issues if I took the time to figure it out. What I have found is that the flow of a shoot gets broken really quickly if I’m spending time fiddling to make equipment work.

What about buying a cheaper system? Yes, a cheaper system is an option but I’m thinking long term. Profoto has a repair and hire network which I could tap into in the future if I needed to. There might be a situation where equipment needs to go in for repair and I have an assignment the next day. Having these options open to me is what being a working photographer is all about.

If I was doing this as a pure hobby, spending less and being willing to wait for equipment repair is something that I would accept.

I wouldn’t hold your breath for the post in which I announce that I have just purchased a Profoto B10 Plus.

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