You may remember how we were thoroughly impressed with the Profoto B1 off-camera flash. Its manageable weight, ease of use and dependability were among the largest strong-points, and made the product itself very tempting, even when compared to products from other highly-regarded manufacturers, such as Elinchrom. Now, Profoto has announced a successor (or perhaps a counterpart) to the B1. As good as the “older” system is, even on paper the B2 sounds fantastic.
Overview and Key Specifications
The new system, dubbed B2, is not as powerful as B1, which was capable of 500 W/s outputs. The B2 may only achieve 250 W/s (still much more powerful than a regular speedlight), which is less in comparison, but it’s also much smaller, lighter and portable than the older sibling. Perhaps that is they B2’s key selling point – it’s indeed very small and can even be mounted on the camera itself.
Like the B1, the new system supports TTL and HSS (high-speed sync) for use in broad daylight. The basic B2 consists of the head itself and battery pack, which can be carried on the hip or shoulder. Prices start at around $700 and go all the way up to $3000 for the “Location kit”, which includes the head, a battery pack, two batteries, a couple of carrying bags and other accessories. There are certainly more affordable solutions on the market, but when it comes to portability, the B2 seems hard to beat.
Here is a short list of key specifications:
- Maximum Watt/Seconds: 250 W/s
- User Replaceable Flashtube: Yes
- Changeable Reflector: Yes, OCF system
- Circuit Protection: Yes
- Cable Length: 6.56′ (2 m)
- Modeling Light Wattage: 50 W halogen-equivalent LED light
- Modeling Light On/Off Switch: On separately-purchased pack
- Protective Glass Dome: No, glass plate
- Fan Cooled: No
- Dimensions: Diameter: 3.9″ (10 cm)
- Length: 4.0″ (10.3 cm)
- Weight: 1.5 lb (0.7 kg)
Official Press Release
Here is the official press release by Profoto:
PROFOTO’S NEW LIGHTING SOLUTION PUSHES THE BOUNDARIES OF WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED ON A FAST AND HECTIC ON-LOCATION SHOOT
March 2, 2015: Profoto releases a new system of compact off-camera flashes and Light Shaping Tools, designed for fast and easy on-location photography.
Since its release in 2013, the Profoto B1 Off-Camera Flash has taken the photographic community by storm. Combining the portability and ease-of-use of a speedlight with the performance of a professional monolight, the B1 is considered by many to be a game changer in the industry.
Now Profoto is moving forward by releasing an entire new system of compact off-camera flashes and Light Shaping Tools, designed for fast and easy on-location photography.
The most attention-grabbing item in the Off-Camera Flash system is the new B2. The B2 is a lighter, more portable counterpart to the B1. The B2 consists of a battery pack and a head. The battery pack can be put on the shoulder or hip, while the head is small and light enough to be mounted onto a monopod or a bracket on the camera. This will allow the photographer to stay moving. If that is not necessary, both the pack and head can be put on a stand and the B2 can be wirelessly controlled from the camera. This makes the B2 the world’s first off-camera flash that can be used both on and off-camera.
In addition, the B2 has all the benefits that made the B1 an outstanding success. It has TTL. It has HSS. It is fast enough to keep up with your camera and five times as powerful as the average speedlight. It can be used with the entire range of Profoto Light Shaping Tools. All this in a head with the same size and weight as a speedlight.
The Profoto Off-Camera Flash system also includes the new OCF Light Shaping Tools. The OCF Light Shaping Tools are smaller and more lightweight. They also consist of fewer parts and use smart, patent-pending solutions that make them fast and easy to mount and use. The assortment includes four new softboxes, a new Grid Kit, a new Snoot and a new Barndoor.
Included in the Off-Camera Flash system is also the renowned B1 and the patented AirTTL system. Everything works with everything.
“Our ambition when we first started designing the Profoto Off-Camera Flash system was to create a solution that pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved on a fast and hectic on-location shoot,” says Product Manager Johan Wiberg. “We closely observed the needs of wedding and portrait photographers and decided to try to make their jobs a little easier. Now, looking at what we are offering, I dare say we’ve succeeded.”
To show what the new system is capable of, Profoto asked some of the most renowned wedding and portrait photographers in the world to share their stories of working with the new B2 and the new OCF Light Shaping Tools.
Watch their videos and learn more about the Profoto Off-Camera Flash system at our brand new website.