New (and better?) Bare Bulb Alternative to Q Flash and Elinchrom Ranger. What do you think?

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP plevyadophy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,258
Re: Profoto,why? Re: New (and better?) Bare Bulb Alternative to Q Flash and Elinchrom Ranger?

John Deerfield wrote:


just curious as to why you would go for Profoto gear?


To be honest, if I had unlimited funds, I would probably take a long hard look at both Broncolor and Profoto before making a decision. I have use an Elinchrom set up and wasn't impressed. There was nothing wrong with it by any means.... very nice stuff. But to my minds eye it's is either the really expensive low end or inexpensive high end. A great niche, but so long as I am dreaming I may as well dream. I haven't really used Profoto, but I have been in a studio where they were being used and I just liked them: build, quality of light, functionality, etc. I have never had the opportunity to work with Broncolor but they are one of the best as well so that is what i would be looking at: Broncolor or Profoto.

Well, I have had one or two opportunities to use Profoto gear ........ in very small groups at ........... all day Profoto Demo Days.

And I too have been impressed by the build quality and quality of light etc. However, I think just like Leica you pay a lot for just the name; a great deal of the Profoto price I would argue is just padding for the name (note, I am not saying the gear should be cheap but rather it doesn't need to be as expensive as it is; I would estimate that a good 30% of the price is brand padding)

At the last Demo Day I went to, I got talking to the guys from Profoto (who earned my respect for being geeks who knew the kit inside out and had an answer to every question asked, unlike a lot of the reps who get sent out to meet the public); they pretty much slagged off every other lighting system on the planet until ............. I mentioned Broncolor at which point they simply said humbly that Broncolor stuff is real good which I took to mean that the only gear they think should be mentioned in the same sentence as their stuff is Broncolor; high praise indeed.

But let me be clear, the type of shooting I do now doesn't require that kind of lighting. I just admire that lighting. If I look at Marcus & Indrani, or Lindsay Adler, they are using Broncolor. Or Annie Leibovitz or Greg Heisler using Profoto. It seems that the greats are usually using one or the other. I see a lot of photographers endorsing Elinchrom (Kelby Training, Joe McNally) but when I see professional shoots I am usually seeing Broncolor or Profoto.

Wow!! I am sorry but I gotta say it. You sound like a newb when you say that. Firstly, what "professionals"? Maybe they have to use super powerful gear because they are shooting with cams that are usually shot at low ISO and small apertures. Or maybe like the world's most successful micro-stock photographer they are sponsored by Bron or Profoto. And the suggestion, which it might appear you are making, that the likes of McNally are somehow less pro or less able than the others because he doesn't use a Bron or Profoto is plainly absurd; I mean have you seen that famous shot of his where he lights up an airplane with just f*kin* speedlights? Just bloody awesome; he's a lighting master and probably doesn't need or want Profoto gear.

Really the reason we have sports stars for example get sponsored to wear certain sportswear is because the majority of people are stupid enough to think that if that sports guy wears this I am gonna wear it too (some of the people I have met who play golf often say that the standard joke goes that "you can tell the amateurs ............... they are ones using the "best" clubs" i.e the endorsed products).

Likewise, a lot of so called pro photogs use certain gear not because the gear is in anyway better than anything else but because a lot of pros have a sheep-like mentality, which you yourself have demonstrated, in that they have this notion that "all the photogs I see use product X so I must buy product X too". So it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy that product X is "used by all the top pros" and that "product X is the best" when in actual fact the truth is more like "product X is extremely good, all pros use it but they ain't gotta clue if its the best because they haven't bothered to research all that is out there"

The reason I asked you why Profoto is because I was hoping to hear something about Profoto gear that might be of interest. Rather, you have merely disappointed me in parroting the age old schoolboy myth of "all the greats use this so it must be the best". There's a U.K. photographer who's well known for his use of action stopping flash photography; he did a controlled test which categorically showed that a set of "cheap" lights' action stopping capability was vastly superior to that of the iinsanely expensive Profoto alternative which was touted as a high-end short flash duration light. I think you should take a leaf out of his book; don't fall for the branding and what the herd do.


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