The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

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flbdig Contributing Member • Posts: 609
The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
2

A friend of mine is wanting to build a versatile lighting kit and asked me what I would recommend. Of course she had looked at Profoto whom Everyone KNOWS they make Great lighting equipment. But I can Not Justify or Explain why in the Godox age anymore would start a new kit with Profoto.

One B1, One A1 with Mag accessories and Air Remote cost ~$3200. That's a huge investment in one On camera Flash and one off camera Flash. Yes we know the A1 can be used off camera also.

I purchased my Godox V1 with Mag accessories for $259, I have 4 Godox remotes for $49 to $69, I own 3 AD200's that I paid $700 total for a V860II I paid $199 for and I small V350 flash for $169. All the ocf flash work as controllers. That's ~$1570 for FIVE flashes and 4 remotes. Which is less than half the cost of 2 Profoto flashes and 1 remote.

In fact, for $3200 cost of the B1, A1 and remote kit she could buy a Godox V1 with mag accessories and Pro remote and still have $2800 left. At $350 a peice for the NEW AD200 PRO, she could buy EIGHT of them and still have change.  Lol. For those who say Profoto is more reliable, they may be correct although my Godox flashes have all been reliable, I would rather have 9 lights for the price of 2! That's more reliable to me.

I also have the Godox round head and 3 wired off Camara flash cords so I can use the AD200 with round heads and have the battery pack mounted on the Tripod stand. But those items were only about $300 more

Plus the savings in weight. The B1 weighs 3.3lbs where as the AD200 1.2lbs. Two AD200's at 400ws weigh less than one B1 at 250ws.

I KNOW Profoto is an Amazing lighting system!!! But the fact is so is Godox! And the value and ecosystem is unbeatable.

So I can't come up with any reason that Profoto should be the choice over Godox for anyone starting a new lighting kit. IMHO

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bigtrouble Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
1

For someone starting out, I completely agree.

Unless you are a well heeled hobbyist, godox makes far more sense. That said, if you're a full time professional, profoto still makes a ton of sense. Better firing consistency, better durability and reliability overall, rental availability everywhere, and service centers in major markets. If you spend more than a few hours a week with your strobes, the user interface is a massive difference.

OP flbdig Contributing Member • Posts: 609
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
2

I am a full-time working professional photographer and since I purchased my 1st ad200 I have been hooked. They fire constantly, I have Never had an issue with the remotes triggering the flashes. They modify extremely easy and versatile, from Bowens mount to MagMod and MagBox. And they have been reliable, I have not had one unit break or fail yet. KOW! Lol

Plus the weight is a huge deal to me. The 2 pound savings from an ad200 vs a B10 is Huge to me. Plus using the wired adapter where I attach the battery base to the stand and the ad200 head to the other end with a modifier makes carrying the light much easier and more stable since the majority of the weight is on the bottom of the light stand.

One of the cameras I use is a Panasonic S1R and the Biggest complaint when it was announced was the size and weight vs other FF ML cameras. Even though the S1R is only 13 ounces more than a G9 or a Sony a7RlV. So a 2 pound difference should make people passout. Lol.

A 2 light B10 kit cost $3375 for that much any professional or amateur could buy almost 10 of the new AD200 Pros. Ten lights are more reliable than 2.

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jazja Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
1

at least 2 things need to be considered.

service and life time.

equal-equivalent?

i think not

OP flbdig Contributing Member • Posts: 609
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

jazja wrote:

at least 2 things need to be considered.

service and life time.

equal-equivalent?

i think not

Are you saying that the Godox is not reliable, needs a lot of service or has a short use life. In Engineering it's called Mean Time to Failure.

I have been using Ad200 since the 2017 wedding season and I have not had a break or needed a repair. I have 3 units and neither of them have failed. My Godox on camera Flash have not failed or needed service yet.

If I can get 4-5 years from them for the $700 I paid for the ad200 that would be fine. Because I will upgrade to the ad200 pro version or whatever they come out with in the next few years.

I am sure I will have these flashes much longer than I have the cameras I currently use. Well not the Leica Q2, I better have that one for a really long time. Lol

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bigtrouble Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
2

flbdig wrote:

I am a full-time working professional photographer and since I purchased my 1st ad200 I have been hooked. They fire constantly, I have Never had an issue with the remotes triggering the flashes. They modify extremely easy and versatile, from Bowens mount to MagMod and MagBox. And they have been reliable, I have not had one unit break or fail yet. KOW! Lol

Plus the weight is a huge deal to me. The 2 pound savings from an ad200 vs a B10 is Huge to me. Plus using the wired adapter where I attach the battery base to the stand and the ad200 head to the other end with a modifier makes carrying the light much easier and more stable since the majority of the weight is on the bottom of the light stand.

One of the cameras I use is a Panasonic S1R and the Biggest complaint when it was announced was the size and weight vs other FF ML cameras. Even though the S1R is only 13 ounces more than a G9 or a Sony a7RlV. So a 2 pound difference should make people passout. Lol.

A 2 light B10 kit cost $3375 for that much any professional or amateur could buy almost 10 of the new AD200 Pros. Ten lights are more reliable than 2.

Everyone has their preferences and comfort level. The only person you need to justify your investment is yourself (and if you're married, potentially a husband or wife haha).

Some find the user interface on the godox strobes to be a pain in the butt, which I can totally understand. I've had 7-8 godox strobes (ad600, ad360 and ad200) and 3 of them have failed in some way requiring replacement of the entire strobe or accessory as they are not serviced by anyone. Godox essentially just tells you to throw the old one in the trash. Had one strobe just stop working completely, the pins on one extension head shorted out almost destroying one of my ad600s, and the modeling lighting in one of my ad600s just died for no reason after a couple months. I personally haven't had a ton of issues with misfires but I've read several accounts both here and FM about misfire issues, so I'd imagine the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Not throwing shade here, but I do think it's interesting that people will spend several thousands on a camera body or lens, but then balk at the price of a strobe that is about the same or less than a lens. I use my strobes far more than 3/4th of my lenses, so it makes sense for me. I can also justify the expense because my rates easily support it. I make on average about $5-10k per job, with a high of about $25-30k per job, so having the best strobes for my preferences makes sense.

I don't think it makes sense for people that are doing $150-250 headshots and stuff. I certainly didn't feel like that when I was doing work like that. It only started to make sense for me once I hit a certain level of revenue.

bigtrouble Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

flbdig wrote:

jazja wrote:

at least 2 things need to be considered.

service and life time.

equal-equivalent?

i think not

Are you saying that the Godox is not reliable, needs a lot of service or has a short use life. In Engineering it's called Mean Time to Failure.

I have been using Ad200 since the 2017 wedding season and I have not had a break or needed a repair. I have 3 units and neither of them have failed. My Godox on camera Flash have not failed or needed service yet.

If I can get 4-5 years from them for the $700 I paid for the ad200 that would be fine. Because I will upgrade to the ad200 pro version or whatever they come out with in the next few years.

I am sure I will have these flashes much longer than I have the cameras I currently use. Well not the Leica Q2, I better have that one for a really long time. Lol

I think you got lucky to be honest. I've had many more issues with the godox strobes I've had in terms of failure rate, compared to my profoto strobes.

jazja Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

I have no money for a profoto lights.

But I am not a professional so there are no problems.

Bowens and Godox are OK for me

but for professional work, the decision is easy.

you need reliable equipment.

you need good and fast service.

pssst: not to mention the light modifiers.

Much more choice (and of course prices)

made in china doesn't work for me too reliably - for professional work.

I asked a little and no one was service godox lights in my area. Maybe it's different with you.

tcphoto1
tcphoto1 Contributing Member • Posts: 976
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

There is a lot of truth to your post. I bought my first Profoto Acute Alfa 1200ws kit twenty five years ago for about $2500. I’ve had each version of the kits including my current  Acute2 with three flash heads plus an old Compact 300ws that keeps on working. If I were starting over, I would certainly take a look at Godax products.

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OP flbdig Contributing Member • Posts: 609
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

jazja wrote:

I have no money for a profoto lights.

But I am not a professional so there are no problems.

Bowens and Godox are OK for me

but for professional work, the decision is easy.

you need reliable equipment.

you need good and fast service.

pssst: not to mention the light modifiers.

Much more choice (and of course prices)

made in china doesn't work for me too reliably - for professional work.

I asked a little and no one was service godox lights in my area. Maybe it's different with you.

I agree that reliability is super important. I have 5 Godox lights and 4 remotes and I have not had an issue with any of them. If they were unreliable then I would not use them.

There is no repair center unless you buy the Adorama version and get their warranty.

If one were to die, I have 2 more!

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RDKirk Forum Pro • Posts: 15,436
Maybe, maybe not
2

jazja wrote:

at least 2 things need to be considered.

service and life time.

equal-equivalent?

i think not

Service can be an issue, although quick warranty replacements make up for that.

Life time?  I used to think so.  But electronic products are evolving so rapidly that I'm not sure I'd any longer want to keep any such gear for a decade or more, as I did "back in the day."

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markintosh13
markintosh13 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,370
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

jazja wrote:

made in china doesn't work for me too reliably - for professional work.

do you know where profoto strobes are made?

tcphoto1
tcphoto1 Contributing Member • Posts: 976
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

markintosh13 wrote:

jazja wrote:

made in china doesn't work for me too reliably - for professional work.

do you know where profoto strobes are made?

Yes, but there seems to be a difference in quality.

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jlafferty Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

“Massive difference” in UI, whaaaat? I choose a group and a channel, then dial a wheel right vs. left to set power adjustments. It’s a no brainer and takes seconds. The AD360 interface is atrocious but the 200, 200Pro, 400Pro, 600 and 600Pro are all so streamlined it’s stupid easy. In fact… easier than the Profoto Air (which is in its own way easy enough, too).

WRT your other comments, reliability, consistency, etc. I’ve had no issues. Maybe other people have been lucky with Godox; maybe you’re lucky with Profoto. All I know is I do pro work and have no trouble getting repeat work at a commercial level with major brands using Godox. They don’t care about the words stenciled on the body of the light so long as it delivers the images they are passionate about.

bigtrouble wrote:

For someone starting out, I completely agree.

Unless you are a well heeled hobbyist, godox makes far more sense. That said, if you're a full time professional, profoto still makes a ton of sense. Better firing consistency, better durability and reliability overall, rental availability everywhere, and service centers in major markets. If you spend more than a few hours a week with your strobes, the user interface is a massive difference.

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Chris Dodkin
Chris Dodkin Forum Pro • Posts: 11,916
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

I can control multiple heads and groups from my camera or iOS device with Godox - at 1/10 stop increments - probably the easiest to use UI on the market.

Not sure how it could be any better - maybe if it read my thoughts?

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jlafferty Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

Letters could be bigger and/or made of a greater pixel density :/

Chris Dodkin wrote:

I can control multiple heads and groups from my camera or iOS device with Godox - at 1/10 stop increments - probably the easiest to use UI on the market.

Not sure how it could be any better - maybe if it read my thoughts?

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Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,380
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
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When did Profoto actually make sense? I can't think of the time when it did even before Godox ever came around. There have always been lights that were just as good, if not better that were less expensive and some were a lot less expensive.

There are a few brands that reptesent the photographic version of "bling" such as Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, among others. I think that Profoto falls within that category.

When everything is said and done, a light is a light is a light. All it has to do is work.

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ronscuba Regular Member • Posts: 409
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
1

Macro guy wrote:

When did Profoto actually make sense? I can't think of the time when it did even before Godox ever came around. There have always been lights that were just as good, if not better that were less expensive and some were a lot less expensive.

There are a few brands that reptesent the photographic version of "bling" such as Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, among others. I think that Profoto falls within that category.

When everything is said and done, a light is a light is a light. All it has to do is work.

This is one of the best posts I have read in the lighting forum.

Lower cost lighting gear like Godox has allowed me to learn multi-light setups because I can buy a 4-5 light setup and practice without going broke.

I guess it is human nature to be proud of gear you own and recommend it to others.

bigtrouble Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore
2

Macro guy wrote:

When did Profoto actually make sense? I can't think of the time when it did even before Godox ever came around. There have always been lights that were just as good, if not better that were less expensive and some were a lot less expensive.

There are a few brands that reptesent the photographic version of "bling" such as Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, among others. I think that Profoto falls within that category.

When everything is said and done, a light is a light is a light. All it has to do is work.

I totally agree. I should clarify that I'm not saying that "if you're a high end pro, then you get profoto". I'm just saying that generally the only people that can justify the financial expense are those that are making a certain amount of money, and perceive the attributes of the profoto lights to be valuable enough to justify the expense. I could see how this could have been interpreted as a snooty standard forum response, but this was not my intention.

The godox controllers, especially the x-pro, are great and in many ways easier to use compared to the profoto air ttl triggers (more groups, actual two way communication, better battery life, a 6th of the cost, etc). I should clarify that the UI differences I referred to earlier are primarily centered around the strobe head itself. I'm sure we all run the gamut in terms of technical proficiency, and I tend to like more of an apple experience in the sense that most can figure out how to use a profoto without glancing at a instruction manual once, whereas the godox strobes need a bit of menu diving and manual scrutinizing for some functions. If you've ever used a profoto a1x than you know what I mean compared to the atrocious menus in the godox speedlites. Each of the strobes are a bit different in terms of menu as well and LCD indicators for various functions, and the way you can select and turn off various functions light modeling lights and ready indicators are easier to do quickly with the profoto air triggers.

Bling isn't a bad thing though. Sometimes having a nice suit on helps you nail the job interview, and sometimes having fancy lights make people believe that we're as good as we all pretend to be No shade here - I apply these somewhat sardonic observations to myself as well.

Krav Maga
Krav Maga Senior Member • Posts: 3,240
Re: The Cost of Profoto just can't be justified anymore

flbdig wrote:

So I can't come up with any reason that Profoto should be the choice over Godox for anyone starting a new lighting kit. IMHO

Neither can I. But different people have different ways of looking at things.

The argument that "if you're a professional, Profoto makes sense" is especially curious to me.

The way that I look at it is that if you're "pro" it means that your business is photography. If your business is photography, how does spending $2300 on a B1 instead of $900 on an AD 600 Pro make sound business sense? No matter how you slice it, there is not a $1400 difference in quality or ROI; not even close. You can buy 2 AD 600s and still be way ahead; using one for backup.

But this is simply my opinion.

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