All new Profoto B2 and OCF system

Profoto has unveiled the Profoto B2, a new flash that combines the HSS and TTL capabilities of the Profoto B1 into a more compact package; making it perfect for the wedding shooter, or editorial photographer on the go. With its own dedicated accessories, Profoto is aiming to make a complete lineup of lightweight and smaller gear aimed at the traveling photographer. Capture Integration was able to get hands on time with the new flash when it was down in Puerto Rico earlier this year, and we’re happy to report on what we love about this new flash:

Profoto B2

Introducing the Profoto B2

Profoto B2 flash pricing:

B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit – $2,995
Kit includes: 2x B2 heads, 1x Charger 2.8A, 1x Car Charger 1.8A, 1x B2 Carrying Bag, 1x B2 Location Bag, 2x Li-Ion Battery

B2 250 AirTTL w/o Battery – $1,495

B2 Head  – $695

Li-Ion Battery for B2 – $229

B2 AirTTL Extension Cable – $199
With the Extension Cable connected, you can position the B2 flash head another three meters away from the pack without compromising performance.

B2 AirTTL Bag “shoulder” OCF bag for B2 – $99

B2 Location Bag – $199
Custom shoulder bag with side pockets. Fits both battery pack and two heads. Stands and umbrellas can be attached outside the bag with a clever strap system.

10. Dedicated Accessories

Profoto's grids make up just part of the new Off Camera Flash system.

Profoto’s grids make up just part of the new Off Camera Flash system.

The core essence of this flash is power in a lightweight package. Profoto is surrounding the B2 with a litany of lightweight accessories, including snoots and softboxes.  Along with the new accessories that the B2 is launching with, this flash takes the same Profoto accessory and speedring mount as any other Profoto strobe, meaning you can use the over 150 regular Profoto lightshaping tools that are already on the market (and in your studio) today. The grids will fit the B1 and D1 heads as well:

Profoto B1 with OCF grids

Profoto B1 with OCF grids

9. Lightweight heads and pack

Profoto B2 - Lightweight and Small

Profoto B2 – Now with less calories

Almost all studio flashes are limited to being used on a stand or boom arm. However, the unique design of the Profoto B2 means it can be used on a stand, or on camera-bracket. Think of it more like a hot-rodded on-camera flash that just so happens to be able to take all of those aforementioned lighting modifiers. The bracket comes from Pro Media Gear and will be available shortly.

8. Power

The Profoto B2's power pack

The Profoto B2’s power pack

Bare facts: The B2 is 2 stops more powerful than the top Canon or Nikon speedlights. This means it’s 4 times as powerful. Combine that with something that’s small enough to fit on that camera bracket, and you’re looking at a serious game changer.

7. Ease of Use

Profoto B2 as compared to it's bigger brother the B1

Profoto B2 as compared to it’s bigger brother the B1

Profoto’s TTL exposure lock is unique in the industry. Shooting along, and discover that you like the light output from the last automatic TTL exposure? Just lock it in with the remote on your camera and it will keep that power level as a manual flash level. Likewise, the small size and shape of this flash mean that you’ll be able to use a studio-output level flash as a on camera flash for much, much longer than other offerings from Canon or Nikon.

6. Speed

Profoto B2 - Small Size, great results

Profoto B2 – Small size, great results

Like the Profoto B1, the Profoto B2 is an IGBT controlled flash, meaning that it features extremely short flash durations as the power goes down. The recycling time between flashes is incredibly short, allowing you to keep up with the action. In fact, the B2 has a 20 FPS burst rate, and can really open up the possibility for some great stroboscopic work. On the subject of speed, though, the B2 also continues the HSS legacy first showcased by the Profoto B1, meaning you can go beyond your Canon or Nikon camera’s focal plane sync limit.

5. Off Camera Flash System

Profoto B2 - OCF octabank

The new OCF Octabank, part of the new Off Camera Flash system

With the release of the Profoto B2, Profoto has completed the off camera flash system that the Profoto B1 and AirTTL remotes began. The flashes are fully compatible with each other, meaning you can mix and match B1s and B2s for a full TTL experience. Add in the AirTTL’s Group functionality and TTL exposure lock, and you have a serious automatic tool in your kit for those situations where you can’t really take the time to meter and set your exposures manually. And for when you discover you do have some more time, you can use the B1, B2, and other AIR compatible flashes together in manual mode.

What else can we say? Fully charge the B2’s battery in under one hour. With 220 full power flashes on a single charge, this means that you can use the flash to its fullest extent for a long time, and then swap in a second battery to keep going without much pause. This blows away the AA batteries that most speedlights or other on camera solutions use.

4. Fast Charge Capability

Profoto B2 - Battery and Charger

Profoto B2 – Battery and Charger

With 220 fully powered shots on a fresh battery, the B2 is no slouch in terms of battery capacity. However, engineers at Profoto know that sometimes you just need more juice, and with a hot swappable battery, and the ability to fully recharge in one hour, you won’t find yourself without your flash when you need it the most.

3. Professional build quality

Profoto B2 and Acute D4

The Profoto B2 is built using the same tough construction as it’s D4 older brother

Profoto is legendary for their flash head build quality. From people bundling up their packs and sticking them in coolers to heads falling off boom arms and still working, the web is replete with stories of Profoto flashes taking a nasty fall yet still working, or only requiring a new glass dome or flash tube at worst. The Profoto B2 continues this legendary build quality going, just in a smaller package.

2. Versatility

Profoto B2 - Speedring

Profoto B2 – New speedring, same great mount

The Profoto B2 can be used as an on-camera flash or off-, has all of the features of other Profoto pack-and-head strobes, including the ability to use 2 heads in a fully asymmetrical setup. On top of those awesome features, like other Profoto packs, extension cables are available. You can use up to 2 ten foot extensions.  Coupled with the six foot cable attached to the head itself, you can have a max extension of 26 feet. Now most people know that adding in extensions usually ends up in output loss, but even at 26 feet, this extension would only result in a 2/3rd stop loss. Not only that, but TTL will automatically adjust for light loss. It knows when it has up to two cables attached.

1. Portability

Profoto B2 - Kit

Profoto B2 – The 2 head kit opens up even more options

The small size and weight of the B2 mean that the flash really opens up some options just not available previously. You can use it with gorilla clamps, suction cups, super clamps, and more. This is a great feature when you need a little kick somewhere, or even using some of the scissor mounts for drop ceilings in tight environments. The portable size of the B2 opens up new possibilities for lighting that were just not an option with larger packs.

Profoto B2 vs B4

The small B2 compared to the larger studio B4

Profoto B2 head vs Profoto Acute head

Size comparison of the Profoto B2 head as compared to an Acute head

Some other statistics that you might be interested in for the Profoto B2:

  • 220 Full power flashes (250ws) on single charge.
  • Multiple shooters can link to a single unit with the Air remotes. This is handy for when you’re shooting a wedding with two shooters, for instance.
  • The B2, like the B1 and D1, has a 77° reflector built in. You will get similar lighting effects between all three of these strobes, letting you simplify your lighting setup by being able to see the same basic output from each flash
  • Reflector angle is measured by center to 1 f/stop light loss radius.
  • Like the B1, the B2 has High Speed Sync (or FP mode in Nikon nomenclature.)  Nikon cameras automatically set unit into HSS mode once you go above 1/250s shutter speed.
  • 150°K Color shift max in normal mode
  • 800°K Color shift max in “freeze mode”
  • Profoto HSS is more accurate and a more even exposure than HyperSync. Rather than having to rely on shutter timing and flash duration, the B2 can use the rapid fire pulsing inherent in HSS/Auto-FP for a more even exposure across your image.
  • Profoto is debuting a new Speedring with the B2 that is lighter and collapsable. Keep your eyes peeled here for more information as time goes on.
  • Profoto is also offering some new Softboxes specific to the B2, including a 2 foot Octabank.  The front diffuser is stitched in place on all these new boxes.  Grids will be  available for all new boxes, and there’s a removable internal baffle on each new box, too.

We’re extremely excited to be offering this product, as we feel it’s the perfect compliment to Profoto’s other offerings. Wedding shooters, editorial photographers, sports shooters looking to add light to their shots, and more can all benefit from small size of this pack. Adding in the AirTTL and the HSS capabilities of the B2, and you’ve got a powerful package that will fit in to your backpack.

The Profoto B2 will be available from Capture Integration at the following prices:

B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit – $2,995
Kit includes: 2x B2 heads, 1x Charger 2.8A, 1x Car Charger 1.8A, 1x B2 Carrying Bag, 1x B2 Location Bag, 2x Li-Ion Battery

B2 250 AirTTL w/o Battery – $1,495

B2 Head  – $695

Li-Ion Battery for B2 – $229

B2 AirTTL Extension Cable – $199
With the Extension Cable connected, you can position the B2 flash head another three meters away from the pack without compromising performance.

B2 AirTTL Bag “shoulder” OCF bag for B2 – $99

B2 Location Bag – $199
Custom shoulder bag with side pockets. Fits both battery pack and two heads. Stands and umbrellas can be attached outside the bag with a clever strap system.

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