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Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-09-2006, 02:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi guys, I've been renting Profoto systems (both pro series and acute) for a year now and I'm finally thinking about purchasing a set of lights to own. Profoto is much more expensive compared to White Lightning but I'm considering White Lightning because I've read some good reviews about them and I can purchase more equipment than I would be if I were to go with Profoto. I shoot glamour digital pictures for both web and some print. Would going with White Lightning affect the quality of my work since I'm so used to Profoto stuff? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-09-2006, 08:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The manufacturer of your lighting equipment has little if anything to do with the quality of your work. Unless you are going to shoot 16 hours a day, day in and day out, the White Lightning products should be just fine. If you ARE going to shoot 16 hours a day, day in and day out, you'd be hard pressed to find better value for the money than Profoto.

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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-09-2006, 02:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One thing to consider is what is available in your area. One of the reasons I shoot with Paul Buff stuff is I live in Nashville, so if I need anything I can just drop by the place and pick it up.

If you bought your own Profoto equipment and decided you needed to rent additional heads or modifiers, you'd be able to easily since you already have a source in your area. Never know when you're gonna drop something and need a flash tube quick, for example.

Just a thought. May or may not be a big deal to you.
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-09-2006, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Great posts guys. I suppose I'm more worried about the equipment breaking down or having problems on location because I shoot 99% on location. I'm also looking into the Dyna-Lite system. I really want something that can handle a 11 hour shoot day without any trouble. Anyone that frequently shoots on location with either White Lightning or Dyna-Lites please let me know how it works for you. I'm nervous and excited to get a lighting setup of my own..but confused at the same time as to which system I should stick with. Thank you for all the input guys
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-09-2006, 10:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I shoot on location with Dyna-Lite and have for years. I was going to mention in my original post that if you wanted the quality of the Profoto Acute system at 2/3 the price to take a look at Dyna-Lite. They wouldn't be my first choice for monolights, but the pack and head systems are top-notch. They go all day every day and can tolerate being on the road. They are far more consistent in both color and power output at low power than the White Lightning units. All housings are lightweight and rugged. It's really excellent gear, especially when you factor in the price.

I don't know how much you travel, but in most major U.S. cities you can find a professional-caliber camera store that has replacement flash tubes and modelling lights for Dyna-Lite and Profoto. You can also rent both manufacturer's equipment in the same major cities.

If you do decide to go with a Dyna-Lite pack/head system, I'd recommend buying 4040 heads rather than 2040 heads. The 4040 heads are more color consistent (due to the dome) and accept a wider variety of modifiers. About the only thing missing from the Dyna-Lite system is a ring light. If you're dying to have a ring light, then stick with Profoto.
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-09-2006, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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OMG I love ringlight! Nooo!! hahahh. Great suggestion though. I will checkout the website and look at my choices. Thank you so much for helping out! You might be getting a private message from me if I get confused with products :P
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-11-2006, 03:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi guys, after looking around online for different Dyna-lite options.. I've come across a few questions.

1. Can someone recommend a good online company that sells Dyna-lite products? I usually order for BHPhotoVideo but I see that Adorama.com sells them as well, any suggestions?

2. I'm interested in getting 2 of the 4040 pack heads but I'm also interested in getting 2 of the 1015. Has anyone had any experience using the 1015? Does it get very hot since it's not fan cooled?

3. I'm also interested in getting the M-2000WI pack and I read that the recycle time is 1.9 sec. Since I've used Profoto for the last 2 years...I'm concerned that this recycle time is a little slow. So my question is... do you guys notice the almost 2 second of recycle time when you're shooting?

4. As for modeling light...is it WYSIWYG? I'm just curious...

5. My last question is..can anyone recommend a good octagon softbox to go with the dynalites?

Thank you!
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-11-2006, 05:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StudioSeduction
Hi guys, after looking around online for different Dyna-lite options.. I've come across a few questions.

1. Can someone recommend a good online company that sells Dyna-lite products? I usually order for BHPhotoVideo but I see that Adorama.com sells them as well, any suggestions?
B&H, Adorama, Samys,.... they're all good. If you see a price that looks too good to be true (like in the Brooklyn, NY-based stores) then skip it.

Quote:
2. I'm interested in getting 2 of the 4040 pack heads but I'm also interested in getting 2 of the 1015. Has anyone had any experience using the 1015? Does it get very hot since it's not fan cooled?
The 1015's are 1000 w/s heads. Don't even think about putting them on the 2000 ER/Wi packs. They're fine for the 500 w/s packs, but I wouldn't buy them if you're going to shoot all day. If you're going to beat on the heads, stick to the 2040's and 4040's.

Quote:
3. I'm also interested in getting the M-2000WI pack and I read that the recycle time is 1.9 sec. Since I've used Profoto for the last 2 years...I'm concerned that this recycle time is a little slow. So my question is... do you guys notice the almost 2 second of recycle time when you're shooting?
The recycle time is more of a physics thing than a manufacturing thing. If you look at the specs for any 1600J to 2400J pack you'll see recycle times in the 1.5 to 2.0 second range after a full discharge. It's the nature of the beast. If you need that kind of power you probably aren't shooting all that fast. At low power settings you can shoot several frames a second for short bursts with a larger pack, since there's more energy stored in the capacitors.

Quote:
4. As for modeling light...is it WYSIWYG? I'm just curious...
Yes they are. A head with a dome (from any manufacturer) is really, really accurate, since both the modelling lamp and the flash tube are encased in the dome. The only time it's really critical is if you're using a bare head and reflector. If the head is in a softbox or firing out of (or through) an umbrella it doesn't matter, since the modifier is what's controlling your light.

Quote:
5. My last question is..can anyone recommend a good octagon softbox to go with the dynalites?

Thank you!
How big do you want it and how much to you want to spend? The Elinchrom Octa bank (~6') is the nicest one I've ever used. There's a bracket inside of it that mounts your head so that it faces the rear of the box. The light is increadibly soft and output is even to within 1/3 of a stop across the face of the box. It runs ~$1000 and they do make a mounting bracket to fit Dyna-Lite heads. It sets up and tears down like an umbrella, which is very nice.

The Chimera OctaPlus is nice too. It's a convertible 5'/7' octabox. That is, you can use it as either a 5' or 7' box with the included expansion kit. It has a graduated baffle to keep the light even and runs ~$850.

I'll also recommend the Photoflex octaboxes. Their 5' and 7' octaboxes include gold and silver panels, for three different looks. Photoflex also has a 40 degree fabric grid for it in case you want more directional control. (Fabric grids are not available for either the Elinchrom or the Chimera.) The 7' runs ~$450, excellent value for the money. You can get that box and the grid for less than the Chimera. It does exhibit more falloff toward the edges though. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different.

Both Chimera and Photoflex make a 3' octabox too, but I've never bothered with one that small.

Wescott also makes octaboxes, but I've never used one of them and can't comment further.

For a very similar octabox look at a fraction of the cost, look at the Photek Softlighter II's They make a 5' umbrella with a front diffusion panel that stretches across the front. One thing about it though: If you're doing head shots where the catchlights are prominent, you can see the lightstand in your subject's eyes because you're essentially using a bounce umbrella and diffuser.

Make sure you've got enough room to use a 7' box though, you need a big space. Even the 5 footers are unwieldy.

-Chip
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Re: Profoto Acute System vs White Lightning
Old 06-11-2006, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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All of the points there included, one thing to consider in the Dyna-Lite vs. ProFoto debate is that both are excellent for those into color temperature. The designs of theProFoto and Dyna-Lites help maintain a better color temperature then some other strobes who rely only on voltage changes for power output.

.... then again I am biased on which one I like better

Image below shot with Dyna-Lite 1000w/s pack and 2 2040 flash heads and one 4040 flash head with a 40SW dish at Don Teague studios.


.....and YES, the model made cookies for all those who have been around that long to know what it means

JasonNJ

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All these
Old 06-11-2006, 07:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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were done with a Dynalite 2040 head in a photoflex 5ft octadome.... on a 1000ws pack ( i have a two pack 3 head kit ) you can connect 4 heads to each pack of you need to.... profoto only had a 1200ws 1 pack 2 head kit for similer price and you can only hook up to 3 heads....so for the price the dynalite kit gave me an extra pack ( think back up ) and an extra head... and the accessories are ALOT cheaper....i got a 4 grid set for dynalite for a cost that might only have gotten me 1 profoto grid...

http://www.pbase.com/jaysonharrington/michelle
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