First Look: Profoto Collapsible Reflectors

A reflector is a reflector. Right? That was my first thought when I was asked to be the first to review Profoto's new line of collapsible reflectors. "It's a reflector, are you serious?" I mean come on, in what possible way could this be any different from everything else I've used? A reflector is a reflector. However, obviously I said yes and here we are…and I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Before we go any further let me make it clear that this is an unpaid review save for being able to keep and dismantle and/or destroy the product while I tested them. That said...What's the story and why am I now completely hooked on these things? The same reason the three little pigs took refuge in the brick house in the end. Construction. These things are solid and pardon the pun but that is one of their greatest strengths. Let's be real here, there hasn't been some revolutionary new materials technology that allows a reflector to put out more light, or better light than the source. Physics are still physics so if someone tells you the quality of light from their reflector is better...stare at them until they leave cause unless yours is stained and gross and theirs isn't...They're wrong. If a reflector can't reflect better than another then really construction or design are the only metrics left that we can compare by.


Easy to handle in a variety of conditions, even when shooting solo
Very sturdy construction
Comfortable grip


No 5-in-1 model
A little pricier than some other companies (looks like they will be around $119 for the large and $79 for the medium)


Most photographers have used a wide range of reflectors in their careers and I think we can all agree that with regular use they tend not to last very long. My own personal experiences have always ended with the connection point on the metal loop snapping from the torque of expanding and collapsing. This is where I need to correct the behind the scenes video that accompanies this article. In the video I state that it seemed as if Profoto was using the handle design to house that connection. That isn't the case. The reflectors arrived the day of the shoot so I hadn't had time to check them out prior to arriving on set. After the day wrapped I took to dismantling one to see how they were built. As it turns out, the loop is closed with two rivets that are surprisingly low-profile, but not housed within either grip. I can only assume that this placement was decided against due to potential strain on the grips. Plastic shrapnel in your hand would seriously suck. The rivets are also wrapped in a thick flexible plastic (almost like flattened tubing) to keep them from snagging and ripping the fabric (it's the little things that are so important).


It has been just about a month since the shoot in that video and in that time I have made it a point to use and abuse these things as much as possible. What I'm left with are a series of reflectors that haven't let me down even for a second and a studio full of assistants that absolutely love how easy they are to control. The grips are easily my favorite part of the design. It's not like a handle on a reflector is a new idea, but a handle with the right design and placement is. Not to mention the fact that someone has finally realized that a second point of control is a great idea! The placement is exactly where it needs to be. Even the large reflector is fairly easy to control with one hand due to the fact that the grip is placed close the corner, not the middle. It seems a little counter-intuitive but it works like a champ. There will still be some difficulty if you're shooting alone and trying to control the large reflector in windy conditions but I haven't had an issue controlling the smaller versions in those cases.


I buy equipment after considering how well it will get the job done, and how long it will last. These seem to ace both categories. My only real complaint (I imagine it will be yours too) is that Profoto is not currently offering a 5-in-1 version. As it stands they offer large (47") and medium (32") sizes in the following combinations:

Silver/White (Large / Medium)
SunSilver/White (Large / Medium)
Gold/White (Large / Medium)
Black/White (Large / Medium)
Translucent (Large / Medium)

Maybe there is a 5-in-1 planned in the future, who knows, but that's what's lacking for me. I like to travel light when it's possible and having to carry a stack of reflectors when I could carry two multi-use versions isn't fun. To date these are not yet available in stores but we will update you with links as soon as they are.

Overall I love this line of collapsibles. They are sturdy, comfortable and easy to control even for the inexperienced on set. I really just want to give the design team a big high-five for doing so well where every other reflector design has fallen short.

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Jon Sharman's picture

Do you have a link to purchase?

Unfortunately not yet. The product was just announced 8/22 and hasn't yet made it to major retailers. However, as soon as they are this article will be updated with links to each version.

Jon Sharman's picture

Ahh, bummer. Ok, thanks for the follow up.

Hey no worries! I will definitely let you know when I know something.

Jon Sharman's picture


Hey Jon, just wanted to let you know that B&H now has them in stock and I've updated the article with links to each version.

Jon Sharman's picture

Thanks so much!

Profoto reflectors, or.... you can just purchase a dozen Impact brand reflectors.

Sander van der Veen's picture

I have to agree with that, been using this for many years .. nothing special right? A reflector that can collapse and has handles..?

+1 but blogger have to make money.
advertising is everything today.
even when you are not paid when you write an article, companys often offer money when they want to quote you. or you are paid to do additional advertising.

i do agree on this :)

I'm curios what the price will be. Might replace my old and half-broken Gold/White reflector..

B&H has them priced at $79 and $119 respectively. The article has been updated to reflect the prices and links to the items have been added.

honestly.. i guess you are paid by profoto. it´s a stupid REFLECTOR.
you won´t see a difference except on the bankaccount of the author.

I see quite a lot of nods to Profoto on this site- more than i'd care to see, actually. This is just a reflector- an overpriced knock-off of the Lastolite Tri Grip (another pricey company, though not as obscenely expensive as Profoto) You can even find very inexpensive knock-off's from China of the Tri Grip on Amazon- which do a wonderful job, btw. If i had the money, i'd buy a Lastolite or especially a California Sunbounce and not even give Profoto a second or third thought.

Hard to believe a press copy was written to promote their product. (Feel free to object, but it reads like one big advertisement) It's just a reflector- and no, it's not going to put any one of my cheap reflectors in the dust! >:(

Looks like another version of Lastolite's Tri-Grip but not as good as a Sunbounce.
Large size is $145 (90 british pounds) if you do a direct conversion. If you take off the UK's crazy VAT taxes, it's probably $120.

Sorry dude, using a Medium format and get shots like these? what a waste.

What's wrong with the shots?

Nothing wrong with the shots, they are just mediocre and plain.

What he says makes sense. I'm sure it's pricey to most but it looks well made and the double handles are nice when they are that thick. I would prefer a California but this looks not too bad. It really fires back the light. This is one of my favorite photogs using it.

I love these photos.

I have been looking for a good translucent reflector. Idk where to find one and I was hoping this would be a good one but if it is too expensive I am better off finding something else.

Michael, we've updated the article with links to the reflectors on B&H.

Lenn Long's picture

(2:30) Is that a Paul Buff reflector on the coffee table??

Yessir. Good eye! You can see the abr400 in the bg at 0:40. I use it times because of the ability to dim a tungsten or gelled hot light in a weird spot. Originally we were going to play a lot with color temperatures in the ambient light but decided on set that more natural would be best.

I think this is all to do with Profoto trading on their name. Whilst it's true that they do make some great gear, this is just another reflector in truth, nothing more nothing less.

I've used Lastolite for years and they are perfectly well constructed and do exactly what you need them to do. If I need big reflectors I'd use California Sunbounce but I have no need of a reflector that is different only in that it has a Profoto logo on the outside of the storage sack.

I'm sure however some people will buy these. Some people love branding. I have better things to do with my cash however.

Sometimes I don't understand people...
Of course those reflectors are overpriced because the bag says Profoto, but tell me, which photography item in general isn't?
In example, people are buying 5D IIIs like crazy, that's 3000,- Euro for a camera body that's gonna be outdated in 4-5 years and when they release a 5D IV, the same thing is gonna happen again. IMHO, I don't have a problem spending those 120,- Euro for a single reflector, if it stands up to the quality Profoto is known for, this thing is going to stay on my side for the next 10 years or more.

Profoto is like Nieman Marcus of photography. Do we all go to Nieman Marcus to buy our stuff? No. I can get a nice reflector with handles from Amazon for the fraction of the cost.