Profoto Adds High Speed Sync to Beloved B1 Strobe through Firmware Update

Profoto Adds High Speed Sync to Beloved B1 Strobe through Firmware Update

Until now, High Speed Sync (HSS) has been a luxury feature designed exclusively for speedlights (and select new strobes), allowing you to shoot using strobes at shutter speeds previously unavailable. However, announced this morning, Profoto has enabled High Speed Sync solutions to their beloved B1 studio strobe, and best of all? It's available now as a simple firmware update.

If you follow Fstoppers often, you'll know that last year, I was able to get my hands on the Profoto B1 TTL Studio Strobe, and decided that they were the best strobes on the market today. With the compact battery attached to the light itself, as well as TTL functionality, the Profoto B1 has revolutionize the off camera lighting world, allowing you to expose correctly using off camera lights, easier than ever before.

However, strobes still have some shortcomings. While using them, you're typically limited to a maximum of 1/200th of a second for your shutter speed, and the use of neutral density filters were required if you wanted to expose correctly while shooting using shallow depth of field. With the ability to use high speed sync, you're able to increase your shutter speed capabilities, with the use of the strobe firing many short blasts in a fraction of a second. According to Profoto, their HSS system allows you to shoot using their strobe as quickly as 1/8000th of a second without any limitations of gear. Perhaps the most surprising feature, is that HSS is able to work along side the TTL capabilities of the Profoto B1, allowing you to get consistent exposures without the need to set any settings.

High Speed Sync works with both Canon and Nikon camera systems, and is available right now for free through a firmware update. Upon installing the new firmware, you're then able to enable HSS using a simple press of a button.  For more information about the firmware update, check out Profoto's website.


[via Profoto]

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Zach Sutton is an award-winning and internationally published commercial and headshot photographer based out of Los Angeles, CA. His work highlights environmental portraiture, blending landscapes and scenes with portrait photography. Zach writes for various publications on the topic of photography and retouching.

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Woohoo!!! Thats awesome!

Aww can't find the firmware update :( Maybe they havent published it yet...:/ Any suggestions Zach?

I was too eager. They hadnt updated their page yet; and so i was still only seeing the firmware from april 28th. BUT, a couple of hours later and HSS on the B1 was had :) Thanks for the link :)

Was waiting fot this since the first day i got B1

That's why I'm using the PRIOLITE MBX 500 Hot Sync for a bit more than 1 year with this feature ;)

Is the firmware for the heads themselves or the TTL controller?

Both, Remote TTL and head

Tested @ noon time EOS 5D III 1/8000 f/3.2 ISO 100 (out from the camera)

Does camera matter or you just wanted to let everybody know how great camera you have?

Camera does actually matter as Canon and Nikon are the only two supported manufacturers. AND, Canons allow the B1 to HS sync as low as 7.0 while the Nikon can only sync down to 8.0. So, to answer your question, yes, camera and settings matter....

Thanks for your comments in this update the camera and setting matter to show early test and yes I own hasselblad 50c and sad that I can't show it here

what power was the strobe at?

Not sure but it was 8-9 F stop 125w-250ws

It is a bit deceptive that Profoto doesn't note the loss of power output when using this. You have to dig into their FAQ to find that out and even there they dance around it a bit.

Everyone knows that HSS comes at the expense of power. The FAQ is there for everyone to read... I don't see any deception.

All high speed sync comes with a loss of power...

From the FAQ:

Know that one f-stop of flash light is lost for every doubling of the shutter speed. In other words, when shooting with the extremely short flash durations that Profoto HSS offers, the B1 will in most cases be used at its max or near max power.

I think this is pretty clear and straight to the point.

Just tested on my favorite model! LOVE IT!!! 1/3200 sec at f/2.8, ISO 160 canon 70-200mm at 200mm

It is by far the best update I have received with my b1's spent the entire day playing with hhs. problem now is I don't think I need my Mamiya anymore. my 5dmkii seems to be able to do so much more now that this feature is available.

I cannot get mine to update... It says it needs a Mini A to Type A USB cable, but every mini cable I have ever owned (including my tether tools 15ft cable) is Mini-B... Anyone got any advice?

Disconnect any USB devices from your computer including Wacom if you have and restart it