Profoto Announces the Profoto B2 Battery Powered Studio Flash

Profoto Announces the Profoto B2 Battery Powered Studio Flash

Back in 2013, Profoto announced the Profoto B1 Studio flash, which would go on to change the world of on location photography. With battery powered TTL, the Profoto B1 was an all in one unit, allowing up to 200+ flashes at full power. Well today, they announced it's sidekick, the B2.

The first thing you may notice, is that the B2 is significantly smaller than the B1 studio strobe. At about half the size, the Profoto B2 allows for 250Ws on location, using the new innovative battery system.

Alongside the TTL functionality, the B2 is also equipped with HSS, while maintaining 5 times the power of a standard speedlight. All of this comes in a unit at under two pounds in size (1.5 lbs to be exact). Specific specs are listed below --

General specifications

Max energy: 250Ws
Energy range: 9 f-stop (2.0-10.0 ; 1/256-1/1)
Recycling time: 0.03-1.35s (Quick burst up to 20 flashes/second)
Flash duration Normal mode (t0.5): 1/9300 s (1Ws) - 1/1,000 s (250Ws)
Flash duration Freeze mode (t0.5): 1/15,000 s (1Ws) - 1/1,000 s (250Ws)
Guide number @ 2m / 100 ISO with Magnum Reflector: 32 2/10
Battery capacity: Up to 215 full-power flashes
Max modeling light: LED 9W (Equivalent of 50W Halogen)

Synchronization and control

Radio sync & control: Yes, built in AirTTL supporting wireless sync, control
Measurements

Size:

Generator (incl. battery) 6 x 8 x 17 cm 6.3 x 3.1 x 6.7 in
Head (excl. stand adapter) 10 cm / 3.9 in Ø 10.3 cm / 4.0 in length

Weight:

Generator (incl. battery) 1.6 kg / 2.2 lbs
Head (excl. stand adapter) 0.7 kg / 1.5 lbs

 

 

Alongside the B2 announcement, is a series of new Off-Camera Flash Light Shaping Tools, allowing for full control using grids, snoots and other modifiers in an all new light weight system.

The B2 strobe (along with the battery kit) is available for purchase right now for $2195 on B&H Photo.

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49 Comments

Eric Duminil's picture

As usual :
not 250w/s, not 250 W/s but 250Ws.
How hard can that be?

The strobes look great though. Any idea what the price range will be?

Marius Pettersen's picture

Prices are available on B&H now.
The Location Kit with two heads, charger and a bag will cost $2995, so it's not a cheap set up compared to lets say Elinchrom Quadra. The Profoto AirRemote TTL isn't even included in the kit.

Vladimir Byazrov's picture

this looks amazing tho the price is deluxe.

Graham Marley's picture

At 3000 dollars I might as well buy 5 more speedlights.

Pat Black's picture

you mean 45 Yongnuo's :)

Graham Marley's picture

Haha, totally! I mean, sure, 250 Ws is nicer than 60ish, but a 3000 dollar investment should get more flexibility than two bare heads. I can do 4 White Lightnings with batteries and mods for that and with way more light.

Pat Black's picture

when I saw I first saw the price point I thought it was a mistake and they were posting the information of the B1

Nick Dors's picture

I've got the elinchrom quadra ranger (and LOVE it). That's 400watts and cheaper. Why would you want to go for this one then? Apart from being a Profoto user.

B Jones's picture

HSS and TTL might be of interest. Quadra does not do that. I agree that there is a premium for Profoto.

Nick Dors's picture

If they made it without a battery pack I can see why it would be a interesting product but 250w seems to be achievable with speed lights or am I wrong?

Nicolas Meunier's picture

A speedlight like a big Canon or Nikon strobe gives something like 50Ws only, not 250

Gus Munoz's picture

Agree with you Nick. Im sticking with the Quadra as well. More power, 320 full power pops and HyperSync with Pocketwizards. Then you have to deal with Profoto modifiers which are aggressively priced and not as practical to set up on location like the Elinchrom Rotalux modifiers.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

A complete line of new modifier are available for the B1 and B2. They are cheaper and easier to setup than previous one.Old one are fully compatible without adapter.
When you use Hypersync, you lose much much power, so I'm not sure, which is best at fast shitter speed between the two.

J.R. Clubb's picture

Are they targeting wedding photographers? I'd still prefer the B1 for more power and no pack. She sure looks pretty tho!

Nick West's picture

Yeah I thought the same thing, I can't really figure out who this is aimed at. Why not just offer a cheaper 250Ws B1?

Michael Kormos's picture

Dang it! Was hoping for B1s with 1000Ws output. 250Ws is what my Speedlights put out :-(

michael andrew's picture

I don't think thats correct, I think speedlights are more like 50-60ws in comparison.

Michael Kormos's picture

I think my SB-900, fully zoomed-in to 200mm puts out the equivalent of 140Ws.

I think.

michael andrew's picture

I am not quite sure where you would have been able to determine that number? Watt seconds in strobe lights is directly related to the size of capacitors that dump into flash tubes. In speedlights they are commonly about 50-60ws but i believe its harder to measure in Ws because speedlights use lenses to maximize its efficiency. All in all think speedlights are great, but they are fairly weak in the sun at any modest distance. I would expect this light (B2) to be 3-5 times more powerful.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

zoomed ate 200mm, your SB900 can not light properly any modifier, you have to set it at it's widest position to use a softbox, umbrella or most of the modifier.

Michael Kormos's picture

Alright you two, quit ganging up on my SBs.

BTW Nicolas, as far as properly lighting a modifier goes, the Profotos were highly criticized when the D1s came out for not offering a true omni directional output. You gotta add a $140 glass dome to get proper dispersion that reflects within the lining of a softbox.

My SBs still rock. For $500 a pop, you can't beat their versatility.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

I own a B4, 2 AcuteB, 2 D1, 2 B1 and now a B2 and ... nether see any difference except sometimes with the beauty dish. I bought 2 domes but finally don't use them. That's my experience.

Jason Vinson's picture

Ryan Brenizer posted a video with these and said he could get F16 in noon sun through a softbox... not sure how with only 250Ws?

Michael Kormos's picture

You hold 'em a inch away from the subject's face :-)

Jason Vinson's picture

ya but the image he showed the light was a couple feet away. Didn't make sense.

Felix Wu's picture

Shooting half body is easy whereas it will struggle shooting full body I reckon. My two B1s with SB could barely overpower the strong noon sun.

Somto obi's picture

I'm guessing he used the HSS feature.

michael andrew's picture

At f16? that seems challenging of any light.

Ryan Brenizer's picture

It can do a couple feet, but closeness is definitely key. The image shown was f/14, ISO 64, though I also shot some other scenes at f/16. With a speed light, then yes, literally inches. It's got some power for its portability.

Spy Black's picture

ISO 3200?...

Nicolas Meunier's picture

I had the opportunity to use the B2 in my last shooting

here are the image and backstage

http://photo.anadore.fr/english.html

for example B2 in front with Octa2 and B1 with red Gel in TTL

Regards
Nicolas

Felix Wu's picture

Very nice work Nicolas

Nicolas Meunier's picture

Thanks!

Erwan Ermel's picture

I love it ^^

Alice Avenne's picture

Looks dissapointingly cheap and plasticky for the price...

You'd expect better from Profoto...

Nicolas Meunier's picture

but is not in reality. Of course it's not a ProB4, that would have cost a lot of weight, but every connector, button... are looking great.

Alice Avenne's picture

Even the Acute looks like it is well made but quite honesly from the photos this looks like elinchrom grade stuff, not profoto.

#donotwant

Mark Davidson's picture

While HSS and TTL may be of interest to some, the functionality of this gear is superseded by the Elinchrom Quadra.
AND is you have tried any of the alternatives from China you will see that there are amazing choices for a lot less money.
I recently picked up a Wistro AD360 for $450 and it is an amazing piece of gear that is more compact yet more powerful than this.
Of course I get no Profoto envy from others.

michael andrew's picture

The B1 has no comparison really. This B2 however is quite confusing. I fail to understand this product currently. Maybe there is something about it I have not read about yet.

Roger Lanoue Jr's picture

My People, I like the B2! However, The Elinchrome Quadra can do HSS. I have tested this at BH. Yongnou YN-622C-tx with Quadra S heads and ISO:100 - 2.8 1/6000. No clipping. Clear image in the store.

Nicolas Meunier's picture

What you have tested at B&H is called Hypersync and not HSS. It works but make loose a lot of power

Roger Lanoue Jr's picture

Thanks for the info NIcolas!

Nicolas Meunier's picture

A flash is like a Camera, you can not choose a Camera body sithout thinking quality of lenses, and it's the same for flashes ans modifier. I shoot daily with a ProB4 and many Profoto modifiers and can not imagine shooting with cheap godox modifier. But of course, if the budget is the main concern, there is some alternative.

Bartosch Salmanski's picture

Sadly a little underpowered and overpriced. I love my B1's, but actually i would rather take a look on the coming Phottix Indra360. More power (300W), Bowens Mount, smaller and more durable battery pack, HSS and TTL with the great Odin remote system, capable to mix other TTL/HSS flashes.

Derek Yarra's picture

Wow. Based on just reading what's on the internet, I don't entirely get the point of this. I do not see how this is a benefit over a B1 other than having two separate heads. However splitting that 250 Ws into two heads basically makes it like having two speedlites, limited by being tethered together. Sure, you've got the battery life and recycle time, but still... for a location kit I'd rather pony up for two B1s than deal with a low powered pack and head system.

Also, are they compatible with the existing Profoto mount or do you now have to invest in all new OCF rings and modifiers? I sure hope not.

For now I'll gladly stick with my Ranger Quadras.

Lee Morris's picture

When will they give us 1000watt B1s that have batteries built in but can also run off of AC power in the studio? At that point they would 1, create a new market of flashes that are good in studio and on location and 2, destroy the need to buy anything else.

Roger Lanoue Jr's picture

I am kinda digging Phottix right now. I just returned a Quadra A set to now get the new Indra 500ttl and Odin II when it is ready. My futures looks like Phottix.

1000watt Phottix would be a dream come true.

Chris Valites's picture

I've been bugging our Profoto rep for this and he's been very emphatic it's not happening. I'd love it as well, but it'd also likely be 4k a head...

David Hunter's picture

I am waiting to see a review comparing the Profoto B1 vs. the Profoto B2. It seems to me that the B1 got rid of the electrical cords altogether and then, wa-la, the B2 brings these cords all back. Why?