Profoto Introduces the Fastest Studio Flash: The Pro-10

Yesterday, Profoto announced their Air Remote TTL-S and mentioned an unknown Pro-10 in their press release. It was not long before it was made official as the press release came in today. It’s a 2,400 Ws studio pack, and it’s fast — extremely fast! Not only that, but it’s the first of its kind, as it offers TTL and HSS capabilities.

Profoto describes the new Profoto Pro-10 as the fastest flash in the world. The reason behind this designation is its shortest flash duration of 1/80,000 of a second! Not only that, but it can also burst up to 50 flashes per second. This generator seems like the ultimate pack for photographers who desperately want to freeze action, liquids, and motion in general. While the 1/80,000 s at t0.5 is achieved using the freeze mode, it also offers the possibility of using HSS, making sync speeds of up to 1/8,000 s possible in the standard, more color-stable mode.

This new studio generator offers a wide power range of 11 stops adjustable in 1/10 f-stop increments. It doesn’t require new heads because it’s already compatible with most Profoto heads available on the market. The Swedish flash manufacturer recommends using the ProHead Plus, the ProTwin, the ProRing Plus, or the ProRing 2 Plus. However, seven other special application heads such as the MultiSpot, the Striplights, or the FresnelSpot are compatible as well.

The pack is slightly bigger and larger than the Pro-8a it replaces, but given the improved recycling time, the addition of TTL and HSS, as well as the increased power range, the 2.2-pound difference is most likely something studio photographers can live with.

The Profoto Pro-10 is already available at well-stocked rentals. However, no price point has been announced yet. For more information on the generator, please visit Profoto's website.

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24 Comments

Hans Rosemond's picture

Finally I can freeze hummingbirds in studio like I uh...never really wanted to do...but hey, technology is nutty. Maybe Ill give it a shot!

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Oh, hummingbirds that would be a great test! I have to find out if I can get a few of them for a test sometime soon!
I still wonder how much this beast cost and what kind of flash duration it offers at full and half power because I suspect the 1/80,000 is only a minimum power.

Hans Rosemond's picture

Well, it's definitely a niche demographic that this is aimed at and I'm sure it will be priced accordingly. They won't be selling these by the boatload. I think the B1/B2 line is their bread and butter these days.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Yes, the Pro-10 will definitely be more aimed towards rentals than the large public. But I'm sure there are still a few commercial and still life photographers that will buy it.

Michael Kormos's picture

These expensive generators are usually bought by rental houses. Unless you use one on a daily basis, it's difficult to justify the $13k price tag (around what the current model sells for).

From Profoto:

Flash duration freeze mode (t0.5):
1/80,000s (2.4Ws) – 1/1000s (2400Ws)

1/1000s is not fast, but 2400Ws is a staggering amount of power. Shooting at 1000Ws (max power for D1/2, double a B1), I'm sure it's extremely fast.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

1/1000s isn't all that fast, but then it's almost slow enough that you could use Hi-Sync. Otherwise, there is still the possibility of using HSS which probably would then make the output power about 1-3 stops less. It almost makes me want to try it to see how it performs in real life! :)

Spy Black's picture

"1/1000s isn't all that fast..."
Depends on what you're doing of course. Most of the model shoots I do will do quite well at that speed, and they're moving around. I wonder what the full power recycle time is? Also, what kind of heat buildup happens at full power continuous?

I could see myself aiming that sucker at a corner of a room bare bulb and using it as a giant umbrella!

Basically, if you do work that requires paying attention to flash duration, it's not fast. If you're shooting product and still life then none of it matters.

Jon Wolding's picture

Why don't they ever tell us the t.1 specs?

I mean, especially if they're touting HSS...

Jason Friedman's picture

It's for marketing purposes. Almost all strobe manufacturers use the t.5 rating (because it seems 3X faster) so they are comparing apples with apples. To get an approximate t.1 value, just divide the t.5 value by 3. For example if the t.5 rating were 1/3000, the corresponding t.1 value would be approximately 1/1000.

So t.1 for this pack is 26,666 :-)

Jon Wolding's picture

Thanks. Still impressive as hell to me. :)

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Not so sure about that… T0.5 of this flash is probably very close to T0.1 as it's most likely using IGBT to make HSS possible. Dividing the T0.5 by 3 works in most cases, but nowadays with strobe heads made specifically for Hi-Sync, HyperSync, and such technologies, the flash curves aren't quite similar heads to heads.

Jason Friedman's picture

Quentin,

I agree with you that with IGBT (Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor, for those who are curious about what the acronym signifies) Control, using the HSS (High Speed Sync) technologies does make things less cut and dry in a multiple strobe output versus a single discharge during normal operation. I was just addressing the general question of why strobe manufacturers rate their strobes at t.5 as opposed to more accurate t.1, being more of a "true" flash duration equivalency to shutter speed, as it represents the time it takes to emit 90% of the flash output. We'll have to confirm the hard data with the boys in Stockholm. I'm sure that Profoto could easily publish their impressive flash duration data at the t.1 spec, but if other manufacturers would follow in suit, their results, especially in lower end strobe gear would be lackluster by comparison, which is why very few manufacturers would do it. In any case, you can't deny the jaw dropping performance of industry leader Profoto's latest flagship generator, since Profoto is about so much more than just fast flash duration. Color temperature accuracy and output stability, recycle time, build quality, a huge array of incredible light shapers, availability in top rental houses worldwide, etc. Incredible gear for photographers that want the best.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

They may not give T.1 time to keep the comparison easier with lower end flash manufacturers, but I don't think it's really wise for a pack such as the Pro-10. Other high end/industry leaders – Bron and Briese – give their T.1 spec. Announcing only T.5 feels a bit like "we don't want to give T.1 because it's not as impressive as T.5" :/

Anonymous's picture

Amazing

I gotta feel for the model in the first video. Human reflex is hard to override. Photographer: "Okay, DON'T BLINK!" Fortunately the Profoto can fire multiple flashes. I just hope he was using a Canon 1Dx II to get the photo.

Ru Pedis's picture

Wait does anyone know why Profoto skipped the number nine in their naming convention? On set worked with the pro7s and I remember the pro8s were slightly better and digital, but did they just skip for fun? Microsoft also went from 8.1 to 10, yeah? Did seven really eat nine?

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Because nine is pronounced like "nein" (no) in German and they didn't want that at Photokina? haha

Quentin Decaillet's picture

So roughly like the Pro-8a it replaces. Not too bad! It would be interesting to compare it to the Broncolor Scoro S.

Nathan Mollison's picture

Others have mentioned the t1 vs t5 thing but what I don't get is why don't the technical specifications show a table or a graph of the durations across the whole power spectrum?

Why is it standard practice to only quote the lowest and highest powers' speed? I guess we could have a guess that might be accurate if there's a linear curve between the two but surely any company that makes this gear would know the figures already so why not just put it in the tech specs?

It smells to me of that old-school way of doing business where "if you're a serious buyer, you'll call someone up and ask the questions".

Otherwise I'm glad to see a company still trying to push the limits. This kit does seem to be the best of both worlds (power and speed) if you've got the cash to burn.