The quest for gear can be fraught with disappointment, not to mention expense, but occasionally one piece of equipment exceeds your expectation. A best buy doesn’t need to be the highest quality or most expensive lens or light to find its way into your own hall of fame. For me it represents unexpected value versus the investment. Mine is the Profoto Acute 600e kit. What was yours?
My introduction to the Acute 600e came from a need for a ring flash nearly 15 years ago. I was resolved to get a ring flash and needed to find a power supply. My options were to have a Profoto Ring Flash adapted to Speedotron or buy my first Profoto power supply.
The Acute 600e was developed as a entry into the Profoto family. It is a small AC 600 watt second pack that can power three Acute heads with limited power setting options, moderate to slow recycle, and no active cooling. The Acute E heads are lightweight and do not have a cooling fan. As such, they were not intended for heavy-duty or large-volume use.
After some research I found the Acute 600e pack was offered for around $650 with the option of adding two heads with light stands and umbrellas for only $300 additional. My intention was to only use the Acute 600e to power the ring flash, but I started to use the whole kit on small location shoots as well. After some use, both with the ring flash and the Acute E heads, I was hooked. Soon came 1,200 and 2,400 W/s Acute packs and Acute2 heads. My Speedotron gear began gathering dust (still is come to think of it).
As my studio productions grew I continued on my Profoto path with Pro6 and Pro7a packs and heads which now are my main studio gear. But my love for the 600e has not faded. Along with a AcuteB, the 600 W/s battery version in roughly the same package, I still use the 600e for travel and many interior location shoots. I can’t think of another piece of equipment that I have stuck with for 15 years and I would never have guessed it when I first picked it up.
They still pop up on eBay from time to time. They are worth a look. Does anyone else have any underdog gear that has exceeded their expectations?