Profoto’s new D2 TTL monolight leaves other “Fast” strobes in the dust

Sep 15, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Profoto’s new D2 TTL monolight leaves other “Fast” strobes in the dust

Sep 15, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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We posted a review on this just earlier today, but here’s the full specs and info on the new Profoto D2 Monolight. Here’s the short version, though. Up to 20 flashes per second, action freezing flash durations as fast as 1/63,000ofh of a second and high speed sync with all shutter speeds all the way up to 1/8000th of a second. Oh, and it also does TTL, if you’re into that kind of thing.

With competition from companies like Godox hitting some flash manufacturers pretty hard lately, Profoto isn’t running scared. The new D2 flash basically stomps all over them. Of course, with great power come great big price tags, and these certainly aren’t cheap.

profotod2fronts

Avaiable in both 500Ws and 1000Ws capability, there’s quite a significant increase in price over its D1 generation predecessors. But it also has some quite significant upgrades. Namely, the new “Freeze mode”, built in TTL capabilities, high speed sync, faster recycle times and crazy fast flash rate for continuous shooting of fast action.

profotod2backs

D2 500Ws D2 1000Ws
Max Watt/Seconds 500Ws 1,000Ws
Recycle Time 0.03-0.6 seconds 0.03-1.2 seconds
Quick Burst Mode 20 Frames per second 20 Frames per second
Normal Mode Flash Duration (t0.5) 1/2,500 sec 1/1,600 sec
Freeze Mode Flash Duration 1/63,000 sec 1/50,000 sec
Max Sync Speed 1/250 sec (1/8000 sec HSS) 1/250 sec (1/8000 sec HSS)
Colour Temperature 5600K 5600K
Modelling Light 300W Halogen 300W Halogen
Modelling Light Control Off / Proportional / Free / Max Off / Proportional / Free / Max
Dimensions 31x13x18cm (12.2×5.1×7.1″) 31x13x18cm (12.2×5.1×7.1″)
Weight 3.0kg (6.6lb) 3.4kg (7.5lb)

The Profoto Air wireless receiver is also built right into each unit, so all you need to do is pick up the Profoto Air Remote transmitter. The transmitter is available in both regular and Air TTL versions. TTL doesn’t work unless you shoot Nikon or Canon, though. The new Air TTL remote has quite the UI overhaul, which should speed up on-set workflow immeasurably.

profoto_air_remotes

Profoto say that the D2 is available now, although B&H still has it listed only for preorder until tomorrow.

The two light kits do price up at a hair more than buying a pair of lights individually, but they do come with a bag in which to keep them. This would otherwise be a separate $199 purchase.

What do you think? Will most people need that speed? Aren’t Einsteins fast enough for stopping action already at a much lower price point? If the cameras can’t even shoot 20fps yet, why would we need 20fps flash? Are you already trying to figure out how you’ll explain this one to your spouse? Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Profoto’s new D2 TTL monolight leaves other “Fast” strobes in the dust”

  1. Dave Avatar
    Dave

    I’ve always wondered how the TTL in Profoto heads have any idea how much light to produce. From my understanding, the TTL information is coming from the camera’s computer using light coming Through The Lens. So, that information is correct for the distance of the camera sensor to the subject. But, the camera’s computer doesn’t know where the Profoto head is located. If the head is the same distance to subject as the camera sensor, then it should be accurate, but if the light is further away, the result should be incorrect on the dark side, and conversely , if the head is closer to the subject, it should overexpose, all using the same TTL information.

    My question for speed is, at what wattage per second is the D2 achieving 1/63,000 sec (500 W/S model), or 1/50,000 sec (1000 W/S model)? And, are we talking t0.5, or t0.1 duration (I assume t0.5)?

    With my B1’s, if I need fast flash speed, I sometimes need to gang up 2-4 heads to keep my light output at a usable level. I would love it if the flash was controlled to actually cut off at the faster time, without a light tail. That technology would enable higher output while maintaining the short flash duration. If the D2 has the ability to hit a fast flash duration while at full power, I would add it to my studio immediately.

    1. AStarbucks Avatar
      AStarbucks

      Basics of TTL – When the camera body determines that enough light has been captured, it sends a signal to tell the light to cut light output!