Profoto isn’t being shy about their new B1X monolight. They’re calling it the “new benchmark for on-location lighting.” A significant improvement on the Profoto B1, “This isn’t an update,” explains Profoto. “This is a significant replacement with improvements in three important areas: power, power and power.”
It might sound cheesy, but the specs back up the claims. The 500W/s cordless light is a big improvement over the original B1. The 24W LED modeling light adds 80% more light output, the battery holds 50% more power for a total of 325 flashes at full power, and the B1X boasts the widest High Speed Sync (HSS) range available on any flash—up to 1/8,000s with 9 f-stop power range.
“The B1X is designed at the adventurous photographer who’s willing to go the extra mile,” says Profoto in their intro video. “Whether that’s hanging off the side of a mountain or in the middle of a desert—this is no ‘stay-at-home flash’ so speed and simplicity is crucial.”
What’s amazing is that Profoto managed to pack all of this power into a package that is no heavier than its predecessor. Despite improving on the B1 in almost every way, the B1X still only weighs 3Kg (6.6lbs).
That’s 6.6lbs for a light that can HSS at 1/8000 of a second, gives you a flash power range from 2 to 500W/s, flash durations between 1/11,000s (2Ws) – 1/1,000s (500Ws) in normal mode or 1/19,000s (2Ws) – 1/1,000s (500Ws) in freeze mode, TTL (with compatible cameras), and 0.1-1.9-second recycle time with a burst mode that can fire off up to 20 flashes per second.
Photographer Tim Kemple got to try these features out for himself during an awesome on-location climbing shoot on the island of Mallorca. Check out his experience below:
There’s no question about it, this is an impressive flash. Unfortunately, you’ve probably already guessed the catch: it comes with an impressive price tag to match. Like all of Profoto’s high-end lighting gear, the B1X will cost you. Available to purchase in both a one-light “To-Go Kit” and two-light “Location Kit,” the Profoto B1X costs $2,095 and $4,148, respectively.
To learn more about this powerful piece of portable lighting equipment, head over to the Profoto website here. And if you’re ready to plunk down 2 grand for the B1X, you can already pre-order the To-Go and Location kits on B&H Photo. The lights are expected to ship on June 7th.