Things We Love: Light of My Life—Profoto B1


Profoto B1, I must thank you for illuminating the way during some of my darkest moments. Before you came along, the idea of having a capable and portable lighting kit of your caliber was unheard of. A stand-alone 500Ws monolight with lightning-fast flash durations and 20 fps burst shooting, and you manage to communicate with my camera in its own TTL language? Now I had access to features such as high-speed sync for working in more trying and bright scenarios. That wasn’t enough for you though, as it cannot be left out that you run on a battery.

Profoto B1 500 AirTTL Battery-Powered Flash

Let’s talk about how you are a great listener, even when placed a thousand feet away. You have your own Air receiver and can speak multiple languages, meaning I can use any kind of Air remote to talk to you, whether that means I want to tell you everything personally with the manual controls of an Air Transceiver or to speak through my camera with a TTL controller. The TTL skills are impressive, since you get along with everyone, including Canon, Sony, and Nikon, three companies who are constantly at odds. This includes syncing directly with cameras at shutter speeds up to 1/8000-second with high-speed sync, enabling outdoor portraits to be taken with ease and without an ND filter.

You are so fast, as well, even with a power that is greater than anything I have had mounted on my camera. I never need to worry about you wasting my time, as you are ready for the next shot in just 0.1-1.9 seconds. Burst shooting doesn’t make you flinch, because you surpass the capabilities of every modern camera. And, capturing the fastest action is easy with your Freeze Mode and flash duration of just 1/19,000 second.

I must say, I love your clean design, as well. An easily readable screen and incredibly simple controls make you accessible to nearly anyone with whom I work. It also makes me happy that you don’t burn anyone since you have a cool LED modeling light.

Are you perfect? No, you would do well, at least, to offer an AC option for when you are lounging at home or are working in the studio. But, despite this flaw, you achieve a level of greatness that many have tried to mimic. You even have a smaller sibling in the B2, and you two get along extremely well. Don’t ever stop being the light in my life, B1, and with firmware updates, I can’t imagine you not getting even better with age.

The “Things We Love” series articles are written by B&H Photo Video Pro Audio staff to talk about products and items that we love. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the writers and do not represent product endorsements from B&H Photo Video Pro Audio.


Have two of these babies, they have never let me down!

I sure did love my B1's but I sold them to allow me the oppurtunity to invest into the flexible Flashpoint R2 system. I kept my Profoto M backpack for rememberance though ;) haha. I enjoyed the article Shawn! It definitely has an interesting mood attached to it.

Trolls! Stay away! Go back to the forums and make your comments there. 

Definitely wanna try the B1. Thanks for the article not know what to say about the other comments but the B1 sounds awesome! Thanks for the review. Might have to pick one up