Mixing profoto b1 air with speedlights. is it possible?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by erkindemir, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. erkindemir

    erkindemir TPF Noob!

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    Hello,

    I have a head of Profoto B1 with pocket wizards. I am planning to buy a speedlight as background light (also as primarily on camera flash when on location)

    I'm planning to buy Nikon sb-910 or Yongnuo YN-568EX. Can I mix either one with my B1 using Pocket Wizard Plus without buying any additional tool? I searched through the net but couldn't find descriptive information, Hope you guys can help me.

    Have a great day,
    Erkin


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, you can use a Speedlight at the same time, although the colors of the lights might not be exactly the same. As long as you're not trying to illuminate the same object with two different lights, it should be fine. As my own limited experience informs me, the two lights should fire at the same time using PW triggers.

    I absolutely love my SB-910, BTW.
     
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  3. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You can do it, but it's generally not advisable. Color differentiation is usually the issue. You will need a receiver for the strobe.
     
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  4. beachrat

    beachrat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not familiar with the Yongnuo,but the 910 will fire in SU-4 optical mode requiring no other triggers.
     
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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    YES, you can have the Profoto B1 Air units in the same room as the Nikon SB 910 units, but it's verrrry possible the Profoto's light photons will look down on and sneer at the lowly Nikon photons, and will make under-their-breath references, filled with vulgarities, belittling and denigrating the parentage and breeding of the Nikon photons. It is this type of class warfare that makes upper-class and working-class lighting interactions totally unsuitable for children and teenagers to be exposed to.
    *****
    In more practical terms, it would be easily possible for a Nikon SB 910 to go into thermal overload-induced shutdown mode if it were to be repeatedly be exposed to high-power Profoto B1 Air photon cannon attacks. The powerful photon cannon array the B1 Air units have at their disposal could easily overpower the rather skimpy cooling system the SB 910 relies on, a sort of third-world type of cooling called convection cooling, which is not very effective in the polycarbonate tenement type housing that the SB 910 houses not only its flash tube--but also its capacitor and battery array.

    A speedlight is not designed to deliver all that many closely-spaced, full-power flash discharges, whereas something like a Profoto B1 Air unit has the capability to be fired many,many times with no real "rest" period. So, keep an eye on how well the two interact with one another.
     
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  6. beachrat

    beachrat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well,yeah,there's also THAT.
     
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  7. erkindemir

    erkindemir TPF Noob!

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    many thanks for the replies @beachrat @Derrel .

    It's an interesting factor which I never heard of it. so, thanks for your detailed information. what are the potential risks of using them together ? I wonder if this warfare can damage either of my flashes permanently? or more serious healt problems? and what can I do to overcome this problem if I mix them?. like pausing between every shot around around 3 seconds which is the rest period of sb-910 etc.

    again thank you so much for your detailed reply.
     
  8. Vtec44

    Vtec44 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I do that all the time with my Flashpoint Rovelight 600ws and my Nikon SB800's. I gel all of them to about 3700K, using the Rovelight as key and SB800's as rim/back/flare light :D
     
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  9. beachrat

    beachrat No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The biggest risk is the much smaller speedlight overheating and shutting down,possibly doing permanent damage.
    The 900 was known to do this,and that's pretty much why the 910 exists.
    A small light simply cannot keep up with a light as powerful as a Profoto B-1 if you're firing at a rapid rate,as Derrel thankfully pointed out.
    You may very well be better off buying 1 or 2 bigger,less expensive monolights to use for that.
    What kind of photography are you planning to do?
     
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  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The manual is available here in English: http://cdn-10.nikon-cdn.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-910_EN.pdf

    The issue would most likely be doing a longer portrait or modeling type shoot, where the 2.1 second flash recycle time of a small, enclosed flash tube leads to heat build-up when a lot of full-power flashes, or high-powered flashes are fired without some cooling-off time.

    Try this: take a piece of typing paper or printer paper, and place it on a table, then put the flash on the paper, with the flash window touching the paper, then fire two full-power flashes, then look at the paper. The SB 910 puts out a lot of energy and heat.

    When mixing a very powerful flash unit like the B1 Air with a smaller flash, it often means that the smaller flash unit needs to be firing at a fairly high power level to blend with the studio flash's power level.

    With a different battery source, the SB 910 can be recycled in 0.8 seconds.

    SK-6 Power Bracket.

    SD-9 High-Performance Battery Pack. With this pack and 8 AA eneloop, full-power recycling is rated at only 800 mS (0.8 seconds),

    SD-8A High-Performance Battery Pack.

    A speedlight flash has an enclosed flash tube, and the capacitors and batteries can generate a lot of heat too, and the whole unit can simply NOT be fired as many times as as any kind of professional studio flash unit. Even the 3-second waiting will likely not be enough after 20 consecutive flashes...that means that in a fast-paced mixed shoot, with one image every 5 to 8 seconds, the SB 910 is likely going to benefit from a cooling-off period within a few minutes' time if it is used at half power or 3/4 or 1/1 power.

    Unlike the earlier SB-900, the 910 will NOT just shut down for 10 minutes to cool off, like its earlier predecessor, but it will slowly "throttle down", and will increase the recycle times to keep from overheating. The SB 910 recycles VERY FAST for a 4-AA battery flash. But it was not meant to be able to fire 100 flash pops without so much as a minute's cool-off time. ANd that is the big difference between high-end, studio lighting and portable speedlights: one is MEANT to be able to be fired shot after shot after shoot, for hours on end, and the other simply can NOT do that. The B1 500 is about a 500 Watt-second studio flash, the SB-910 is probably about 60-75 Watt-seconds in a rough sort of way of looking at it. That makes the SB 910 likely to require 1/2 or 3/4 power output levels in many situations, when paired with something very powerful.

    YES, speedlights can be mixed with professional flash units that run of of AC power or large inverters or batteries, but SMALL, enclosed-flashtube speedlights will at some point, slow down their recycling time (like the 910 does) OR refuse to fire for 10 minutes, like the SB 900 would, OR will burn up the flash tube or fry something. So, keep in mind you are mixing very high-performance units with smaller flash devices like the SB 910.
     
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  11. erkindemir

    erkindemir TPF Noob!

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    I do portraits to create double exposures recently. However, I rarely shoot catalogs and editorials for the magazines. By your comments, I understand that I should buy a cheap monolight for the fill/ background light to mix with b1, and a speedlight for location shoots which requires only one light and extreme portability.
     
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  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well, you hit upon one thing: with a monolight for the background light, you get real-time feedback on where the light hits, and also, the monolight would be easier to add a honeycomb grid to, or real barn doors to, or a mylar or Tuff-SPun diffuser to. Speedlights are not as easily modified as a "real" studio flash that has a 7-inch or 8-inch, round-pattern reflector that can accept light modifying accessories to.

    Speedlights run off of small batteries--that is their biggest advantage. I would rather have an inexpensive Goddox or Neewer monolight of 150 Watt-seconds, yes. Along with 10-degree honeycomb, 20-degree honeycomb, and 35-degree honeycomb grids for the 7- or 8-inch circular reflector. it is also MUCH easier to gel light and to control the light and how.where it hits a background with a bigger, 7- or 8-inch reflector and barn doors than it is with a speedlight and a 1-inch by 3-inch gel strip.
     

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