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Gear & Apps

New Profoto D2 Is Built For Speed | “World’s Fastest TTL Monolight’

By Bing Putney on September 19th 2016

Adding to their already impressive lineup of lighting gear, last week Profoto announced the D2 monolight, a successor to their D1 studio strobe. If you’re already familiar with Profoto’s offerings, you may, at first glance, think this new light to be simply an AC powered version of the highly touted B1, and you would be mostly correct. Both lights share the same headline features: High Speed Sync, TTL, and built-in Air Remote compatibility. The D2, however, has another party trick up it’s sleeve: Speed.

The D2 offers a freeze mode, capable of achieving a flash duration of 1/63,000 of a second for stopping fast motion, as well as a burst mode, providing up to 20 flashes per second. Profoto calls it the “world’s fastest TTL monolight.”

These capabilities open up a world of possibilities for studio photographers. If you’ve ever wanted to incorporate splashing water or breaking glass into a photo shoot, now you can use the D2 to completely freeze the action and get tack sharp droplets or shards, and the incredible recycle times allow this light to keep up with the blazing fast burst shooting rates of flagship sports shooters like the Canon 1DX MK2, and Nikon D5.

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Another notable difference from its battery powered brother is the output. The B1 maxes out at 500 Watt Seconds, and has a power variability of 9 stops. The new D2 is available in two versions, a 500Ws and 1000Ws, each boasting 10 stops from minimum to full power. The D1, for comparison, only has a 7 stop range. Shooting at 1000Ws, and using HSS to bump the shutter speed to 1/8000 will allow photographers to completely overpower the sun, and make the middle of the afternoon look like dusk.

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Of course, as this is a Profoto product, it comes with pro-grade build quality and price tag. The design is remarkably similar to the B1 heads, minus the battery pack, and it’s compatible with over 120 light shaping tools. Although we haven’t yet had a chance to get our hands on this new light, the spec sheet combined with Profoto’s track-record suggest that it will be a solid addition to any studio photographer’s lighting arsenal.

The D2 is now available for pre-order from B&H: D2 500Ws and D2 1000Ws, for $1,495 and $1,995 respectively.

PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS

  • 500Ws Monolight, 300W Modeling Lamp
  • Built-In AirTTL Radio Receiver
  • 0.03-0.6 Sec Recycling
  • 1/63,000 Sec Freeze Mode Flash Duration
  • Quick Burst: Up to 20 Frames per Second
  • 10-Stop Power Range: 1-500Ws
  • High Speed Sync to 1/8000 Sec
  • High Resolution Display
  • Compatible with 120+ Light Shaping Tools
  • 100-240 VAC

More information is available at Profoto.com

About

Bing is a professional portrait and on-set still photographer who lives in Los Angeles, and frequently travels the world to explore new and interesting cultures and pastries.

Website: bingputneyphotography.com
Instagram: @bingputney

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Steve Korn

    Important to note, the D2 will not work with portable power, like a vagabond etc.  The only thing with enough power besides an AC wall outlet is a gas powered generator with a minimum of 800w constant output.

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  2. Stephen Jennings

    “will allow photographers to completely overpower the sun, and make the middle of the afternoon look like dusk.”

    I’m pretty sure this meant to be a studio light. B1’s are great on location, being so compact and battery powered.. these, not so much.

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    • Rodney Turner

      The videos Profoto posted show great ways to apply the D2 indoor and out when speed is necessary. The B1 is excellent for location.

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