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Flash Settings For Profoto A1 and B10

FLASH SETTINGS - PROFOTO A1

  • Modeling Light: Prop - This setting defines how the continuous light intensity is adjusted. “Prop” means that the continuous light is proportional to the flash power. This setting uses the continuous light as a modeling light; which helps you position the model relative to the flash, to analyze the shadows. To adjust the continuous light intensity, twist the Main Dial. "Max" or "Min" means that the continuous light is full power or half power...which is independent of the flash power. The Modeling Light is good for low light focus assist in addition to the A1’s AF Assist. Use proportional all the time for photos or videos as it is easier to control more than 1 light at a time. “Free” on the B10, or “Min” and “Max on A1’s are best when there is only one light to control and is therefore less helpful.
  • Ready: Beep Dim - Flash can notify you when it’s fully cycled by dimming the modeling light after the flash fires. When the flash is ready to fire again, the modeling light brightens and the flash beeps. I like the beep because it reminds me if I left a flash in another room.
  • Head: On - If using an A1 as a trigger from the hot-shoe, then make sure that the head (flash) is off. You don’t want it doing any of the lighting in the room. If using an A1’s as an off-camera flash, the flash’s TTL/Manual Switch is over-ridden and is selected by using AirRemote TTL on camera.
  • Zoom: Set to widest position. Beam angle can be set to 5 different settings from 32mm - 105mm and with wide angle lens it makes the beam angle 14mm - 24mm but about 2-stops of light are lost. Moving (or accidentally bumping) the zoom ring will make the light zoom function goto manual.
  • Air: On - If you turn this feature off, then the built-in Profoto Air transceiver will be deactivated.
  • Channel: 5 - Just make sure all strobes are on the same channel! Channels 1-8 are the options. Profoto Air Channels use 8 specific frequencies in the 2.4GHz band with a range of up to 1000 feet. Hiding a flash behind metal or water-filled objects will reduce the range. Missed triggers at close range may be caused by other electronics transmitting in the 2.4GHz band which can be resolved by making a channel change to all connected flashes.
  • Group: A-D - Using an A1 on camera and turning off it’s flash head, you can now control up to four Profoto A1’s or B10’s with up to 4 Groups (A-D). An Air Remote TTL can only control 3 Groups (A-C), so I don’t use an Air Remote due to this limitation.
  • Backlight: Medium - This will help preserve battery life.
  • Standby: 2 min - This will help preserve battery life.
  • AF Assist: Off - Unless the flash is on-camera there is no need for this and having this feature off will help preserve battery life. The Modeling Light/Continuous Light can also assist the Profoto AF Assist function.
  • Version: Software version.
  • Sync: 1st - The flash fires when the first shutter curtain is fully open. “HI-S”, or High Speed Sync, is also useful for controlling ambient light on bright days. HI-S allows a shutter speed faster than 1/200s (Canon 5D x-sync limit). A shutter speed no faster than 1/8000s can be used.
  • Hi-S Boost: Off - High speed sync. “HI-S”, or High Speed Sync, is also useful for controlling ambient light on bright days. HI-S allows a shutter speed faster than 1/200s (Canon 5D x-sync limit). A shutter speed no faster than 1/8000s can be used.

FLASH NOTES - PROFOTO A1

  • TTL/Manual Technique: It is useful to take the first shot in TTL because you are using the camera’s exposure meter light as if it were an external light meter. Take the first shot with Mode Switch set to TTL to get flashes in Group A-D (using an on-camera A1 w/head off) close to the proper exposure, then switch the Mode Switch to manual to fine-tune each of the lights in each Group.
  • Modeling Light: The angle of light (light spread), will follow the zoom setting on the flash.

FLASH SETTINGS - PROFOTO B10

  • Air Group: E-F - Using the iPhone Profoto App, put the B10’s on Group E and F and these can be controlled by Bluetooth Profoto app.
  • Air Channel: 5 - Just make sure all strobes are on the same channel! Channels 1-8 are the options. Profoto Air Channels use 8 specific frequencies in the 2.4GHz band with a range of up to 1000 feet. Hiding a flash behind metal or water-filled objects will reduce the range. Missed triggers at close range may be caused by other electronics transmitting in the 2.4GHz band which can be resolved by making a channel change to all connected flashes.
  • Air: On - If you turn this feature off, then the built-in Profoto Air transceiver will be deactivated.
  • Bluetooth: On - If using the Profoto App then you would use this to make your flash discoverable to your iPhone. Having this feature off will help preserve battery life.
  • IR Slave: Off - If using Profoto Air then IR Slave is not needed to trigger the lights. Having this feature off will help preserve battery life.
  • Flash Mode: Normal - This should be used for most conditions, but “Freeze” is the other option if you need the flash to freeze fast action.
  • Continuous Light: Prop - Continuous Light, or Modeling Light, should be set to proportional (to the Flash Power) all the time for photos or videos as it is easier to control more than 1 light at a time. “Free” on the B10, or “Min” and “Max on A1’s are best when there is only one light to control and is therefore less helpful. “Prop”. This setting uses the continuous light as a modeling light; which helps you position the model relative to the flash, to analyze the shadows. To adjust the continuous light intensity, twist the Main Dial. To adjust the lighting temperture, twist the Continuous Light Dial. "Free" means that the continuous light is free, or independent, of the flash power. To adjust the continuous light intensity, twist the Continuous Light Dial. To adjust the lighting temperture, push in and then twist the Continuous Light Dial.

Advanced Settings

  • Ready Signal: Sound & Dim - Flash can notify you when it’s fully cycled by dimming the modeling light after the flash fires. When the flash is ready to fire again, the continuous light brightens and the flash beeps. I like the beep because it reminds me if I left a flash in another room.
  • Control Sounds: On - Controls the tactile sounds of buttons and dials.
  • Exposure Warning: Off - I disable the exposure warning sound.
  • Display Brightness: Medium - Auto can be used to change the display brightness to match ambient lighting, but I like to conserve battery power and I make adjustments with the Profoto AirTTL on camera.
  • Standby: 5 Min - After 5 minutes of inactivity the strobe will goto Standby mode. This will help preserve battery life.
  • Auto Off: 15 Min - After 15 minutes of no activity, the strobe will shutoff to preserve battery life.
  • About: Just info in regards to serial number, hardware and installed firmware.
  • Factory Reset: Careful! This resets all the settings back to factory.

FLASH NOTES - PROFOTO B10

  • Stand Adaptor: Head can be mounted on a tripod/ball head by removing stand adaptor first. Umbrellas with 7-8mm shaft mount to stand adaptor.
  • Settings Memory: When power shut-off, the B10 will save the last settings.
  • Buttons: 3 buttons on display from left to right: Continuous Light Dial (small w/sun icon), Main Dial (big) and Test Button (small)
  • Settings: To enter settings, push Main Dial.
  • Flash Power: Adjust flash power with Main Dial twisted clock-wise or counter-clockwise. Power range is adjusted in 1/10 relative f-stops 1.0 to 10.

General Flash Notes

  • Expose for the bright stuff (i.e., lightbulb or window) and flash the dark stuff.
  • ISO controls sensitivity of light and image grain. Flash and ambient exposure (aperture and shutter-speed).
  • Aperture controls both ambient lighting and the flash. A tighter aperture will reduce the brightness of both the strobe and the ambient light through the window, but keep the same ratio of the mix.
  • Shutter-speed has zero effect on the flash. Shutter-speed controls the ambient light (i.e., sky, window light, candles, etc.). So you can go with a faster shutter speed, which reduces the ambient light in the room, yet the flash brightness hasn't changed. But this flash brightness may need to be adjusted to balance the ratio of lighting when shutter speed is adjusted. One limitation is the camera's sync speed.
  • Flash power controls the intensity of the light.
  • Flash to subject distance (inverse square law).
  • GELS: Green (window green) on flash is for fluorescent so set camera white balance to fluorescent. This will only work if there are no other lights (i.e., window lights or tungsten lights). Orange (CTO) on flash is for tungsten lights so set camera white balance to tungsten.
  • Don’t ever point the flash directly at a room as you will harsh shadows. Always put something in front of a flash to avoid the harsh light. Shoot through an umbrella, or bounce the light off the white wall or ceiling.

About David Aronson

Photography & Videography For Real Estate, Interior Designers, Architects & Commercial Buildings - Fort Lauderdale - PhotoGuy.Com