KLinh Evelyn Grace Photography

January 16, 2011

Profoto D1 Monoblocs

One of the newest additions to our studio gear are two profoto d1 kits. We recently made the switch from Paul C. Buff Alien Bee lighting to profoto. One of the main reasons for the switch was consistency and color temperature at low power output settings. Are we pleased? I can honestly say that we are 110% pleased with our decision.  The Alien Bees are wonderful for what they are but they just weren’t accurate enough for what Evelyn and I wanted. We wanted control from beginning to end. Just the mere fact that the D1’s are adjustable in 1/10th increments was a dream come true. Yes, we are well aware that the new Einstein lighting by Paul Buff are the new promise in lighting, but the track record we have had with the Alien Bees have left us skeptical. Try using a light meter with an alien bee and see how consistent the readings are. Sometimes they are, but we found that most times we would have to check the light meter three or four times just to be sure of accuracy. With the Profoto D1 monoblocs we get dead on accuracy with every reading.

So we decided on two separate profoto kits.

1. The D1 500 air kit:  perfect for smaller studios, comes with two profoto umbrellas and two stands. Also included is the air remote which is a dream come true when working with monoblocs that are high up on the stands. No need for pocket wizards but keep them around just in case.  Using a Sekonic light meter with the air remote takes some getting used to because your basically operating two devices just to get a reading.  Also my Sekonic L-358 doesn’t read in 1/10th increments so you might want to upgrade that, but it’s easy to gauge with a little logic and common sense.

2. The D1 1000 air kit:  Great for larger studios and smaller studios due to the 7 stop range in power.  Perfect for outdoor use (This baby can overpower the sun) We haven’t tested it out with our Vagabond II portable battery yet but soon will. Same as the D1 500 kit exactly except for the 1000ws instead of 500ws.

3. We also decided to pair up the D1 Kits with Creative lighting softboxes and octaboxes and a 22″ profoto soft light reflector (beauty dish).  If your going to be using softboxes and beauty Dishes I would highly recommend purchasing the frosted glass dome for better light distribution.  On a smaller softbox 2×3 it doesn’t make much of a difference but any larger than that it begins to be very noticeable. Not necessarily in light fall off but I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way the light feathers around the edges.

4. Oh and one last extremely important point:  I’ve found that Hot Spots are almost non existent or at the very least easily controlled using the Profoto D1’s and that is a dream come true. Alien Bee lighting uses a silver reflector that seems to enhance hot spots (at least in my opinion)  – That is a huge time savor in post.

Thanks for reading


So if you are interested in reading more about the Profoto D1 Monoblocs just go to:

Thanks for keeping up – feel free to ask any questions:

PS.  We do love the products of Paul C. Buff – and really appreciate what they’ve done for the industry, we are not knocking them in any way. They were great during the time that we used them. This entry is just opinion.





  1. really nice author and his text

    Comment by pozycjonowanie stron — February 1, 2011 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

  2. your good

    Comment by katie — February 19, 2011 @ 6:15 am | Reply

  3. Thanks for posting your review on the D1’s. I’m considering strongly the purchase of a similar set and was wondering if you could answer a couple questions?
    Have you tried the Vagabond with the 1000’s yet? If yes, how did it perform?

    Thank you.

    Comment by Curt Davis — August 3, 2011 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  4. Curt,
    Funny thing about the Vagabond. We purchased one about four years ago and forgot to put it on a trickle charge on it for about a month and well we haven’t quite got around to replacing the battery.

    To answer your question regarding the D1 1000 with the vagabond.

    We have a bat pac that we use and it works wonderful. The vagabond system should be able to handle a shoot with the D1 1000 no problem. It won’t last as long as the bat pac or running a d1 500 obviously, but the wonderful thing about the D1’s is the beautiful beep letting you know that it’s ready for discharge. Most photographers who shoot with flash tend to take their time in between exposures anyway so the factor is depending on how fast you shoot. I think by now you should be able to rent a pair with a vagabond to test them out for a weekend.

    click here:
    http://www.borrowlenses.com/category/Profoto (the d1 500 kit 3 days for $90.00 wooohooo)


    http://www.borrowlenses.com/product/vagabond_II (3 days for $20.00 can’t beat that!!!)

    Good Luck Curt,
    Let us know how it works out!!!!

    Comment by KLinh Evelyn Grace Photography — August 5, 2011 @ 4:22 pm | Reply

  5. Thank you. I decided to go with 4 of the 500’s along with 4 Vagabond Mini’s and 4 additional spare batteries so hopefully that gives me enough juice on location. Everything should start arriving in the next few days so I’ll give it a go and hopefully no looking back.


    Comment by Curt Davis — August 11, 2011 @ 6:16 am | Reply

  6. Let me know how it performs using D1 500 with Vagabond mini..I really want to buy D1 but I wanna use it outdoor too but I think their batpac is just way too heavy.

    Comment by Mike — September 4, 2011 @ 11:29 pm | Reply

  7. ” .. Also my Sekonic L-358 doesn’t read in 1/10th increments so you might want to upgrade that, but it’s easy to gauge with a little logic and common sense.”

    Your Sekonic 358 will read in 10ths (aperture) if you set the 3rd dip switch “on” (UP) and the 4th dip switch “off” ( DOWN).

    Comment by Gregg — January 17, 2012 @ 8:28 pm | Reply

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