After my review of the new Profoto A1, I thought it would be interesting to see how different settings, angles and modifiers would make the light look. So I set up a Nikon D5 with a Profoto A1 on top and started to take a few test shots.
All the example photos in this post has gone through Lightroom with the same settings. I have applied Camera Standard profile and lens adjustments, and set the colour temperature to 5500K.
This it just a quick test to see the difference in light and output with different modifiers such as the Wide Lens, Dome Diffuser, Bounce Card and the larger Soft Bounce. I guess this post might not be approved by scientists, but maybe interesting to have a quick look at?
Settings in this test
I used a Nikon D5 with a 24-70mm/2.8 lens at 35mm on all the photos, aperture f/5.6 and shutter speed 1/200s. The model head was one meter (approx. 3 feet) in front of a light grey paper background and the camera was at the same distance from the head.
The starting point was effect 5 on the Profoto A1.
Click on any photo for a larger version.
Profoto A1 with Zoom setting narrow (105mm)
This is the standard Speedlight-look, but a lot more even spread of light I would say. A bit harsh light maybe, but very effective light-wise. From here everything will steal light in one way or another.
Profoto A1 with Zoom setting wide (32mm)
I have not used the Profoto A1 that much yet, but already I think this will be the zoom setting I will use the most. Maybe.
Profoto A1 with Wide Lens
Here the same effect settings and zoom as the photo above was used. This lens will take away quite a lot of light, as you can see.
Profoto A1 with Wide Lens + Dome Diffuser
Stacking a Dome Diffuser on top of a Wide Lens is maybe not very smart if you want to save batteries, but I forgot to take a photo with just the Dome. In short, it softens the light as you would guess.
And also steal some light.
Profoto A1, 45 degrees up + WL & DD
In my studio, the height is about 3,5 meters and the walls are grey, so the bounce effect is barely visible.
Adjusting effect +1 (5 to 6)
Just to get photos that can show how this combination of angle and modifier, I increased the light output. Here from five to six.
Adjusting effect +2 (6 to 7)
Turning the knob to go from six to seven was not enough.
Adjusting effect +3 (7 to 8)
Increasing a total of three steps on the dial of the Profoto A1 got me back to an exposure that looked alright, compared to using it full on with the effect setting 5.
Profoto A1, 90 degrees up + WL & DD
Again, my studio might not be the best place to show how this flash looks when you point it towards the ceiling.
Profoto A1, 90 degrees up + WL & DD + Bounce Card
But it would need a turn on the dial, or two, to get a good exposure. With a white ceiling, it would of course be different.
The only problem I see with the Bounce Card compared to the larger Soft Bounce is that picking it up from its bag and assembling it will not be something I might do.
That is why I bought the latter.
Profoto A1, 90 degrees up + WL & DD + Soft Bounce
Again, compared to using it straight on with nothing in front of the lens requires three more steps of light from the A1.
Profoto A1, 90 degrees up + Soft Bounce (no mods)
Removing the Wide Lens and Dome Diffuser and using it straight up with only the Soft Bounce gives you more light and more contrast. This is probably the best option when using the Soft Bounce.
Comparison, usual suspects
These four combination of add-ons and setting will probably be the way I will use the Profoto A1 most of the times.
Again, this is not a really scientific test, more of an approximation to show you a few combinations and how they affect the light.
Hope it helps some at least.