The best high-end lighting gear
If money is no object, consider these options for your studio.
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There are already lots of great gear roundups for beginners and photographers on a budget. The strobes, kits and LED panels below fall into another category entirely. The gear featured here is for professional photographers who want to invest in the best possible lighting equipment on the market without flinching when they see the price tag. The key word here is “invest.” No need to question quality, reliability or performance, the gear below delivers to the highest standard on all fronts.
Profoto D2 1000 Monolight
The Profoto D2 is the brand’s flagship monolight, offering 1000Ws of power with 10 stops of output control in 1/10 or full stop increments, flash durations as short at 1/50000s (t0.5), recycle time of 0.03 to 1.2 seconds, and a burst mode that can fire up to 20 flashes per second. Additionally, you get Through the Lens (TTL) metering, High Speed Sync (HSS) support that allows you to use the flash at shutter speeds up to 1/8000s, and extremely consistent color temperature (+/- 20K) from flash to flash. The Profoto D2 1000 AirTTL is not battery-powered like the brand’s B1X or B10 monolights, but this allowed Protofo to pack much more power into a light that’s still completely self-contained.
Broncolor Siros 800 L Monolight
The Siros 800 S is the most powerful battery-powered monolight Broncolor makes, delivering 800Ws of power while still promising 220 full-power flashes per charge. The Siros 800 S offers 9 stops of power control in either 1/10th or full stop increments, a recycle time of 0.03 to 2.7 seconds, and a minimum flash duration of 1/7400 of a second (t0.5). The flash also supports HSS up to 1/8000s as long as you’re using an RFS2.2 trigger. It’s not quite as fast or powerful as the Profoto D2, but if you need the convenience and versatility of a battery-powered monolight without sacrificing much power, the Broncolor Siros 800 S is the way to go.
Profoto B10 Plus Duo
Smaller than anything else in this power range, the Profoto B10 Plus boasts 500Ws of power with 10 stops of control, a recycle time of 0.05 to 2.5 seconds, TTL support and HSS up to 1/8000s, all inside a housing that’s only 9.3 inches long and weighs just 4.2 lbs with the battery and stand adapter attached. The flash can fire up to 200 full-power flashes on a single charge and, as a bonus, the built-in modeling lamp is both brightness and color temperature adjustable, outputting up to 2500 lumens with a CRI of 90-96. The Profoto B10 Plus Duo Kit packs two of these monolights into the Profoto Core BackPack S along with two batteries, two chargers, two power cables, and a stand adapter for each.
Westcott Flex Cine Peter Hurley Kit
The Westcott Flex Cine LED lights are high-output, flexible LED mats that have become popular with photographers who occasionally trade in their strobes for continuous lights. Each mat is fully dimmable and daylight balanced at 5600K, with an impressive CRI rating of up to 96. The flexible mats can be used as they are, or you can mount them to Westcott’s lightweight Flex Cine frames so you can attach them to light stands, add diffusion material, and use them as a standard LED panels. The Westcott Flex Cine Peter Hurley Kit was designed for professional headshot photographers, and includes three 1 x 2-foot Flex Cine Daylight Mats with Flex Cine frames, two Scrim Jim Cine full-stop 2-layer diffusion scrims, dimmers, AC power adapters, shoulder straps, mounting hardware, and a roller bag tailor-made for this particular kit.
Broncolor Siros 400 L Outdoor Kit
The battery-powered Siros 400 L monolight at the core of this kit offers 400Ws of power with 9 stops of adjustment in 1/10th or full stop increments, a recycle time of 0.03 to 1.2 seconds, and a minimum flash duration of 1/11300 of a second (t0.5). We really wish Broncolor had packed about 100Ws more power into this monolight, but to their credit, the drop in power allowed them to squeeze an impressive 440 full-power flashes per charge out of the battery. At 12.6 inches long and weighing 6.8 lbs without the battery, it’s much larger and heavier than the Profoto B10 Plus, but it’ll last almost twice as long in the field. The Broncolor Siros 400 L Outdoor Kit is an all-in-one kit that includes two of these monolights, their batteries, one charger, one silver/black umbrella, one softbox with adapter ring, one sync cable, and a convenient roller bag.