I like working with these lights. They recycle fast and crisp. They fire every time, and we have never been able to overheat them, even when enclosed in a softbox.
To give you an idea of what we put them through: With some models, we work very slow and methodically. We pose them, give them breaks between shots to get a face or pose back, etc. But sometimes a model just clicks into a groove and every time she stops moving, the image through the lens is better than the previous one. We have timed sets of a few models, and when they click, and the action starts, we can easily average between 20-24 shots per minute! That’s 2-3 seconds between shots… as an average!
Obviously this is not full power all the way, but still, most other lights will build up heat pretty fast in such conditions, and either damage or shut down to protect themselves.
These lights are expensive, but they are good. If you are planning to buy lights for long and hard use, I can happily recommend them. If you have assistants and training photographers that will be using your lights. These will go the distance. I honestly think that they will last quite a bit longer than any other brand of light under hard use. There is a reason why many of the bigger rental companies stock Profoto.
Personally, I would be happy to go for the non-”Air” units and keep my triggering to PocketWizards. It leaves me with a single trigger solution for both flash and cameras, and a cheaper lighting solution. Also, I am often in a scenario where I need to trigger multiple light types (like speedlights in a cupboard or shooting in from outside through a window) in which case, I can just add another remote trigger. Also, they are pretty common if I need to pick up a few more, or even rent a few more for a specific shoot. The Air-sync units are more than capable, just not as common or versatile.
Article and Photographs by Sean Nel – Shoots Imaging