It’s been a few weeks since the last gold medals were handed out at the international summer games, but Profoto has just laid claim to another world’s-fastest title with the release of the D2 AirTLL Monolights. Available in 500Ws and 1000Ws variants, the D2 can produce bursts of flashes at an incredible 20 flashes per second, with flash durations as short as 1/63,000 second, a currently unmatched feat for a monolight. As has been standard for the past couple years, Profoto’s wireless AirTTL radio system is built in, allowing for seamless TTL and manual control from a compatible remote, as well as integration in a system containing other radio-enabled lights, such as the B1 and B2.
While the Swedish company has been dramatically pushing forward the battery-powered revolution over the past few years, it has decided to redesign its classic mains-powered monolight to deliver a unit with truly awe-inspiring performance. Freezing fast action has never been easier and, thanks to integrated AirTTL receivers, changes can be made comfortably and quickly from a shoe-mounted transceiver. This TTL compatibility offers another speedy feature with High-Speed Sync at up to 1/8,000-second. At the moment Profoto offers Canon and Nikon compatible remotes, but the company expects more options to come in the future.
The light is optimized for speed during operation as well, with an intuitive control scheme and a high-resolution screen. The screen has a redesigned menu system that is optimized for locating and changing settings quickly and easily. Also, when it comes to power adjustments, users can either turn the rear dial for precise 1/10-stop adjustments or press and turn for quickly changing in full-stop increments. In addition to these methods, photographers can fire the light using TTL via a remote to get an automatic exposure and then switch to manual mode to make slight adjustments, since the light retains the previous settings. The units are fast to recycle, with times of 0.03 to 0.6 seconds for the 500Ws unit and 0.03 to 1.2 seconds for the 1000Ws model.
For previewing your exposure, the D2 utilizes a 300W halogen modeling light, which can be set to free, proportional, or off, depending on your situation. Also, it features an integrated reflector that maximizes output and reduces stray light. The flashtube is user-replaceable and high-volume users can pick up an optional High-Capacity Quartz Flashtube that provides about 4-5x the longevity of the standard tube. Additionally, because it maintains the same form factor as previous lights, the D2 is compatible with a majority of Profoto’s Light Shaping Tools, though it does not support some OCF accessories, since it uses a halogen modeling light.
Able to work worldwide thanks to a universal 100-240 VAC internal power supply, users can pick up an additional power cable if they need to go overseas. Also, the D2 will be made available in a couple of two-light kits—a D2 Duo 1000Ws AirTTL Kit and the D2 Duo 500Ws AirTTL Kit—each with two monolights and the new Bag S Plus, which can hold up to three monolights at a time.