Do People REALLY Buy Broncolor?!!


So this morning, Broncolor just sent me an email titled, “10 Things You Should Know About the Broncolor Move 1200L Outdoor Para Kit”, and I hafta say, I’ve been fascinated with this spendy bit of kit since they announced it last year, so I wasted a little time and clicked the link. Here’s what you get:

The Super-Dooper-Fast Move 1200 L power pack…


One MobiLED lamphead…


A Para 88 reflector with mounting adaptor…


And a nifty Outdoor Trolley Backpack…


…but after reading the 10 things Broncolor feels we need to know about this light, I came up with the only thing I needed to know…THE DAMN THING COSTS OVER $10 GRAND!!!!!

Actually, to be fair to Broncolor, it’s only $9,354.10…but toss in the tax in New York, and that’ll set you back $10160.89, and that is a stunning amount of cash for a battery powered light and an umbrella!!!

But before you all pile on to tell me how great the thing is and how fast it’s flash duration might be and how it has NO competition out there (How about an Einstein, a PLM and a Vagabond for about $800 bucks?!!), believe me, I know it’s kinda cool, but $10 Grand worth of cool?!!

I dunno…unless I had a winning Powerball ticket in my pocket, it simply seems like a tremendous mis-allocation of funds to me…

17 thoughts on “Do People REALLY Buy Broncolor?!!

  1. A Swiss engineered backpack with wheels. That’s got to be worth $2000 alone.

    You’ve got a point…Swiss-made ball bearings to keep you rolling along smoooooooothly!!! BT

  2. Kudos to the vagabond, Einstein, and PLM. I’ve been using AB gear for several years, and while they ain’t no ProFoto, they are cheap, rugged, and very dependable. I have a couple of AB 400 monos with the same flash tube that came with them in 2007, and I shoot A LOT. This Broncolor system looks awesome, but yes, ridiculously expensive. I am so tired of over-priced photo gear. However, with ProFofos, you get what you pay for- the quality and consistency with them is amazing, especially in the hands of someone who knows how to really finesse some light.

  3. $800 for the Paul C Buff kit if you live in the US – $1612 if you live in the UK. How does that stack up?

    Well, that may be true, but you guys can buy an Aston Martin DBS for only £160,000, while us poor bastards in the US hafta pay $275,000 for the same thing!!! So my advice is buy the DBS, and with the 30 Grand you saved, you can buy all the Einsteins your little heart desires!!! BT

  4. the photo of the boncolor product is taken with a Hasselblad H4D-40 ! that’s a expensive tool to finish on a webpage too ^^

  5. There’s a pretty good comparison of the B4 and Move here I think Broncolor comes out on top. The price is high but I guess I can understand that they don’t want to undercut their studio pack options. Pretty crazy that Profoto has the promo for the AcuteB2 packs with a head for around $2k and their next option for less than a stop of light is around $10k with a head. I can see these packs being big in the rental industry but not for the guys that own their own gear.

    Honestly, I have no bid on either the Broncolor OR Profoto systems, simply because of the prohibitive pricing. I’m sure if the occasion arose where I needed a Super-Speedy battery solution, I could rent the Broncolor, but in my World those shoots are very far apart. I will say, Broncolor has been kickin’ it when it comes to besting Profoto in the speed game, in both their battery units and studio strobes. BT

  6. The Broncolor system will pair nicely with that Ferrari Red Hassi, and of course the Platinum level Creative Cloud subscription! And although I am secretly drooling over the new Broncolor Move, for a battery system I’d rather use the good ol’ indestructible Elinchrom Ranger. …you can get three of those for the price of one Broncolor Move!

  7. “Do people really buy…” Yes they do in the same way that they buy a Nikon D4 rather than a D3100.
    This equipment is expensive but you could lease it and there are tax advantages (in the UK) in doing so and as Steve says you could always hire.

    Tax incentives/deductions aside, I still fail to see any kind of a mass appeal for this particular system. We all know Broncolor (and Profoto, for that matter) gear costs an arm and a leg, but this unit is so specific in what it can do differently from other battery units that for anyone to decide they must own it, they had better do a ton of work where they always shoot outside and need crazy-fast flash durations! If not and if you just feel that because it’s ‘The Best” you hafta own it, then you either have too much money or shit for brains! BT

  8. I don’t need the ultra fast flash duration all of the time. I’m not a photographer that has water flying around in every shot but the stopping power would be nice for some action photography. For me the frustrating thing is that there aren’t that many more options for the power/flash duration combination. You can buy Einstein monolights or $10k+ packs. The other companies need to step it up.

  9. A new roof on our house cost less than 10 grand and has a 50 year warranty! Anyway, I wonder if you bought this, if you could rent it out to other photographers to help with the cost… Or share between friends (really good friends of course).

  10. Tell you what, Brad – you send me the cash for the Aston Martin DBS , and I’ll send you the cash for the Paul C Buff stuff. Then we can swap!

  11. Hiya Brad, fellow displaced Canuck here in Northern Ireland (found out about you through Barron’s). I grew up with Profoto; learning in school on Pro 3’s and moving up from there to 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, B’s etc. While I agree that Broncolor is nice gear I can never take it seriously just for the rental factor alone.
    A very wise man who ran Profoto in North America years ago, embedded Profoto deep into as many rental houses as he could. That, bottom line, is the only reason Profoto is where it is today. Yes they make an awesome product and Broncolor run almost identical stats for most of the gear but when I travel it is great to know that I can rent lighting gear I know and my assistants know, anywhere (almost) in the world now.
    I do think Broncolor have something with the LED’s in the Move but other than that the B4 is head and shoulders above it. Think about only having 4 of these packs and 6 heads and nothing else . . . no more studio packs. Just run these on battery power and keep charging them as you use them.
    Yes, but until I win the Lotto I will stick with my PF 600B’s, I love them.

  12. I do have procured some time ago two Move kits. Before I used the Prio-Lite . And what I can say after a few months of use that the broncolor is a great piece of kit, quality and stability.
    It is indeed not cheap, however it is accurate is no other….
    At the end it all depends what you want to achieve with your photography or how much work you want to do in the Post Processing.
    Its like cars, one can drive a cheap fiat or scoda or decide to drive a BMW / Merc…. all depending the condition where and how you want to drive .
    So, i am hooked to it and very glad that I did buy them.

  13. I’ve used and owned a lot of lighting gear in the past and the broncolor and profoto stuff is the best out there. well made, good color consistancy, easy to hire at rental studios. Elinchrom comes close but i don’t think they are well made.
    A lot of people rave about Paul C Buff equipment- i’ve used them and they are ok, colour isn’t so great and so are the modifiers. cheap but i’m sure if they can afford the best profoto gear they would buy it.

  14. If it’s gear that lasts years, produces top results for years. Does all you want slick and easy, I’d pay it.
    In fact a number of years ago I did, I had lots of Bron studio lighting, a joy to work with, you forgot about it.
    Now the Bowens stuff I’ve had and have is completely unreliable. If I needed lighting day in day out , come rain come shine, to earn my living I would be straight back to Bron without a second thought. Use it, then judge it’s worth, paper specs will not do it for you, you just need to fit it in your workflow. I miss needing such gear with the photography I do now.

  15. Well: To be fair: The light kit ist around 6 grand, the Para is almost for alone. It’s way more than just “an umbrella” even though the price is still hard to justify. It’s a focussable deep tera box. It’s more something you buy because it lasts years and you do a lot of jobs with it so at the end the price doesn’t matter to you or you rent it. Move people I know rent that stuff – same for Briese.

    I’m renting it from time to time and the rent rate is around 50 for the Move, 15 for the lamp and 70 for the Para = 135 for a day. The Move is pretty awesome and also cooler than the Mobil A2L/R (cooler in terms of UI but the end result is about the same) but you gotta decide for yourself.

    I personally like broncolor. You just gotta be aware that equipping a studio will set you back at least 20-30 k if you buy new – same as Profoto. I bought some of my stuff used and can’t complain.

  16. Very nice about the broncolor light is that its light has a very nice consitency.
    It is very reliable when it comes to light temperature and will always give a nice 5500K.
    I know it costs a lot, but if you buy 3 batteries for it you can make up to 4000 pictures perhaps?
    Another reason why spending so much money on broncolor lights might just be that if you care
    for it the proper way it can last for decennia. This normally won’t give up on you within the next 10 years,
    something the cheaper lights will definately do, maybe even within the first 5 years.

    It is a big investment, but roughly you pay for good technology, long durability, stable colors,
    manageable colors and most of all because it’s allround and very portable.

    I can only say it’s worth the money, but of course one must first have the money before he can buy this…
    and that may be a problem to many photographers.

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