Profoto Deep Umbrellas - My Thoughts

*Disclamer: I am in no way a product reviewer, and this post will have nothing in terms of graphs or technical comparisons, but quite a few people have been asking me what I think of these modifiers since I started using them, so I thought I would share my experience thus far.

Just over a month ago I was looking to replace a few of my sacred octaboxes as they have been put through the ringer over the last 5+ years, and the bent poles / ripped fabric were starting to look a little ghetto. 

I've always been a big fan of the circular modifiers. From the catch lights to the way the light travels across the faces of my subjects, circular has always been my preference. Octaboxes became my weapon of choice, as umbrellas were typically to shallow to have the control I wanted to create the dramatic style of portraits that I am known for.

Enter the Profoto Deep Umbrella. 

I picked up one Profoto Deep White L (51") w/ optional diffusion panel which essentially just turns it into a circular softbox (like an octa), as well as two Profoto Deep White M (41") w/ the diffusion panels. My reason for going with the white vs the silver is that I will often use these umbrellas without the diffusion panel when I want the shadows to be a little harder, but silver tends to be too hard for my taste.

A few samples of what the Profoto Deep L without the diffusion panel looks like:

And then a few using the Profoto Deep White L mixed with constant light + shutter drag to create some motion in the image:

What I like:

  • They are deep, and deep means beautiful light and contrast, which I am obviously a huge fan of.
  • The ease of setup, which means that my assistants, whether brand new to the game or experienced, will all know how to open an umbrella. The bent poles / ripped fabric on my octaboxes that I mentioned earlier were typically the result of new assistants not knowing how to setup or take down modifiers properly. This also makes setup and take down take far less time.
  • Way more portable than any other modifiers I own. They fit into slim bags, and all 3 slide into the lid compartment on my ThinkTank Production Manager 40 studio case. No more stacking of modifiers on carts to move from location to location.
  • Build quality is awesome. Every photographer that I've shown them to instantly says they feel solid. It's Profoto, so I guess it should be expected.

What could be better:

  • I wish the pole could be split via a threaded section, so that when I move the light deep into the umbrella to focus the light more, the pole wasn't sticking out like a spear waiting to take out someone's eye.
  • I'd say cost but you get what you pay for, and yes $350 cdn for an umbrella seems a little pricey, but for a modifier that is as versatile as these are, and will last for as long as I expect them to, they are priced fairly. 

With that, here are a few more portraits, using the Profoto Deep White L w/ diffusion panel, and a Profoto Deep White M for fill. Behind the scenes image for these images at the top of the post.

So to wrap up, if you've been looking at these modifiers as an option for your kit, I wouldn't hesitate to tell you to pull the trigger.

Questions? Use the comments below.

I also post a lot of behind the scenes images and videos to my IG account, so if you don't follow me already, be sure to check out some content on there: