New battery-powered location packs & heads from Priolite

Priolite has launched the MBX 500/1000 monolights, M-Pack 500/1000 generator system and LED-400 continuous lamp.

Priolite MBX 500

The German manufacturer Priolite has launched a slew of new lights at Photokina this year, including new monolights, a generator system and a continuous LED lamp.

The Priolite MBX 500 is a monolight very similar to company’s debut product, the MB 500. The flash head stores 500J of energy and has an 80W LED modelling lamp, both powered by a lithium-ion battery pack built into the body of the flash. As before, you can trigger and adjust the device wirelessly using Priolite’s 2.4GHz Remote Controller. Bowens, Priolite and Hensel light modifiers can be mounted.

What’s new with the MBX? The X stands for “X-changeable” battery: you can now swap batteries in and out during a shoot, versus the non-removable cells on the original MB-series.

Priolite MBX 500

For this capability you sacrifice the MB’s large LCD screen and some battery life — you will get around 220 full power shots per charge instead of 400. However, when away from mains power, the option of carrying multiple extra battery packs will let you keep shooting longer overall.

There are two models, MBX 500 and MBX 1000, weighing 3.2kg and 4.5kg. Both will recycle in 2.5 seconds from a full power flash and the 1000J version will manage around 160 pops before needing a new/recharged battery.

If you reckon it might be risky to put a 4.5kg monolight at the top of a light stand, there are now generator-based Priolites. The M-Pack 500 and M-Pack 1000 clamp to the base of your light stand, acting as ballast for the much lighter Head1000 (1.2kg) that can be positioned up high or on a boom arm.

Priolite M-Pack 500 and Head 1000

Like the MBX-series, the batteries in the M-Packs are user-replaceable, but they do not last any longer. The recycle speeds are also the same as the monolights, so it appears that Priolite’s generator system is designed for redistribution of weight and control — not increased performance.

For film-makers as well as photographers, Priolite LED400 is a continuous daylight lamp with output equivalent to a 400W halogen hot light. The Bowens/Hensel mount means you can use it with your existing lighting accessories. The battery pack is removable (it takes the same kind as the MBX 1000 and M-Pack 1000) and you can remotely adjust the light output with a Priolite RC. The lamp is specified to run for eight hours at minimum power or two hours at full output.

Priolite LED400

How much will these made-in-Germany gadgets cost? The pricing (excluding VAT) is as follows:

  • MBX 500 monolight — €995
  • MBX 1000 monolight — €1,150
  • M-Pack 500 generator — €999
  • M-Pack 1000 generator — €1,350
  • Head1000 flash head — €350
  • LED400 — TBA

There is a list of Priolite distributors here.

David Selby
Based in Paris, France, David Selby is editor of Lighting Rumours, a part-time photographer and a quantitative analyst.
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