Profoto OCF Magnum vs Magnum Reflector vs Zoom Reflector 2

The OCF Magnum Reflector is Profoto's newest addition to their growing OCF line of light shaping tools, accompanied by an OCF Zoom Reflector. Each of these reflectors are more lightweight, portable versions of their "full sized" counterparts, and are designed to work better with the Profoto OCF Flashes, such as the B1/B1X and B2.

The Profoto Magnum reflector is known for its ability to increase light output of the head it's attached to by one stop or more, above a standard reflector, and up to two stop compared to a bare bulb. Additionally, it continues to keep a smooth, even and flooded light; much like a small beauty dish, but with more specular properties, as is consistent with a silver reflector.

While they may be smaller and lighter, they are no less capable than their bigger brothers. Today I'll be comparing the original Profoto Magnum Reflector to the new OCF Magnum Reflector to see how it compares in generating the same amount of power.

Equipment & Method

For the following test(s), I used the equipment listed below:

To test the output of each reflector, I placed my Sekonic L-858 meter at a measured distance of 6' (1.83m) from the lumisphere to the bulb on the B1 head. The lumisphere was in the recessed position to ensure that only flash exposure was being measured. Settings on the meter were common for a scene to be lit entirely by flash: 1/250s, ISO 100.

Each reflector was mounted in varying "zoom" positions on the B1 head, and their results were recorded at each position. Positions tested were "4", "6" and "8",  roughly representing flooded, focused, and spot positions. Any positions in between would, for all intents and purposes, be personal choice, depending on the light characteristics desired.

At each head position, a test fire was conducted, recording the f/stop meter reading. The test fire was conducted 10 times at each position to ensure a consistent result. Only full f-stops were recorded (tenths of a stop were ignored). Additionally, a "bare bulb" reading (without any reflector) was conducted, serving as a control for comparison.

Results

Position "4"

Below are the results achieved by each modifier, compared to the bare bulb reading, at the "flooded" position ("4" on the head):

Profoto Reflector Comparison at Position "4"
Power Setting Bare Magnum OCF Magnum Zoom Reflector 2
2.0 (2J) f/1.1 f/2.2 f/1.8 f/1.4
3.0 (4J) f/1.6 f/2.5 f/2.5 f/2.0
4.0 (7.8J) f/2.2 f/4.5 f/3.6 f/2.8
5.0 (15.63J) f/3.2 f/5.6 f/5.0 f/4.0
6.0 (31.25J) f/4.5 f/9.0 f/7.0 f/5.6
7.0 (62.5J) f/6.3 f/12.7 f/10.0 f/8.0
8.0 (125J) f/9.0 f/18.0 f/16.0 f/11.0
9.0 (250J) f/12.7 f/25.0 f/22.0 f/18.0
10.0 (500J) f/18.0 f/35.0 f/32.0 f/25.0

Profoto Reflector Comparison at Position "4" (B1 Head)

Position "6"

Below are the results achieved by each modifier, compared to the bare bulb reading, at the "focused" position ("6" on the head):

Profoto Reflector Comparison at Position "6"
Power Setting Bare Magnum OCF Magnum Zoom Reflector 2
2.0 (2J) f/1.1 f/2.2 f/1.4 f/1.4
3.0 (4J) f/1.6 f/3.2 f/2.0 f/2.0
4.0 (7.8J) f/2.2 f/4.5 f/2.8 f/2.8
5.0 (15.63J) f/3.2 f/6.3 f/4.0 f/4.0
6.0 (31.25J) f/4.5 f/9.0 f/5.6 f/5.6
7.0 (62.5J) f/6.3 f/12.7 f/8.0 f/8.0
8.0 (125J) f/9.0 f/18.0 f/12.7 f/11.0
9.0 (250J) f/12.7 f/25.0 f/18.0 f/16.0
10.0 (500J) f/18.0 f/35.0 f/25.0 f/25.0

Profoto Reflector Comparison at Position "6" (B1 Head)

Position "8"

Below are the results achieved by each modifier, compared to the bare bulb reading, at the "spot" position ("8" on the head):

Profoto Reflector Comparison at Position "8"
Power Setting Bare Magnum OCF Magnum Zoom Reflector 2
2.0 (2J) f/1.1 f/2.2 f/1.1 f/1.1
3.0 (4J) f/1.6 f/3.2 f/1.6 f/1.6
4.0 (7.8J) f/2.2 f/4.5 f/2.0 f/2.2
5.0 (15.63J) f/3.2 f/6.3 f/3.2 f/3.2
6.0 (31.25J) f/4.5 f/9.0 f/4.5 f/4.5
7.0 (62.5J) f/6.3 f/12.7 f/6.3 f/6.3
8.0 (125J) f/9.0 f/18.0 f/9.0 f/9.0
9.0 (250J) f/12.7 f/28.0 f/12.7 f/12.7
10.0 (500J) f/18.0 f/40.0 f/18.0 f/20.0

Profoto Reflector Comparison at Position "8" (B1 Head)

Analysis

From our tests, it looks like the OCF Magnum compares very favorably with the original Profoto Magnum Reflector, generating about and extra 2/3 stop of power compared to the standard reflector (and 1 2/3 stop compared to a bare-bulb) in a much smaller, more portable package. Transporting the original Magnum Reflector is just about the same as traveling with a traditional beauty dish — it's large, doesn't collapse, and is prone to dents and warping.

Curiously, power is lost on the OCF Magnum and Zoom Reflector 2 in the spotted ("8") position when used with the B1 (and presumably, D1 and D2), heads. My initial thought is that it is likely due to the recessed flash tube/built-in 77° reflector, combined with the smaller physical diameter of the reflector, and the light not being able to "spread" enough to fill the reflector when used in the zoomed position. This causes there to be almost no gains to be had, power-wise, when using the reflector(s) in a fully-zoomed position.

As seen in the light patterns above each of the result tables, the reflectors are filled as such, in the spotted "8" position:

Profoto Magnum, Position "8"

OCF Magnum, Position "8"

Zoom Reflector 2, Position "8"

Compared to in the flooded "4" position:

Profoto Magnum, Position "4"

OCF Magnum, Position "4"

Zoom Reflector 2, Position "4"

At position "8" (fully zoomed/spotted), we see that the combination of the recessed flash tube with the smaller physical diameter of the reflector produces the opposite effect, with the light not being able to spread enough before leaving the reflector to effectively fill the rear of the reflector, resulting in a minor loss of power. The issue is much less pronounced on the larger original Magnum Reflector. Unfortunately, I do not own any Profoto Acute or Pro-series flashes, so I cannot test against an exposed/omnidirectional flash head design to see if the result would be different in the same position(s).

While the OCF Magnum does not quite generate the same amount of power as the original, it does do its job, and I see us using this in place of the original Magnum Reflector when weight and size are a concern. One more thing to consider, though — Since it does not have a "lip", the OCF Magnum is not compatible with any grids or other accesories such as barn doors, whereas the original Magnum has grids, barn doors, and a ProTube available. Hopefully Profoto can devise some sort of clip-on solution for these modifiers for users who need those accessories. In the meantime, good 'ol gaffers tape, flags, and gobos will have to do.

This test was simply to observe the increase in power with each reflector, and not the light pattern which each exhibits — If seeing that is something that might interest you, leave a comment below!


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