In what may be a response to the huge popularity of Briese parabolic strobes and HMIs (pictured below) in high-line studios, Profoto has introduced their “deep-silver” line of parabolic umbrellas in a variety of sizes: 33″ (small), 41″ (medium), 51″ (large), and 65″ (extra-large). Priced from just $169 to $349, they’re fairly affordable, though more expensive conventional umbrellas. Although the Profoto deep silver umbrellas aren’t as “parabolic” as a Briese, by simply sliding the umbrella shaft along your umbrella mount, and varying the distance between your flash head and the umbrella, you can emulate the truly focusable Briese units for a similar effect.

Briese-1
Briese Focus parabolic HMI on location.

Here’s a quick test shot comparing the Profoto 51″ deep-silver umbrella with a conventional octagonal softbox, an Elincrhom 39″ Rotalux softbox:

Profoto-compare-1AKey:¬†Profoto 51″ deep-silver umbrella, large.

Profoto-compare-2Key:¬†Elinchrom 39″ Mini-Octa softbox.