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Archive 2012 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack
  
 
alaskalive
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


I have Alien Bees and I just ordered the VML, Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack.
I noted that how they hook to your light stand is not all that stable.. so I found the below.. I was wondering if anyone out there has the VML, if they like it.. how they hook it to their light stands...

Vagabond Mini Lithium


Looks pretty good.. but I also note that it can be attached with just one SUPER CLAMP?
Anyone out there with experience with these?

VIDEO

Website



Feb 23, 2012 at 07:02 AM
xtremediver
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


I love mine, it's a cost effective simple solution to a real problem.


Feb 23, 2012 at 01:25 PM
kenyee
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


ball bungies around the VML and light stand, then hang the strap off a knob...



Feb 23, 2012 at 03:02 PM
RJKphoto
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


Buy the VML Bracket from Joe Jack. It's bombproof and worth every penny. All the other solutions are slap-dash at best, including the built in bracket. If you intend to move your lightstand with the VML attached around, just buy the bracket.


Feb 23, 2012 at 05:33 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


Read this



Feb 23, 2012 at 07:18 PM
cbbr
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


RJKphoto wrote:
Buy the VML Bracket from Joe Jack. It's bombproof and worth every penny. All the other solutions are slap-dash at best, including the built in bracket. If you intend to move your lightstand with the VML attached around, just buy the bracket.



I agree 100%. It is a fantastic bracket.



Feb 26, 2012 at 08:28 PM
jdben622
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


The VML is SWEET. The mounting issue has been way over-blown IMO. Yes, the factory clamp sucks. But there are literally a dozen different options that are "OK" and get the job done. Maybe not so refined, but the thing weighs next to nothing, so getting it on a stand REALLY shouldn't be the trip down Drama Lane that so many people have made it to be.


Feb 26, 2012 at 08:37 PM
alaskalive
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


jdben622 wrote:
The VML is SWEET. The mounting issue has been way over-blown IMO. Yes, the factory clamp sucks. But there are literally a dozen different options that are "OK" and get the job done. Maybe not so refined, but the thing weighs next to nothing, so getting it on a stand REALLY shouldn't be the trip down Drama Lane that so many people have made it to be.


Do you think it will fire 2 AB 800s in the field?
Have you used yours outdoors? Any examples of photos?



Feb 26, 2012 at 11:05 PM
jdben622
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


It fires 2 Einsteins in the field. Works great outdoors.


Feb 27, 2012 at 05:51 AM
alaskalive
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


jdben622 wrote:
It fires 2 Einsteins in the field. Works great outdoors.


Thanks..
In the future I will order another one.. but right now, I have 2 lights.. and can only afford one VB Mini...

I am looking forward to trying this setup as soon as I get it!
Pretty exciting to be able to use a new tool!

I wonder what the difference would be between using my ab800 and a 580exII?



Feb 27, 2012 at 05:55 AM
 

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kdphotography
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


VML factory clamp is next to worthless---threw mine in the "junk" drawer.

Tried the Pedco clamp, which is only nominally better than the factory clamp. Threw it in the "junk" drawer" when I got the Joe Jack VML bracket www.vmlbracket.com

I have one of the first versions, made my own simple modifications using the items that are included when you buy a super clamp. There is a difference in the quality of superclamps, but for this application, you don't need a heavy duty (high quality) super clamp. I recommend that cheapie super clamp from Adorama for about $16-18 as I recall. I leave my VML and bracket attached to the lightstand permanently; leave it by an outlet to keep charged. Works perfect----grab and go!

ken



Feb 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


alaskalive wrote:
I wonder what the difference would be between using my ab800 and a 580exII?


With the AB you'd have much more power and a wider option of modifiers but be limited to shooting at the sync limit of your camera.

With the 580exII you'd have less power, fewer (effective) modification options, but when range permits be able to use high-speed sync to shoot at wider apertures than the sync limit would allow. It's also a lighter more mobile solution if you keep your Master / Fill on a flash bracket. I keep my 580ex on my bracket all the time outdoors. I don't always use it, but it's there when I need it.

Most lighting gear choices are compromises between effectiveness, logistics and cost.

If you decide its worth the effort to haul a couple stands and modifiers out on location there's very little difference logistically in using ABs vs. speedlights a couple more pounds of weight.

But if you decide its more important to travel light then a speedlight + bracket + single off camera light approach would better meet that goal, but you'd sacrifice the power and modifier advantages of the Bees.

The ideal solution is to have both sets of tools which allows always having the best match of tools to goals or the logistical limitations of the shooting situation.

If your goal is to make some money to support your family with your photography you can do that with either set to tools by tailoring the type of photography you do to the tools you currently have available. The guy I learned from make a very comfortable living with nothing more than a window, reflector, and a pair of speedlights: one on a bracket, one on a stand.

If you continue to think along the lines of that next piece of gear being what you need to break through and make money you likely never will. Those who are successful and have lot of gear have purchased it with the net profits from all the work sold with the simpler, less expensive gear. If you don't have a business plan like that you'll wind up sooner rather than later as hobbyist with a lot of expensive gear you don't have much use for...





Feb 27, 2012 at 03:20 PM
alaskalive
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


cgardner wrote:
With the AB you'd have much more power and a wider option of modifiers but be limited to shooting at the sync limit of your camera.

With the 580exII you'd have less power, fewer (effective) modification options, but when range permits be able to use high-speed sync to shoot at wider apertures than the sync limit would allow. It's also a lighter more mobile solution if you keep your Master / Fill on a flash bracket. I keep my 580ex on my bracket all the time outdoors. I don't always use it, but it's there when I need it.

Most lighting
...Show more

I agree 100 percent with all you said.. my only comment is this.
I am in Alaska.. and we are getting ready to come out of a long winter.. which means I am eager to start taking photos outdoors...of people...in beautiful settings...so, I want to be ready with what ever equipment I might need.

I have totally been caught up in buying gear... in an effort to be good..

I am done buying things now.
I have the lenses I need.. the camera, the light meter, lights...I would like a Large collapsible modifier to diffuse the sunlight in outdoor shoots, and a particular nd filter.. to be able to blur water flowing down rivers up here...

I did want 2 580exIIs but at 1000.00.. that is not happening.

I am a bit upset that I cannot sync with my alien bees over 180 ss.

I did not know I had that limitation when I bought them.
At any rate, going to use what I have now.. and learn to do better with what I have now.

Your advice hits dead on target!
Thank you for your help, time and effort.

I am reading a lot, studying LIGHT and the effects.. and modifiers...

The only experience I had in the past was I owned 2 430ex flash units.. on stands.. and a canon 20d.. I learned how to use them for a LOT of things..



Feb 27, 2012 at 04:39 PM
RobertLynn
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


I own one, and will be buying another one.

The stand clamp blows. Paul Buff is a genius in so many ways, but I don't know wth he was thinking when he designed that clamp. I threw mine in the garbage.

I use it to fire 1600 and 800 in the field. Works great.



Feb 27, 2012 at 10:54 PM
joejack
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


Thanks to xtremediver, RJKphoto, Chad Berry, kdphotography, and RobertLynn for the kudos on my VML Bracket. In the short time that it's been on the market, I have heard from countless customers of mine who don't know how in the world they ever used the VML in the field without the VML Bracket.

I am, of course, a little biased and have to agree with my customers. However, facts are facts, and the fact is that the VML Bracket is the most superior mounting option for the VML...especially if you're shooting in the field. Yes, there are other options out there, but speaking from experience I can tell you that nearly all other mounting options don't address the main issue when mounting the VML...taking the strain off of the threaded insert in the back of the VML. If the threaded insert is the only point of contact between the VML and the mount...it will inevitably fail.

Thanks again for the kudos guys! I appreciate it!



Feb 28, 2012 at 05:57 PM
RoadconePhoto
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


i honestly dont see how people have a problem with the VML mount... mine works on my light duty 7' stands and my 13' big giant stand without issue... what are you people doing with your lightstands?


Feb 29, 2012 at 05:48 PM
John Skinner
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


The Einsteins and the Mini are a match made above. I've found so few situations where the lights have left me having to think.. It's a no brainier with the combo.

In as much as the clamps.

I took sponge rubber (the tougher kind) and contact cemented a full strip to the entire length of the C part of the clamp, and the flat side. Trimmed with a sharp razor knife after setting and it's been bounced around like a ball whilst moving it here, not a shake, shimee, or move since. A $1.50 fix.



Mar 04, 2012 at 12:09 PM
cbbr
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


I mounted mine to the end of a boom to act as a weight yesterday and it worked great and balanced a WLX1600/beauty dish very well. Probably not the most conventional way to mount it, but the VML/superclamp is super solid.


Mar 07, 2012 at 02:46 AM
alaskalive
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


John Skinner wrote:
The Einsteins and the Mini are a match made above. I've found so few situations where the lights have left me having to think.. It's a no brainier with the combo.

In as much as the clamps.

I took sponge rubber (the tougher kind) and contact cemented a full strip to the entire length of the C part of the clamp, and the flat side. Trimmed with a sharp razor knife after setting and it's been bounced around like a ball whilst moving it here, not a shake, shimee, or move since. A $1.50 fix.


Way to go,, Will research doing this...
I got some great deals this week!!!



Mar 07, 2012 at 07:34 AM
bobk
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Alien Bees and Vagabond Mini Lithium Battery Pack


I lay mine on the ground. It's held up so far.


Mar 13, 2012 at 06:33 AM
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