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Archive 2012 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip
  
 
jzucker
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


i have read about some problems with heavy modifiers on the Elinchrom lights due to the plastic housing. Maybe it really isn't any better?


Jul 06, 2012 at 12:18 AM
tedwca
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


I have had issues with the Elinchrom mount also, but that is from the actual mount on the modifier getting slightly bent. It's pretty sensitive to alignment.

I prefer the Profoto mount to anything else.



Jul 06, 2012 at 12:48 AM
jzucker
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


Finale chapter in the saga. Got my new einsteins today.

(2) Einsteins
(2) CSR+ receivers for my AB1600s
(2) CSXCV receivers for the einsteins
(1) Cyber commander

Total cost, approximately $1500

unpacked one einstein, the cyber commander, one csxcv, one csr+. Hooked everything up, went through the setup and config, set up freq, channels, etc. Confirmed that the freq and channel setup worked by varying the modeling light and firing the flash from the einstein but I could not fire the flash on the AB1600. The ab1600 was on the right freq and channel which was verified by the fact that I could adjust the modeling light and flash power but I could not fire the flash. Finally, I hooked up my other ab1600 and moved the csr+, the RJ11 phone cord and optical slave disabling cable over to it. Turned on the power, plugged in the RJ11 and voila, i could adjust the modeling light, the flash power and I could fire the flash. But why not on the other AB1600?

Dunno, but that was the final straw for me. Forget about how hoakey it is that you need to power the flash ab1600 on, then plug the in the CSR+ RJ11 cable in or it doesn't work. Forget about the fact that even though I'm plugging in an $89 CSR+ receiver interface into it and I still have to disable the optical slave manually by plugging in a mini-cable. Forget about the fact that I can't use rechargable batteries in the cyber commander or that it's $100 more than the Elinchrome Skyport or that it's user interface is ridiculously stupid. It just doesn't work with all my ab1600 lights. The light that doesn't work works just fine with my stratto receiver.

So, like the mounting mechanism, it seems that the ABs are unreliable non-deterministic. I basically am of the mind that the AB stuff is good, cheap stuff but not pro-caliber gear.

And I'm tired of broken flash tubes, modifiers falling off the flashes, flashes not firing, etc.

I just want it to work. So like someone else said, I used alien bees for a while and got a lot of good use out of them but it's time for me to make the investment in Elinchrome and not look back.

I'll be selling one AB1600, possibly an AB400, some softbox adapter rings, and a kacey 22" beauty dish....



Jul 06, 2012 at 01:13 AM
hondageek
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


Well here's my (non-fanboy) update to Jzucker's AB mounting/speedring saga:

I called him out on the fact that the modifiers don't just fall off. In fact, I offered to buy the defective AB1600 because I knew there was nothing wrong with it. I was correct. I put my money where my keyboard is and received the 1600 about an hour ago along with one of the speedrings. The speedrings aren't even close to the correct mount. They are an ultra cheap ring that's definitely not for an AB light.

Problem solved.



Jul 13, 2012 at 01:19 PM
jzucker
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


those were from fotodiox and now I'm realizing that fotodiox really sucks because I bought a bunch of speedrings from them for my new Elincrhom setup and they don't even fit on the light. The cutouts are incorrect. I've emailed them and called them with no response.


Jul 13, 2012 at 01:25 PM
jzucker
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


p.s. matt - no need to be so confrontational. Be glad you got a good deal and leave it at that.


Jul 13, 2012 at 01:50 PM
hondageek
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


Sorry. I didn't mean to be confrontational.

Edited on Jul 13, 2012 at 02:39 PM · View previous versions



Jul 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM
AlphaValues
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


hondageek wrote:
The speedrings aren't even close to the correct mount. They are an ultra cheap ring that's definitely not for an AB light.


@hondageek What speedrings do you recommend? I'm looking at http://paulcbuff.com/speedrings.php and I don't see any of the ring inserts available, only the entire mounting bracket (part #LGSR). I have problems with a 60" octa on my E640s, but I've been suspecting it's a problem with my cheap ring rather than the (admittedly not optimally designed) retaining hooks on the mount.

Has anyone tried wrapping gaffer tape around the inside circumference of the speed ring to reduce the diameter and increase grip, or is that a dumb idea because of the potential for issues with heating? I never use the modeling light, btw.



Jul 13, 2012 at 08:31 PM
hondageek
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


I use the LGSR with all of my Chimera boxes and haven't had any issues.

Actually, the other day I put one of the bare LGSR speedrings on one of my E640s and put it face down on the floor. I stepped on the edges of the ring and tried to pull the light off. I pulled to the point that I thought I was about to damage the light and it never came off.



Jul 13, 2012 at 08:36 PM
supergimp
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


It's been awhile, so I'm going to apologize in advance for not having all of the details, but I had the opportunity to get a few cheap (fotodiox-ish) softboxes for free and so I took them and even though they appeared to have AB mounts, I had a similar problem. On a whim I purchased one of the old style speedrings from Buff, removed the part that fits the light (the spun stainless part that is held on with thumbscrews) and fitted it to one of the softboxes and it has worked great since. Since then, I've occasionally bought Buff-compatible speedrings off of eBay for a lot less and used just the part with the hole to convert the others.

That said, I'm really impressed with the Elinchrom BxRi and will probably upgrade at some point, but it means replacing many lights as well as a bunch of modifiers and the CyberCommander - which I LOVE but needs a UI designer from Apple or someplace to rework it - it's a brilliant product but was obviously designed by an engineer and not for the impatient - but once you get it, it's awesome.



Jul 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
 

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AlphaValues
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


Thanks for the replies. So the fitting insert on the LGSR is removable from the bracket? I have Ez-Pro boxes with an umbrella style bracket, so I can only swap out the insert.


Jul 13, 2012 at 09:14 PM
hondageek
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


Yes. It has 4 screws holding the insert into the ring. Whether the insert is the same O.D. as yours, I don't know.


Jul 13, 2012 at 09:18 PM
hondageek
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


Here are a couple of photos of the speedring that the O.P. was having issues with, and PCB's LGSR ring:

This is the O.P.'s ring:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nkahsbwlhker0bx/IMAG0992.jpg

This is how it fits on an AB/E640:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4dsekpvgmn03dxz/IMAG0989.jpg

This is the LGSR:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4opvppuhde76ngq/IMAG0994.jpg

This is how it fits on an AB/E640:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8vqi3j6sxgie12d/IMAG0995.jpg

Another:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ly8s7ly1idn0eg6/IMAG0996.jpg

The two rings together:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/fcypkvyt6hmr138/IMAG0997.jpg



Jul 13, 2012 at 09:31 PM
supergimp
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


That ring was sold as AB/Balcar compatible? I'll admit I've seen other mounts that lend more confidence than AB/Balcar, but that isn't close to the proper geometry.


Jul 13, 2012 at 09:40 PM
hondageek
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


I guess? As soon as I opened the box from him and saw that ring I knew why his softbox kept falling off!


Jul 13, 2012 at 09:46 PM
kenyee
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


AlphaValues wrote:
Has anyone tried wrapping gaffer tape around the inside circumference of the speed ring to reduce the diameter and increase grip


Do *NOT* do this. The problem w/ most rings is that the inner diameter is *TOO SMALL*. The fingers have to go all the way out to fully lock tight. If you have access to metalworking equipment, it's better to get rid of material on the inner diameter until they do...

BTW, I didn't find hondageek's post to be confrontational at all. Most of us were wondering what in the world was going on and that pretty much sums it up. The photos were crystal clear and if jzucker had just posted a photo of it mounted on the AB or bought one of the PCB foldables instead of buying cheapy Fotodiox softboxes instead of firing up multiple threads griping about how it's a known problem that customer support wouldn't admit too, it would have been solved long ago and everyone would have been a lot happier



Jul 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM
jzucker
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


fyi, i'm not going to get into the details of the confrontation and the posts were edited/removed. However,the ring that he posted isn't the one that was falling off. That isn't even a fotodiox ring. The fotodiox ring that was falling off is correct for AB and cannot be removed because it's part of the umbrella mount for the SP-Pro series umbrella softbox.


Jul 14, 2012 at 01:14 AM
AlphaValues
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


kenyee wrote:
Do *NOT* do this. The problem w/ most rings is that the inner diameter is *TOO SMALL*. The fingers have to go all the way out to fully lock tight. If you have access to metalworking equipment, it's better to get rid of material on the inner diameter until they do...


Thanks for the tip. I'll measure the distance of the fingers with and without the speedring to see what the difference is and make modifications accordingly.

hondageek: Thanks for the photos. My problematic speedring does look like the LGSR rather than the other ring.



Jul 19, 2012 at 09:28 PM
jzucker
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


the one on my fotodiox which fell off repeatedly looks identical to the LGSR.


Jul 20, 2012 at 09:57 PM
hondageek
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip


jzucker wrote:
the one on my fotodiox which fell off repeatedly looks identical to the LGSR.


Then this quote about your Elinchrom issues: "Just received a set of fotodiox speedrings and adapters and a octobank. I've used their stuff and have liked it with my alien bees and figured I could just upgrade the adapter plates for elinchrom. Unfortunately, the cutouts for the fotodiox don't match properly and the ring cannot rotate and therefore will not lock in place.

Wow, that's weird... The Fotodiox stuff doesn't work with Elinchrom's vastly superior mounting system either

The key word here is "fotodiox". It's junk.

I just looked at around 20 web pages that show the fotodiox version of the AB speedring. They DON'T look identical to the LGSR. The only thing they have in common is a round hole in the middle which may, or may not, be the same size. The depth of the lip that the fingers grip looks different, as well as the angle of the cone shaped portion.

I've been using the light that I bought from you for a week now with proper speedrings (LGSR and Chimera) and they hold just fine with a heavy duty, large Chimera Super Pro Plus SB with a grid. That's the heaviest modifier I own. I'm sure it weighs twice what the cheapo Fotodiox SB weighs. It also works great with my half dozen other Chimera SBs, Kacey BD, PCB main frame, PLM, etc.

Your issue with the AB mounting is like putting Cheng Shin tires on a Honda CBR 600RR then blaming the bike when it slides off the track rather than blaming the world's cheapest tires.



Jul 21, 2012 at 12:19 AM
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