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Archive 2012 · Alien Bee's or...
  
 
thursdaylsr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Alien Bee's or...


I'm looking at grabbing some strobes for my fiancé and I to start using, but I'm not sure which way to go. We have some SB600's that we use right now for any flash need, but getting dedicated off camera lighting is something I can fudge as a late Christmas present for both of us. I've always looked at Alien Bee's and the vagabond, but I just want to make sure that the right choice for us before pulling the trigger. I was thinking maybe a AB800 and a vagabond to start, then a modifier she might want. My uses will be for strobing sports (would pick up another AB800 if I did so) and for T&I, where anything outside we set up pop up tents and bounce the flash up. She does weddings, family portraits, etc.

Any suggestions on what to pick up? Are the Bee's worth it?



Dec 24, 2012 at 07:45 PM
kenyee
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Alien Bee's or...


For sports, I'd get the Einstein w/ a VML and a 10" high output reflector....better motion freezing action...


Dec 24, 2012 at 11:51 PM
markd61
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Alien Bee's or...


Bees are great for T&I and general location work as they are very rugged. I would get either the B800 or B1600 for the power.
Kenyee correctly points out that the Einstein is great for the action shots because of the fast duration. More expensive, fairly rugged but the glass cover over the tube is fragile and likes to fall off. Heavier but still very compact.

The question I have is how would you be shooting sports? What sport? Do you have to run around a lot? A studio strobe doesn't move well and may not be permitted at many venues. Basketball is often shot by pros with lights hung from the ceiling.Would you be willing/able to do that? Football is usually not possible because of the scale of the field and the danger of stands on the sidelines. Swimming, no.

Both work well with the outstanding Vagabond mini.



Dec 25, 2012 at 01:23 AM
thursdaylsr
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Alien Bee's or...


Honestly, the strobing for sports (basketball and volleyball-maybe) are more for just experimenting than for practical use. I shoot for the school that I'd be using them at, so no worries about set up. Also it's a D3 school so not too big. I would bounce the strobes, used my bosses white lightenings before and enjoyed the results. Maybe I should look at the 1600 to start out, the Einstein seems a little bit more than I need right now. It really is mostly for her, more experimenting for me aside from T&I.

Thanks for the help so far guys.



Dec 25, 2012 at 03:08 AM
kenyee
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Alien Bee's or...


Good point about the bees for location work...cheaper to repair as well $40 vs. $120 for Einstein motherboards.

If you're using it to control ambient, also look at the cybercommander for remote control...



Dec 25, 2012 at 03:08 AM
thursdaylsr
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Alien Bee's or...


Looking more at the steins, I do like the built in receiver. We have cheap yagunos (sp?) now, and they work fine but it's just been in studio a few feet away. The Einstein, vagabond and a commander look nice but the cost is a bit over what I want, I have to invest in a FF body too soon.


Dec 25, 2012 at 03:41 AM
baument
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Alien Bee's or...


Be aware that the 1600's are really hard to tame down, even on their minimum settings, for indoor portrait work with wider apertures if you're wanting to use them for that too. I have a wide selection of 1600, 800 and 400s and a few 400's are more than enough juice for portrait work.


Dec 25, 2012 at 04:58 AM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Alien Bee's or...


You might also consider the White Lightning 1600, which has the 1/4 power switch to help tame things down on the low end, as well as being a metal housing and fan cooled, etc. I've not used one, but to go with my B400 ... the White Lightning 1600 is on my radar.


Dec 25, 2012 at 05:32 AM
markd61
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Alien Bee's or...


All the Bees are fan cooled.
The WLs are very robust but are larger and heavier for the same output. One subtlety on the WLS is that the tilt mechanism has only one friction surface as opposed to two on the Bees. This means you have to crank 'em down hard when using a large softbox or other large modifier.

I recommended the B1600 for the power you can project over a large group. The B800 and B400 are better for the studio when you need lower power.



Dec 26, 2012 at 01:44 AM
thursdaylsr
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Alien Bee's or...


I'm gonna go for an Einstein, Vagabond and upgrade my triggers with everyone's suggestions. Other than the high output reflector, anybody have suggestions on modifiers. We have umbrellas and some speed light soft boxes, but I'm not sure how well they work with hot lights. I've always just been a minimalist, but it's time to expand.


Dec 26, 2012 at 11:45 PM
PeterBerressem
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Alien Bee's or...


In one word... look at the PLM parabolic system (and order a frontal diffusor with 'em). The "soft silver" is a great overall-but-punchy source and adding the front diffusor replaces a light weight softbox.


Dec 27, 2012 at 11:39 AM
thursdaylsr
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Alien Bee's or...


How large of a group would I be able to cover with an Einstein and an 86" PLM? Anytime in the studio while I was in school I always just used the biggest box available, so I'm thinking of doing that same thing now.

Current order is looking like this:







Dec 27, 2012 at 01:40 PM
bigfredtn
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Alien Bee's or...


I used AB800 for many years shooting in High School Gyms, they worked great. I have since purchased a couple of Einsteins 640's which are even better than the AB800's. Either way you can't go wrong. If you are able to afford the Einsteins, that is what I would recommend.

Did you look at the packages that they offer?

The Genius
2 Einstein™ E640 Flash Units
2 LS3900 13-foot Heavy Duty Light Stands
2 PLM64U-S 64-inch Extreme Silver PLM™ Umbrellas with Buff Speedring
2 PLM64-WFDF 64-inch White Front Diffusion Fabrics
1 CC CyberSync™ Cyber Commander™
2 CSXCV CyberSync™ Transceivers
2 PCBBAG Paul C. Buff™ Single Light Carrying Bags

Total $1501.60



Dec 27, 2012 at 02:14 PM
thursdaylsr
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Alien Bee's or...


Oh I didn't look into the packages that much, thought they were for Bee's only (the preassembled ones at least). Only thing missing from that though is a vagabond :/


Dec 27, 2012 at 02:17 PM





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