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Archive 2013 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe
  
 
BugLightGeek
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


I recently acquired a White Lightning Ultra1200 strobe.
I have a few questions:

1. The flash tube has a cloudy area on one end.
Is this normal or does it indicate it may need replacing soon?

2. The strobe makes a louder-than-expected "pop" sound when it is triggered.
Is this normal?

3. I'd like to get a medium/large softbox for use with this strobe.
Am I locked in to ONLY a PCB softbox or can I use other brands such as Interfit or Flashpoint?
Will the softbox require a special speedring to mount on the strobe?
If so, how do I tell if a given softbox is "compatible" with this strobe?



Jan 21, 2013 at 10:04 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


The tubes get deposits from the electrodes on the ends as they age. Always a good idea to have a spare on hand anyway. With Buff products the parts are inexpensive.

I believe the "pop" normally comes from the gas reaching the plasma state but failing capacitors can also. It would be prudent to call Buff (it has excellent customer service) and have it checked before the tube or a condenser does fail. I have four AB800 that got fired by a lightning strike and the total repair bill was only $200.

The way a strobe like that works is a small trigger current is sent to the thin wire around the tube. That changes the state of the xenon gas and makes it conduct electricity and close the circuit with the capacitors. They then dump all their current across the gap between the electrodes and the xenon is changed into a plasma state. The flash duration ends when the condensers are drained. Power levels are controlled by regulating how long the capacitors are recharged and/or by switching them in banks. Newer studio designs like Einstein add a IGBT semiconductor switch gate to more precisely cut off the power at the end to control exposure.

The Buff speedrings are compatible with most SBs (strip lights may be an exception) and are less expensive than the alternatives. I use them with small, med, large Photoflex boxes. It it fits into the speedring it's compatible.. That's the idea behind the ring; a universal attachment. The rods from the SB go into holes in the ring. If you have a question about specific SB type call Buff and ask.

Edited on Jan 22, 2013 at 01:36 AM · View previous versions



Jan 21, 2013 at 10:29 PM
BugLightGeek
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


Thanks for the helpful info on the tube & "pop"

So, to clarify:
I'd need to buy a Buff speedring to allow me to use a Photoflex softbox, correct?



Jan 21, 2013 at 10:33 PM
cgardner
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


BugLightGeek wrote:
Thanks for the helpful info on the tube & "pop"

So, to clarify:
I'd need to buy a Buff speedring to allow me to use a Photoflex softbox, correct?


Yes... The Buff rings are "Balcar" style (an older brand of light). If you were to buy other brands of rings you'd want the "Balcar" mount for them (the back part which attaches to the spring fingers on the flash head like the reflector.



Jan 21, 2013 at 10:38 PM
BugLightGeek
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


ok...thanks.


Jan 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM
colinm
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


BugLightGeek wrote:
I'd need to buy a Buff speedring to allow me to use a Photoflex softbox, correct?


To clarify, you'd need to buy a Photoflex speedring in Buff (Balcar) mount.



Jan 22, 2013 at 03:28 AM
cgardner
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


colinm wrote:
To clarify, you'd need to buy a Photoflex speedring in Buff (Balcar) mount.


True if you buy the Photoflex ring, but if you do it will cost 2x more than Buff's which will work with the Photoflex and any other brand.

Buy the Buff ring, it does the job and is cheaper.



Jan 22, 2013 at 01:18 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


BugLightGeek wrote:
...The strobe makes a louder-than-expected "pop" sound when it is triggered. Is this normal?


It depends on what you mean by "louder than expected."

White Lightning strobes make a moderate pop when they fire. (Some really powerful pack-and-head systems will sound like a large-caliber rifle being fired when they go off.) If you have experience mostly with Speedlights, then a studio strobe may be louder than expected. If that's the case, yes, it's normal.

If you have experience with studio strobes of similar power and yours seems louder than expected in comparison, then it may not be normal.



Jan 22, 2013 at 07:48 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


+1 @ more energy = more noise (ceteris paribus)


Jan 22, 2013 at 08:43 PM
BugLightGeek
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


Thanks, BrianO.
Yes, I'm coming from speedlights & some really cheap Interfit studio lights so that makes sense.



Jan 23, 2013 at 09:05 PM
ChiShutter
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


The Buff modifiers are good, and not terribly expensive. The PLMs and softboxes are easy to setup and break down, and they have the right speedring from the get go. I think it's a no-brainer to use PCB's modifiers.


Jan 23, 2013 at 10:00 PM
BugLightGeek
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


makes sense.
Had a shoot this past weekend and wished I had a softbox.

Off to eBay/CL I go!



Jan 29, 2013 at 10:34 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


BugLightGeek wrote:
...Had a shoot this past weekend and wished I had a softbox. Off to eBay/CL I go!


A brand-new 24" x 36" foldable soft box from Alien Bees is only $120, and the 32" x 40" is only $10 more. I doubt you'd find anything as good on eBay or Craig's List for less.

http://www.paulcbuff.com/fsb.php



Jan 29, 2013 at 11:26 PM
BugLightGeek
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · softbox help needed for White Lightning strobe


Yeah, I'm finding that out...


Feb 02, 2013 at 09:28 PM





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