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Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees
  
 
OO7MIKE
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


I've been doing a lot of outdoor promotional sessions this summer and they don't seem to be slowing down this Fall or Winter.

Living in Oregon I know, it's gonna rain! I've been lucky so far but I need to be prepared for a light drizzly day.

I need to stay with my alien bee units as they push out a higher amount of light vs standard nikon strobes.
I don't have a ton of assistance to hold umbrellas over the lights. I don't have a large budget to get a bunch of high power Nikon flashes and bracket three of them up per light stand to equal the same output.

Because I will eventually be working out in the rain (light rain) I need to make sure that my Alien Bee units are protected but are still allowed to breath and cool off.

I am curious if anyone has come up with an idea on how to fix this problem, or has stumbled upon a product that will help.

Thanks for the help!



Oct 21, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Strobo
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


If you're going to use AC powered strobes in the rain make sure you have really good liability insurance, as well as a good lawyer.

Otherwise you might want to consider something like the Cheetah/Godox 360 strobes. They put out 300ws and you'd have a much lower likelihood of frying your clients. You can buy one for the cost of about 3hrs of your lawyer's time.



Oct 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Not to mention you're going to have some very well lit raindrops.


Oct 22, 2013 at 02:07 AM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


I have used turkey roasting bags over the heads they will keep water off and withstand the heat. I left the bottom open for some ventilation.


Oct 22, 2013 at 04:07 AM
John Skinner
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


If you are in cold weather, wet... and not firing tons of shots over working the lights, I've used a plain old dry cleaning bag with a snout hole for the reflector. But the idea of shooting with an AC/converter in actual raining conditions... That's just bucking for a promotion. Nit ever a ground wire will help you.

So, no over heating in cooler weather, the ambient will do a lot to keep the internals cool. But that rain is a NO NO.



Oct 22, 2013 at 05:27 AM
OO7MIKE
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Thank you for the responses. Yes they are AC Powered but I will be using Vagabond Mini's to power them. It isn't quite the same as having an onsite generator or direct AC current from the wall. Safety is always a concern.

Next gig in question will be set in the deep forest where it is thick. The rain will have a much different feel than out in the open. If it is downright pouring then no one will be happy and I wouldn't dare attempt it. I'm more focused towards the drizzle or fine mist weather.

I checked out the Godox AD360. The price is a little higher than Nikon strobes but they are quite a bit more powerful. Since I generally work with 3-4 strobes, I would be looking at a $2k + for this set up. It's something to consider for the future, but its not something I can just come up with at the moment.

I'll take a look at the turkey bags/cleaning bag. I'll just have to be careful with it.

No decisions will be made till I have considered all of the options.




Oct 22, 2013 at 03:26 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


OO7MIKE wrote:
No decisions will be made till I have considered all of the options.




I know you already mentioned the higher power of the AB as your reason behind using them, but did you consider that you don't always have to use them and you can often time only use your Nikon flashes? I only ask because I forget about it too (Canon). I try to remember not to over do something that a small flash can easily take care of...not to mention easier to protect from moisture.



Oct 22, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Sheldon N
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Greg is spot on with the commentary about the well lit raindrops. Strobe plus rain does not look good, the rain closer to the strobe/camera picks up a lot more light than the subject will.


Oct 22, 2013 at 05:06 PM
OO7MIKE
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Thanks again for the feedback!

I'm not too worried about the rain/drizzle/sprinkle/mist look that it will add. I can make it a part of the theme, especially when I know its going to happen and I clear it with the client.

Right now I'm looking into older Nikon strobes as a less expensive alternative. I can double them up if needed.

Possibilities are:
SB-26 ($100 each)
SB-600 ($175 each)
SB-700 ($250 each)

I can get more bang for my buck from these. If one of them dies, It wont be as devastating.

I can't seem to figure out if they are at least weather proof. I remember the SB-26 units being great, just slow to charge up and refire.

Just shooting some ideas around.




Oct 22, 2013 at 08:37 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


OO7MIKE wrote:
Thanks again for the feedback!

I'm not too worried about the rain/drizzle/sprinkle/mist look that it will add. I can make it a part of the theme, especially when I know its going to happen and I clear it with the client.

Right now I'm looking into older Nikon strobes as a less expensive alternative. I can double them up if needed.

Possibilities are:
SB-26 ($100 each)
SB-600 ($175 each)
SB-700 ($250 each)

I can get more bang for my buck from these. If one of them dies, It wont be as devastating.

I can't seem to figure out if they are at least weather proof. I remember
...Show more

I'm a Canon shooter so I don't know anything about Nikon. I ended purchasing several older Canon flashes that use external battery packs for faster recycling when needed. They were less expensive to purchase, if something should happen to any of them I wouldn't be out much $$, AND because I purchased several (5) they are interchangeable and I could gang them up for brighter light if I didn't want to use my AB1600.



Oct 22, 2013 at 09:29 PM
 

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hondageek
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Light drizzle is no problem. I've used my AB gear, and now my Einstein gear in some fairly heavy rain without any issues. Keep the direct rain off the vents in the housing and you'll be fine.


Oct 23, 2013 at 01:12 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Brainstorming ... small rain umbrella clamped to a light stand, stake or tree branch, etc.






Oct 23, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Two23
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


I am an outdoor shooter, usually using flash in winter during blizzards. I've used the White Lightning X3200 with Vagabond out in freezing rain several times. I do ground them well (18 inches into the ground.) I use plastic bags over the heads, and run the power cord so it makes a "U" dip before going into the Vagabond. That way water doesn't run into it. It is a little spooky using these things when it's wet, and I wear rubber boots and gloves, just in case. There are four big capacitators in the X3200, and there's enough stored power in just one to kill you. I also use the Nikon SB-28 flash a lot. I have x8 of them and can gang them up as needed, and dial up ISO. They too need respect as there are documented cases of them sending people to the hospital when they got careless (mostly taking them apart and poking around.)


Kent in SD



Oct 24, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Karl Witt
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Just depends on how far you want to go..............


http://www.liquipel.com




Oct 24, 2013 at 01:15 PM
OO7MIKE
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


Just an update.

It finally happened and I had to think on my feet for this one. About an hour before the shoot happened it started to rain. Its an Oregon rain so its a light drizzle and not a Montana/Georgia downpour.

I used water resistant bubble packaging and taped it around the light so nothing would seep into the light. I also extended the bubble packaging further in the back so I could tilt the lights down without worry of too much water hitting the controls.

I had the battery packs enclosed in semi water resistant bags. The batteries stayed dry but they did get warm. The worst thing that happen was one of my lights got a few drops of water on the bulb. The bulb still kept going and didn't mind the water drops.

A mini umbrella would not have worked because we had some occasional strong winds. It turned the primary lights softbox into a sail. My assistant was having a hard time holding onto it at times.

Overall this was a successful last minute exercise in saving your gear. There is a lot more I need to do to come up with a better way to water protect these lights.

I appreciate everyone's feedback as it was running through my head when I hit a nearby store for last minute supplies.






Yes, it's super sloppy but the idea was to get the water to fall off of the light and not inside.







Extra length worked out really well. You can see that I left some space for the light to breath.







I left the bottom intake fan alone. Unless I had an extreme downpour I do not think water would drip anywhere near the intake fan.




Oct 28, 2013 at 03:56 PM
OO7MIKE
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


I just finished a second outdoor shoot in the rain with this same set up. I made a few modifications to use gaffers tape for better sealing on the edges and a longer bubble packing at the ends so I can tilt the lights down further without rain coming in.

So far so good



Nov 04, 2013 at 06:19 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


OO7MIKE wrote:
So far so good


That's like playing blackjack and you're lucky so far.

Is that a water drip in your 2nd image? Under the bubble wrap just above the Bee graphic.



Nov 04, 2013 at 08:27 PM
OO7MIKE
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


cordellwillis wrote:
That's like playing blackjack and you're lucky so far.

Is that a water drip in your 2nd image? Under the bubble wrap just above the Bee graphic.


It looks like a water drop, but its actually a groove on the top of all alien bee lights that allow for an umbrella rod.

I would agree that I have been lucky so far, but far more resistant than doing nothing. Battery packs are holding up well using the same methods.



Nov 04, 2013 at 09:36 PM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


, wow. I have an AB1600 and didn't realize what that is in the image....DOH!


Nov 04, 2013 at 09:53 PM
stebesplace
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Need to waterproof/resist Alien Bees


When I look at this, the thing that concerns me is not so much direct water droplets touching electronics, but the indirect moisture that could occur in the next few months due to temperature changes, fine mist that you can't perceive but exists, and condensation due to the heat of the unit being outdoors in anything except warm sunshine.

I started to look at pelican cases (http://www.pelican.com/cases_detail.php?Case=1460 comes to mind), where you could create a custom molded interior for the flash (not foam), but instead a heat resistant gel. You could modify the case so that you can plug the power cord in, with an o-ring to seal it off on one end, then have the case contain a light stand fitment to mount to the stand itself, then have the reflector on one end either sticking out, or better, self contained with a clear cover, all contained and sealed in the box minus ventilation where applicable. You could create a water resistant chamber so that moisture can't enter in, but air can escape.

Just a thought, because you'd then be able to transport the lights pretty quickly and easily with handles on the cases already...



Nov 12, 2013 at 01:41 AM
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