really hating the alien bee accessory spring grip
/forum/topic/1125521/0

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jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

It's just so easy for the grippers to miss the mounting plate and for the softbox to fall off. Today the softbox fell and broke the connector off the flash tube. $40 with shipping. Argh...



BrianO
Registered: Aug 21, 2008
Total Posts: 8547
Country: United States

You should have seen it before the "improved" version came out; it was even worse!



eSchwab
Registered: Dec 26, 2007
Total Posts: 2441
Country: United States

I wish they would bite the bullet and change it or offer a different one. It's the one thing that keeps the einstein from being a great light.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

I wouldn't trust my 3 by 4 softbox on it



Headshotz
Registered: May 02, 2009
Total Posts: 109
Country: United States

eSchwab wrote:
I wish they would bite the bullet and change it or offer a different one. It's the one thing that keeps the einstein from being a great light.


+1

The balcar mount is the #1 reason I'll never purchase an Einstein. It is, always was and always will be a terrible mounting system.

Too bad because it's a very nice strobe for the money.



colinm
Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Total Posts: 1967
Country: United States

+1

As much as I hate Bowens mount (my dislike burns with the fire of a thousand suns), AB/Einstein/Balcar still gets the prize for Worst Mount.

I completely understand Buff wanting to maintain compatibility, but in talking with a lot of guys and gals at trade group meetings, it's the mount that absolutely kills the Einstein. Many of them are patient enough to deal with the other issues for the price, but dropping modifiers on the talent/client-owned property/random bystanders is a total non-starter.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

I have 3 AB flashes and 2 photogenic flashes. They are both horrible mounts and have dropped modifiers many times. However, this is the first time I have fried a flash tube with a dropped mount. At least the photogenic flash has a cover which is very sturdy. The flash tube wires on the AB units should either be stranded wire or a much smaller guage.



rico
Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Total Posts: 3844
Country: United States

Modifier mount was the primary reason I went with Profoto: the zoom feature is a bit of a gimmick (and many modifiers don't zoom anyway), but attachment is dead easy and rock solid. Options like the ProBox - a 1ft cube of aluminum build - could send you to the hospital if it dropped on your head.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

at this point I can't afford to jump ship totally to profoto but I wish something could be done with the ABs



Deezie
Registered: Mar 07, 2005
Total Posts: 1448
Country: United States

Nothing can be done about the modifier mount. Your best option is to use smaller, lighter modifiers and large umbrellas. I think the Paul Buff PLM would be a great option for you (it's inexpensive, as well) because it takes the modifier mount out of the picture. They're still terrific lights - all brands have their share of quirks.



kenyee
Registered: Jul 08, 2008
Total Posts: 1528
Country: United States

jzucker wrote:
I wouldn't trust my 3 by 4 softbox on it


FWIW, I've had no problems w/ the PCB foldable one or a Plume/Quickring combo in that exact size, except when yanking off a grid one-handed while it was on a stand (stupid thing to do).
Put the fingers in the speedring...spin it around to make sure you didn't miss one.

And yes, I hate the Balcar mount too. I like the Speedotron one a lot better, though some people have said it'll pop off if you spin the modifier the wrong way, so there seem to be haters for each mount A few Elinchrom friends have thought it their mount was fiddly too (though no complaints about secureness).

The industry really should have gotten together to come up w/ a standard robust mount, but then they wouldn't be able to lock you into a system...
And the Balcar mount is ancient...they're a 1956 company...



PeterBerressem
Registered: Sep 05, 2007
Total Posts: 729
Country: Germany

If I were unsatisfied with the strength larger softboxes et al are held by the "Balcar" mount I'd invest in a stronger mount, e.g. Kacey's or look for "tetrode" at PCBuff's tech forum.
www.kaceyenterprises.com/?page_id=1054



hugowolf
Registered: Nov 11, 2011
Total Posts: 589
Country: United States

Yes, the Einstein with a Profoto mount and a user interface that was actually designed by a designer, and you would have a world class system.

Brian A



RJKphoto
Registered: Oct 28, 2010
Total Posts: 1469
Country: United States

I got rid of all my Einsteins and went with Elinchrom Ranger RX/AS. I'll never look back. The Elinchrom Ocotaboxes and mounting system are an order of magnitude better than the PCB stuff. Yep, they cost more, but I need my lights to deliver day in, day out, shot after shot. Einsteins Didn't. Elinchrom does!



hondageek
Registered: Aug 16, 2004
Total Posts: 886
Country: United States

I've never had a problem with my Einstein's mounts, even the V.1. I use mine every day for commercial work with large, heavy Chimera boxes, beauty dishes, etc. I don't understand why everyone bitches about it. Do they just throw the modifier on it and not catch all four fingers? It's not that difficult.



Deezie
Registered: Mar 07, 2005
Total Posts: 1448
Country: United States

I haven't seen the Einsteins, but I did own some Alien Bees years ago and I was always concerned when a large softbox was placed on the light. It's just not a very sturdy mounting system. Check out the Profoto mounting system and you'll see a difference between a simple and effective mounting system and one that does not promote confidence.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

hondageek wrote:
I've never had a problem with my Einstein's mounts, even the V.1. I use mine every day for commercial work with large, heavy Chimera boxes, beauty dishes, etc. I don't understand why everyone bitches about it. Do they just throw the modifier on it and not catch all four fingers? It's not that difficult.


Yeah, when I'm working with a client laying on the floor with a big softbox on a boom and I mount my softbox I just throw the modifier on it with no regard for it catching all four fingers. :/ I love client lawsuits so I'm deliberately careless.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

How is the elinchrom mounting interface? Someone earlier on the thread was complaining about it...



cordellwillis
Registered: Aug 24, 2004
Total Posts: 5080
Country: United States

jzucker wrote:
hondageek wrote:
I've never had a problem with my Einstein's mounts, even the V.1. I use mine every day for commercial work with large, heavy Chimera boxes, beauty dishes, etc. I don't understand why everyone bitches about it. Do they just throw the modifier on it and not catch all four fingers? It's not that difficult.


Yeah, when I'm working with a client laying on the floor with a big softbox on a boom and I mount my softbox I just throw the modifier on it with no regard for it catching all four fingers. :/ I love client lawsuits so I'm deliberately careless.



Well, that's the problem Take your time and make sure it's secure (I know you're the so-serious kind so please take it as a sarcastic joke).

I agree with hondageek. It's not all that difficult to attach and make sure your modifier is properly attached. All I do is look at it before moving on. When I see the four finger grips I know it's not going anywhere.



jzucker
Registered: Jan 07, 2002
Total Posts: 2487
Country: United States

cordellwillis wrote:
I agree with hondageek. It's not all that difficult to attach and make sure your modifier is properly attached. All I do is look at it before moving on. When I see the four finger grips I know it's not going anywhere.


Sorry but I have to disagree. The spring clips do not have enough tension to hold heavy softboxes. I just contacted buff and they deny there is any sort of problem. I think that pretty much settles it for me. I will be switching over to another brand ASAP.



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