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  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    The question of whether they're "pro-grade" boils down to two things.


    The other thing to consider is modifiers. You basically have to buy all your modifiers from AB. .
    That is completely FALSE.

    I don't have one modifier from AB. I have four AB 800s and here are my modifiers: 50x50 Westcott Apollo softbox, 28x28 Westcott Apollo softbox, 4x6 Larson softbox, a simple softliter, and a 2x4 Photek? softbox. Here they are - set up www.jottephotography.com/studio.htm all on ABs.

    Why would you have to buy your modifiers only from AB?

    Don't get me wrong, eventually I WILL buy different lights but the ones I have will not break - I won't replace until they break...



    .... and I am a (now nationally published) pro, not a semi-pro, so you can check my website to see my results.
    Last edited by JodieO; 03-19-2008 at 09:50 AM.



  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JodieO View Post
    That is completely FALSE.

    I don't have one modifier from AB. I have four AB 800s and here are my modifiers: 50x50 Westcott Apollo softbox, 28x28 Westcott Apollo softbox, 4x6 Larson softbox, a simple softliter, and a 2x4 Photek? softbox. Here they are - set up www.jottephotography.com/studio.htm all on ABs.

    Why would you have to buy your modifiers only from AB?

    Don't get me wrong, eventually I WILL buy different lights but the ones I have will not break - I won't replace until they break...



    .... and I am a (now nationally published) pro, not a semi-pro, so you can check my website to see my results.
    I'm going to ignore the last sentence because you're making moot point in a fruitless argument.

    As for the rest...fine...I'll rephrase. You get a speed-ring. Hooray. A soft-box is a soft-box. What really matters, if you use them, are the modifiers that are brand-specific. In AB's case, you get a selection of cheap crap. This isn't a whose **** is bigger question. It's a matter of function, and to some extent also a matter of cost. Take Profoto's adjustable reflector, for example, which can literally take the place of multiple reflectors. Or the reflectors I use on my Broncolors, which have built-in gel holders (some other companies also do this). What if you're getting light loss because of your crappy reflector and therefore not making the most of your strobe's output capacity?

    Furthermore, you literally do have to buy from AB if you're buying their stuff because they won't license to any retailers. That makes renting a lot easier with other brands, and it also makes fast purchases easier. If there's a modifier I don't have, for example, that I'd like to use, I can go somewhere local and rent it. It also makes it easier to tack on rental equipment to an existing setup. What if you have a Zeus and a head but you need another? What if you have two and one breaks? Screwed. If I had nearly any other brand and needed another head, or even another pack to work with my existing equipment, I could simply rent it when necessary. I could never do that with AB's.
    Last edited by Alpha; 03-19-2008 at 12:33 PM.
    The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you're an artist.

  3. #18
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    Well, honestly, that is why it's not a big deal for me. I don't rent anything. When I want something, I buy it... even if it assignment specific, I will just buy it... I need to buy things to offset my taxes or I am screwed at the end of the year....

    I"m not saying by any means that ABs are GREAT lights because like I said, as soon as my ABs break (and they have been going strong for four years), I am switching out to something else - haven't made a final decision on what yet... but for someone who wants something cheaper to get their feet wet or not invest in a ton of equipment because they only plan to do studio lighting only part of the time, there is nothing wrong with using them....

    But anyway, my lights are ABs, and all my modifiers, and everything else I buy for studio is NOT AB brand. When I go to buy other lights, I will just need to change out the lights, everything else will pretty much stay the same - same equipment, just interchanging the lights.

    By the way, LOVE LOVE LOVE the Larson reflectors that have built in stands....

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JodieO View Post
    all my modifiers, and everything else I buy for studio is NOT AB brand.
    How did you adapt other non-speedring modifiers? Your reflectors are not AB?
    The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you're an artist.

  5. #20
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    Nice work jodieO. Thanks for the feedback everyone. I must say though i'm starting to lean away from the AB's just because I like to buy things once and not have two buy things twice. AB's seem like they will probally work for the most part but for the long run I think i might look on to yes more expensive but professional lights. Keep the feedback coming though it will be a couple of month or two before I make the purchase.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha View Post
    How did you adapt other non-speedring modifiers? Your reflectors are not AB?
    Easy... I'm not at the studio today, so I can't take pictures. The two Westcott Apollos have a "umbrella pole" in them. They just slide through the top. The WAs fold just like an umbrella (which is GREAT for traveling) - the "pole" goes into the little hole in the top, I screw it down to hold it in place.

    When purchasing larsons, it gives you a choice, I believe, of whatever backplate or speed ring you need - http://www.larson-ent.com/items268_B...Spin_Rings.htm You have to buy one of them, so I chose the AB one on there. When I go to switch lights, yeah, I will have to buy a different one for this, but honestly, I seldom use anything but the WAs... when I used to travel, I used the WAs all the time, so I got so used to them, I barely use anything else. It disperses the light really great, easy to work with, gives enough of a "sweet light" spot for moving kids as well as easy to create dramatic lighting on my maternity clients.

    I do have a set of barndoors for my ABs that I did buy from AB a couple weeks ago, but I don't use gels and whatnot because I don't need them in my kind of work.... I've developed my own little "style" and tend to stick with it. Maybe if I used more "accessories", I would have more complaints about the ABs... I think we all find our little niche and where we are comfortable with our equipment.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JodieO View Post
    That is completely FALSE.

    I don't have one modifier from AB. I have four AB 800s and here are my modifiers: 50x50 Westcott Apollo softbox, 28x28 Westcott Apollo softbox, 4x6 Larson softbox, a simple softliter, and a 2x4 Photek? softbox. Here they are - set up www.jottephotography.com/studio.htm all on ABs.

    Why would you have to buy your modifiers only from AB?

    Don't get me wrong, eventually I WILL buy different lights but the ones I have will not break - I won't replace until they break...



    .... and I am a (now nationally published) pro, not a semi-pro, so you can check my website to see my results.
    Hi Jodie...great quality work by the way and I love your wooden floors! What stands would you reccommend? In the studio picture, do I see 2 WA 50x50s on the left or is that something else?

    Also,
    Thanks!

  8. #23
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    Another Bee lover here. I use 2 B400s with large octaboxes and am very happy with them. Large groups are tricky but for family and pet photography I don't see any reasons why the Bees shouldn't be sufficient for you.

    Good luck!!

 

 
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