AB800 flash question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tjones8611, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. tjones8611

    tjones8611 TPF Noob!

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    There is alocal add in Craiglist for the below lighting equipment. The guy is close by, easyfor me to test and lookover.
    He wants $325 for it all. From what I've researched, it seems like a good price???

    As someone new to lighting, what should I look out for in buying used equipment such as this?


    AB800 flash unit along with all or the original accessories that come with their flash units (bulb protective cover, reflector, sync cord, power cord).

    some Alienbees accessories to make this unit complete:

    10' lightstand,
    48" reflector/shoot through umbrella,
    individual carrying case for the flash unit.
     
  2. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    I have AB 800s and I paid about 325 for all of that stuff per light (I have 3) The one thing I would be concerned with a few things here -

    1) I've got a 13' air cushioned light stand and that BARELY holds my 5 foot OCTOBOX, it get's top heavy quickly (and this is the stand that AB recommends for this particular set up) ...

    2) I've also got the shoot through umbrella, you will probably want the back diffuser to help with back spill ...

    3) Do you really need the 800? I find that ONE 400 is great for filling a 20 X 20 area nicely ... I only have the 3 of them because I do a lot of outside shooting and need the power to fill in harsh shadows of the sun ....

    I honestly wouldn't be concerned with the flash tube ... in the studio that I worked in I think I changed ONE out in the span of 3 years, and that was in the camera room that we shot 95% of our sessions. The bulbs are awesome and are complete work horses.

    All-in-all ABs are great all around lights and I would have no problem suggesting them to anyone at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Better to have it and not need it...
     
  4. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    True, BUT it is possible to have TOO MUCH light if you can't "Stop Down" and that's an issue ...

    If he's going with a ONE STROBE step up just to get started it might be an issue giving the area that he might be shooting ... just something for thought, that's all.
     
  5. tjones8611

    tjones8611 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback. This wil lbe my first and only light for a while. My area would be small, mot of the time, but Im thinking I would also use it in larger spaces on location at various places.
    Im assuming the AB800 has ajdustable power, the ability to "Stop Down".
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, all the Alienbee lights have a power range. They say that the B400, B800 and B1600 all have a 6 stop range (full power down to 1/32).

    The issue that LBPhotog is talking about, is that if your light it too strong, 1/32 may not be a low enough setting. Especially if you want to shoot with large apertures. If your space is large enough, you can just move the lights back (at the cost of softness) but if you are shooting in a small room, you may not have that option.
    You can just 'stop down' the lens, to control the exposure from the lights, but that's not always what you may want to do because of the DOF.

    On the other hand, there may be situation where you want/need as much power as you can get. In this case, it would pay to have the more powerful model.

    The way I see it, the B800 is only $55 more than the B400, which is a good deal.
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, full price shipped to my door is $331. I have 2 of the 800s and need 2 more. I need the additional ones for background and hair lighting. You can always dial it back, but can't go past the max....unless you have one of those strobes that goes to 11 like in "This is spinal tap". Regarding the flash tubes, they are rated to last 30K flashes I believe. I bought a spare bulb the same time I bought my last strobe and have yet to use it.

    The Referenced Scene from This is Spinal Tap:

    Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and...
    Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to ten?
    Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.
    Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
    Nigel Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
    Marty DiBergi: I don't know.
    Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
    Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.
    Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
    Marty DiBergi: Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number and make that a little louder?
    Nigel Tufnel: [pause, blank look and snapping chewing gum] These go to eleven.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  8. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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  9. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's $331 new from Alien Bee
     
  10. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    I'd buy it NEW for $6 more ... there's a 2 YEAR WARRANTY on their NEW products, not sure they would honor warranty if you weren't the original purchaser
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You could always call and ask them if they will honor the warranty on used gear. I'd guess they will, their customer service is pretty good. But if the price is close, why not just buy it new.

    One factor might be sales tax. Seeing as you are in TN, you might get stuck with tax that others wouldn't have to pay (but you may save on shipping).
     
  12. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    Probably some of the best I have ever worked with!

    I think that the AB website factors in the sales tax when they quote you a price ... then again, I'm in NH and we don't have a sales tax (but don't ever buy property here ... THAT'S where they get you) so I don't get charged anyway ...
     

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