Alien Bee Pro Worthy...

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mooney101, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. mooney101

    mooney101 TPF Noob!

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    OK i'll be moving soon, been working at a studio for 10 years and i'm moving and starting my own business so money will be tight for awhile. I Will be dealing with seniors and Pets and some family's. Will be on location at first then in studio as I settle in. I'm use to using Photogenic and White lighting lights and I've heard good things about alien bees. I just want to no can they give Pro results. I'd imagine yes but I like to hear form those who use these in a business not just in a hobby situation. Feedback please, before I go and make a big alien bee purchase.

    Thanks...
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I use them and like them but I haven't used other brands for comparison.
    I have seen several pros using them...and I've heard a few gear snobs poo-poo them.

    I would recommend them.
     
  3. mooney101

    mooney101 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the reply. One thing that i'm very curious about is that even though you buy light modifiers for them like umbrellas and soft boxes for example and one have trouble butting other light modifiers on them and finding modifiers that fit alien be for example larson soft boxes.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Not having used other lights, I'm unfamiliar with the different speed rings...but from what I understand...there are several different styles of speed rings for different brands of lights & accesories.

    I know that you can buy speed rings from AB, and maybe you can adapt other modifiers to use that ring.
     
  5. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

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    alien bees has a whole line of modifiers that i have no complaints about. they also sell the mounting "speed-ring" separately, i imagine this is for other brands of modifiers.

    the lights themselves are great. no complaints about them.

    customer service is also excellent.. i think i posted a big thing about my experience with AB a couple days ago..
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you read The Strobist you will see you can get professional results from just a couple of Vivitar flashes . some cardboard and, some Duct tape. While I am a big advocate of the right gear when it comes to cameras if you can produce with something that is what you should use.
     
  7. nicfargo

    nicfargo TPF Noob!

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    I have alien bees. They are not what I'd consider "pro" grade, but that does not mean I can't get professional looking shots with them. You can get professional looking shots from any light source if you know your stuff. The reason why I don't consider them "pro" grade is because they are plastic. If you drop these, chances are they will break. I do love my alien bees though despite that I wouldn't consider them "pro" grade. To me, pro means they can take a beating. I think of the difference between the Canon 1D and the 30D. Both can pretty much produce the same image, but the 1D is a little more rugged.
     
  8. Big Mike

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

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    Using hot-shoe flashes is certainly an option...especially if portability is an issue. Also, if you are going to be needing dedicated flash units anyway, they can do double duty.
    It should be noted that while the power of a bare hot-shoe flash can come close to an AB light...once you start using modifiers like umbrellas or softboxes...the power of the hot-shoe units fall quite a bit short of the studio strobes...that's what I've heard from those who have measured it.
     
  9. Nimitz

    Nimitz TPF Noob!

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    Hi - I have 3 AB 800s plus softboxs, umbrellas, barn doors, grids, gels - all from Alien Bee.

    I do professional in-home pet portriats so I shoot 'on-location' all the time. I also use them in my home studio.

    I love them and have had no issue with them. The collection of light modifiers available for them from AB is substantial as well.

    IMHO you can't go wrong here with ABs ...
     
  10. mooney101

    mooney101 TPF Noob!

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    thanks guys I feel allot more comfortable in investing in AB's now.:sexywink:
     
  11. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

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    i use nothing but AB's and love them. won't use anything else. price is right and our photos are great. it is pro series to us, and also very user friendly. also, customer service is some of the best ever!
     
  12. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    I have to agree with nicfargo. I have a pair of 800's, and I usually use an SB-800 for background/hair, etc. The AB's are fantastic lights, are comparitively lightweight, and produce professional "results" for the money, but do be careful with them. These are not to be "tossed" into the trunk. If you trip over a cord or lightstand and send one for a tumble, you can likely kiss the whole unit goodbye, not just the bulb.

    Otherwise, if you're on a budget, and as long as you are careful with them, I think you will be happy.
     

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