Alienbee users/other monolight users...

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Montana, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have a few questions. I am planning to purchase a 4 light alienbee kit as a starter studio setup. seen here: AlienBees: The Busy Bee Complete Studio Setup Package
    I would like to hear feedback from those that use alienbees. What are your thoughts on these lights?

    My first question is: you have the option of either upgrading or downgrading within your package to diffent power of lights. Should I get 3 800 watt units and 1 1600 watt? 2 1600's? What would be the use of getting a 400 watt? Can an 800 watt not be turned down enough to use as background or hair light?

    Please forgive my ignorance here, and I have been researching. Just not finding out what I needed to know here. I will be calling them, but wanted user input here. I am 98% an outdoor shooter (wildlife, etc), but am curious about studio work.

    Thanks,

    Derrick
     
  2. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    One big advantage with the larger strobes is that an 800w strobe at half power will recycle faster than a 400w strobe at full power.
     
  3. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    So if you could get a 4 light setup, what would you get?

    2) 1600's and 2) 800's?
    4) 1600's?

    Or another way of putting it I guess would be:

    Do I want both my key and fill to be 1600 units and the background/hair lights to be 800 w/s units?
     
  4. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Bees are good lights for the price. There's other strobes out there that have better consistency and performance, but you're going to pay more for them.
     
  5. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would always get the biggest strobes I could. You can always turn the strobe down, but you cant turn a smaller one up.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,821
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    What size of studio space will you be shooting in? How big of groups/objects will you be shooting?

    If you are not shooting large subjects in large areas...you might be better off skipping the B1600 units in favor of the B800 as your main & fill lights. Yes, you can turn them down...but only to 1/32 power (5 stops). You may well find that you can't turn the power down as much as you want...and have to use a smaller aperture than you want.

    Also, the biggest issue with AB lights, is that their color temps are not all that consistent...especially at lower power levels. So by getting the more powerful units and using them at the lowest power levels...you would be more likely to run into this problem.

    Of course, when you need more power, it's nice to have it available. So it's up to you. But I can tell you that if you are shooting portraits or small family groups, in your basement or livingroom...then B800 lights will probably be plenty of power. I can't remember the last time I had my B800 lights turned up past 1/2 power. I use B400 lights for hair & background lights.

    You could use the savings toward better accessories. I like softboxes much better than umbrellas...and the heavy duty stands are much more stable than the standard 10' stand.

    You may also want to have a look at Elinchrom D-Lites.

    Alienbee has some of the best customer service around, they are great to deal with.
     
  7. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thats true big mike. I've never actually used an alienbees. These Calumet Travelite 750 - CE1105 - CE-1105

    Are my prefered strobe. So I guess I cant really say I'd get the biggest lol. I just love those travelite's, amazing strobes IMO.
     
  8. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Big Mike, this is all great advice. Sounds like 800's would be plenty for me. I will look into upgrading the one general purpose stand to heavy duty to match the other two.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7,274
    Likes Received:
    406
    Location:
    Shepherdsturd, WV / Almost, MD
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    But if you're using big strobes that have a color shift at lower power and shooting on the edge of that shift spot, you could end up fighting different white balances between two of the same light.
     
  10. photogincollege

    photogincollege TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2007
    Messages:
    706
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, Michigan.
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah, to be honest I havent used anything more then that travelite 750. I was kinda talking out of my A** sorry about that lol.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That is the biggest reason that I would not go for AlienBee products. The Elinchrom do not suffer anywhere near that same amount and are in the same price range. If you want to go into better stuff, believe it or not, Photogenics are right up there in that price range and do not suffer from the colour casting issues, or the Profoto COMPACT line are a few bucks more but then again... its PROFOTO. Me, I am leaning into one 1000 W/s Photogenic for overpowering the mid-day sun and my strobes and lower end studio strobes for the rest.

    That vagabond powerpack from AB, though... that is just sweet and worth the price.
     
  12. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Eastern Montana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Well, I just got off of the phone with ALienbees. Very helpful and friendly people. I ordered 3 800's and 1 400. She said use the heck out of them and if I decide I need to go up or down in power, I will pay the difference to go up or they will refund to go down. Service like that makes a good first impression. Got the 30 x 60 softbox, a shoot-thru umbrella, a silver/white bounce umbrella, grids, all heavy duty stands, remote, etc. Bring on the shutter count, someone needs some practice! LOL
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

alien bee b800 monolight

,
alien bee versus other monolights
,

alien bees monolight

,
alien bees monolight review
,

alien bees monolight reviews

,
busy bee's monolights
,
calumet ce1105 reviews
,
do model ce-1000 monolites have capacitor problems
,

monolight reviews

,

what are monolights