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White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was taking a look at the White Lightnings and Alien Bees, and I know they're made by the same people, so I was just wondering what the real differences are between the two? (I haven't read everything about them on both websites.) I was considering buying one or the other for some location stuff at some point down the road.

Also, about the Alien Bees, this might seem like a strange question, but it's one I've been seriously thinking about... You know how if you bounce a flash off a brightly colored wall (say, red, for example), it takes on the tint of that wall, and you end up with a pinkish hue to your image? Well, with the bright colors of the housing of some ABs, lets say you bounce a Martian Pink one into an umbrella... does that affect the color of the light at all? I'm guessing not, but I've been wondering about that for a while now. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

Sam
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 02:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ABs bodies are shorter and bigger around, and the shells are made of carbon fiber not the aluminum of the WLs. As you mentioned, ABs come in a variety of colors. Can't see why the shell would impact tint. I would think it was too small a surface. I bought a black one, so no impact anyway.
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 02:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i was wondering the same thing but I picked up the black alien bee 800 just for this reason. but as you can see from the first shoot below, the WB was off a little. The 2nd shoot I did this weekend with a grey card and shooting RAW.

So I believe regardless you would still want a WB card to shoot first.





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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 02:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have FIVE, three Alien Bees (2 B800's & 1 B400) and two White Lightnings (X800) which I use as my Primary and Fill Lights, these have a 250watt Model light which is much (much) brighter than the supplier 100w (or max. 150w) model light that the Alien Bees use.

If you can afford it thw WL (5 year warranty) are made a bit better than the AB's (2 year warranty).

I have been pretty happy with them, no return/repair problems. All the Studio shots on my website were done using them. All the relectors are Stainless steel, so you should not get any color / tint spill, but just to be sure, get the black ones if you get the Bees...

However, I went to a Rolando Workshop and after seeing and working with Hensels, I now have a Three-Light set on order....

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White Balance, Color Calibration, and RAW
Old 06-01-2005, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't know what equipment you are using, but I know that calibrating ACR to your camera/lens combination can have a huge effect on the color balance of your images. I'll give you an example:

This was shot with my D70 and Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF-S. I converted it using Adobe Capture Raw and the default settings.


This is from the same RAW file, but after I shot a GMB color checker card and used a script to calibrate the ACR settings.


No other color adjustments were made to the second image. I can tell you that Christy's skin tone is very close to real life in the second shot.

The information on ACR calibration can be found here: ACR Calibration
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 02:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wish the Bee's were carbon fiber... I have one 1600 and one 800.

From the web site:
The B800 is versatile and indestructible.
Housed in high-impact Lexan polycarbonate (the same material used for bullet-proof glass), the unit is lightweight and ready to travel. With a quick-release faceplate, a built-in hole for umbrellas, a standard mount for light stands, and a lip on our standard reflector for honeycomb grids, you can easily mount our wide range of accessories. The B800 can also be remote-controlled with our Wired or RadioRemote, and portably powered with our Vagabond Portable Power System.


Alien Bee web site
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply Wade... I was kinda thinking the same thing about the housing being too small to affect anything (also thinking that they probably wouldn't make it if it would affect anything), but I was just really curious about that. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks!

Sam
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 03:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, if I did go with the ABs I'd probably end up with a black or white one, too. Keep in mind though that I primarily shoot film (we're still out there! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]) so most of the time I wouldn't be able to set white balance... but I do occasionaly shoot digital, and that advice is good to keep in mind. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Thanks!

Sam
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I just checked out your site... looks like the WLs and ABs worked very nicely indeed! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Man those Hensels do seem pretty sweet. Too bad they're a little out of my price range right now. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] Can't wait to see some shots with them though. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Sam
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Re: White Lightnings and Alien Bees...
Old 06-01-2005, 03:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'll let you know about the color thing. I didn't even think about it when I ordered the Alien Green. I just decided the black or white was just to boring. I like bright things. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

Cinnamon
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