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Alien Bees and other lights
Old 09-25-2003, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Not ready to buy yet but trying to get an idea of how much capital I need to raise when I do finally buy something. A while back I was chatting with a friend about the pros and cons of alien bees and he was saying the only major draw back was that the alien bees were plastic and there weren't any speed rings or other adapters to use photoflex or chimera softboxes and octodomes, etc. with them mainly because they had alot of plastic parts that wouldn't support the weight or something to that effect. Recently I was told by someone else that they had some kind of an S clamp that mounts to your light stand rather than directly to the light and supports the softbox in front of the light for use with alien bees. After browsing around on the photoflex website it looks like they now have speed rings as well.

Anyway my question is do these solutions work well with the alien bees and is there any issues with plastic parts on the lights not supporting the weight or anything like that?

Are there any other draw backs to alien bees?

Is ther eany reason to go with the more expensive white lightning lights over the alien bees other than the availability of higher output lights? After playing briefly with some 500 watt second lights from other manufacturers I don't think output with the alien bees will be an issue.

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Re: Alien Bees and other lights
Old 09-25-2003, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have an AlienBees "Giant" softbox (30x60) that mounts on my alien bees head with no problem. It seems like the flash itself can handle the weight just fine. You definatly need their heavier duty stand if your going to use softboxes though.

AlienBees may have a lot of plastic parts, but its awfully darn tough plastic.

BTW, Im looking to sell that 30x60 softbox (I ordered their smaller size, they sent the wrong one) as its just too large and cumbersome for what I use it for most of the time. If your interested in it, lemme know. Its had VERY little use.

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Re: Alien Bees and other lights
Old 09-25-2003, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How much are you looking to get for it? I know alien bees makes their own softboxes but I wanted the versatility of being able to use the photoflex gear. Plus I feel the photoflex stuff is better quality and has more options like gold foil inserts (I assume the alie bees box doesn't have that?).
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uummm
Old 09-25-2003, 02:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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in my left hand is the all metal LGSR (alien bees) speed ring and in my right hand is my chimera softbox.....not sure why someone would say they don't work together....
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Re: uummm
Old 09-25-2003, 02:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No idea either, i subsequently found out that wasn't true - just curious if there any other drawbacks to alien bees over their more expensive competition (other than ultra high output offerings)...
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Re: Alien Bees and other lights
Old 09-25-2003, 05:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You may want to try this link Light Gear USA It's a link from the Alien Bees website, they have speedrings to adapt the alien bees to many different brands of softboxes.I didn't see photoflex on their list but they may have something that will work. Also is you are looking for inexpensive studio strobes you may want to look at Photogenics new StudioMax line, I just picked up the AC160, mostly plastic too and I haven't tried it out yet but it seems very well made, is daylight balanced and the model lamp is replacable with appliance bulbs from the hardware store. The 160 is around $170 at B&H and the AC320 is around $220.
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Bees Fan
Old 09-26-2003, 07:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Please read about what Bees are made of and who makes them at alienbees.com. You will discover that the "plastic" shell is Lexan - the same stuff of bullet proof glass.

Bees also accept accessories that fit White Lightning (duh) and Balcar units.

And their t-shirt is a GREAT self-marketing tool.
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My take on Bees
Old 09-26-2003, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Everything I ever bought from this company works well. I don't understand the 'plastic' issue. It's never been an issue with me. I have needed their assistance with several tech issues and they have always been there. I recieved a full set of carrying case replacements for the lights and still can't find a problem with the originals. I thought pieces were missing from an order and was shipped replacements immediately only to find it was my mistake. They told me to forget about it. I would love to be able to afford the real expensive stuff at some point, but feel like there is just not much missing right now other then to learn to use it to it's potential!!!

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Re: Alien Bees and other lights
Old 09-26-2003, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Ill take 80.00 for it. (the giant softbox) plus shipping

Sorry to take so long to get back, but my cable is out, and with it, my internet service.


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Re: Bees Fan
Old 09-27-2003, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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And Balcar has some really neat light modifiers available (although some of these cost more than an Alien Bee head).

I guess I can't complain about plastic flash housings. The Elinchrom S1500 head has a plastic casing (and plastic flash tube cover) as well.
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