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Alien Bee Opinions Wanted
Old 10-13-2003, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi:
I'm in the market for some new strobes and wanted to know what opinions were on the Alien Bees? $/ws looks right but what about durability and consistancy?
Thanks
Rick
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Re: Alien Bee Opinions Wanted
Old 10-13-2003, 11:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am probably going to order these lights today myself and I will just pass on to you what i've heard from the many people i've asked. So far I have heard all positive reviews except for a couple who said that the switches on the back felt flimsy. The ONLY other negative review I heard was from Rolando Gomez who said the color temperature consistancy is not good (varies ~400 deg K as compared to 100 deg K for more expensive lights). They are made of lexan plastic which is supposedly extremely durable stuff. I'm also told by people that own them that they have great customer service and warranty. I'm not really concerned about "flimsy" switches, the color consistancy thing does concern me somewhat but even so I'm not sure if I can justify the extra money. Hope this helps.
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Re: Alien Bee Opinions Wanted
Old 10-13-2003, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've had three Alien Bee heads for about a year, and I couldn't be happier. They're durable, dependable and inexpensive. For an amateur who shoots for fun, these are perfect.

If you make your living as a photographer, than maybe a light with more consistant color temperature would be important. To me, it's not.

George
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One of the most popular...
Old 10-13-2003, 12:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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...topics on this part of the board is the value/worth of Alien Bees.

Click here for a LONG thread about the Bees!
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Agreed...........
Old 10-13-2003, 12:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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...I've had the 1600's for about 6 months, and have done plenty of shoots, using them as portable lights, using their Vagabond battery pack for $499. Works great, and have had them blow over many times when using their big soft box, and they take a lickin and keep on ticking. The color tempertaure issue would have been important a few years ago, but most shooters are doing heavy post-production using photoshop, and a 300 degree color temp difference or swing can very easily be corrected. I personally haven't noticed it, so it boils down, for me anyway, whether I want to spend a lot more for a slightly better battery pack option, or continue to use these, which have worked great thus far.

BTW, I do advocate better lights in a studio, where color temp is more important. I use Black Line Speedotron 1200 & 800 units. They are built tough, and are a great in-between light, that have been proven over the years. Oh yeah, their American made, unlike most of the lights people rave about.

Below are a few examples of images photographed using a single (1) AB 1600 unit, with a 20x30 soft box and the Vagabond battery pack.

My 2 cents, hope it helps!!!










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Re: Agreed...........
Old 10-13-2003, 12:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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So are you saying the color temp variance is definitely there?

Is there anything else out there that's going to get me a couple of stands, a couple carrying cases and 4 heads (monolight or pack I don't care) and all of these features for $1700 shipped to my door?
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If it\'s there, I\'ve never noticed it.
Old 10-13-2003, 02:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've been shooting with them for about 4 months now and I've not noticed any color variation. But then, what do I know?
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Re: Alien Bee Opinions Wanted
Old 10-13-2003, 08:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I used the Alien Bees for about two years and I loved them. The only reason I even gave them up was less studio work. I had used the White Lightning series for years with a different company and found ease of use to be about the same. Plus customer service with Paul Buff Co. is fantastic. The only problem I ever had was some color variation with close up and macro stuff. Got used to it and adjusted as needed. For the price you can't beat them though. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

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Same Company
Old 10-13-2003, 08:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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By the way, the Alien Bees are made by the same company that makes White LIghtings (Paul Buff). The Bees I've used worked wonderfully with never a problem and I never noticed any problem with the color variance.
Cheers,
rfs
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Bees are great
Old 10-15-2003, 10:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Used them for 2 years as my primary lights, now use DynaLites for mains, but keep Bees for back up and use them in background for bigger shoots. I never had one problem from their end, but I blew out one flash tube by shorting it out, and they still replaced it under warranty within 24 hours and updated a couple of other things on it at no charge.

Nice product, nice people and excellent service. The potential color shift is small for most glamour work. Not acceptable for magazine repro on some jobs, but hardly an issue for glamour work.

I highly recommend Bees for a small studio system.

Michelle M from Daytonna shot on D1X with 2 Alien Bee units, softbox front and bounce from rear.

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