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Author Topic: Why do you use Alien Bees?  (Read 3973 times)

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« on: August 15, 2011, 21:29 »
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The question is specifically for Sean Locke, but it can go for anyone...

It doesn't take a mathematician to see that you (Sean) can afford more expensive lighting than Alien Bees, why don't you?

Is it because you are totally happy with your Bee's that you see no reason to upgrade?
Because you have other financial priorities?
or.... well I can't think of other reasons...

other people?

I just bought 3 bee units to shoot with while I am living away from home for 3 months.  I have been pretty impressed and happy with them really and think they were a great buy.  I usually use Hensel strobes (and actually also brought a hensel porty with me from home that I like and use a lot)


« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2011, 21:36 »
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I got Bees because the pro who taught me studio lighting had them first.  They're priced right, they work well, accessories aren't obscenely expensive, and Paul Buff's customer support is pretty amazing.  I discovered that last over UPS screwing up delivery, and Buff's people making it all right with no fuss at all.

I've since upgraded to a pair of Buff's Einsteins.  Love them, and I especially love the light I get from his PLM (parabolic umbrellas).  Cheap, easy to set up and the results are gorgeous. 

As you can tell, I'm a fan.

« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011, 21:47 »
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Good question.

« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011, 21:56 »
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Is it because you are totally happy with your Bee's that you see no reason to upgrade?

Pretty much.  They do the job, and I haven't seen anything in the other brands I've used at 'lypses that made me feel I had to run out and buy something else.  They're insanely reliable, cost effective, and come in cool colors.  I'm not trying to impress anyone with my lighting equipment.

That said, my needs are pretty specific, the way I'm shooting.  There are likely other reasons someone shooting something different might want a different brand.  For example, people complain about color temperature differences between shots.  I've never seen anything that stood out, but someone might be doing something where that is very important.

« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011, 22:31 »
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thanks for the answer Sean (and others)

Maybe shooting on film that could be a real problem, or shooting fine art, or some other products where colors have to be spot on (if it really IS a problem)... with stock, there is often a lot of competing light temperatures as it is and each image is individually color corrected in post, so if there was a change in color it should be pretty easily fixed.

I also like the color selection of the strobes themselves.  It is nice having the different watt strobes color coded.

traveler1116

« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2011, 22:43 »
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Is it because you are totally happy with your Bee's that you see no reason to upgrade?

Pretty much.  They do the job, and I haven't seen anything in the other brands I've used at 'lypses that made me feel I had to run out and buy something else.  They're insanely reliable, cost effective, and come in cool colors.  I'm not trying to impress anyone with my lighting equipment.

That said, my needs are pretty specific, the way I'm shooting.  There are likely other reasons someone shooting something different might want a different brand.  For example, people complain about color temperature differences between shots.  I've never seen anything that stood out, but someone might be doing something where that is very important.

I think some other brands or models by Paul Buff can freeze motion better.  I use them because they are cheap, work well and from what I hear they have great customer service.

« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2011, 23:13 »
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A Paul Buff customer service story.  A while ago Buff offered a limited edition Alien Bees light in pumpkin orange in honor of Halloween.  (Okay, might have been Thanksgiving.  Or both.)  My pro photographer friend bought one.  He had it with him on a trip, where it was stolen from his car.  He couldn't bear the thought of not having a bright orange strobe, so he called up to order another one.  The operator looked up his address, saw he'd bought one before and said he must really like the orange light.  He told her his sad tale, after which she gave him a 50% discount on the replacement.  Talk about impressing the heck out of a customer!

« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2011, 23:16 »
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haha nice.

I saw on their site they sold orange strobes.  I wanted to buy orange :(

« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2011, 00:17 »
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I use all Paul C Buff equipment. It is cost effective and reliable.

I am using Einsteins now because color shift when changing power output was driving me bonkers.
These units do away with that problem.
As a bonus, they can be controlled remotely from a Cyber Commander unit (which also acts as a meter).

No more climbing up and down over and over to adjust a light that's up on a boom. Woo-Yay!!!  ;D

« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2011, 06:11 »
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I think some other brands or models by Paul Buff can freeze motion better.  I use them because they are cheap, work well and from what I hear they have great customer service.

Yeah, the Einsteins have a different light falloff profile which they say allows this.

Looks like AB redid their website finally.

« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2011, 07:45 »
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I also have a 3 bee units and happy with it. I also have the Elinchrom Quadra two light kit. The main reason I bought the Quadra is because it's very very light weight. I think it is lighter than the Canon 580EX II.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 08:03 by ProArtwork »

« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2011, 07:56 »
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Bees are inexpensive and they work so well. Not so expensive that if one tumbles and smashes you cry for a month, and they produce great lighting results. I think lighting is one of those things that boils down primarily to experience. my favourite stock portrait shooter is the best with lighting that I've ever seen, and his studio is all about his own workarounds and homemade reflectors and tricks he has picked up in his experience.

I love the AB ring flash unit. Only criticism is that it isn't easily portable.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 08:13 by SNP »

« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2011, 09:15 »
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same here.. they are reliable, affordable and solid quality.  They also have the best customer service of any company I have ever dealt with.  ever.   

« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2011, 10:32 »
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same here.. they are reliable, affordable and solid quality.  They also have the best customer service of any company I have ever dealt with.  ever.   

+1

« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2011, 11:49 »
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I bought two Einsteins two months ago, because of what I read about their capability to freeze motion.  The second shoot, one of them exploded with a big bang.  I mailed P. Buff and had to return the defective strobe.  Without 1 question, it was replaced 2 weeks later.  I'm glad you guys keep saying they're reliable - makes me believe the explosion was just bad luck and not a typical Einstein-problem!

« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2011, 20:43 »
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We have 6 Alien Bees and keep going back to them for two main reasons (besides being affordable): (1) They are workhorses- incredibly tough (we take them into the field often) and (2) The customer service is the best I've ever seen. The folks at Paul Buff really stand behind these things.

Combine a Bee with a pocket wizard and you have the most durable setup ever.


 

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