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Posted: 1/20/2006 11:04:32 AM EDT
Thought I'd toss this at the hive-mind.

OK, I'm a cinematographer by trade who is doing more still shooting for fun and profit. But film is what I'm paid to shoot. My livlihood has unfortunately developed in me champagne tastes for gear. Need a bunch of 10K HMI lighting to fill a building? No prob, get on the phone. However, I will be buying the still photo gear out of my own pocket and jeez this stuff is expensive (I mean not compared to movie stuff but for my own pocketbook, yes.)

So I've seen this Alien Bees stuff. Many good reviews and many bad reviews. Opinions? Dynalite? Great stuff but pricey. I'm leaning toward battery powered/AC strobe system like the Dynalite since I may be doing real-estate interiors and shoots in other peoples homes. Also looking at used speedotrons. No battery, I know. Any strong feeling regarding powerpack vs Monolight?

Just looking for a good, general purpose, travelable strobe package.
Link Posted: 1/21/2006 8:14:45 AM EDT
I don't own - but I have used - an Alien Bees setup. It was easy to use, and seemed like solid gear that would last.

Having said that, studio lighting is not my thing.
Link Posted: 1/22/2006 1:38:40 PM EDT
Alien Bees are excellent lights and fairly light weight. I would just buy the stobe units from www.alienbees.com. For all the accesories such as the light stand, umbrellas, etc. I would buy elsewhere because the general consesus is that the Alien Bee ones are not that good. I have a 13ft Impact Air-Cushioned Light stand that I got from B&H Photo. I also use a Photoflex umbrella. Photoflex gives jsut about the best value for your money in umbrellas and reflectors. Another flahs would be Patterson Stellars which are almost as good quality as Alien Bee. If you feel like spending big bucks, look into Profoto and Elinchrome.

The Alien Bees are AC powered and you can get their Vagabond power pack for battery operation. Using a B400, they advertise 1600 full power flashes on a single charge with a recycle rate of 1 second.

I have an Alien Bee B400 just incase you are wondering.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 12:26:44 AM EDT
I'm currently using a Novatron kit. If I had to do it over again, I'd go Alien Bees. I've played with them, they seems much more durable and reliable.
Link Posted: 1/23/2006 8:46:57 AM EDT
I have 3 Alien Bee B400's and am looking to add a 4th (mainly as a hair light)... they are very easy to work with, consistent in their output, and well priced... I dont think you would be disappointed with them!

-tjg
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