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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

The Vagabond Mini Lithium from AlienBee
Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:29 PM on 12.16.10
->> wondering if anyone has received one yet?
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Chris Cecere, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 2:58 PM on 12.16.10
->> I ordered mine the first week in December and it has not shipped yet.
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 3:22 PM on 12.16.10
->> The Paul Buff sites says: "The original estimated date has been pushed back due to factors beyond our control. We are now anticipating shipments to begin in mid to late December."
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 4:27 PM on 12.16.10
->> Seems that Buff is having supply issues across multiple lines. I went on the site yesterday to look for his "China Lantern" PLM and found most if not ALL of the PLM line is back ordered or not available then I jumped to check on the mini and that too is not yet available.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 9:36 PM on 12.16.10
->> Ordered early November received same notice.
Emailed them recently got same reply just worded differently.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Powell | TN | USA | Posted: 11:08 PM on 12.19.10
->> nadda....
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 5:13 AM on 12.20.10
->> Still waiting . . .
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 10:52 AM on 12.20.10
->> A question and a comment:

Will this battery power other strobe systems besides Buff brands?

Supply has been an issue with several of their products. The parabolic reflectors in particular are another example. A great light modifier! But it has been unavailable for the better part of a year (which is the reason I didn't include it in my annual cool gear list in the current issue of the Sports Shooter Newsletter.) The parabolic has already been knocked off by a couple of sources.

This battery looks cool. When someone gets a chance to use one, love to hear how it works in real life situations.

Mahalo!
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N. Scott Trimble, Photographer
Lake Oswego | OR | USA | Posted: 12:28 PM on 12.20.10
->> I hate to say it, but I've been testing the Bowen kit of stuff lately, and like it better, and basically the same price, and they ship FAST.

Just sayin..;.
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Yamil Sued, Photographer, Photo Editor
Peoria | AZ | USA | Posted: 12:32 PM on 12.20.10
->> I did a Commercial Fashion Shoot last week with the older system, the Vagabond II and I ran three heads off one unit for over two hours and I shot over 500 shots!! I never lost power

Robert, the unit runs ANY system!! max Simbron runs Elinchrom's off the Vagabond II
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 1:57 PM on 12.20.10
->> I have a vagabond and have shot with various mono lights attached with no issues. Before I picked a newer laptop with longer battery life, I carried it in my car to run my laptop on a few assignments where I might no have access to electricity, but needed to process files or transmit.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 2:41 PM on 12.20.10
->> Robert -- I spoke to their tech support folks last week. They are still doing final testing Non-Buff brands before they begin shipping.
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:50 PM on 12.20.10
->> Hmmmmm. If this works for Dynalight, this unit is MUCH cheaper than the XP1100.

I hope Paul Buff solves its supply problems with their products.

The parabolic reflector system is very good, but I'm not sure it is worth waiting 8 or 9 months for when there are knock-offs waiting in the wings to take your money.
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Jim Colburn, Photo Editor, Photographer
McAllen | TX | USA | Posted: 3:07 PM on 12.20.10
->> Robert, one of our shooters had a Dynalite M2000 outfit (three heads) and used to run it very successfully with a Vagabond.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 3:37 PM on 12.20.10
->> I ran two Profoto 1200's at full power in full sunlight with five heads for a shoot last year on a soccer field using one of the older Vagabond units I borrowed from a friend. I shot over 300 pops before the recycle time started to get annoyingly long, at least for me but it did power my lights for the entire job, which was just over 400 pops.
I have real hopes on this new item which I pre ordered.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 3:53 PM on 12.20.10
->> Looking forward to hearing about the Vagabond mini lithium . . . especially with some lightweight Uni400jrs. May help to lighten a load if it lives up to its promises.


Vagabond -- 18.6 lbs

Dyna-lite XP1100 -- 22.6 lbs

Dyna-lite Jackrabbit II -- 1.9 lbs

Vagabond Mini -- 3.5 lbs
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 5:16 PM on 12.20.10
->> I used the Vagabond with 3 dynalites (and the 1000 pack) for a cd cover for several hours. Also used it for my Macbook and to charge my Blackberry. LOVED it
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 9:54 PM on 12.20.10
->> HI Debra
is that the new mini vagabond or the original
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:25 PM on 12.20.10
->> David-that is the original. I am anxiously awaiting for the new mini
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Robert Hanashiro, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:14 PM on 12.21.10
->> Wow. Thanks Debra. If the original version performs at that level, the new model should be even better. That size and weight plus an affordable price. Works with non-PB systems. Sounded too good to be true. I hope they fix their supply problems.
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PJ Heller, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 8:24 PM on 12.30.10
->> For those waiting for the new mini Vagabond battery, the wait will go on.

According to the Buff web site:

"Vagabond Mini™ Lithium shipments now anticipated to begin in late January.
Despite our best efforts to meet our December schedule, our lithium batteries were held for international inspection and will not clear customs until mid-January. This has delayed our assembly and testing procedures, and shipments are now anticipated to begin in late January. We sincerely apologize for this delay."
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 12:30 AM on 01.05.11
->> got the email today---shipments will be starting soon
I can't wait!!!
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 12:42 AM on 01.05.11
->> Yes, RG had a blog entry earlier today ...

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/content_page.asp?cid=7-11133-11152
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:56 AM on 01.05.11
->> this part is confusing to me:

The Vagabond Mini Lithium, including the inverter, battery module and three-hour charger, is US$239.95 direct from Paul C. Buff in the U.S. Additional batteries are US$89.95. It's to be available in both 120VAC output and 230VAC output versions

$89.95 for an additional battery..as in the entire unit or a replacement?
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Max Simbron, Photographer, Assistant
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 2:28 AM on 01.05.11
->> Deb, the unit is 2 parts.. the inverter (which has the ports for you to plug into), and the battery.

So you can buy spare batteries to plug into the inverter in case you do a shoot that last more than 500 plus pops or whatever this will last.

So rather than buy an extra vagabond mini, I can buy extra batteries.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 2:43 AM on 01.05.11
->> gotcha!
Thanks Max (again!)

See you soon in NYC
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 9:18 AM on 01.05.11
->> Also note that PCB is selling a 3' power cord now. That should work pretty well when mounting the Mini on a light stand.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 5:17 PM on 01.21.11
->> Paul C. Buff , INC 800-443-5542 TN ON
01/21/2011 Debit Processing
-$250.63
They finally charged my card, should have my Vagabond Mini Lithium soon. I will put it to use right away and will post my experience with it.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 6:09 PM on 01.25.11
->> YAYYYY....mine arrived today!
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Jon Longo, Photographer
Independence | KY | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 01.26.11
->> Nope and according to my phone call today, new orders will not ship until late February or March, Also, a month minimum wait on the Einsteins and the PLM v2 reflectors are still on backorder thru the end of this month best case.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Fontana | CA | USA | Posted: 1:42 PM on 01.26.11
->> UPS tracking states delivery scheduled for Thursday.
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Stephen Voss, Photographer
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 3:10 PM on 01.26.11
->> Got mine last week (4 of them). Used them on multiple shoots over the past week and they've been flawless. Such a step up from lead batteries. Quick recycle time, and so small and light compared to the Innovatronix batteries I used to haul around.
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Ken Shelton, Photographer
Wyckoff | NJ | USA | Posted: 4:39 PM on 01.26.11
->> Used one to power a remote video camera for 2 hours in Central Park, NYC this past Sunday. 14-degrees, no issues.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 6:12 AM on 01.27.11
->> Got replacement batteries--all cases were sealed shut. No issues and they still perform great!
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Shelly Castellano, Photographer, Photo Editor
Huntington Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 10:25 PM on 01.11.12
->> Wondering how the mini has performed since they came out a year ago. Jackrabbits or Vagabond?... do tell!
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Brett Clark, Photographer
Elizabeth City | NC | USA | Posted: 10:42 PM on 01.11.12
->> @Shelly, here is Rob Galbraith's recent update on his review of the VML

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-11667-11915-12108#con...
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Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 10:48 PM on 01.11.12
->> And pay attention to the VML bracket he reviewed. I'd give the link to my review, but Rob does a much nicer job :) The Bracket is AWESOME and is on sale for a few more days.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Southern California | CA | USA | Posted: 3:57 PM on 01.12.12
->> The Unit was unable to recycle my Profoto 1200 at full power or even half power in any reasonable amount of time to be usable on a shoot just after receiving it last year.Thank goodness I brought other options, I have not used it since.
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Gray Quetti, Photographer
Jacksonville | Fl | USA | Posted: 6:57 PM on 01.12.12
->> I used the VML during Help-Portrait day last month and shot 900 photos all on the VML with 2-AB 800's at 1/2 power and never had a bit of trouble with recycle time. I did put the unit on charge for about 30-45 minutes during the lunch break but there was some juice left when we finished. I just received the VML bracket and it is very sturdy. I haven't used it on location yet but sure it do fine.
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Kevin Krows, Photographer
Forsyth | IL | USA | Posted: 7:53 PM on 01.12.12
->> Louis - What were you expecting?

"Note: The Vagabond Mini™ Lithium is offered in both 120VAC and 230VAC models. The 120VAC model is designed for use with all standard Paul C. Buff™ flash units (AlienBees™, White Lightning™, Zeus™ and Einstein™ units)."
PCB Website.

Recycle Time
recycles 160 Ws in approx. 0.75 seconds
recycles 320 Ws in approx. 1.5 seconds
recycles 640 Ws in approx. 3 seconds
recycles 1280 Ws in approx. 7 seconds

PCB Technical Specs using PCB Lights
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Southern California | CA | USA | Posted: 8:23 PM on 01.12.12
->> Any of those times would have been reasonable, taking over two minutes after each shot is unreasonable in my expectation.
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Brian Tietz, Photographer
Fort Myers | FL | USA | Posted: 9:20 PM on 01.12.12
->> Has anyone ran the Vag Mini with parallel battery packs with a 1000+ w/s pack?

I tested one with my Dynalite M1000wi pack and it made me really nervous to see the on switch dim and flicker during a slow recycle time. I wonder if running it in Parallel would help it recover from a big load faster.

I'd love to see a full size lithium pack.
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Kevin M. Cox, Photographer, Assistant
Galveston & Houston | TX | US | Posted: 12:51 AM on 01.13.12
->> The following is from the Vagabond Mini Lithium manual:

"In particular, Profoto brand units will generally not operate from the Vagabond Mini™ Lithium."
http://www.paulcbuff.com/manuals/vmini.pdf

I've only had a chance to use the VML twice since we got them in December. It worked great for some outdoor sports portraits last month and I ran two Alien Bee 800s off one battery for a group shot tonight and it was much easier than running extension cords.

So far so good.
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Louis Lopez, Photographer
Southern California | CA | USA | Posted: 2:16 AM on 01.13.12
->> Thanks Kevin, that explains just about everything. Anybody looking to buy a mini lithium let me know as I will put it in the sites classified section in the next day or two. Only used once.
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Thread Title: The Vagabond Mini Lithium from AlienBee
Thread Started By: Debra L Rothenberg
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