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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Props to Paul Buff Alien Bee build quality
Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 10:14 AM on 10.24.13
->> I was doing an outdoor portrait 5 days ago, had an Alien Bee 8 feet up on a heavy duty 13ft stand with a medium softbox, the wind kicked up and over went the Alien Bee dropping 8 feet horizontally and the strobe head half submerged in a stream for about 25 seconds. I thought it was DOA either from the fall or water.

Got back to the office and put the Alien Bee in a bag of rice for 5 days, and it's working again. I can't believe it. My other 4 strobe heads are White Lightnings, I chose them based on heavier build quality, but after this, I've got to say, the Bees are up to anything you can throw at them!
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 1:34 PM on 10.24.13
->> Amen, Greg, I've had some White Lightnings for 7 years and they are indestructible... Never failed; I've had them in rain, dust, heat, etc. and they just keep on ticking. And then there's the incredible customer service. Someone actually answers the phone, nice as they can be and responsive. They work with you. I love WLs.
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Murfreesboro | TN | U.S. | Posted: 2:01 PM on 10.24.13
->> Mine have been knocked over at least 5 or 6 times, and once into a koi pond. Surprised to hear another has made it through total submersion.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 5:23 PM on 10.24.13
->> I had one rust/corrode after being in a wet environment for 2 seasons. While surviving the dunk test is kudos #1 dealing with their service department is kudos #2.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Gene Boyars, Photographer
Matawan | NJ | United States | Posted: 8:04 PM on 10.24.13
->> I have 4 Ultra Zap 1600 heads that are now 15 years old. They have been re-built once for about 50 bucks each. They have also been dropped, shipped, kicked over and lots of other not so good things... And they just keep on going. Are they the most consistent on their output? No...but for the price the customer service alone is worth it.
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John Berry, Photographer
Madison | VA | USA | Posted: 10:53 PM on 10.24.13
->> I've had a WL 1600 and an Einstein blow over in the wind. Neither worked afterwards. Filled out the repair form online and I told them they blew over in the wind. After sending them in, got each back in about two weeks, fixed, no charge. Can't beat that!! Another happy customer!!!
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Alan Look, Photographer
Bloomington - Normal | IL | United States | Posted: 9:09 AM on 10.25.13
->> Dropped an AB800 16 feet to the wood floor, well it hit a folded up basketball standard about 4 foot up. Dented the 11" reflector about the size of a quarter and about a quarter inch deep and also bent one of the squeeze tabs that activate the reflector mounts. Bent the squeeze tab back, put it on the clamp plugged it in and it's still going. didn't even mar the plastic case, much less crack it. Not flash tube or modeling bulb failure!
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Jeffrey Nycz, Photographer
Warsaw | IN | USA | Posted: 4:37 PM on 10.25.13
->> AB 800 on a 13' stand blown over by wind. Modeling light exploded but light continued to work. Outstanding quality and even better support.
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Mike Carlson, Photographer
Bayonet Point | FL | USA | Posted: 10:48 PM on 10.25.13
->> I agree on the quality and service, but after reading this thread...doesn't anyone else use sandbags?!?
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (2) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 10:52 PM on 10.25.13
->> Mike, I was shooting a senior portrait for high school in a public park, I'm kind of run n gun shooter & mobility is key. If I were doing a stationary magazine shoot, yes, I would have some type of sandbag that preferably fills with water, then I can dump it and the bag folds flat.
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Gene Boyars, Photographer
Matawan | NJ | United States | Posted: 4:03 PM on 10.26.13
->> Sandbags are wonderful...until it comes to fumble fingers......
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Wesley R. Bush, Photographer
Murfreesboro | TN | U.S. | Posted: 12:37 PM on 10.28.13
->> Mike, I'd buy some sandbags if they didn't cost so much. I haven't found any I've been willing to pay for with shipping charges included. Anyone have a reasonable alternative?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 12:59 PM on 10.28.13
->> At REI they sell some very small stuff sacks. Fill them with dirt or driveway gravel and presto.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Randy Sartin, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 1:37 PM on 10.28.13
->> Here's some cheap ones, they seem to last longer when you don't try to stuff them completely full. http://www.amazon.com/PBL-SADDLEBAG-SANDBAGS-HEAVYDUTY-SADDLE/dp/B00551636O...
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 10:01 AM on 10.29.13
->> Timing...hahah I just fired off an email to PCB. Need some parts. I recommended that perhaps they might make a saltwater edition for those of us that shoot at or near the beach regularly. All the hardware they use (nuts n bolts) are simply chrome plated, and rust/corrode very easily in this environment. Not their fault, but it would be nice if a SS upgrade was available.

As for wind....I highly recommend their beauty dish in lieu of an umbrella or sb for just that reason. Its always windy at the beach....and the BD is much more resistant to it. Price is great, and the output is very similar when you use with the sock.

Vagabond mini...well thats not so well built. The attachment for holding onto a lightstand is pretty crappy. Just had one break completely off. And the bottom?? Who would ever design something with the release lever/tab on the bottom so they wont "stand up"? Thats just poor planning. Other than that, they are awesome. I have 5. I think as competition ramps up for that type of product, basic improvements need to be made...like the attachment, and bottom plate. The cheetah light system is a great example (I know its dc) but essentially its a better built and smaller version of the VML. Photogenic has one too, albeit more expensive.
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Greg Francis, Photographer
Rochester | NY | USA | Posted: 12:37 PM on 10.29.13
->> Brad, replace the buff clamp with this $7 clamp from B&H, works awesome!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/690057-REG/Global_Truss_JR_CLAMP_Glob...
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 7:39 PM on 10.29.13
->> Nice...thing is its the plastic case itself that is broken. I actually started using a short stud and superclamp as well as a spiderholster unit. Both work great for making my assistants job easier. Just need to get the case repaired.

PCB emailed back and said to send everything to them, and they'd take care of it....love them!
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Dylan Wilson, Photographer, Assistant
Savannah | GA | USA | Posted: 9:24 AM on 11.04.13
->> @ Randy - I just bought those sandbags from Amazon along with a bunch of other stuff. I didn't pay too much attention, but beware - shipping for just the bags is $20!
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Thread Title: Props to Paul Buff Alien Bee build quality
Thread Started By: Greg Francis
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