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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 23 Sep 2013 (Monday) 16:13
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More Durable Modifier than an Alien Bees PLM?

 
jmaher
Senior Member
Joined Feb 2010
Sarasota, FL
Sep 23, 2013 16:13 |  #1

I just destroyed my 2nd Alien Bees 64" PLM in a row. One was fine for a few shoots and the next time I took it out all the rods came loose from the center as I was taking it out of the bag. AB promptly sent me a replacement (good customer service) and I broke it on my first outing yesterday. It fell over once with two Canon 550's mounted with 622 triggers. The wind took it and it fell into some foliage. The center rod broke and all the rods once again came apart. It really was not much of a fall but obviously it must have hit just right.

These are great in the studio but obviously not right for me in the field. Any suggestions for an easily transportable, lightweight setup that won't let me down? I am not usually hard on equipment and have not had problems with other modifiers. Primarily shooting singles or couples. I want something that will provide full body coverage.

Jim




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gonzogolf
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28,921 posts
Joined Dec 2006
Sep 23, 2013 16:22 |  #2

Are you using sandbags? Anything that big is going to be susceptible to the wind and just as likely to be damaged in fall? You might want to consider a few of these. They are less durable, but at this price you dont mind getting some field damage. http://www.amazon.com ...a+softbox+for+photo​graphyexternal link




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chris_holtmeier
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Joined Sep 2011
Omaha
Sep 23, 2013 16:26 |  #3

http://www.amazon.com ...&keywords=fotodiox+​ez+proexternal link

I drove over mine (folded up) with an SUV, with no apparent damage.

It's fallen a few times while set up.



https://www.facebook.c​om/FotonFoto (external link)

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jmaher
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Feb 2010
Sarasota, FL
Sep 23, 2013 17:48 |  #4

I have sandbags but its not always feasible to drag them everywhere. I was not using them in this case.

Running over the modifier with a car sure sounds durable enough! Now if you had only done it opened and could tell me it still worked.

Jim




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BrickR
Cream of the Crop
5,933 posts
Joined Mar 2011
Dallas TX
Sep 23, 2013 18:25 |  #5

After getting a Fotodiox 24x36 EZPro softbox, I can see I'll be going with Fotodiox for all my softbox wants. The EZ Pro line are the ones that open like umbrellas and make set up/take down simple.


My junk
The grass isn't greener on the other side, it's green where you water it.

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riffster
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Joined Apr 2009
Ohio
Sep 24, 2013 09:00 |  #6

I'm pretty happy with the durability of my 86" PLM. I can't imagine really ever using it outdoors not with that size of a wind sail, but that might change. Even the 47" octobox gets a bit tricky in the wind but decent for couples. For me, easily the best weather resistant modifier is the beauty dish.


5DII | 7D | C100mkII | Tokina 16-28 2.8 I Canon 24-70L | Canon 70-200L 2.8 | Canon 85 1.8 | Sigma 30 1.4 www.riffster.com (external link) www.facebook.com/riffs​terproductions (external link)

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jmaher
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Feb 2010
Sarasota, FL
Sep 24, 2013 10:30 |  #7

I think the PLMs are certainly durable for a studio (with the exception of the one they replaced) but not really strong enough for field use. The Fotodiox seem like an OK choice although they get mixed reviews on Amazon.




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dmward
Cream of the Crop
Joined Jun 2009
Metro Chicago
Sep 24, 2013 10:45 |  #8

I have all the various sized PLMs. I also have the various sized EZ-pros from Fotodiox.
They are different modifiers for different purposes.

If I were going to try to use a larger PLM outside with any wind I'd have an assistant holding the stand as well as soft boxes. Few modifiers are indestructible. Durability has more to do with the photographer's handling of equipment than anything else.

I got in a hurry Saturday and had a speedlite with no modifier go over because I wasn't careful with placing the stand on uneven lawn in a slight wind. And no sand bag.


David | Sharing my Insights, Knowledge & Experience (external link) | dmwfotos website (external link)

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abbadon31
Goldmember
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Joined Jul 2009
SOCAL
Sep 24, 2013 11:52 |  #9

Never had a problem with the Ez-Pro in over 3 years of having one. Fastest setup time out of any octa I have ever used and more durable then a lot of the named brand expensive ones.


I AM SHOM

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More Durable Modifier than an Alien Bees PLM?
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