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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 02 Feb 2014 (Sunday) 00:45
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Alien Bees or Cheetah Light?

 
Drake ­ Avenue ­ Photography
Hatchling
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Feb 02, 2014 00:45 |  #1

Hello! This is my first post in POTN, but this is not my only forum. I'm a Pentax guy, but I joined POTN specifically for this particular lighting forum. The knowledge and expertise that I've seen displayed here is spectacular and second to none.


I'm in a bit of a conundrum. I'm in the process of upgrading my (small) lighting kit, and I'm being pulled in two directions. I mainly shoot weddings and on-location portraits (95% of my paid work). I'm a follower of the Strobist method, and thus far have gotten along nicely with a single Youngno YN-560ii and shoot-thru umbrella, but I feel I've reached the limits of this kit and need more power and access to larger light modifiers.

I was thinking of getting an Einstein 640 with the CC, Soft Silver PLM, 22" White BD, 8.5" Standard reflector, Vagabond Mini and two more YN-560iii's to use as hair/rim/fill.

Thanks to this forum, however, I've learned about the Cheetahlight 180/360 and the V850's. I think a kit with a 360 and two V850's would be pretty awesome, albeit with a loss of maximum power and super short t.1 times vs the PCB kit. Also, mounting options and possible light modifiers seem to be compromised to an extent, but I could use the Cheetahlight triggers to control everything remotely.

Which of these two options would be the most portable and versatile (and reliable)? Also, cost effectiveness is a factor. I'd like to keep this expenditure below $1500 as I'll also be investing in more Pentax Limited, DA* and FA* glass.

The included photo is an in-camera 4 shot multi exposure taken with my Pentax K5iis and Sigma EX DG 70mm f2.8 Macro. Lighting was the YN-560ii hand-held with my DIY beauty dish.


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Drake ­ Avenue ­ Photography
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Hatchling
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Feb 02, 2014 22:19 |  #2

no one has anything to say about the portability of the Einstein vs the 360?




  
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Not_a_Canon
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Feb 02, 2014 22:25 |  #3

Portability, the cheetah is the size of a speed light and the Einstein is not. I have neither, but the portability would have to be own by the cheetah IMO.


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ducatiwv
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Feb 02, 2014 22:28 |  #4

Drake Avenue Photography wrote in post #16659176 (external link)
no one has anything to say about the portability of the Einstein vs the 360?


I have both setups, if you want to travel light( especially for location shoots needing battery pack) , then I d go for cheetah, BUT, if you need the extra power the Einstein is the way to go. Einstein and vagabond mini is about the same cost, maybe just a little more depending on where you purchase the 360 , ( Godox, or Cheetah) but if i was just going for one setup alone I d probably choose the Einstein. I know there are people who disagree , for all around i d choose it. That being said , when i travel I usually take the Cheetah setup.


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sportmode
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Feb 02, 2014 22:44 as a reply to  @ ducatiwv's post |  #5

I have both also, and as much as the Godox/Cheetah is lighter and smaller, it still requires an external battery, so setup time is going to be about the same. I guess if you have space limitation, the Godox/Cheetah will fit into your bag easier and perhaps easier to carry since it's lighter. That said, the Einstein/Vagabond solution isn't really huge either, and it's got twice as much power. Get both ;-)a


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Drake ­ Avenue ­ Photography
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Hatchling
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Feb 02, 2014 23:06 |  #6

Right now I think I'm leaning slightly more towards the 360, just to have a fully integrated remotely controllable system, but it seems that it would be more of a pain to keep track of the adapters I would need to be able to modify the light. Is there a simple way to attach the 360 to umbrellas, parabolics, and beauty dishes?




  
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sportmode
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Feb 02, 2014 23:27 as a reply to  @ Drake Avenue Photography's post |  #7

Here's the umbrella holder for the Cheetah...

https://www.cheetahsta​nd.com/product-p/cl-s6.htm (external link)

The Cheetah uses the same mount as speedlites. That said, because it's bare bulb, I find the usual vertical mounts don't push the bulb in far enough into the modifier. I think the Cheetah Pro Bracket

https://www.cheetahsta​nd.com …racket-MKII-p/bktmkii.htm (external link)

probably does a better job.


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yogibear
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Feb 07, 2014 14:04 |  #8

The Einstein is great for portraits but not the best tool for run and gun that a wedding would call for. The Einstein would work well at a wedding if it's used to light up a dark reception hall. It's just a little too heavy to to use through out a wedding day.




  
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RickFL
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Jun 03, 2014 14:20 |  #9

I had some of the same questions as the OP. Specifically about the light modifiers available for the Cheetah. Is there a good variety and quality?


6D gripped :: 17-40L :: 135L :: 70-200 f/2.8L II IS :: Tokina 24-70 f/2.8 :: 50 f/1.4 :: CL 360 (x 2)
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sportmode
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Jun 03, 2014 14:51 as a reply to  @ RickFL's post |  #10

The PLM that I bought with my Einstein works really good with the umbrella mount on the Cheetah Speed Pro S Bracket (external link).


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adammazza
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Jun 03, 2014 15:11 |  #11

RickFL wrote in post #16949201 (external link)
I had some of the same questions as the OP. Specifically about the light modifiers available for the Cheetah. Is there a good variety and quality?

If you use the Cheetah speed bracket, or Godox S type you can use standard Bowen modifiers. The Cheetah lights will also easily fit in umbrella type softboxes like the Apollos.


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ogmike
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Jun 03, 2014 17:58 |  #12

id say go for the godox for portability i have one in my bag with a ton of other stuff and it fits great


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starlights
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Jun 03, 2014 18:12 |  #13

I have both, the PCB Einstein (with CC) and The Godox 360 (along with a couple of TT850s)

I shoot mostly outdoors and some indoors/studio - earlier on, I used Einstein quite a bit when shooting outdoor, specially when I needed more light than my canon speedlights would provide. Einstein combined with the Cyber Commander (where you control the E's output and it has a built in flash meter on the back) and Vagabond Mini is pretty sweet - Its slightly more cumbersome than using speedlight/s in the field but then it gives you tons of power.

Since I have bought the AD360, I dont use Einstein a whole lot outdoors - just because the 360 gives me as much power as I "normally" need but its a lot more portable and convenient to set up quickly. I use the 360 mostly in westcott type umbrella softboxes and the set up is very light and extremely portable.

The 850s are usually used as additional light when i need them or exclusively when i shoot with the Fujifilm X100s just because it syncs upto 1/1000 of a second so not a whole lot of flash power is needed at wide open apertures - this makes an extremely light and very portable setup.

In the past I often carried the Einstein and the Vegabond mini in a shoulder camera bag (Like mountainsmith Parallax) along with my other photography gear - it was heavy but manageable and thus pretty portable.

In terms of light output - even though on paper the difference is just about 1 stop between the E & the 360, i felt it to be greater in real life shooting situations. Hope this helps in some way.




  
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bikfoto
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Jun 03, 2014 19:06 |  #14

Curious to find out the answer as well, since I'm primarily Alienbees shooter.


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RickFL
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Jun 03, 2014 21:16 |  #15

Thanks guys. I have all along planned to get an Einstein(s) for my entry into monolights. But the CL-360 has me second guessing that idea. I shoot without an assistant and the portability factor might just win out since I always shoot on location.


6D gripped :: 17-40L :: 135L :: 70-200 f/2.8L II IS :: Tokina 24-70 f/2.8 :: 50 f/1.4 :: CL 360 (x 2)
My website: rickalonzophoto.com (external link)
My Instagram @sosofreshnsoclean (external link)

  
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Alien Bees or Cheetah Light?
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