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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 07 Apr 2007 (Saturday) 05:23
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Why are Alien Bees the Most Popular Strobe?

 
EOS_JD
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Apr 11, 2007 17:49 |  #16

jcpoulin wrote in post #3004522 (external link)
I do not believe they ship overseas, someone can correct me if I am wrong. They do ship to Canada as I have seen members posts from there.

Yes they do indeed ship internationally but the cost is quite expensive. I was looking at some kit which was costing around $1750.

A 10% international surcharge took that up to $1925 and then the $295 shipping took that to $2220!!!.

Now it's quite a bit more expensive to you guys but it's still pretty reasonable with everything I was getting in comparison to UK prices - although I need to add VAT to that at 17.5% too!!

My one big issue is power. I need to purchase also an inexpensive 2 way (120V to 240V or 240V to 120V) true magnetic transformer. Doesn't cost too much but I worry about that.

There's a huge UK market there for the taking if Paul Buff would tap into it. He could blow a huge hole in the Elinchrom and Bowens pockets.

I'm still considering ABs.... just need a wee push!

Cheers
JD


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jhom
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Apr 11, 2007 21:56 |  #17

ABs are great value items. Most consumers will recognize this and will make it popular.


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nitekatt2006
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Apr 12, 2007 12:27 |  #18

I have had my set about 2 years, and knock on wood, they have served me for tabletop/jewelry work and fashion/headshot setups. i had one of my clients, a new student in art school buy a set with a beauty dish and octo, plus the Vagabond and I have helped be her lighting assistant.

I use PS CS2 an average of 6-8 daily, to retouch, color correct, etc. Since using the Bees, skin tones, jewelry and products colors are almost 99% like the subject. other systems I have tried, I usually had to do some color tweaks, but hardly ever with the Bees. They work for me and seem to satisfy the customer base for what they offer. I get "pro" fees from my clients when I use them for work.

Now of course if I was making the consistant $1000-10,000 shoots like da big boys, then I would be using and afford the higher end, heavy duty gear, Profoto, MultiBlitz, Norman, Dyna-Lite. But now I am hearing that busy photographers are buying Bees to supplement their smaller jobs. BTW, those big pro power packs and lights really get heavy and unless you have an assistant to set you up, that is another incentive to look at the Bees. Also, the company is offering more and more accessories, so the line is quite good. (I don't work for the Bees either, just like their customer support and products

katt


Canon 10D and 30D. Tokina 80-200mm Pro 2.8 zoom, Sigma 50mm 2.8 macro, Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6, Canon 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS, 2 AB 800

  
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nitekatt2006
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Apr 12, 2007 12:34 |  #19

Oh, and I think they are American made and if I can, I like to support companies to stay in business here in the USA, so there might be some manufacturing jobs left here, which seems to be dwindling

katt


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Titus213
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Apr 12, 2007 14:21 |  #20

I don't read a lot of Photography mags, but I've never seen Alien Bees advertised so that can't be their secret. I think they sell a huge number of units as a direct result of this forum.

It used to be said that if you built a better mouse trap the world would beat a path to your door. Today you might modify that to 'a less expensive mouse trap'....


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StealthLude
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Apr 12, 2007 14:25 |  #21

For me, it was the reviews and recommendations from other members here on the forum that made the direct impact on me. I would have not known about AB if it wasn't for this forum.

The price is what actually made me decide to buy my first light. (after comparing it to other brands)

Now I have 3 lights and I am buying an additional AB Ringflash and an AB1600. I own a lot of their acessories too. When you look at the bottom line total for lights and acessories, it does not make you feel as bad when looked at brands like profoto and elinchrom where you can spend $800 on just a softbox.

At the end of the day, I get excellent results with these strobes, and thats what matters.


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StealthLude
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Apr 12, 2007 14:29 |  #22

nitekatt2006 wrote in post #3029262 (external link)
Oh, and I think they are American made and if I can, I like to support companies to stay in business here in the USA, so there might be some manufacturing jobs left here, which seems to be dwindling

katt

Personally I really dont think the American Made thing makes any difference. I really dont care where the light is made, all I care is does it work, is it cheap, and is the service good.

Id have no problem buying some import chinese light if the reviews where as good if not better than AB.

If I had the money id pickup Hensel or Elinchrom gear in a heartbeat.


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StealthLude
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Apr 12, 2007 14:32 |  #23

EOS_JD wrote in post #3025204 (external link)
Yes they do indeed ship internationally but the cost is quite expensive. I was looking at some kit which was costing around $1750.

A 10% international surcharge took that up to $1925 and then the $295 shipping took that to $2220!!!.

Now it's quite a bit more expensive to you guys but it's still pretty reasonable with everything I was getting in comparison to UK prices - although I need to add VAT to that at 17.5% too!!

My one big issue is power. I need to purchase also an inexpensive 2 way (120V to 240V or 240V to 120V) true magnetic transformer. Doesn't cost too much but I worry about that.

There's a huge UK market there for the taking if Paul Buff would tap into it. He could blow a huge hole in the Elinchrom and Bowens pockets.

I'm still considering ABs.... just need a wee push!

Cheers
JD

I do have to agree with JD here that ABs service and support for people NOT in the US can be at a disadvantage.

Not only does it cost you more, and I think the 220V conversion cost $, the warranty and service if exported is not the same as the US warranty. If I wasnt living in the US, I would be checking out the D-Lite.

The additional costs involved with getting ABs out of the US can be more expencive than its worth (for some people).


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EOS_JD
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Apr 13, 2007 12:03 |  #24

The 240v conversion is not that bad actually. You can buy a magnetic transformer for about $50 (less if you want less power). So that's ok but there's a huge market in the UK for equipment like this. The cost even with all the added expense is still cheaper than elinchrom d-lites. THe cost of the Elinchrom accessories are expensive. The AB accessories are very cheap in comparison.

My brother is emigrating to CA soon so I may wait a while and get him to order thge gear and send it to me. At least I'll have a contact there if I do have problems.

I'll keep considering meantime.


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StealthLude
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Apr 13, 2007 13:03 |  #25

EOS_JD wrote in post #3035026 (external link)
The 240v conversion is not that bad actually. You can buy a magnetic transformer for about $50 (less if you want less power). So that's ok but there's a huge market in the UK for equipment like this. The cost even with all the added expense is still cheaper than elinchrom d-lites. THe cost of the Elinchrom accessories are expensive. The AB accessories are very cheap in comparison.

My brother is emigrating to CA soon so I may wait a while and get him to order thge gear and send it to me. At least I'll have a contact there if I do have problems.

I'll keep considering meantime.

Id want to built into the unit, and AB can do that for you for a small fee.


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In2Photos
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Apr 13, 2007 13:20 as a reply to  @ StealthLude's post |  #26

Titus213 wrote in post #3029798 (external link)
I don't read a lot of Photography mags, but I've never seen Alien Bees advertised so that can't be their secret. I think they sell a huge number of units as a direct result of this forum.

It used to be said that if you built a better mouse trap the world would beat a path to your door. Today you might modify that to 'a less expensive mouse trap'....

The only mag I have seen them advertise in was the latest issue of Rangefinder (IIRC) and it was for their new Ring Flash.


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StealthLude
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Apr 13, 2007 14:39 |  #27

In2Photos wrote in post #3035473 (external link)
The only mag I have seen them advertise in was the latest issue of Rangefinder (IIRC) and it was for their new Ring Flash.

I forgot what magazine but Ive seen their ads before. They had it for their strobe lineup AB400-AB1600 and some accessories.


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DocFrankenstein
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Apr 13, 2007 14:47 |  #28

TomBrooklyn wrote in post #2999512 (external link)
Why are Alien Bees seem the most popular strobes?

Is it because they have the best marketing and advertising, the best website and the dayglo colored bodies look cool, or something(s) else? If something(s) else--what is it?

It's like the popularity of 18-55 and 75-300... it's cheap and people don't know the difference in quality to the better lenses.

Same reason why 20 dollar tripods are popular. Everybody has at least one. ;)


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In2Photos
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Apr 13, 2007 15:20 |  #29

DocFrankenstein wrote in post #3035928 (external link)
It's like the popularity of 18-55 and 75-300... it's cheap and people don't know the difference in quality to the better lenses.

Same reason why 20 dollar tripods are popular. Everybody has at least one. ;)

Not anymore!:p


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EOS_JD
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Apr 13, 2007 16:03 |  #30

You can't compare a $20 tripod to an AB light can you? I have owned a $20 tripod - didn't last long!

THe ABs seem to get great reviews from users.


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Why are Alien Bees the Most Popular Strobe?
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