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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 01 Apr 2010 (Thursday) 11:43
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What Alien Bee setup do I need?

 
m.shalaby
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Apr 01, 2010 11:43 |  #1

What Aline Bee setup do you recommend a begining photographer get for automotive photography? 2 strobes required and portable power needed.

What do I need to get? I went to the Alien Bee site and I'm confused by all the different types of lights ect...

Yeah, I'm a noob, lol.... thanks!

EDIT: Vagabon and two B800's ? Is that it ? Do the stands come with them, or do I need to buy them also, with umbrellas?




  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 01, 2010 11:48 |  #2

Its not that complicated. you just need to decide on how much power you want, and how much you want to pay for it. Your best bet is probably the ab800's. 320ws of power for each light should be enough and unless you are trying to totally blow out the sun in the middle of the day. Two of those and the vagabond II portable power system and you are probably good to go. For triggers get the cybersycn, cst and the csrb (unless you want the cybercommander remote system).




  
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m.shalaby
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Apr 01, 2010 11:51 |  #3

gonzogolf wrote in post #9913837 (external link)
Its not that complicated. you just need to decide on how much power you want, and how much you want to pay for it. Your best bet is probably the ab800's. 320ws of power for each light should be enough and unless you are trying to totally blow out the sun in the middle of the day. Two of those and the vagabond II portable power system and you are probably good to go. For triggers get the cybersycn, cst and the csrb (unless you want the cybercommander remote system).

see, thats the stuff that confused me... the triggeres and all that. I have no idea about any of that stuff... please help!




  
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CosmoKid
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Apr 01, 2010 11:53 |  #4

mdgrwl wrote in post #9913847 (external link)
see, thats the stuff that confused me... the triggeres and all that. I have no idea about any of that stuff... please help!


what do you need to know? if it has a B it is battery powered. you need a trigger and a receiver for each of your lights.


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Big ­ Mike
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Apr 01, 2010 11:56 |  #5

Yes, the B800 is a good value while giving you a decent amount of power.

The lights don't come with stands, each item is listed separately when you put it into your cart. Although, if you go to the packages page, you can add a whole package that includes stands, travel bags etc.
Even if you add things separately to your cart, you get the same 'package' discount...so it doesn't really matter how you do it.

I would suggest the heavy duty stands, they are A LOT more stable than the cheapest light stand. Umbrellas are a cheap & easy way to get started, but I like softboxes a lot more.

The lights do come with a sync cable (you still need a hot shoe to PC adapter because you camera doesn't have a PC sync port)....but going wireless is a preferable option. Their Cyber Sync triggers are great.


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Big ­ Mike
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Apr 01, 2010 11:57 |  #6

see, thats the stuff that confused me... the triggeres and all that. I have no idea about any of that stuff... please help!

Don't be afraid to just call them up on the phone. Their customer service is top notch.


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gonzogolf
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Apr 01, 2010 13:32 |  #7

You want a cst. Thats the trigger. You will need at least 1, ( I recommend 2) receiver csrb. They have recently introduced the cybercommander. Its a wireless remote system that allows you to control your flashes power levels at the camera. Its a nice enough system, but totally unnecessary if you are on a budget. If you do decide to get the cybercommander you will need to get the plus version of the receivers and you can skip the transmitter. Like big mike said, you will need stands although there is nothing magic about the PCB stands so if you have a set already dont stress on it.




  
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Edshropshire
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Apr 01, 2010 17:57 |  #8

Big Mike wrote in post #9913883 (external link)
Don't be afraid to just call them up on the phone. Their customer service is top notch.

I fully agree, if you are going to buy Bees then take advantage of their customer service. I have always found them very helpful. I am very happy with my Bees, and even happier with the support they provide.

Ed


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Guts311
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Apr 01, 2010 20:02 |  #9

I am in the same situation as the OP, 'cept not doing auto photog, maybe just portraits for practice. Would this be sufficient and a good idea for a beginner setup (mostly to learn but also to take some nice photos eventually):

-The Beginner Bee kit w/ B800 strobe (includes strobe, 10-ft. stand, bag, and 48" umbrella)(http://www.alienbees.c​om/beginner.html (external link))

-CyberSync CST Trigger Transmitter (http://www.alienbees.c​om/cybersync.html#cst (external link))

-CyberSync CSRB (or CSR for AC-powered) (http://www.alienbees.c​om/cybersync.html#csrb (external link))


And is that all I would need for sufficient but not major power (and to be wireless)? Any needed parts that I am missing?




  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 01, 2010 20:53 |  #10

Guts311 wrote in post #9916528 (external link)
I am in the same situation as the OP, 'cept not doing auto photog, maybe just portraits for practice. Would this be sufficient and a good idea for a beginner setup (mostly to learn but also to take some nice photos eventually):

-The Beginner Bee kit w/ B800 strobe (includes strobe, 10-ft. stand, bag, and 48" umbrella)(http://www.alienbees.c​om/beginner.html (external link))

-CyberSync CST Trigger Transmitter (http://www.alienbees.c​om/cybersync.html#cst (external link))

-CyberSync CSRB (or CSR for AC-powered) (http://www.alienbees.c​om/cybersync.html#csrb (external link))


And is that all I would need for sufficient but not major power (and to be wireless)? Any needed parts that I am missing?

Get the battery powered receiver. A pair of double AA's can last you up to a year so battery use isnt a huge concern and they are a lot more flexible if you ever decide to add a speedlite to the mix. Plus I would think it would enhance your resale value should you decide to change systems.




  
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Guts311
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Apr 01, 2010 21:00 |  #11

gonzogolf wrote in post #9916767 (external link)
Get the battery powered receiver. A pair of double AA's can last you up to a year so battery use isnt a huge concern and they are a lot more flexible if you ever decide to add a speedlite to the mix. Plus I would think it would enhance your resale value should you decide to change systems.

Well I have a 430EX II now, so I can add that into the stuff I named above and easily use it as a 2nd decent off-cam strobe? The only downside is that I'd have to buy another transmitter and receiver correct (2 of each kind, total of 4 remotes)?

Did I miss anything else?




  
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SPK64
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Apr 01, 2010 21:06 |  #12

Guts311 wrote in post #9916528 (external link)
I am in the same situation as the OP, 'cept not doing auto photog, maybe just portraits for practice. Would this be sufficient and a good idea for a beginner setup (mostly to learn but also to take some nice photos eventually):

-The Beginner Bee kit w/ B800 strobe (includes strobe, 10-ft. stand, bag, and 48" umbrella)(http://www.alienbees.c​om/beginner.html (external link))

-CyberSync CST Trigger Transmitter (http://www.alienbees.c​om/cybersync.html#cst (external link))

-CyberSync CSRB (or CSR for AC-powered) (http://www.alienbees.c​om/cybersync.html#csrb (external link))


And is that all I would need for sufficient but not major power (and to be wireless)? Any needed parts that I am missing?

You might want to consider the 64" silver PLM with the diffuser instead of the umbrella. The extra cost is well worth it.


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3 Einstiens, 2 64" PLMs, cybersyncs

  
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Guts311
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Apr 01, 2010 21:08 |  #13

SPK64 wrote in post #9916829 (external link)
You might want to consider the 64" silver PLM with the diffuser instead of the umbrella. The extra cost is well worth it.

Thanks for the advice. For the time being I think I'll stick with the 48" umbrella since it is cheaper and I am just learning off-camera lighting. Also, with all the items I mentioned, it already comes to over $500 :( Not too bad cept that I just bought a 5DII lol.

But can anyone comment on whether the list I typed up of parts is a good or bad choice, good price, and if those remotes are the correct ones I would need?
(Sorry to sort of hijack OP!)




  
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SPK64
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Apr 01, 2010 21:14 |  #14

Guts311 wrote in post #9916837 (external link)
Thanks for the advice. For the time being I think I'll stick with the 48" umbrella since it is cheaper and I am just learning off-camera lighting. Also, with all the items I mentioned, it already comes to over $500 :( Not too bad cept that I just bought a 5DII lol.

But can anyone comment on whether the list I typed up of parts is a good or bad choice, good price, and if those remotes are the correct ones I would need?
(Sorry to sort of hijack OP!)

Yes, the remotes will work perfect with what you have. As someone else mentioned Get the CSRB instead of the AC version. With a hot shoe adapter you could work your 430 speedlight into a setup. Then use the optical slave on the AB, assuming it is indoors or not bright sunlight.


Canon 1dMKiii, 20d
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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L
Canon TC 1.4x Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8, Tamron XR 28-75mm f/2.8, Canon 580ex
3 Einstiens, 2 64" PLMs, cybersyncs

  
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gonzogolf
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Apr 01, 2010 21:15 |  #15

Guts311 wrote in post #9916801 (external link)
Well I have a 430EX II now, so I can add that into the stuff I named above and easily use it as a 2nd decent off-cam strobe? The only downside is that I'd have to buy another transmitter and receiver correct (2 of each kind, total of 4 remotes)?

Did I miss anything else?

You only need one transmitter regardless of the number of receivers. If you are using the bees indoors they have a slave circuit so it can be triggered by another flash. Its more reliable to have a receiver for each flash but you can make do with one if you have to. The 430ex needs an additional hotshoe adapter to work with the cybersync triggers.




  
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What Alien Bee setup do I need?
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