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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 14 Mar 2010 (Sunday) 20:55
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Stupid Question: 580EX II off shoe vs Alien Bees B800

 
Siriusmuzik
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Mar 14, 2010 20:55 |  #1
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Hi there,

I'm wondering what the difference in power and capability is between the B800 and the 580EX II?

I only have $500 to spend for lighting, and was wondering if I should buy a 580EX II or just go with an B800.

Are they capable of making the same shots?

Stupid question, I know ...

Thanks


Canon 7D| Canon 24-105mm F4L | Canon 50mm F1.8 II | Canon 85mm F1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm | Tamron 28-75mm | Canon 580EX II

  
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Player9
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Mar 14, 2010 21:12 |  #2

The B800 is significantly more powerful, significantly more flexible in using lighting modifiers, and significantly less expensive.

The 580ex is significantly more portable.

What are you trying to do with your lighting?


60D, EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5, EF-S 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 IS, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, EF 28mm f/1.8, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro, EF 85mm f/1.8, 430ex, 220ex, Alien Bee B400 (2), Alien Bee B800 (2)

  
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Siriusmuzik
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Mar 14, 2010 21:22 |  #3
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Player9 wrote in post #9796987 (external link)
The B800 is significantly more powerful, significantly more flexible in using lighting modifiers, and significantly less expensive.

The 580ex is significantly more portable.

What are you trying to do with your lighting?

Thanks.

My main goal is portrait photography. Some times outdoors, and some times inside my garage.

If I went with the B800, I would buy a vagabond II charger as well.

Maybe I'll buy the 580EX II now, and get a B800 down the road? I'm looking for suggestions.

Thank you!


Canon 7D| Canon 24-105mm F4L | Canon 50mm F1.8 II | Canon 85mm F1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm | Tamron 28-75mm | Canon 580EX II

  
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Naturalist
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Mar 14, 2010 21:25 |  #4

I had your same concerns some months ago - portrait in/out of doors.

I bought the AB system with the VegabondII DC lighting and have never looked back.


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jeromego
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Mar 14, 2010 21:42 |  #5

Naturalist wrote in post #9797065 (external link)
I had your same concerns some months ago - portrait in/out of doors.

I bought the AB system with the VegabondII DC lighting and have never looked back.

vAgabond II


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Marloon
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Mar 14, 2010 21:53 |  #6

Siriusmuzik wrote in post #9796899 (external link)
Hi there,

I'm wondering what the difference in power and capability is between the B800 and the 580EX II?

I only have $500 to spend for lighting, and was wondering if I should buy a 580EX II or just go with an B800.

Are they capable of making the same shots?

Stupid question, I know ...

Thanks

Since you only have a $500 cap, rather than buying a 580ex, why don't you buy a vivitar 285hv and spend the rest for accessories like a light stand, an umbrella swivel adapter, a radio trigger set, and an umbrella or whatever modifier you wish to buy. The 580ex caps at 420 already.


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v35skyline
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Mar 14, 2010 22:00 |  #7

Siriusmuzik wrote in post #9796899 (external link)
Hi there,

I'm wondering what the difference in power and capability is between the B800 and the 580EX II?

I only have $500 to spend for lighting, and was wondering if I should buy a 580EX II or just go with an B800.

Are they capable of making the same shots?

Stupid question, I know ...

Thanks

B800 - $280
Vagabond II - $300
13' stand - $70
CyberSync CST - $60
CyberSync CSRB - $70
~$780

580 - $400
Impact 8' air cushioned stand - $35
CyberSync CST - $60
CyberSync CSRB - $70
~$565

Rough estimates. And that's without modifiers...you'll want modifiers. Umbrellas are cheap and great modifiers if you use them how they're meant to be used.

Alternatively, you can go for the RF-602 triggers, or whatever they're called. That'll shave a few bucks.

For the money, you get much more light with the B800. But, more light is not always necessary. Just depends what you wanna do.


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toxic
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Mar 14, 2010 22:06 |  #8

Siriusmuzik wrote in post #9796899 (external link)
I'm wondering what the difference in power and capability is between the B800 and the 580EX II?

The B800 has a GN of 172 with the standard reflector, which covers 80 degrees. This is about the same horizontal AoV as a 580ex at 24mm, which yields a GN of 28. That works out to be 5+ stops of additional power.

On top of that, it has a 150W modeling light and recycles in one second at full power, as opposed to something like 5 seconds on the 580.




  
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Siriusmuzik
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Mar 14, 2010 22:09 |  #9
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Marloon -

That is a good suggestion and one I'll keep in mind.

V35skyline -

Thank you for taking the time to bring up those prices. The B800 looks like a better bang for the buck. I'm just wondering if the 580EX will be good enough (temporarily) until I can afford the B800 as well.

This is going to be a tough choice for me!!!!!!!!!!

v35skyline wrote in post #9797274 (external link)
B800 - $280
Vagabond II - $300
13' stand - $70
CyberSync CST - $60
CyberSync CSRB - $70
~$780

580 - $400
Impact 8' air cushioned stand - $35
CyberSync CST - $60
CyberSync CSRB - $70
~$565

Rough estimates. And that's without modifiers...you'll want modifiers. Umbrellas are cheap and great modifiers if you use them how they're meant to be used.

Alternatively, you can go for the RF-602 triggers, or whatever they're called. That'll shave a few bucks.

For the money, you get much more light with the B800. But, more light is not always necessary. Just depends what you wanna do.


Canon 7D| Canon 24-105mm F4L | Canon 50mm F1.8 II | Canon 85mm F1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm | Tamron 28-75mm | Canon 580EX II

  
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Siriusmuzik
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Mar 14, 2010 22:09 |  #10
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toxic wrote in post #9797316 (external link)
The B800 has a GN of 172 with the standard reflector, which covers 80 degrees. This is about the same horizontal AoV as a 580ex at 24mm, which yields a GN of 28. That works out to be 5+ stops of additional power.

Thanks for answering that for me! That is a pretty powerful beast :lol:


Canon 7D| Canon 24-105mm F4L | Canon 50mm F1.8 II | Canon 85mm F1.8 | Tamron 17-50mm | Tamron 28-75mm | Canon 580EX II

  
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munzzzzzzz
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Mar 14, 2010 22:35 |  #11

For the price of the 580 you could have both a B800 and a non-canon hotshoe flash, either a vivitar or one of those imports. Then you have the portability of the hotshoe flash for outside and the much more capable studio light when portability isn't an issue. You can also afford an umbrella and stand that you could use with either.

This is coming from someone who has a 580EXII and is now looking at buying AB studio lights, so I know where you're coming from.


6D | 40mm f/2.8 | 50mm f/1.4 | 70-200mm f/4L IS | 580EXII | 2x PCB Einstein | Various Modifiers

  
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dave63
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Mar 14, 2010 22:38 |  #12

jeromego wrote in post #9797170 (external link)
vAgabond II


maddening, isn't it?

Some BBB software has word replacement filters--like, type in the word 'Freebird' and it posts 'I deserve to be banned from the internet'--and I wonder if this code has that same option we could apply to 'Vegabond'?



  
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mrrod2001
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Mar 14, 2010 22:49 as a reply to  @ dave63's post |  #13

Get both.
I got a 550ex from Ebay for $199 and calumet genesis 400 kit for about $275 on sale and cactus v4 triggers.




  
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tim
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Mar 14, 2010 23:25 |  #14

I have both, and I use the 580's more than the ABs. The AB has quite a lot more power, cycles faster, and won't burn out. For portable use you'll want a dedicated lighting assistant to haul and set up the AB. I use an assistant for lighting with either, actually. Remember big things like umbrellas can easily blow over/away.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 14, 2010 23:35 |  #15

Keep in mind that its more than just a power difference. A hotshoe flash is a focused lens. The canon is capable of zooming in and out, but has a limit of spread on the wide end. The Alien bee is a bare bulb studio flash, meaning the light is pretty much unrestrained without a modifier. This allows you to work with significantly larger softboxes, or the plm system. With a hotshoe flash any softbox bigger than about 28 inches and you begin to lose efficiency.




  
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Stupid Question: 580EX II off shoe vs Alien Bees B800
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