July 28, 2014, 04:01:48 AM

Author Topic: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?  (Read 5707 times)

Chuck Alaimo

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 908
    • View Profile
    • Chuck Alaimo Photography
Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« on: May 12, 2012, 02:41:22 PM »
Hello everyone.  Seeking a tiny bit of advice.

As I look to upgrade and step up my services I am thinking many things.  Originally I had my mind set that it was time to go from my 1.6 crop 7D to a FF mkiii, and have been saving $$$ for a little while now.  But as I am looking at what I'm doing, the number 1 thing that has provided an immediate bounce in my images has been learning to better use off camera lighting.  Currently i am off camera lighting with a 580 exII and a 430 EX, triggering them with cactus v5's.  I have had good results with them and as i do not have a studio, the portability is nice.  With that said though, I have recently had a taste of using studio lights and the difference is staggering (the raw amount of light and the much quicker recycle time). 

So that led me to alien bee lights and I am kind of torn between the ab800 and the ab 1600.   Looking for some pros and cons to each.  i know the 1600 at 640Ws is a lot of power, is the 320Ws of the ab800 enough?

   

Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

canon rumors FORUM

Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« on: May 12, 2012, 02:41:22 PM »

ShokTHX

  • Guest
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2012, 10:34:21 PM »
There really is no con to the 1600 over an 800 other than more money. You can lower the power fairly far.
If you are planning on using a large soft box you might want to think about the 1600. I have 1600's and a 400. The 800 should be enough for most uses though.
You are going to want a good flash meter to use with them.

drjlo

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 612
    • View Profile
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 03:11:13 AM »
Unless you have no limit budget, I would get more number of 800.  I have 2 but wish had 2 more, although you can use speedlights for hair, rim, etc.

Chuck Alaimo

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 908
    • View Profile
    • Chuck Alaimo Photography
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 02:12:12 PM »
ended up going with 2 800's.  While the 1600's were tempting, with limited funds, felt it was a better idea to get the lights and a few modifiers - softbox, beauty dish, grids
Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13580
    • View Profile
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 07:12:20 PM »
Good choice, especially for indoor/studio use.  The AB800 may not have the power to overcome the sun, limiting outdoor use.  OTOH, the AB1600 may be a little too powerful for indoor use, and you're limited to 6-stops of adjustment.  That's one reason I went with the Einstein 640 - as powerful as the AB1600, but the 9-stop range means it can be used easily indoors as well.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

pwp

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1456
    • View Profile
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 09:12:15 PM »
Good choice, especially for indoor/studio use.  The AB800 may not have the power to overcome the sun, limiting outdoor use.  OTOH, the AB1600 may be a little too powerful for indoor use, and you're limited to 6-stops of adjustment.  That's one reason I went with the Einstein 640 - as powerful as the AB1600, but the 9-stop range means it can be used easily indoors as well.


You should be very happy with the Paul C Buff AB800 heads. AB modifiers are absolute bargains so kit up. For others following this thread, Einsteins are the lighting market's worst kept secret. They are truly amazing. List price is less than a Canon 600EX-RT. http://www.paulcbuff.com/index.php

Just as a tryout I got two Paul C Buff Einsteins 18 months ago to see if they would pass the "tough-test" of constant location work. Six months in I was convinced and got another four. The Profoto Compact 600 monos were sold off and I'm now 100% Einstein except for the big Profoto floorpack in the studio. Just as useful as the full output is having the option to dial the Einsteins right down to 2.5 w/s. It's great when you want just a "wink" of light. On paper the Profoto and the Einstein have the same output, but my tests with standard reflectors gave the Einsteins a 1 stop advantage over the Profotos. This is not a raw output difference, it's efficient dish design. The Cyber Commander system allow you to have full control over 16 heads. Very cool.

Paul C Buff modifiers are so amazingly priced you'd think they missed out on a zero when you compare with Profoto or Broncolor. No, they're not in the same class in build quality, but for value and very light weight they can't be ignored. OMG the 86 inch parabolic reflector is under $100! I've been used to paying over $1000.

PW

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13580
    • View Profile
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 09:24:02 PM »
Agreed - I've got a PCB 22" beauty dish, and I especially like my PCB 48" gridded octabox.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 09:24:02 PM »

Chuck Alaimo

  • 1D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 908
    • View Profile
    • Chuck Alaimo Photography
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 12:54:33 AM »
Here's a few from test rounds with the new lights.  BOth were done with 2 lights, softbox on one, beauty dish (with diffusion) on the other.  No doubt I have a lot to learn, made especially more difficult cause i will be using them in a variety of situations and locations. 

The vagabond works really nice as well!

Agreed - I've got a PCB 22" beauty dish, and I especially like my PCB 48" gridded octabox.

You using the white or silver?  I went with white, but debated on which to get for a while.
Owns 5Dmkiii, 6D, 16-35mm, 24mm 1.4, 70-200mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 85 mm 1.8, 100mm 2.8 macro, 1-600RT, 2 430 EX's, 1 video light

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13580
    • View Profile
Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 06:15:21 AM »
You using the white or silver?  I went with white, but debated on which to get for a while.

Silver for me.  I got an 8.5" reflector and a couple of honeycombs (15° and 30°) but haven't really played with those yet.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Alien Bee lights - AB800 vs the AB1600?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 06:15:21 AM »