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    Thread: lets talk strobes.

    1. Junior Member mk5hadi's Avatar
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      10-05-2012 11:51 AM #1
      Ok, so when i had my D700, i used to use the CLS lighting option which allowed me to trigger my 2 SB900(s) using the pop up flash. This option gave me full control over power settings just like you would have on the back of a mono-light. I upgraded to the d800 when it first became available for preorder. As some of you may know Nikon has confirmed that the CLS system on the d800 has issues it does not always fire the flash units. As a temporary work around they said to use TTL mod. TTL mode doesn't allow me to control my flash units as much as i would like.

      So... instead of waiting for nikon to come up with a firmware to fix the issue, should i sell one of my SB900s and get some alienbees ? are they worth it?

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      10-09-2012 03:10 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by mk5hadi View Post
      Ok, so when i had my D700, i used to use the CLS lighting option which allowed me to trigger my 2 SB900(s) using the pop up flash. This option gave me full control over power settings just like you would have on the back of a mono-light. I upgraded to the d800 when it first became available for preorder. As some of you may know Nikon has confirmed that the CLS system on the d800 has issues it does not always fire the flash units. As a temporary work around they said to use TTL mod. TTL mode doesn't allow me to control my flash units as much as i would like.

      So... instead of waiting for nikon to come up with a firmware to fix the issue, should i sell one of my SB900s and get some alienbees ? are they worth it?
      Depends what you're shooting and where.

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      10-10-2012 01:05 AM #3
      Alienbees are nice, but are cumbersome to carry around with a Vagabond if you shoot outdoors. If you are in a studio all day and don't have to move them much then they are extremely nice and very much worth it. However cost factor B800's are a lot cheaper than SB900's, but you won't get TTL/output control unless you pick up PW FlexTT5's, AC9's and then you need to pick up an AC3 to control the output levels. Which also means you will be walking back and forth to setup the strobes till you get that setup.

      A setup for 3 strobes using the PW FlexTT5 kit on AB800s is about $925 if I remember right. I had that setup last year. So you won't exactly be saving money if you want to control output from camera.

      Another thing you can do is pick up another SB900 and use that as a commander to regain CLS. You also have the option of a SU800 not worth it but same principle.

      What I am trying to say is it depends on youre style of shooting and your wallet. An SB900 could be bought for 300-350 now, and a AB800 is about 235-245 for one. So personally I would just go with another SB900 or even SB700 to use as a commander till the firmware is fixed and then you will have 3 lights to control with CLS.

      I also think PixelKing also has a product for Nikon similar to the PW option but I haven't really looked into it.
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      10-10-2012 10:34 AM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Bubba 2.0 GLS View Post
      Alienbees are nice, but are cumbersome to carry around with a Vagabond if you shoot outdoors. If you are in a studio all day and don't have to move them much then they are extremely nice and very much worth it. However cost factor B800's are a lot cheaper than SB900's, but you won't get TTL/output control unless you pick up PW FlexTT5's, AC9's and then you need to pick up an AC3 to control the output levels. Which also means you will be walking back and forth to setup the strobes till you get that setup.

      A setup for 3 strobes using the PW FlexTT5 kit on AB800s is about $925 if I remember right. I had that setup last year. So you won't exactly be saving money if you want to control output from camera.

      Another thing you can do is pick up another SB900 and use that as a commander to regain CLS. You also have the option of a SU800 not worth it but same principle.

      What I am trying to say is it depends on youre style of shooting and your wallet. An SB900 could be bought for 300-350 now, and a AB800 is about 235-245 for one. So personally I would just go with another SB900 or even SB700 to use as a commander till the firmware is fixed and then you will have 3 lights to control with CLS.

      I also think PixelKing also has a product for Nikon similar to the PW option but I haven't really looked into it.
      An SB900 also can't match the power of a B800, so it doesn't matter about size and weight of a monolight vs. a hot shoe flash if you need the power. Bees can't do automatic TTL shooting. Also, most photographers prefer manually setting the power on an off camera flash if they're not constantly moving. You'll get a more reliable consistency between shots.


      For $300, you can get an Adorama Flashpoint II 600w/s strobes, which is one stop more powerful than a B800 for just a little more money.

      http://www.adorama.com/FP1220A.html

      Basically it boils down to this: Either you need the extreme portability of speed lights and can live with the limited amount of power or you need the power you get from a studio light and will live with the extra weight and storage space they require.

    5. 10-10-2012 11:13 AM #5
      Calumet recently took over a chain of DC pro shops and I'm really impressed with the build quality of the new Calumet "in-house" lighting products that are on the showcase floor.

      Calumet Photo Flash Kits
      Quote Originally Posted by patrikman View Post
      This has to be my jam right now. If I had a few more subcontractors intothis type of **** the old lady would be done by now. Give me the kayak you know somebody is being a poseureur about.
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    6. Junior Member mk5hadi's Avatar
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      10-10-2012 04:20 PM #6
      Thanks guys, I think I will be getting 3 B800s just because I need the power, I already have beefy stands and nice sofboxes and other accessories, ill also get a set of pocket wizards to go with them. I just wish they sold alienbees at B&H, billmelater would be cool.

    7. 10-15-2012 03:59 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by mk5hadi View Post
      Thanks guys, I think I will be getting 3 B800s just because I need the power, I already have beefy stands and nice sofboxes and other accessories, ill also get a set of pocket wizards to go with them. I just wish they sold alienbees at B&H, billmelater would be cool.
      if you need power than get a 1600 and 2 800s. i used to have that set up and i LOVED having the 1600. it will over power the sun its pretty insane. if you want to save some money just grab cybersyncs instead of pocket wizards. i have NEVER had a single issue with cybersyncs and have been using them for 3 years now. unfortunately you can't shoot over 1/250th with them before you start getting a line from where your camera is faster.

      i currently have an b800 and a ringflash from paul c buff. not really digging the ringflash but whatever. check out some of my images at my website. www.ftmimages.com.

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      10-17-2012 03:05 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by jasonFTM View Post
      if you need power than get a 1600 and 2 800s. i used to have that set up and i LOVED having the 1600. it will over power the sun its pretty insane. if you want to save some money just grab cybersyncs instead of pocket wizards. i have NEVER had a single issue with cybersyncs and have been using them for 3 years now. unfortunately you can't shoot over 1/250th with them before you start getting a line from where your camera is faster.

      i currently have an b800 and a ringflash from paul c buff. not really digging the ringflash but whatever. check out some of my images at my website. www.ftmimages.com.
      If you need power, get a Speedotron black line bi tube head that you can hook to two 4800w/s back. You ain't got nothing on that Buff!

      That the best thing about using packs and heads though, they usually are more powerful than monolights until you start plugging in multiple heads.

    9. 10-18-2012 12:36 PM #9
      yeah, i think so, Calumet recently took over a chain of DC pro shops and I'm really impressed with the build quality of the new Calumet "in-house" lighting products that are on the showcase floor

    10. Member azul's Avatar
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      10-18-2012 04:10 PM #10
      Don't forget that Alien Bees are about half the power that they advertise (saying their reflector give the equivalent light output to...). So the AB800 is something closer to a 320/400ws strobe. Don't know the exact numbers, but make sure you read the fine print when comparing their strobes with another company.

      For reference, I personally own a Profoto AcuteB 600R.
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    11. Member azul's Avatar
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      10-18-2012 04:11 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by stevenjoywell View Post
      yeah, i think so, Calumet recently took over a chain of DC pro shops and I'm really impressed with the build quality of the new Calumet "in-house" lighting products that are on the showcase floor
      At one point and time, I believe the Calumet brand was Bowens. Double check on that, but may give you more insight into their strobe products.
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