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Old Oct 15, 2004, 10:59 AM   #1
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You guys have been very helpful in convincing me that I want to get studio lights.

So, now I am very close to getting myself a kit to set up a small studio in my home -- at least to start, this will be for portraiture and some very simple catalog work for friends. This is much more in the nature of advanced amateur rather than "pro".

I've read amazingly good stuff here and elsewhere about Paul Buff's lights, and their great customer service, but I haven't seen anyone compare the White Lightnings with the Alien Bees. As near as I can tell, a WL-X800 and an AB-B800 provide the same amount of light, so I'm hoping that someone can provide a little guidance on any other differences.
It looks like the ABs are a shade lighter (they are both very light, perhaps 3 pounds versus 3-1/2), have a notabley smaller modeling light (100, or upgrade to 150 versus 250), and finally, the ABs are a little "odd" looking, while the WLs look more "traditional". I also note that AB has the "for $25 and the difference in price, you can upgrade your light" policy that I don't see with WL. For someone who doesn't know whether I might want more powerful lights, this might be important. I read a post somewhere that WLs were EASIER to carry around than the ABs (something about their shape?), which surprised me. They both have a return within 60 days policy; the WLs have a 5- year warranty, while the ABs are only 2 years.
Finally, the WLs cost $399 while the ABs cost $279.
Thanks for your thoughts!
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 1:12 PM   #2
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Google is great!
http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=008IcQ
I've used both & can tell you that the WL's are much bigger & more cumbersome to move around. When I used them they were part of a boom system in a large studio & worked well there. The Alien Bees are smaller & more portable (& more colorful).
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 1:32 PM   #3
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:-):-):-)
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 3:37 PM   #4
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Kalypso wrote:
Quote:
Google is great!
http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-...?msg_id=008IcQ
I've used both & can tell you that the WL's are much bigger & more cumbersome to move around. When I used them they were part of a boom system in a large studio & worked well there. The Alien Bees are smaller & more portable (& more colorful).

You know, I did a lot of research before I posted this question, and I like to think that I'm pretty good with Google besides, but somehow I missed this post. Thanks for finding it!
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 4:03 PM   #5
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No problem! My search string was:
white lightning vs alien bees
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 4:18 PM   #6
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Kalypso wrote:
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No problem! My search string was:
white lightning vs alien bees
Silly me -- I did "white lightningVERSUS alien bees". (Honest!)

By the way, as to the discussion that I found there, it wasn't easy to draw a conclusion. Many like WLs, others thought that there was no reason not to save the money by getting ABs. (some suggested using the saved money for other equipment, like better stands).

One poster did have something to offer that wasn't self-evident from the respective websites --

Quote:
"When I was PhotoExpo I asked a Paul Buff rep what the difference between the lights were. The main differences is that the WL lights can be adjusted over a 7 stop range rather than 5, adjustment of the modeling light and the WL have more expensive design. Besides the difference in the housings, the WL use multiple circuit cards, instead of a single one which makes repair easier."
Others noted that the metal of the WLs does hold upa little better. And several people have commented on the modeling lights (the brighter light on the WL being somewhat significant when compared to an AB).
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Old Oct 15, 2004, 10:50 PM   #7
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IMHO: I suspect that is a guess on the value of aluminum over lexan, have you ever tried to break a piece of lexan? Just about anindestructible material comes to mind. Aluminum can dent if dropped, though I'd rather not test drop either. :-)

fmilder wrote:
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Others noted that the metal of the WLs does hold upa little better.
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