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Thread: AB800 Alternative?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Albino_BlacMan's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
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    AB800 Alternative?

    Recently I've been looking at starting a home studio. I've been looking at picking up some AB800's but PCB only does UPS shipping to Canada which I'm not a big fan of. Long story short I'm looking for alternatives.

    Don't need a huge amount of power. I'll be shooting indoors with Oly 4/3 gear so ISO 200 and f4 - f8 through a big softbox (like 5 foot softbox) should do it for me.

    I've been looking at Elinchrom D-Lite RX2's and RX4's. Would this fit the bill? Are they the same as D-Lite 4's (I can find info and reviews of the D-Lite 4's but not the RX4's but it might just be a matter of me not knowing what to search for).

    Also available from BH are things like the Novatron M300, and Smith-Victor flashlite 320. Does anyone have recommendations (are any of these better than the AB's or just more expensive?) or should I just suck it up and deal with the insane UPS fees?

    Thanks in advance,

    Side question: When choosing a speedring do I need one that matches the softbox and the monolight or just the monolight (e.g. would a chimera softbox attach to a photoflex speedring or do I need a chimera speedring for a chimera softbox?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Los Angeles
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    Re: AB800 Alternative?

    I believe you can use Chimera/Plume/Photoflex/Westcott speedrings interchangeably. I can use my Chimera or Photoflex rings on my Plume Wafer, though the Photoflex rings has 8 holes (presumably to accommodate an octa box) but I only use for a softbox.

    The new D-Lites have a Skyport receiver built-in, so it's one less thing you would need to buy if you want to sync wirelessly. An RX4 would be a bit more powerful than a B800, but the B800 would have a slightly faster flash duration. One thing I like about my Eli is that if my pack or head is out of reach, I can use my Skyport transmitter to adjust power settings in 1/10s of a stop increments. The ABs have a slider, so if you have it boomed or in a corner, you are going to have to physically change the power settings and reposition it.

    Either strobe should give you plenty of power, but I am pretty sure Buff will be cheaper across the board. Maybe you should get an estimate on import fees to equalize the price difference?

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