Originally Posted by Pakistani
hey guys, what are some solid alternatives(preferably cheaper) to alien bees?
ive been looking to get a couple strobes, but i kind of want to dip my feet in before i go all out and buy a couple of b800s.
any decent alternatives to alien bees out there?
One Pet peeve is calling them "strobes", because your 580EX or SB's are all "strobes". Anything with a flashtube is a strobe. I'll leave it at that as we've had plenty of discussion on the subject in the past.
Alien bees are the "cheap alternative" to studio flashes.
If you are just starting out, you need 1 AB400 ($220), a shoot thru umbrella ($5-10 on ebay), a silver reflective umbrella ($5-10 on ebay), a cheapo lightstand from ebay ($10-15, might need a sand bag or just tie your camera bag to it if it's windy). If you can't afford reflectors or a second flash, get some white foam board for a fill light.
If there's one thing I've learned in photography it's that you don't buy bad glass, don't buy cheap bodies, don't buy cheap lighting. If it's cheap there's usually a reason. Sometimes you'll learn the hard way and sometimes they will surprise you with the quality of a "cheaper" product. Do your research before you go and buy something to "save money".
Read strobist lighting 101 from cover to cover.
Read POTN's 1 light thread.
You'll soon realize that you don't need 5 Alien Bee B1600's and 20 different modifiers to get the job done.
Who can guess the lighting setup on my shots of Jenn (girl with the crazy hair)? I haven't posted the setup yet. Winner will get 10 PhotoMOB stickers.