Thursday, June 24, 2010

AlienBees ABR 800 Ringflash - More versatile than I thought

AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash:


56" Moon Unit

My Review of it.

At 1st sight the ABR800 seems a bit cheap. Built mainly of plastic it looks almost disposable.

But for the value of $400 less than half the price of others in the market its a good draw for beginners or bargain hunters such as myself.

Paul C Buff definitely packs value into his products along with their legendary customer service.

Whats Included:
* 10-inch Ring Reflector
* Set of Eight 10-Watt, 24- Volt Modeling Lamps
* Two Half-Circle Flashtubes
* 15-foot Down-Angle Power Cord
* 12-inch Sync Cord
* Front Cover / Diffuser / Gel Holder
* Universal Camera Mounting Bracket
with adjustable camera platform, tripod and light stand mounting hardware
* Umbrella Adaptor
* Owner's Manual

56" moon unit and pink carrying case sold separately.

I'll start with the CONS since there are less of them.

1. Feels cheap and plasticky
2. The Locking mechanism to hold the reflector tight fails. 1st day of usage the lock became stuck and the plastic reflector fell off. Which cracked under its own weight. Luckily for me they sent a whole new unit within a week! Can't beat that.
3. The Tripod mount/ handhelf grip needs to be redesigned for hand holding its a bit heavy with the camera, lens, and light and the little handle isn't long enough to fit a larger hand.
4. The Moon unit attachment takes forever to figure out. My 1st time putting together the moon unit and the attachment that goes around the ring flash took about 1 hr. I was beyond frustrated. Turns out there were some plastic burs that wasnt completely shaven down which prevent me from locking it in place. I had to go in and shave it down with an exacto knife. It worked ok after that.

1. Beautiful halo light affect around your subject
2. Very Versatile
3. Cheap
4. Great Customer service
5. Can be used handheld or as a softbox

OK so I lied the pros and cons are about the same. The setup with 56" moon unit does take some time to setup but its well worth it. The quality of light and its versatility as a softbox has really won me over.

Next up will be the AlienBees Einstein.

Model: Krystal at Alki Tavern Bar

Samples with just the reflector and mounted Camera Canon 7D

Sample as an off Camera softbox positioned top right down.

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