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itsaphoto
01-15-2008, 02:55 PM
I literally received my AlienBees' order this morning, and one of the items is the ABR800 ringflash (you can find samples on flickr.com if you search for ABR800). I'm totally psyched on actually taking photos with this light, after I go through a learning curve with it and make some notes. This flash mounts to the camera lets you take photos with the lens in the centre.

First impressions, it feels really light which will be great for portability. It is bigger than I thought it would be, but not bigger than it has to be. I've read about the rotten set-up for the camera mount, and I have to agree with what I've read. The slave function works fine, but I definitely prefer the PC sync, and would prefer a Pocket Wizard set-up.

I've taken a few pics to play with it and I really like it :D I can see how this is going to create some really fun photos. Below are some pics of the mount and one really bad pic of a tired guy but a sample photo.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2347/2195236111_92f4b224fb.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2198/2196023798_5e2a079ae5_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2322/2196033644_2816131eb7_o.jpg

Image detail:
E-3, ISO 100, F/3.5, 51mm (14-54mm), flash power 1/32, PC sync connection, 1/250s, Flash WB, about 8 ft away from camera.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2162/2195194991_ebb59557ea_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2294/2196293972_23d252a4cc_o.jpg

olyinaz
01-15-2008, 05:02 PM
Interesting setup! What, in your opinion, are the advantages of this setup over the Olympus ring flash?

Best,
Oly

itsaphoto
01-15-2008, 05:11 PM
Interesting setup! What, in your opinion, are the advantages of this setup over the Olympus ring flash?

First thing ... its a heck of a lot cheaper ($399) and a lot more powerful. I've been using very low power, so it has lots of potential.

Michael Meissner
01-15-2008, 05:24 PM
Interesting setup! What, in your opinion, are the advantages of this setup over the Olympus ring flash?

Best,
Oly
As I understand it, the Olympus ring flash is primarily meant for macro setups. It is battery powered, and has a guide number of 11 meters (26 feet) at ISO 100. The only lenses you can use with STF-11 are the 14-54mm, 50mm (with an adaptor), and the 50-200mm, though I would expect some accomidation for the 12-60mm to be made in the near future (and the 100mm macro if it ever shows up).

The Alien Bee ring flash is meant for fashion and portrait photography. It is powed by A/C current, and is much more powerful. It doesn't support TTL metering, so you need to set the exposure either by using a flash meter, or by calibrating your camera by taking pictures and looking at the histogram.
:nerd:

olyinaz
01-15-2008, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the great info guys. While I'm not sure it's any cheaper (I got my ring flash for less than $399) it certainly does sound like it's got some great potential features. Very intersting stuff!

Best,
Oly

itsaphoto
01-15-2008, 07:37 PM
...(I got my ring flash for less than $399) ...

You paid $399 for ring flash and controller, or just the ring flash? The ring flash and controller costs $799 Cdn, which is what I paid for the ABR800 and the Vagabond II power pack.

olyinaz
01-15-2008, 07:52 PM
I bought the ring flash and controller (along with the big black storage bag and the adapter unit for the macro lenses) for about $375 used like-new off of eBay. Lately all of the macro/close-up flashes have either been expensive or hard to find.

Best,
Oly

itsaphoto
01-15-2008, 09:15 PM
I bought the ring flash and controller (along with the big black storage bag and the adapter unit for the macro lenses) for about $375 used like-new off of eBay.

Oh my god, that's a wicked price! Good catch!

olyinaz
01-15-2008, 09:52 PM
a wicked price! Good catch!

Thanks! Sadly, I had no clue at the time what a swinging deal it was. :doh:

Best,
Oly