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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> one alienbee b800 OR an alienbees ringflash?
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Showing posts 1 - 7 of 7, (reverse)
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02/08/2011 05:14:16 PM · #1
i am on an EXTREME budget and this will be my one big lash out for the next three years probably (oh, hahaha, how i wish that wasnt true!)

i primarily shoot roller derby (very fast action, outdoor location with extremely sundappled lighting situation), portraits/candids, the occasional friends wedding, snowsports, landscapes, and i would like to get more into macro. i am about 50/50 indoors/outdoors.

i have NO other lighting - aside from the built in flash on my d100. i will be upgrading my camera at roughly the same time to the d5000.

i know the ring flash is more expensive, but i would be willing to for out the extra $$$ (and eat lots of ramen, haha) if it is worth it. i dont want to regret spending the extra little bit.
02/08/2011 05:18:26 PM · #2
The single strobe is going to be much more versatile than the ring flash.
02/08/2011 05:23:55 PM · #3
Have you thought of going with a couple of speedlites? Gives you the option to bounce flash around from on the camera or set them up off camera. From what you described you like to shoot I would lean more towards that.
02/08/2011 05:36:08 PM · #4
honestly, jminso, i am SO lost when it comes to using flashes that i hadnt even considered that as an option...

does anyone have any good suggestions for a bare bones starter speedlite setup for nikon? and is that going to run me into the ground re: batteries? my derby days can be long... but i have plenty of access to plug-in power.
02/08/2011 07:15:48 PM · #5
I shoot derby, too. Are you on FB? I can add you to a derby shooters group if you want to get info from them on the setups they use with flashes. (Or just if you want to be part of the group!)
02/08/2011 07:30:29 PM · #6
i would LOVE that mk!

im findable on facebook as "leigh hoodoo weber"

and you can see what i managed with my current kit here (the bout pictures and headshots etc): //www.facebook.com/tahoederbydames?v=photos

(you can tell i need an upgrade all around for this sort of thing!)
02/08/2011 08:49:42 PM · #7
As mentioned, a studio strobe will be more versatile than a ringflash. I don't know if your roller derby events have ac power readily available. If so, I might recommend an Einstein over the AB800. It has a VERY fast, short, flash duration which is great for stopping/freezing action. There is an 11 inch Long Throw reflector (which you could also use with an AB800) that should provide good lighting if you are not close to the action. I have used AB400, 800, 1600 and when I decided to purchase my own, I chose the Einstein. It covers the full range of all three (400-1600) in terms of power output. It costs about the same as an SB900 speed light. And it has very precise color balance control.

Einstein

Aiien Bee

Here is a Review by a sports photographer.

The Einstein will work well for a variety of uses--but be aware that you would need an external battery unit to power it on location if AC power is not available. That adds some cost, but speedlights eat batteries, so it pays for itself pretty fast.

But it is a valid consideration regarding speed lights. They are portable, not reliant on AC power. They are a little more tricky to find/use modfiers for, but that isn't a deal breaker.

Ah, I just saw your "..days can be long, but plenty of AC power" comment.

In that case, I would recommend a studio strobe with suitable output and reflectors. Since the derby is your primary use, you will save money on batteries (rechargeables work for speed lights, but you would still need a LOT of them to get thru a long day, and you'll need a lot of prep time to charge them all back up for the next shoot) There are external battery pack units to power speedlights, but I can't speak to them, having never used them. A wedding photographer might chime in on suitable choices there. The Einstein will serve you well, as will an Alien Bee. Freezing action will be easier with the Einstein, but either should be usable.
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