I couldn't believe it when I saw an actual strobe selling for almost the same price as a canon 580EX flash. My wife and I bought a couple AB 400 strobes and it really enabled us to shoot a wider variety of portrait styles for my childrens schools and plays.
I bought a beauty dish from paulcbuff and it has excellent shadowless lighting for the price of this light. The housing is solid and build quality is good for the price. The base is all plastic and easily mounts on my camera. I liked how good their customer service was on the phone and they helped me select the correct portable power source for this light.
Paul C Buff with his creation of the Alien Bee and white lightening sets of photography lights revolutionized the entire photography lighting industry years ago because of the low cost of his set of lights. Photographers were used to paying thousands for expensive lights until the Alien Bees came along. They are a great set of starter lights with extensive light modifications. Their phone support is also very good and they are a very knowledgeable team. The only thing is that the lower end Alien Bee lights do not have a wide range of f stops and if you are a newcomer to photography and you buy a set of AB lights then you could be selling them in the near future. Paulcbuff does have a higher end line of Einstein lights which are much better but they are at the same price as other higher end lights. I wish the alien bees were more compatible with their set of Einstein lights; the modifiers you buy for alien bees will not work on their other lighting systems. So do not invest too heavily in them if you think in the future you will need a more robust system.
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