Studio Lighting Investment - next step

Started Aug 24, 2011 | Discussions thread
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DaleB82
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Studio Lighting Investment - next step
Aug 24, 2011

After all the sage advice I got in my last thread (see "Ready to Invest . . " below) , and a great deal more reading of other threads here and elsewhere, I decided to order up a Paul C. Buff ensemble - 2 Einsteins, an AB800, a pair of their smallest PLMs (white & soft silver, with a diffusion sock), a beauty dish, a set of grids, stands, and appropriate Cyberlink gear, including the Commander. This brought me a hair over budget. I am prepared to take advantage of their 60-day, no-questions-asked "absolute" satisfaction, ability to return for any reason. I'm doing this in good faith, since I truly expect success with these units, and thus no need to return. Otherwise I will consider the freight expense to have been a rental fee. Everything arrives tomorrow. First testing this weekend.

Anticipated Bang relative to Buck was irresistible.

I was drawn to buddhananda's thread started earlier today about his concern over the quality of the PCB stuff and the Einsteins in particular. I've been exposed to some of the reports of unit failure, dropped light modifiers (and consequent damage) and weird remote control behavior.

That sort of thing is daunting, of course (Buff's own tech forum contains some of the worst reported episodes), but I'm going to rely in this case on some of my own wisdom

  • for any given product, reports of problems tend to appear more often than praise in forums and other venues.

  • there is a significant amount of positive feedback on this and other sites about PCB products.

  • Even the Travelites I've rented have shown finicky analog level controllers and "spongy" quick release mechanisms, and these are pretty tank-like.

  • I've already planned for backup in studio situations vis-a-vis using my 420EX and 420EX units with some inexpensive modifiers, controlled by the 7D.

And so it goes. I'm intrigued by Elinchrom (the Swiss-made units, anyway) and Profoto gear (these are really attractive options) and if I had recently won the lottery I'd be tempted to just go for Broncolor and be done with it.

I'm going to keep studying responses in Buddhananda's thread and elsewhere while I working with this gear, and I'll share what actually happens here once the fog of Gee Whiz wears off. Hope to keep a few people in Nashville employed a little longer, and Calumet remains my main source for other gear and will be my retailer of choice if the PCB experience goes sour.

Stay tuned.

DJB

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