Paul C. Buff AlienBees ABR800 Ring Flash

Paul C. Buff AlienBees ABR800 Ring Flash Add to MyBests

Expert Review

The Paul C. Buff AlienBees ABR800 Ring Flash did for the ring flash segment what the first Canon Digital Rebel did for consumer DSLRs, it opened up the market with professional quality performance for a price even casuals could afford. What was once almost strictly in the domain of the upper-end professional fashion photographer became accessible to everyone. For the first time a hobbyist could get professional results for their portraiture using similar tools professionals had without taking on a second mortgage to pay for the privilege.

The AlienBees ABR800 packs 320w/s of power, which is significantly more than the most powerful speedlight. While that's not enough to overpower the sun (don't expect to go out on a sunny midday and have your way with the light) you can expect far more creative freedom than what a speedlight modified with a ring flash attachment will offer; in fact, this is a true and powerful ring flash for the price of a nice speedlight.

As a self-contained unit, the ABR800 can plug right into the wall for unlimited power. However, if you need to get mobile, and why wouldn't you want to, Paul C. Buff (PCB) offer a Vagabond lithium battery that pairs with the ABR800, making your ring flash setup all the more powerful and creative. The ABR800 even directly links into PCB's CyberSync system of remote triggers, allowing you to control the flash remotely if you so choose. The ABR800 is well built to last quite a while and replacement flash tubes are relatively inexpensive. All in all, this unit checks all the boxes for those who are just getting into ring flash photography and seasoned professionals looking to broaden their artistic options.Rating: 5/5

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