When An Alienbees Studio Flash Thinks It’s A Smoke Machine

Dec 16, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

When An Alienbees Studio Flash Thinks It’s A Smoke Machine

Dec 16, 2015

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Alienbees-Smoke

Alienbees are known to be solid and reasonably priced studio flashes, offering great value for your money.

Perhaps in attempt to give photographer Rebecca Britt more than she paid for, her one month-old Alienbees B400 decided it will double as a smoke machine.

As Resource Magazine points out, these flashes are awesome but their build quality is somewhat compromised in order to make them so affordable. As a result they might be a bit more prone to failure, but this unit decided to go out with a bang.

YouTube video

Britt shared with RM what had happened:

“This morning my assistant Jackie was getting the light prepped for the day’s shoot. She plugged in the Alienbee 400 and after a few seconds the unit made a loud pop and flames shot up from it. I screamed at Jackie to get away from the light (her back was turned away from the light at the time). It was a little chaotic at the time, but we managed to smother out the fire. What you see in the video is about one or so minutes after the initial pop of the light.”

Paul C. Buff, who passed away earlier this year, founded the company bearing the same name and other than being known for having great products, PCB is also known for having great customer service. This case was no exception and Britt has already been informed that her unit will be replaced.

As shocking as this smoking flash might be, wait until you see the Sony a7S that thought it could take on a lava stream.

[via Resource Magazine]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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5 responses to “When An Alienbees Studio Flash Thinks It’s A Smoke Machine”

  1. Matt Smith Avatar
    Matt Smith

    Seems like a bad CAP and they will have her fixed right up. We have some alien bees with well over a 500,000 fires that still work, but we have had to have a few rebuilt. At this point, we put the purchase date on the shell with a marker, and then write the rebuild date after that. One has been back to the shop 3 times at this point. I think it has averaged 3 years for each run though.

  2. Twiseldorf Avatar
    Twiseldorf

    We had this happen years ago to a Norman P2000. One by one, each of the capacitors (6 if I recall) blew making a loud “POP like a gun firing”. We were photographing a prom at the time in the ‘hood! You should have seen those kids run!!! What a hoot!

  3. Patrick Shipstad Avatar
    Patrick Shipstad

    Paul C Buff has well deserved legendary customer care.. I’m sure they’ll take care of this with a smile. Every instance i’ve needed service, they were spot on with their help. I had a light turn into a smoke bomb once, but I’m pretty sure it was a my fault as I accidentally falsely triggered it multiple times. I’ve used PCB lights exclusively for the past 15 years and I don’t think I’ve ever replaced a flash bulb.. they are tanks! Great lights, great company.

  4. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    Paul C. Buff company rocks … it’s that plain and simple they provide an amazing product line at a very fair price and their customer service is premium no matter what you call them for. I am a very satisfied customer of this company and so far their business model is flawless.

  5. Visitor Avatar
    Visitor

    List of youtube videos of burning / popping Alien Bees monolights:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBAox4Qwf6g

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z44Kzxkiw0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-umbubgZ-Q

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaebKUJKJw0

    There are also some threads on the Buff forum from people who have had this happen.

    It would really be nice to know why this happens.