Forums > Photography Talk > Is this a good deal on White Lightnings?

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 238

Columbus, Ohio, US

I worked for a guy who has recently decided to close his studio. I've been in the market for strobes, and yesterday he offered me 4 white lightnings for $400.

They work, but I've never seen them. I do know that 2 of them are 160 w/s and the other 2 are 320 w/s.

What would you do?

Jan 17 13 09:57 pm Link

Photographer

Flair Photography

Posts: 287

Rochester, New York, US

If they work, I had the cash, and I wanted them I would buy them.  $100 per light is a good deal. If that's what you're looking for...

Jan 17 13 10:05 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

which models? Coffee can, Ultra? Sure it's not X series cause they don't go down to 160ws -

Jan 17 13 10:07 pm Link

Photographer

FotoMark

Posts: 2978

Oxnard, California, US

I would suggest looking the prices new on Paul Buff's site. www.paulcbuff.com/ they make white lightnings too

Jan 17 13 10:07 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 39088

Portland, Oregon, US

-JAY- wrote:
which models? Coffee can, Ultra? Sure it's not X series cause they don't go down to 160ws -

I was picturing the coffee can's also !!

Unless I needed something really cheap, I don't think I'd bite.

Jan 17 13 10:09 pm Link

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 238

Columbus, Ohio, US

I've checked paulcbuff.com cause I actually wanted alienbees first. So thats why I wanted to ask the general members here.

What are the coffee can lights your talking about?

Jan 17 13 10:19 pm Link

Photographer

HEF Photography

Posts: 1817

Jacksonville, Florida, US

They are the older model lights....
I would prefer spending a little more $$$ and buy the new ones...
With the new ones you get a warranty....

Jan 17 13 10:20 pm Link

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 238

Columbus, Ohio, US

Yeah, but that company is usually really good about sending stuff in and getting it fixed for cheap.

Jan 17 13 10:23 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 39088

Portland, Oregon, US

CE Photog wrote:
I've checked paulcbuff.com cause I actually wanted alienbees first. So thats why I wanted to ask the general members here.

What are the coffee can lights your talking about?

http://www.soundadviceblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/wl5000.jpg

Jan 17 13 10:23 pm Link

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 238

Columbus, Ohio, US

DougBPhoto wrote:

http://www.soundadviceblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/wl5000.jpg

Yeah I was afraid of that!

Jan 17 13 10:27 pm Link

Photographer

American Glamour

Posts: 38251

Denver, Colorado, US

CE Photog wrote:
I've checked paulcbuff.com cause I actually wanted alienbees first. So thats why I wanted to ask the general members here.

What are the coffee can lights your talking about?

DougBPhoto wrote:
http://www.soundadviceblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/08/wl5000.jpg

I had one of those.  It lasted for about 2 minutes and twenty seconds before I was ready to throw it at the wall.  I wouldn't pay $100 for one of those,  You'd be better off with one of the new Cowboy Studio lights.  Yes they are junk, but they are very cheap junk so when they die, you don't feel bad.

I have a couple of second generation White Lightnings, I believe that they are the 1200 models.  They have been pretty dependable, although both of mine are broken at the moment.

Jan 17 13 10:28 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 39088

Portland, Oregon, US

CE Photog wrote:
Yeah I was afraid of that!

I'm not saying that what the person has for sale.

I'm saying that if that is what the person has for sale, I'd run the other way!!

Jan 17 13 10:36 pm Link

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 238

Columbus, Ohio, US

He said the 160 w/s has a .5 second recycle and the 320 w/s had 1 second.... Those cans dont seem to fit that, do they?

Jan 17 13 10:39 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 39088

Portland, Oregon, US

CE Photog wrote:
He said the 160 w/s has a .5 second recycle and the 320 w/s had 1 second.... Those cans dont seem to fit that, do they?

I would ask him to send you pics so you know what you're looking at.

Anything else is just a guessing game and a waste of time.  Personally, I would be suspicious of someone trying to sell me something but not telling me exactly what it is.

Jan 17 13 10:46 pm Link

Photographer

Star

Posts: 17966

Los Angeles, California, US

CE Photog wrote:
I worked for a guy who has recently decided to close his studio. I've been in the market for strobes, and yesterday he offered me 4 white lightnings for $400.

They work, but I've never seen them. I do know that 2 of them are 160 w/s and the other 2 are 320 w/s.

What would you do?

it is a terrible deal, give me his information so i can tell him just how bad the deal is wink

Jan 17 13 10:54 pm Link

Photographer

Photos by Lorrin

Posts: 7025

Eugene, Oregon, US

Does it include stands.

If so then its a good deal

Jan 18 13 12:36 am Link

Photographer

CE Photog

Posts: 238

Columbus, Ohio, US

Ok everyone, he sent me photos today.... They are AB400's and AB800's. So 4 lights total for 400 and they are in good condition. When I asked him about the white lightnings, he said,"same company, sorry." lol

Jan 18 13 03:23 pm Link

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Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 11228

Baltimore, Maryland, US

Keep in mind Alienbee, like most companies, overstates the power in the llama numbers. Half the llama number for true W/s.

Jan 18 13 07:21 pm Link

Photographer

Section 008

Posts: 98

Chicago, Illinois, US

no coffee cans!

Jan 18 13 07:29 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

CE Photog wrote:
Ok everyone, he sent me photos today.... They are AB400's and AB800's. So 4 lights total for 400 and they are in good condition. When I asked him about the white lightnings, he said,"same company, sorry." lol

That's a really good deal, then.

Jan 18 13 07:35 pm Link

Photographer

Hero Foto

Posts: 878

Phoenix, Arizona, US

gimme his # ... I'll buy them IF that's what they are ...

Jan 18 13 07:39 pm Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12916

Atlanta, Georgia, US

CE Photog wrote:
Ok everyone, he sent me photos today.... They are AB400's and AB800's. So 4 lights total for 400 and they are in good condition. When I asked him about the white lightnings, he said,"same company, sorry." lol

Too bad they were not real second gen or newer WL, that would be a deal.  Saying "same company" is doing a serious injustice to the WL.  They are the companies professional grade lights, the ones they built th business on.  The ABs are the low end stuff designed to compete with the cheap Chinese junk.

Jan 18 13 07:41 pm Link

Photographer

Photos by Lorrin

Posts: 7025

Eugene, Oregon, US

I have both the AB and the WL's as do a number of my friends.

The AB's get hauled around more and used more by all the people I know that have both.

Not as pretty but they have proven over time to be more trouble free and are better cooled.

Pushed hard they stay cool. 

More fit in a case (being cubes)  lighter and run quieter.

The fastening handles need to be improved!

Mine are going on 1/2 million flashes - and 2nd flash tube but original modeling light.

Jan 18 13 08:52 pm Link

Photographer

AVD AlphaDuctions

Posts: 10630

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

AJScalzitti wrote:

Too bad they were not real second gen or newer WL, that would be a deal.  Saying "same company" is doing a serious injustice to the WL.  They are the companies professional grade lights, the ones they built th business on.  The ABs are the low end stuff designed to compete with the cheap Chinese junk.

low end stuff designed to compete with the cheap Chinese junk? lollery. so many emotion-charged words and so few facts.
1) if you are going to call something low-end you better have a list of facts that make them low-end. what makes them low-end (as opposed to merely low-priced)? Do they fail to have power steering ? do they break when you look at them? are they missing ABS? does the case fade instantly when exposed to sunlight?  no triple glazing? no rare-earth magnets for the voice coils? do they fail to shave sensitive skin? what makes them low end?
2) AB pricing has always been pretty much public.  it is impossible to say they were designed to compete with Chinese strobes when they were were at least double the price always.  they are now 3-4 times the price of the Chinese strobes you like to call 'junk' but that's another story.

Jan 18 13 08:56 pm Link

Photographer

Caveman Creations

Posts: 580

Fort Worth, Texas, US

I have exclusively, White Lightning Ultras, that I got second hand. That is the second generation, I believe (square, aluminum housing. One has a green stripe, one a purple stripe, and the other is all silver). They are old, but they just work. I have two 600's, two 1200's, and an 1800. Well, at least my 1200's work. The 600s and the 1800 never worked, but I basically got them for free. So, the $50 bucks it costs to send them in is sooooo well worth it. They are tough, easy to use, and so far, whenever I hit the button, they fire. I have noticed before, a shift in WB, but only slightly. Nothing that can't be handled well and easily in post. The biggest thing I notice, is a 1/3-2/3 difference in exposure, pop to pop. Fully recycled, they can vary just a bit. Still, not enough for me to worry about.

If this is what they are, the Ultras, I'd say jump all over $100 each. Because, in the end, if you have to get one repaired, it's $50, and you've got $150 in a light. Not too shabby. I love mine.

Jan 18 13 09:17 pm Link

Photographer

Jim Shibley

Posts: 3058

Phoenix, Arizona, US

New B400's are $225 & B800's are $280 so that looks like a good deal.

Jan 18 13 09:21 pm Link

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Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6729

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

Jim Shibley wrote:
New B400's are $225 & B800's are $280 so that looks like a good deal.

Essentially BOGO and then some tongue

Jan 18 13 09:41 pm Link