Paul C. Buff, Inc. Technical Forum

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Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:32 am

Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 8

Many speedlights have a quench terminal that can be used to stop the firing of the flash and thus be used to control the duraction and power output.

Is there now or are there any plans to incorporate this into a receiver so that you could control power output from speedlights from the cyber commander?

And has Paul Buff ever considered making a AA battery powered equivalent of an Einstein?




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Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:46 am

Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:45 pm
Posts: 43

If memory serves me, I think originally, AB Max which is now Einstein, was actually going to have built-in, rechargeable "C" cell type batteries to allow both studio power (from AC) and portable power. Since I don't think Buff had experience with the power supply needed to allow battery operation, he contracted the work out. From what I remember, the prototypes never performed well enough for his liking. He ended up scrapping the approach, and designed his own power supply, which unfortunately, is not DC power capable. I'm just glad that Paul doesn't accept something that is subpar, and wants his products to be reliable, and what people rave about. Maybe the next generation Einstein will bring forth built-in portability...




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Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:50 pm

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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:49 am
Posts: 1432

We looked at using 8 NIMH batteries (about $100 worth and found they could not deliver the need current for a 500-1000WS studio flash. AA's would be impossible. Lithiums may be possible once the prices come down more.

We spent tons of money on consultants for this and they couldn't make it work to my satisfaction so I scrapped the whole project and designed Einstein myself. The fundamental structure of Einstein is far superior to what AB Max was supposed to be.




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Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:53 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 8

Luap wrote:
We looked at using 8 NIMH batteries (about $100 worth and found they could not deliver the need current for a 500-1000WS studio flash. AA's would be impossible.


What I would humbly suggest is there is a room in the market for a quality optimized off camera AA battery powered flash.

There are a lot of us using speedlights on light stands.

We don't need a tilt/swivel head capability, zoom, or hot shoe

I can't believe the hot shoe is used for holding these off camera speedlights

Make it roughly the same size of and power of a SB800 but with 6 AA's make it rugged with a extruded aluminum body (to get rid of heat) and rubber bumpers (ever drop a SB800?) and bare bulb flash so you can mate it up with the PLM system (so have an umbrella mount) and offer a softbox (and speedring) with it and some reflectors

simple power control knob and 1/8" trigger input but really set it up to work with the cyber commander

I could understand why Mr. Ffub would not want to get into this market. In that case, I would hope for a RF receiver that has a trigger and a quench signal (like the Radio Popper Jr's) so the cyber commander could be used to control the flash output power on speedlights.




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Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:34 am

Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:22 am
Posts: 9
Location: New York

I second the request for a triggering system that controls the power level on speedlights.




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Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:54 pm

Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:33 pm
Posts: 38

purdyd wrote:
There are a lot of us using speedlights on light stands.

We don't need a tilt/swivel head capability, zoom, or hot shoe

I can't believe the hot shoe is used for holding these off camera speedlights

Make it roughly the same size of and power of a SB800 but with 6 AA's make it rugged with a extruded aluminum body (to get rid of heat) and rubber bumpers (ever drop a SB800?) and bare bulb flash so you can mate it up with the PLM system (so have an umbrella mount) and offer a softbox (and speedring) with it and some reflectors




I'm thinking of something more like a Quantum. Call it the "Mini-Bee," or the "Larva Light" :D Something that outputs about the same amount of light as x3 Nikon SB flash. I think the problem thoug would be how to price and market it. It would have to be no more expensive than a B400. While there are people who need something portable and powerful like the Quantum, I'm not sure how big that market is. Most people buying SB-28 etc. flash are doing so mainly because they are relatively cheap, making me question how much money is in it.


Kent in SD




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Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:48 pm

Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:11 am
Posts: 8

Two23 wrote:
Most people buying SB-28 etc. flash are doing so mainly because they are relatively cheap, making me question how much money is in it.


the SB-28 isn't really a cheap flash, for a 10 year old used product - heck it is essentiall a SB-24 which is 20 years old and is another popular strobist off camera flash

and you have to add a wireless receiver and if you wanted to control the power remotely, the only game in town would be $220 for the receiver alone - unless you want to make your own

now you have to mount it using the flimsy hot shoe and try to find a softbox for it

and forget bare bulb flash

when you consider that a SB900 is $450 and a 580Ex is $475 I think you have some wiggle room on pricing

heck even a SB600 is $225 brand new - have you tried to buy a used SB800? they are worth more now than when they were being sold new

build a flash with a cyber commander receiver built in for $300 (and you might be able to do that)

remember, no motorized zoom, no tilt, no swivel, no lcd, no hot shoe, a couple of buttons and a light

same size or smaller than a SB800

build it out of metal with metal battery holders to conduct the heat away - a quality rugged product - there is nothing like it on the market - everything else is just a short drop away from the trash can

with the Nickel Zinc AA's that are just coming onto the market (which can source a lot of current and have high voltage) this could be a very compelling portable solution with six AA's

anyway i would buy it ;)




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