The AlienBees™ B400 is a powerful, self-contained studio flash unit with adjustable output from full power (160 Ws) down to 1/32nd of the total power (5 Ws). This flashpower is adjusted on the back control panel with a slide fader, capable of adjusting in whole f-stop increments and everywhere in between. When adjusted from a higher to a lower setting, the unit will automatically dump the excess power for accurate output.
With precision voltage regulated circuits supplying consistent output, the B400 boasts true “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” modeling lamp accuracy. The modeling lamp can be set to full brightness, turned completely off, or set to track the power changes. Furthermore, the standard 150 Watt modeling lamp may be used as a recycle indicator, turning itself off when the unit is recycling, and coming back on to let you know when the unit is fully recycled and you are ready to shoot again. Ready for heavy-duty, all-day shooting, the AlienBees™ have built-in cooling fans to keep up with their fast recycle.
The B400 arrives with a sync cord allowing you to connect your camera to the unit to trigger the flash. The unit additionally has a built-in slave tripper to allow wireless firing. The unit has standard 120 VAC (50-60 Hz) power requirements and arrives with our 15-foot power cord to connect to a standard, grounded outlet for power.
Both versatile and indestructible, the AlienBees™ units are housed in high-impact Lexan polycarbonate (the same material used for bullet-proof glass), keeping them lightweight and ready to travel.
Connecting the flash unit to your camera:
Each AlienBees™ flash unit arrives with the ABSC standard 15-foot sync cord
for hardwired connection to your camera. The cord connects to the flash unit on the unit’s back control panel (1/8-inch sync plug), then connects to your camera’s PC-sync outlet. This outlet may be labeled “PC sync,” “PC terminal,” “X-sync socket,” “external flash connector,” or “flash sync terminal” – the label varies by camera manufacturer. If your specific camera does not have a PC outlet, we offer a hot shoe adapter
that fits in the standard ISO hot shoe of most cameras to enable PC-connection. For additional flash/camera synchronization options, see the information below about remote controls.
: Each AlienBees flash unit must be securely mounted to a light stand for use. The stand mount on each AlienBees unit is compatible with most standard light stands having top couplers up to 5/8-inch. The AlienBees B400, B800 and B1600 models may all be used on our Paul C. Buff LS1100
light stands as well as our MBA Baby Boomer
: For portable, battery power we recommend the use of our Vagabond
Portable Power Systems.
: The AlienBees units may be used with our CyberSync
system (compatible with both the CST transmitter
and the Cyber Commander
). As the AlienBees are generation one Paul C. Buff lights, they may be used with either the CSR
receivers, but not the CSXCV transceiver. The units may additionally be used with the LG4X
wired remote control as well as older Paul C. Buff remotes incorporating the telephone cord connection (such as the retired RR1 RadioRemote One). The units are compatible with most other third party triggering receivers (such as the PocketWizard®). A 1/8-inch to 1/8-inch non-attenuated mini male mono cord such as our CSSC
is required to connect the receiver to the AlienBees unit.
: Each AlienBees unit has an umbrella shaft that runs along the top length of the unit housing, fitting standard umbrella poles up to 3/8-inch in diameter. It may be used with the PLM system (both the current model and previous models) as well as retired Paul C. Buff umbrellas. The PLM™ system's on-axis speedring mount may be used as well.
: The faceplate on each AlienBees unit has four holding fingers that expand and contract to hold speedrings for softbox and octabox attachment. The unit may be used with any of our foldable softboxes, octaboxes or stripbox as well as retired models of Paul C. Buff softboxes and octaboxes. When using softboxes by other manufacturers, you will need to get a Paul C. Buff compatible speedring.
: The four holding fingers on the faceplate also expand and contract to hold various reflectors. Each AlienBees unit arrives with our 7AB/R 7-inch silver reflector
for general use and is additionally compatible with our 8.5HOR 8.5-inch high-output silver reflector
, the 11LTR 11-inch long-throw reflector
, the 22HOBD
beauty dishes, the 22RLR Retro Laser
, the UBR background reflector
and the 7UR reflector
. The UMF LiteMod Unit Mainframe
(and its associated accessories) may also be used. If you wish to use honeycomb grids, the 7-inch grids
(HG10, HG20, HG30, HG40 and the HG4X set) are compatible with the supplied 7-inch reflector.
Gels and Filters
: Our standard gels and filters (CF6
) may all be used with AlienBees units, used with the LiteMod
system or with the 7-inch reflector
: One AlienBees unit can be carried in our PCBBAG Paul C. Buff carrying bag
(with the shipping cover, reflector, cords and room for other small accessories). For consideration of travel cases from other manufacturers, the AlienBees dimensions are 8.5" length (including the shipping cover) x 7.875" height (from the top of the umbrella screw to the bottom of the light stand top coupler, folded back underneath the unit) x 5.75" width.
Replacing AlienBees Components:
For future replacement needs, the flashtube used in each AlienBees unit is the AWFT14MMUV flashtube
. This is a user-replaceable tube arriving with instructions for replacement. The modeling lamp used in the unit is the 150W modeling lamp
, also user-replaceable. While other flashtubes may not be substituted, other wattage modeling lamps may be used with the AlienBees if a lower wattage bulb is desired. The bulb must have a standard, medium Edison-type base and may not exceed 150 watts.