American lighting manufacturer Alienbees produce some of the best value studio lighting available. Especially their ABR-800 Ringflash, at only $399 in the states, compared to much more for comparible Elinchrom or Bowens models it’s a no brainer.
Getting one in the UK however is no mean feat. There’s only one retailer that sells any of the alienbees range in Europe, the price is almost double once you’ve included delivery, and their supply level is questionable. My experience with Paul C Buff was less than impressive.
Firstly getting to their website was difficult enough. Google searches for product names threw up nothing and I was only pointed their way by scouring photography forums. The order process was as smooth as you’d expect from a modern website, but the £38 shipping fee took me by surprise!
Despite that they had stock in their UK warehouse (in Southampton), but it still took them 2 weeks to despatch my ABR800. Customer service was patchy at best and they kept making delivery date promises that they didn’t fulfil.
Despite all the hassle getting hold of one it was worth the wait, review of the ABR-800 ringflash to follow, along with UK power guide
Have you ordered any alienbees products in the UK? Let me know your experiences in the comments below