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News & Insight

Interfit’s New Honey Badger Strobe Looks Familiar, May Interest DigiBee Coveters Abroad

By Holly Roa on August 4th 2017

In the photographic world, it seems that no on bats an eye when a company blatantly clones something made by a well-established brand. For instance, Yongnuo’s Canon speedlight, radio trigger, and lens clones are popular low-cost alternatives to Canon’s own products.

When Profoto’s tubular D1 and B1 monolights took off in popularity, the familiar canister-esque shape became a standard. But what’s interesting is that as long as Paul C. Buff’s AlienBees strobes have been something of a ‘bronze standard’ among lights, they appear to have been immune to the copycatting.

Until now. Interfit’s new 320Ws Honey Badger strobes have a very familiar look. The brightly colored plastic square strobes with a cartoonish nameplate plastered on the side bear a striking resemblance to Paul C. Buff’s update to the Alien Bee line, the DigiBee. What’s more, the specs are nearly identical. About the only differences are that the DigiBee strobes’ flash duration is just the tiniest bit faster, at a still relatively slow 1/975 t.1 compared to the Honey Badger’s 1/900 t.1 and the modeling light of the DigieBee is 15 watts brighter.

The Honey Badger has a frosted glass dome over the flash tube, which bears a closer resemblance to another Paul C. Buff strobe – the Einstein – than the DigiBee. And of course the mount is different – Interfit sports the universal Bowens mount while DigiBee strobes use Paul C. Buff’s proprietary mount. Even the price is virtually the same, right around $300.

[REWIND:] BALANCING FLASH AND AMBIENT LIGHT USING INEXPENSIVE STROBES

It’s an interesting move on Interfit’s part. AlienBees have long been the brightly colored, basic workhorse for photographers who want something functional with basically no bells and whistles at a low price. The line’s success likely remains tied to that low price point and name recognition in a world where strobes are often battery powered, TTL-boasting, High-Speed Sync machines for about double the cost of a DigiBee strobe (which, all things considered, is not a lot for what you get.) Meanwhile, DigiBees are just like, “now you can adjust power with precision!” as far as ‘innovation’ goes.

And so the world has been given a new option for a gaudy, inexpensive, no-frills strobe. Paul C. Buff products have been a notorious pain for photographers who aren’t based in North America to acquire, so the biggest difference in the Honey Badger and DigiBees will be the distribution.

Lest this article sound too disparaging toward the twin strobes, I will say that while they may not be the most modern, richly-featured, or attractive option on the market, they are a great starting point for new photographers without a huge budget, hobbyists with no need for extra features and no desire to spend more, or working pros who just want something they can bang around on location without worrying too much about breaking. They’ll do the job, and in the end, what more can you ask for?

You can check all the specs and get more information on the new Honey Badger strobes and pre-order now at B&H.

About

Seattle based photographer with a side of videography, specializing in work involving animals, but basically a Jill of all trades.
Instagram: @HJRphotos

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Doc Morgan

    What a total rip-off!  Can’t innovate?  Steal it.

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  2. John Cornicello

    The Paul Buff lights use the Balcar accessory mount. It is not proprietary and has been around as long as the Bowens mount. I do prefer the Bowens mount, though. 

    Yes, a 1/900 or so flash duration is slow compared to some of the new lights that are designed to taking photos of people throwing water or milk at their models. But I’ve been using Speedotron lights since the 1980s that have a duration down around 1/300 and have made plenty of good photos with them. I recently use the Sekonic L858 meter to measure the flash duration of some lights and the Einstein at full power in Action mode is only 1/490 (but goes up to 1/8400 at minimum power because it uses IGBT technology to control the flash, while the Badger goes down to 1/330 at its minimum power, using voltage lowering to control the flash).

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  3. Motti Bembaron

    Yeah, but Interfit are not Chinese so no one will make a big stink of it :-) 

    I have two Einsteins and love them. Saying that, if I had to purchase lights today, I would have bought the Godox AD600. For an extra $200 I get built in battery (500 shots) radio and two valuable features: TTL and HSS. 

    In my opinion, for the beginner photographer, the Godox AD200 are a better value. Yes, it is slightly less powerful but for exactly the same money you get all that I mentioned above. Not having cables, wires with battery  and radios hanging, makes things so much more mobile. I have 2 AD200’s and for the past 2 months my Einstein strobes did not see work.  

     For studio work however,  Paul C Buff strobes are excellent and for the price cannot be beaten. The one advantage I see with the Interfit (and it’s a big one) is the mount. Bowen mount modifiers are plenty and very affordable.

    Alien Bees were always a pain to purchase outside the US. Using UPS exclusively, even shipping to Canada became a very expensive ordeal. You can’t just buy the radios or you would pay a fortune in shipping. 

    Paul C. Buff company did not try to make things any easier and I have no doubt they lost tons of business in Canada alone.

    Is it possible that Paul C. Buff reached a partnership agreement with Interfit to distribute outside the US? 

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