New Paul C. Buff Vagabond Lithium Extreme

New Paul C. Buff Vagabond Lithium Extreme

Paul C. Buff recently released a brand new Vagabond battery pack, the Vagabond Lithium Extreme. With a price tag of $399.95 this might be the next product you end up buying tonight. There are a few great improvements from their older Vagabond models, and overall, it is exciting to see a new product release from Paul C. Buff.

The first thing I noticed when looking at this new product was that they FINALLY updated the clamp that connects to the light stand. I can't even begin to explain the amount of embarrassing stories I have trying to carry around the older battery packs connected to my stands by throwing them awkwardly over my shoulder or just watching them fall off and hit the ground. Thank you Paul C. Buff for finally changing this! Even though I think the price tag is a bit much on the battery pack, being able to have a (hopefully) more reliable battery pack holder on it would make my life a lot easier. When doing outdoors shoots, the last thing I want to worry about is whether of not my battery will fall and die any second.

The new VLX (Vagabond Lithium Extreme) is the fourth-generation battery for the Vagabond portable power line. The pack will offer a pure sine wave power source for use with AC powered studio flash units for those times when you don't have access to AC power. I use my older Vagabond Mini for every outdoor shoot when my studio flash, the Alienbee B800, gets used. I have loved my Vagabond, minus the clip, and if this product is truly a large improvement, I might just be adding it to my gear pack soon. Though, I may want to paint it a different color.

"A most important part of the design is the quick-change 26.4V 6.4Ah 170Wh LiFePO4 (Iron Phosphate) battery system. This is the latest, and far and away the safest and most durable Lithium made today. All other systems mentioned use either Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) or LiCoxNiMnzO2 (NMC) Lithium batteries. Depending on battery sizing and recycle speed, these battery types offer typical storage life of about two years and as few as 100 battery recharge cycles before depletion."

Product Specs

  • current-controlled true sine wave portable power source
  • operates flashes from internal lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery
  • reliable power for multiple flashes (up to 3200 Ws)
  • offers increased capacity, longer battery life, and faster recycle
  • 120 VAC for use with all standard Paul C. Buff™ flashes
  • complete system arrives with inverter and battery connected
  • 3-hour rapid charger (supplied) quickly recharges battery
  • compact and lightweight design (6 pounds total weight)
  • can be connected to a light stand with built-in stand clamp
  • NOT intended to power modeling lamps
  • 60-Day Absolute Satisfaction Guarantee
  • 1-Year Factory Warranty

vlx rightvlx closed on standvlx facevlx on standsvlx with new omni reflector

You can view more info on this product by visiting the official Paul C. Buff Product Listing Page

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Looks great, but it's sad that they left EU market:-(

I gave up on ever having the chance of buying from PCB here in the EU. So I bought the next best thing, Elinchrom. And actually, I think I've made a good choice. I recently managed to drop my Ranger RX powerpack from almost 2 m down on concrete floor and it doesn't even have a scratch (and still works flawlessly) - these Vagabond powerpacks look like they could not handle much impact though.

Thanks a lot for info. Elinchrom is very good. Maybe I will buy it.

Robert Slowley's picture

If you ordered anything from PCB EU in the past PCB US will ship direct to you (so that's great news). If you didn't order from PCB EU in the past, PCB US will ship to you via a freight forwarder (which you'll have to arrange).

They won't ship lithium batteries internationally though, so you aren't going to be able to get this sweetly coloured machine in the EU :)

I will not order anything, because they are not in EU. I don't want to pay extra taxes:)

Robert Slowley's picture

Fair enough.

When I looked in to it I found that the quality and price was much better than their EU competitors.

I previously bought PCB via the EU store, but buying it from the US store, even taxes included was significantly cheaper than it was buying it through the UK reseller.

I'm really quite glad they're gone to be honest, they charged a massive premium on the US price, and I didn't have great service with them either.

I'd urge you to take a look at PCB US and just work out what the price difference is for the equivalent thing in the EU.

Mike Kelley's picture

Undoubtedly the ugliest piece of equipment I have ever seen.

John Choate's picture

I was just thinking the same thing. The only time I can imagine using this as is, would be during Easter… and I'm even doubting that...

Jaron Schneider's picture

Oh come on, it could be worse. There could be glitter.

John White's picture


Tim Henrion's picture

Pleas in the Buff Technical Forum for black were pretty much met with "it is what it is".

Really, bro? A true professional does not care what his gear looks like, as long as it delivers results, bro. My camera has so many scratches and chipped paint it's not even funny. As do most of my lenses. It's the results that count, not how the equipment looks. If there was a tie dye camera out there that somehow (hypothetically) made my pictures even better, I would use it. Sure, it's ugly. But clients aren't paying me so that I walk around a shoot with a pretty camera.

Grow up, bro. If you hope to make it, and I mean truly make it in this industry, you're going to have to change your attitude.

Or perhaps you're trolling us. If so, well played, you got me at the least.

Marius Pettersen's picture

While I mostly do agree with you, I just cant shake the psychological effect professional equipment can have on a lot of people.

Up to a point man. When you're shooting multi-million dollar residential/commercial properties like Mike does, or a big commercial shoot for clients like Nike or American Express, your gear kinda have to look the part. This isn't saying you can only shoot w/ Profotos, but you can't have funky colors like this VLE. The Einsteins are great and look great, at least.

That's what you think. I've been on a couple of high dollar shoots, and I have used my own garage-made accessories. To be honest, they were put together with random stuff I had, and look the part. They wouldn't even pass for Chinese ebay quality.

But no one cared, because I carry myself confidently and know what I'm doing. THAT makes far more difference than the appearance of your equipment. It's the appearance of YOURSELF, your attitude and your demeanor.

Hey Bro,
Check your facts on who you're bashing before you type brah. And there is a huge psychological impact on professional appearance. Bro.

That's because you let it. If you carry yourself well/confidently, guide your subjects appropriately, and produce results, then there is no psychological impact of professional appearance. The most important thing is what I highlighted in italics. Again, if you're not confident, the professional appearance will help. If you are confident, assertive, and take charge, you could have the worst looking camera and still not have your subjects psychology negatively impacted.

"Really, bro? A true professional does not care what his gear looks like, as long as it delivers results, bro."
I would love to see you filling shadows in a client photoshoot with a Glowing Dildo, "as long as it delivers results, bro"

You, sir, are the perfect example of someone who takes things completely too literally. I doubt you'll ever have a successful argument if you keep at it the way you just did.

Any intelligent person knows what I'm referring to. Let's use your ridiculous example in an appropriate way. If I use a halogen lamp to fill shadows, I can get the results I need, and I don't care that it looks like a $10 Home Depot purchase. Guess what, neither do my clients. Because when they see the photograph, they can't see what it was lit up with. They just see the light caressing their bodies in the beautiful portrait I just made. I've even used a flashlight a few times on set instead of a snoot. No one thought anything weird, and the results delivered. It's because I know how to carry myself confidently and have a demeanor that shows that I know what I'm doing.

Anyway, I gotta give it to you, you did make me spit up some coffee when I read your response bro. I was like "lol really? talk about no common sense and taking shit waaaay too literally". My associate had a good laugh at your expense too.

Nice speech man, I was Trolling you and i succeeded that´s all.
And before i leave you alone I can tell this i saw all your comments in you disqus profile, hell man you are a professional pessimist, you love to fight and i wont give you that.

oh! by the way nice DP picture it really shows you are a professional and last but not least man choosing ninjas as team mates that is clever.

Hieu Pham's picture

For someone saying bro a lot, it's kind of ironic to see you telling someone to grow up... bro.

But seriously, lets see these shoots you've been working on with your garage based concoctions! Show us, please, how it's done.

matte black spray paint should do the trick :P

I'm with you about changing the color, no idea why they made it look like this. But some tape and spray paint will fix it rather quick.

Tim Henrion's picture

... and potentially cause warranty problems if it is determined that a failure of the unit was caused by the paint job

True, but it's ether that, or I won't use it. Hopefully putting it in a bag won'tcause oit to over heat. In truth, I'll probably just buy two minis, one for each light rather than to have this Ugly thing. It's sad that a color would deter me so much, but I guess that's a lesson learned for the company.

Two VLM's gives you greater fault tolerance though! If one unit or battery dies, you've got a 'spare'/can get by - Much smarter IMO.

If you do it right, and mask the proper areas off, there's no way the paint can cause damage to the unit. You just can't be a dumbass about it. Don't go spraying into the vents or outlets, duh.

This has to be the dumbest color scheme for something in recent memory. I'd rather have a red dSLR than this thing.

J H's picture

Cool stuff, the color is an obvious give away. If you look at the origins of Paul C buff and how they wanted to build this really nifty edgy art deco installation (it's an interesting read) as their business HQ, you'd know why it has that color combo. Not the most appealing shapes or color but if the device delivers on the ability to power a PCB light at full power for at least a few hours, then you'd be hard pressed to find a reason to complain about it.

Alvin Toro's picture I LOVE PCB and with a lot of pride can say that I get to eat every night thanks in large part to their products. But the color in this thing is worse than the old plastic bracket. It is so rotten it makes my eyes bleed. I hope it does well inside a black bag. I know from experience the Mini's start acting up almost instantly the minute they are not well ventilated.

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