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Old January 17th, 2004, 01:31 PM   #1
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lighting equipment query

All -

I'm considering a purchase or five from these folks ... does anyone know about their reputation?

http://www.smithvictor.com/index.asp

Thanks!
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Old January 17th, 2004, 09:53 PM   #2
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Smith Victor has been around since dirt. I can remember about 32 years ago buying some SV flood reflectors for doing still work.

There are other manufacturers out there, SV is generally considered to be on the low end for video gear BUT hey, if it works and it's what you're comfy with price range why not. Actually I had those reflectors until about 3 years ago when I gave them to someone. Beat up but still shiny on the inside.

Don
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Old January 17th, 2004, 09:55 PM   #3
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It depends on how you're going to be using the lights. For light home use, they'll be fine.

If you're looking for professional gear that will last the rigors of studio/field use, I'd look elsewhere. They are a very low end producer, with heavy use you'll find threads stripping, barndoors bending or breaking off, etc.

Lighting gear doesn't change much. If you invest in good gear and take care of it, it serves you well, and holds its resale value, too.

but as I said, for light use, it may be just what you need without breaking your budget.

Best,

John
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Old January 18th, 2004, 01:12 PM   #4
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thank you much gents ... :D

what lighting equipment would you suggest for field use with a reasonable price tag?
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Old January 18th, 2004, 01:56 PM   #5
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Lots of ways to go.

I have a post on a suggestion for a good basic lighting kit

chimera's item 8000 is a great deal

www.videogearshop.com

has it under the lighting section for a great price.

Cheap and be the most expensive way to go..

I would at least look at Tota so you can use umbrellas and lightbanks later.
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Old January 18th, 2004, 02:11 PM   #6
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There are other options as well. I own photoflex and have had no problem at all. Photoflex is a bit more reasonable. Chimera is excellent stuff but not the only one.

I use a combination of Lowel, Arri and photoflex.

www.lowel.com
www.photoflex.com
www.arri.com

Or sponsor B&H stocks Chimera, Photflex, Lowel, Lowel and Arri.

Better to start with a smaller kit and buy good stuff. Read some of the past posts about putting your own kit together.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 08:17 AM   #7
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Smith Victor lights

Wow they finally have a web site.

I've used one of their kits (light to moderate use) for several years. Their low end stuff is truly not worth the money. It will fall apart in a few uses--if not as you take it out of the box.

The kit I bought is the K42-U KIT. The lights (765-UM) have held up really well and the "toolbox" it comes in is really nice to have ( loaded it down with extension cords, barn doors, extra lamps, and gels and it still fits). Now I mostly use one light in a softbox or though diffusion clipped to the barn doors as a big key. The stands have been a disappointment--they have plastic locking collars which break after awhile. Basically I would only consider buying from SV's "pro quartz" line. And only as a starter kit.

I have purchase several other, mostly smaller, lights since. I would highly reccomend the Lowel Pro-Light with accesories and a good stand--say a Bogen. The Pro-light is only 250 watts but that's enough for many situations and its engineering is much better than SV. Also the barn doors, gel frame, snoot, etc allow you to experiment with lighting controls. I would almost reccomend this single light with stand and accessories over a kit to start with as you can try all sorts of things and see what works for you.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 12:50 PM   #8
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Many, many thanks! This information is great. Please - keep the responses flowing. :D
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Old January 20th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #9
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I just got my grubby little hands on a lowell rifa 44 (baby rifa) and I love it. Set and strike time is really quick and its ultra portable. I was on a pretty tight budget so I looked at the JTL stuff. I decided to choose quality over quantity and got the rifa.

my 2 cents,

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Old January 23rd, 2004, 01:12 PM   #10
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I'll second the RIFAs. We have two 88s and love them.

Bottom line, like ALL real pro gear, you get what you pay for.
I think the "kit" for a RIFA 88 is about $750. You can fill a room
with Victor Smith stuff for that price, but I wouldn't ;)
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