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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:22 AM   #1
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Looking for a lighting kit - Britek?

Hi,

The britek lights seems to have good users reviews here. I am looking for a good but not too expensive lighting kit, mostly to do interview style shooting, for corporative videos, but also occasionnaly for studio photography and indie film lightning.

I am looking at this kit http://www.rostronics.com/proddetail...ull3kit&cat=13

Please share your experiences on this kit with me, is it good? well built? The stands are solid? Worth the price?

Also tell me if the focus control upgrade (60$) worth the price, or point me to other kits that could be better suited for my needs.

Thanks.

P.S.: If someone from Canada have already ordered from Rostronics, how they handled the shipping accross the border?
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Last edited by Jean-Philippe Archibald; May 4th, 2005 at 10:48 AM.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #2
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I was looking at picking up a couple of Britek 250's, but they seem to have disappeared altogether. Most who have gotten them are pleased. The price certainly seems decent.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Keith,

The comments seems to be very good, so I deceided to order the kit. I should receive it next week and I will let you know my opinion about it.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #4
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Let me know about the knobs that tighten the light's position. I had a set of Lowel lights, that wouldn't tighten down enough. The knobs were plastic, and would have broken off before they would hold up an umbrella.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:27 PM   #5
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Jean-Philippe, they shipped Puralator to Ontario.Rostronics charges the shipping but Puralator then charges you the duty,tax etc.
I use mine with softbox so I didn't get the focus control.The switchable 500/1000 is nice though.
Keith, the knobs on mine would tighten without any acceccories.But when I attached the softbox(32") they wouldn't hold.I modified them and now they are fine.This was a 500/1000 light.I think the 250's were out of stock for a while.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:28 PM   #6
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Jack- How did you modify the light s to hold?
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:14 PM   #7
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Thank you Jack,

I have talked with Tom at Rostronics and he agreed to ship the kit through FedEx. I think that FedEx doesn't have any brokerage fees, they only charge Canadian and provincial taxes.

The kit I have ordered is constitued of two 600W focusable lights with Barn doors and soft boxes (24X24 I think) with 7,5 feets stands. And one 200W focusable light also with barn doors and soft box. The 200 watts usually come with a 4 feets stand, but I asked Tom to change it for another 7.5 feets and he agreed without charging anything more to me. Tom is a nice guy! :)

I will let you know my impressions when the kit will arrive. ( I have some interviews for a corporate video to shoot on may 14, I hope to be able to use my new light system! :) )
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:33 PM   #8
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UPS Ground charges outrageous brokerage fees. Apparently their expedited services include brokerage, but you may also have to pay tax and duty.

Fedex also charges brokerage... you will get a letter in the mail 3 months later (that's what happened to me). I think their expedited services include brokerage fees? Not sure.

USPS charges $5 handling/brokerage if it's a slow service, and $8 handling/brokerage for express. You will also need to pay tax, GST and PST. You need to pay in cash, exact change!, when they get to your door, otherwise you may have to pick it up from your local post office.

Many of the shipping companies treat your package like crap.

Last edited by Glenn Chan; May 4th, 2005 at 07:25 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #9
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When shipping across borders, I use FredEx. No fees, no duty charges. He has a large trunk with a hidden compartment.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #10
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Thank you Glen,

Yes, I know that UPS include the brokerage in there premium services, but of this package, the standard is 55$, and expedited 180$!!!! That's too much for the shiping.

Tom said that USPS don't want to ship it because the container is too big.

So I am trying FedEx... Anyway, these lights are relatively inexpensives. If they perform well, it will be a good deal even if I have to add some cash for the duty.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #11
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Keith: FredEx is not listed on the Rostronics site :-)
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Old May 4th, 2005, 07:05 PM   #12
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You want his pager #? hehehe
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:03 AM   #13
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Keith on the light are 2 pivot points, the one side has a handle and uses a nut in the handle which tightens down.The other side acts as a pivot only and has no handle just a rounded cap and won't tighten down.This cap holds a bolt instead of a nut. So I disassembled the light(completely) and replaced the pivot only with a knob.I also added friction washers in place of the original washers on both sides.Now works good.
I had spoke to Tom at Rostronics and he said if I returned it they would replace it, they havent had problems with them,but I didnt want to hassle sending them back. He seems a very nice guy.
Jean-Philippe , let us know how the stands are. I have the 8' heavy duty and they are excellent.Stability with the softbox is great.
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Old May 12th, 2005, 05:02 AM   #14
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I could have sworn FedEx charge a broker fee too. I'll have to look that up because I have a MagiqCam coming soon and if I can avoid UPS' expensive broker fees, I'll gladly do.

Back on topic, I have a few 250w and a 600w with focus from Britek. I also have two 1000w (square design without focus control). Although they give a decent 3200K calibrated light and do not get overly hot, I feel they're cheaply built. My assistant dropped one of the 250w on the floor and it exploded into pieces. And I'm not just saying that. There was not a single screw or metal part left intact. It shattered like a lego construction.

My grip with Britek is also that for some reason the bulbs that I used with them always burned at the slightest hit they took. While it is definitelly not a bright move to touch or hit a lit or hot lamp, they should not be that fragile.

Maybe it was just a set of crappy bulbs though. I've had better luck with the square type Briteks (elongated bulbs) which feel sturdier and have better impact resistence. For the price, I'd say they're hard to beat.

Even though I sound like I'm trashing them, I'm not. They have improved their design and I feel they might be a company that could gain some serious ground in the next few years. The focus option is a nice addition. I have a few Lowel that I feel much more comfortable relying on but I do use the Briteks on a regular basis too.

As for Rostronic, their customer service is top notch. They don't overcharge for shipping and are very helpful. They also combine shipping on multiple replacement bulb orders. A pleasure to do business with really.
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Old May 13th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #15
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I received my britek kit today!!!

So far, I am REALLY impressed! theses lights are really well made. I will use them extensivelly during the weekend. Stay tuned for my upcomming review! :)
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