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Problems with Rifa light

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Mitch Jordan
Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:51:49 pm

We've been using a Rifa 44 and Rifa 66 for quite a few years now. On both of them, we've had trouble with the fabric coming unstitched from the ribs at the tips. It seems they aren't attached very well. The fabric starts to slide down the ribs. I replaced the Rifa 66 a couple of years ago, and now one of the connections from the rib to the collar has come apart. I've been happy with the light output from Lowell, but I'm fed up with the shoddy construction. I'm considering replacing my Rifa 66 with a Chimera. Has anyone else had similar troubles with their Rifas? Do you agree that Chimera is a good alternative, or would you recommend something else?


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Ralph Chaney
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 6:41:52 pm

Does Chimera make a quick set up softbox?

-R.


-> Ralph


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john sharaf
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 6:49:38 pm

The Chimera system for such a light is really two pieces, a dedicated speed ring which has a socket and globe and a light bank. It probably takes a few more seconds to setup and a little more space to safely transport, but the advantage is that the light bank can be re-purposed to other instruments.

JS





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Mitch Jordan
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 6:59:44 pm

I used a Chimera in my previous job, and I was happy with it. It did take longer to set up with the speed ring, but it never fell apart. I'm not happy with the way the Rifa's seem to come apart.


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Ralph Chaney
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 7:30:17 pm

In your opinion, could a skilled stitcher add gussets and other layers of fabric to make it stronger and acceptable? Someone like a backpack repair person or ?

-R.


-> Ralph


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Mitch Jordan
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 7:38:55 pm

Probably so. The ends of the ribs are connected to the fabric shell by only a few stitches of thread. It doesn't seem to take long for the thread to let go.

I don't think a stitcher can repair the broken rib inside the unit, however. Still, I don't want to have to buy a light unit and then find someone to repair it. I'm looking for one that won't need repair.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 4, 2010 at 9:54:41 pm

We had a tip come off the rib a time or two, they must sew them on like that to allow for flexion in assembly or in deployment, is all I can figure, but if you didn't lose the tip, you can certainly sew it back on yourself. Sewing buttons back on shirts is a basic Guy Skill everybody should have since bachelorhood, and this job is much less difficult than sewing a button. Get a sewing kit at Walgreens for a dollar or two; I would use a stronger thread though, maybe some high-test fishing line, as the heat buildup inside the rifa is not all that bad. Good tough thread is easy to get at Walmart, a craft store, or sewing supply store, and the ladies there are always eager to help a guy out. I play with model airplanes so I have access to kevlar thread, but you don't need to get that serious.


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Joel Servetz
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 5, 2010 at 3:28:45 pm

I've owned Lowel lights for more than 20 years, although no Rifas, and the one thing that has impressed me even more than their quality is the quality of their service. I strongly recommend you contact them directly. They have never failed to correct any problem I've ever had (damned few by comparison to other products) quickly and usually at no charge, even for very long of warranty products. I haven't had any reason to contact tham since Smith Victor took over, so hopefully their service culture hasn't changed.

Joel Servetz
RGB Media Services, LLC
Sarasota, Fl
videobyjoel@aol.com


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Hunter Mossman
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:58:01 pm

Been beating my Chimera's up for over 7 years now and they're still going strong. I can flip that thing out and have it set up in 30-60 sec no problem. I'd recommend them hands down.

Hunter Mossman
Director of Photography
http://www.huntermossman.com


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Daniel Schultz
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 7, 2010 at 6:34:01 am

I've got a new Rifa 88. I love a number of things about it. Love the light output, and that you can lamp it with several different wattages. I had a chimera with an Arri lite but returned it and got the rifa for a few reasons. That speed ring was a royal pain to set up (at least for me) and only allowed one wattage. The Rifa, on the other hand, sets up and takes down instantly. I also like the option of adding flourescent daylight attachment for a lot cheaper than an Kino flo (but haven't tried it yet).

But I'd have to agree about the durability--the lowel products seem less so. My Rifa's only a month old, and there's a little rip in the opening at the back, even though I've only used it a few times. I'll probably take it back to B&H when I have time, but it's disconcerting. Although I've got some sewing chops, I'd prefer to not have to use them or worry so much about a fragile instrument.

Dan S.


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James Dow
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 9, 2010 at 9:46:42 pm

I have a problem with a Rifa..tried contacting Lowell via e-mail to ask what to do...still no reply. (Weeks later) Love the light.

JPD


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Don Bachmeier
Re: Problems with Rifa light
on Feb 11, 2010 at 4:04:36 am

Hi James. We've had some problems with emails to equipq@lowel.com being bounced back. Please contact me at donb@lowel.com regarding your Rifa.


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