Kendal Miller & Matthew Jeppsen over at Fresh DV have a nice demo of the new Lowel eXchange Rifa light. For those who know Rifa, but have been looking at the advantages of fluorescent lighting (cooler, much less power draw, easy to change color temperatures with inexpensive lamp swaps…) Lowel is adapting their Rifa series with a new quick-change head system…
In his demo, the quick-change head system looks amazingly simple- far simpler than trying to put the diffuser on with gloves.
However, it exacerbates the one problem Rifa heads have always had- all the weight of the light is so far from the locking point that it is very light heavy. I have waited for them to produce a locking hub with teeth, like we find on the arms of tripod heads (which hold far less weight).
Now replace a 4 oz tungsten lamp with Lowel’s (classically overbuilt) eXchange head and three massive fluorescent lamps (with integrated ballasts) and this looks like it is just waiting to tip over. It also looks too big for the Rifa diffuser to cover without touching- not a real problem though because the lamps are cool to the touch.
Thanks for the linkage Anthony! Two comments…thankfully the diffuser didn’t touch the pre-production flouro bulbs in our use. I’m not sure what the clearance is offhand, but they don’t touch. FWIW, I believe that the bulb design has changed somewhat since our tests.
And yes, you are correct that the softbox becomes quite front-heavy when you add the three bulb fixture. Lowel informed us they offer a counter-balance accessory that helps with this issue. We suggested to them that they strengthen up the locking adjustment just the same. I do not know if they have addressed that in production.