The heart of the Rifa eXchange
System is the interchangeable push and twist lamp heads, which is where the
eXchange in the name comes from. There are four lamp head possibilities. The
first is the TH-X300, which holds standard tungsten-halogen lamps from 125w
to 300w in power. This base works with all four Rifa eX softboxes and allows
the box to be used as fill or supplementary lighting. The second base is the
heavier TH-X1000, which accepts tungsten-halogen lamps from 500w to 1000w and
can be used with the three larger softboxes as a key light. You can use the
TH-X1000 with a 1000w bulb to obtain an exposure of f/11 at 1/8 sec with a nominal
working distance of 4 ft (#4).
4. The TH-X1000 lamp head with a 1000w tungsten-halogen bulb. The
TH-X300 looks identical only smaller so I'm not showing it
Then there are the two fluorescent lamp bases. The first is the FLO-X1, which
accepts one 27w or 65w daylight fluorescent bulb (#5). The second is the FLO-X3,
which will take three 27w or three 65w daylight fluorescents (#6). This is the
lamp base that makes the Rifa eX fun to work with and a serious contender for
a small portrait or product studio. Using three 65w bulbs and an ISO of 100
you can achieve an exposure of f/11 at 1/2 sec with a working distance of 4
ft. The white balance is 5500K and there is no heat being generated, which means
a comfortable experience for both you and your client without spiking the electric
5. The FLO-X1 shown with a 27w daylight-fluorescent bulb. It will
also accept the larger 65w bulb.
These lights are not for everyone. If you need to pump a lot of power, fill
a lot of space, or cover large distances you would be better off using strobes
or one of Lowel's high-intensity tungsten-halogen lights, miniature versions
of those used in the movie industry. Otherwise, these lights are fast, compact,
and take a lot of the drudgery out of setting up and using studio lights.
The Rifa eXchange System is sold as individual units, lamp bases, and stands,
starting at a list price of $430 for the Rifa eX 44, which includes one removable
TH-X300 lamp head, 4-foot captive cable, 16-foot switched #18/3 extending power
cord (T1-80), light diffuser (LC-44D), and carrying sleeve. The tungsten-halogen
lamp is sold separately. A comparable Rifa eX 88 with a TH-1000 lamp base has
a list price of $835.
The system is also available in kits, which are usually a better buy. For example,
a Rifa eX 44 Kit, which includes all of the previously mentioned items plus
a 200w lamp, a light stand, a plastic case for spare lamps, and a shoulder case
to both store and carry everything on location, sells for $665. The Rifa eX
88 Kit, which includes a 1000w lamp, a heavier duty stand, a lamp case, a Rifa
large tube carrying case, lists for $1145.
6. The FLO-X3 shown with three 65w daylight-fluorescent bulbs.
At the time of this writing Lowel is still designing kits around the Rifa
eXchange System so I suggest you keep an eye on their website, www.lowel.com,
or call and ask what they can do for you, (800) 334-3426. You can also write
to Lowel at Lowel-Light Manufacturing, Inc., 140 58th St., Brooklyn, NY 11220.