Interfit Stellar Xtreme System - Long Term Review
This is essentially a quick reprise of a former post (now three years old) that I did on these Interfit units. I primary purpose is to throw some light (terrible pun) on the long term durability and reliability of these Interfit studio heads.
My former blog post can be read here and details all the features and capabilities of the Interfit 300W Stellar Xtreme system
Reliability: The reliability issues I've had with the lights have mainly been down to me. I did drag one over when tethered to it with the flash cable. That's why you should always use the radio triggers!
The replacement modelling light was around £7 although the flash tube was a surprising £60. But it was completely my fault.
After three years the battery packs are pretty much shot. One just won't hold charge when stored and gives about 15 shots and the other one, well..., forget it. I'm not at all surprised or indeed disappointed by this. They have been well used and anyone who uses rechargable batteries know they have to be charged/discharged and ultimately changed more often than people do.
Durability: I'd say the over all finish has done well and apart from the bulb, that I broke, they are really good. The sockets for the power, both AC and DC have done excellent work and show no signs of looseness and all the cables are still in good nick.
Use: I have found that overall these studio light work no worse or better than other 300W systems I've used. I generally now only use them for internal stuff as the batteries have gone and since buying the pocket wizard flex system have almost gone back to using Canon Strobes / flashes.
The Interfit Stellar Xtreme 300W system has been very good. The battery packs need replacing at £120 per pack but if this was done they would operate as good as new. They still offer a great lower cost alternative alternative to the Bowens and Elinchrom Quadra heads. I have noticed that Calumet launch a range a bit like Interfits. It is called the Calumet Genesis 300B Flash Head (please send one for review. :)....)
So with other alternatives on the market would I recommend them still. Yes!
As long as you keep in mind that triggering them can be problematic with anything other than Interfits own triggers then you'll be fine. See my older posts for these gripes.
Keywords: battery powered studio, strobes, long term test, strobist, Review of Stellar Xtreme 300w, flash, interfit stellar
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