Smith-Vector A80 Light System


TPF Noob!
Feb 7, 2018
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I found a set of lights in my attic yesterday that I forgot I had. It was a set of two Smith-Vector A80 lights and two nice stands that were still wrapped in plastic. I bought these back in the late 80s I think. They were in an ad in the local paper for $35 I believe. Not sure, but they look like they were never used, I know I never used they. I didn't know how. LOL. Anyway, can someone tell me what I have, good or bad, and kind of how to get started using them? Can I use umbrellas, soft boxes, etc. I don't have a clue. Thank you in advance.
I have a similar set of Smith Victors that I 'acquired' from a job that was throwing them out. They are decently built constant lights that use bulbs. The version I have take up to a 500 watt bulb, but from what I'm seeing it looks like the A80's top out at 250 watts. I pulled mine out of the garage a few months back because I wanted to fine-tune my lenses and bodies using Reikan Focal and needed a large amount of light to do it properly. I picked up some daylight balanced 500 watt bulbs and put two of them (one on either side of the target) out and started my testing/aligning. It took a few hours to go through everything but one thing I can say is they provided excellent light. The downside is they were unbelievably hot. The room increased by around 15 degrees during the process. With that being said, I don't see how any type of umbrellas or soft boxes would be safe to use with lights of that intensity and heat. Your version having a 250 watt bulb might be a little cooler, but not by much I would think. All in all, probably great for testing (targets), still life photos, or just to give you some fill light where needed providing you got some good balance bulbs in place. If they're still brand new like you say, you could probably pull more than the $35 you spent from selling them these days. They certainly are tough. Cheers!

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