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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 20 Aug 2014 (Wednesday) 23:02
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Are Chimera Softboxes really as durable as they say?

 
Antonio ­ C.
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Aug 20, 2014 23:02 |  #1

I'm thinking of investing in some Chimera Softboxes but I'm torn. From what I've seen at my buddy's studio the materials seem great quality but the stitching is not completely straight and is kinda handmade looking (and I mean by someone's grandma not a high end tailor so not in a good way). On the other hand I hear that on brands like Elinchrom and Profoto the silver material will eventually peel off or they will tear if taken on location often and so on.
So what I.m wondering is this: Can these truly last an entire career, being repaired and fixed if needed? I guess what bothers me the most is the absence of hems inside the softbox (where the first silver material joins the second) which I was always taught were essential in any piece of quality clothing... Are they really as durable as their reputation seems to indicate?

I'm interested in the Video Pro Plus line by the way as we plan to do a lot of video too. By the way said buddy is selling off his video equipment to pay his wife's debt and so I could pick up his Video Pro Plus softboxes for cheap. (they're only 6 months old)

Thanks gents!




  
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dave63
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Aug 20, 2014 23:07 |  #2

Well, I live a few miles from the factory, and have toured the place. There's maybe 20 people that work there, and there's very little automation. From what I saw I was impressed. Whoever made that comment about the stitching may have gotten one made by someone on an 'off' day, perhaps.



  
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Antonio ­ C.
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Aug 20, 2014 23:17 |  #3

dave63 wrote in post #17108658 (external link)
Well, I live a few miles from the factory, and have toured the place. There's maybe 20 people that work there, and there's very little automation. From what I saw I was impressed. Whoever made that comment about the stitching may have gotten one made by someone on an 'off' day, perhaps.

So what's your opinion, are they durable? Worth the money?

I always buy gear that's tough and long lasting because those who buy cheap buy twice (or more).

The pricing on Chimera products is just within my budget (so forget about Plume and others in the extreme high end) which is why I'm trying to figure out if they are really high end in quality or only by reputation.




  
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The ­ Loft ­ Studios
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Aug 20, 2014 23:21 as a reply to  @ Antonio C.'s post |  #4

Chimera makes ABSOLUTELY the best and most durable softboxes available..... HANDSDOWN!!!
I've worked at 3 commercial photo studios (over a 15 year period) and they all used Chimera. Once you use one, you'll understand why they are pricey. But, they will last you a lifetime!!!


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Antonio ­ C.
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Aug 20, 2014 23:29 |  #5

The Loft Studios wrote in post #17108679 (external link)
Chimera makes ABSOLUTELY the best and most durable softboxes available..... HANDSDOWN!!!
I've worked at 3 commercial photo studios (over a 15 year period) and they all used Chimera. Once you use one, you'll understand why they are pricey. But, they will last you a lifetime!!!

Thanks, really appreciate the input. Should I not be worried about the lack of hems on the inside then? Will time not undo the fabric/material if it isn't hemmed?




  
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The ­ Loft ­ Studios
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Aug 21, 2014 01:17 |  #6

Antonio C. wrote in post #17108696 (external link)
Thanks, really appreciate the input. Should I not be worried about the lack of hems on the inside then? Will time not undo the fabric/material if it isn't hemmed?

I'm not understanding what hems you are referring to.....
Because we used to shoot literally 8 hours a day, 5 days a week all year round, after about 6-7 years the front panels will tend to turn yellow from the powerful 250w modeling lights being on ALL THE TIME. Before Chimera made the removable velcro front, you could send in your softboxes to Chimera and they would take out the front front baffel and sew in a new one at minimal charge. They would also repair any tears and/or resew stitching that may have come loose or torn. So basically for something like under $30 or $40 bucks, you basically had a "Like New" repaired softbox that would last you another 6-7 years. Now, I'm talking about a studio who put some serious wear on a product, the average single studio photographer like yourself, having a Chimera Softbox will, like I said, last you a LifeTime. And now that they have removable baffels, if anything were to have, you could simply purchase another front baffel for about $15 (depending on size, maybe less). And if I'm not mistaking, Chimera softboxes come with a Limited LifeTime Warranty..... meaning as long as your softbox doesn't show CRAZY abuse like we use to put them through (which is why we had to pay at least some type of minimum fee) they will basically repair any deformities on the softbox for as long as you own it.....


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Conner999
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Aug 21, 2014 08:22 |  #7

Of all the ones I've used - Chimera, Profoto, Profto RFi /Creative Light, Elinchrom and (cheaper) others - yes they are. They are also a tad heavier as a result and you (often but not always) pay accordingly.

Much like any box, the diffusing panels will yellow or collect stains over time, but a good soak in Oxyclean + HOT water and a good rinse solves the issue.

While no box (they are fabric & metal rods afterall) is bullet-proof, if you're concerned about durability in a softbox, Chimera is likely the safest choice - everything else being equal.




  
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CAPhotog
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Aug 21, 2014 08:37 |  #8

Yep, Chimera is extremely durable. I only have one and it is old with lots of use. The other brands I have of similar age are still working but have not faired as well.




  
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Antonio ­ C.
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Aug 21, 2014 08:51 as a reply to  @ CAPhotog's post |  #9

Thanks gents! Sounds like I might give my friend a call this weekend and maybe buy his Video Pro Plus softboxes and order whatever else I need from the local Chimera dealer.

;)




  
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nycameraman
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Aug 21, 2014 18:34 |  #10

Chimera customer service is second to none, I must add.




  
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Are Chimera Softboxes really as durable as they say?
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