Photography News | Issue 31 | absolutephoto.com
Profile TomClunn Interfit is a popular and well-respected lighting brand, but in the past few years it has been in the doldrums. That’s all set to change with a wave of exciting new products
Although Interfit has been around for many years, recent arrivals to photography might not know much about the company. Can you introduce Interfit please? Interfit has been in the photo market for around ten years now. We offer a huge variety of studio lighting equipment, modifiers and photographic accessories. Everything from flash and continuous lighting, to LED panels, lighting stands, softboxes, backgrounds and more. What do you think are the strengths of the Interfit brand? Perhaps, more importantly, what do you think are the opportunities looking forward? I think the main strength of Interfit is our ability to grow and adapt in a market that is constantly changing. We have offices in the UK and USA which allows us to spot trends and advancements early to keep moving forward. Interfit has been very busy working on a new corporate identity. What was the thinking behind that? The last 12-14 months have seen a lot of positive changes for the company. In February 2015 we introduced our new CEO, Frank Muscatello. Since then, we’ve adopted a new management structure, developed some important new products, redesigned our corporate image and re-asserted ourselves as a competitive brand in the world of studio lighting. The rebranding has allowed us to launch the ‘new’ Interfit to an audience who may not have been aware of the company previously. How is the lighting market? Is there still plenty of interest from enthusiasts as well as professionals? Last year was tough for the market, but this year is already proving to be full of promise. Keen photographers, whether professional or amateur, will always need good, consistent, reliable lighting options. This is something Interfit prides itself on offering, and with some of our new products we’re confident that photographers of all abilities will consider our lighting solutions more seriously. Many companies offer lighting and accessories. What sets Interfit apart from rivals? I think the fact that we’re a relatively small company (compared with some of the bigger brands) keeps us hungry and focused on progression of products and delivering great customer service, so that’s the main difference, but I don’t really see the other brands as rivals. If you worry too much about what other people are doing, it’s very easy to lose sight of your own goals. We’re more interested in the wants and needs of our customers and helping them achieve the best images possible with the best products we have to offer. Interfit recently introduced the S1, a highly specified portable lighting system with many great features including high-speed sync (HSS). It’s early days in the product’s life cycle but how has it been received so far? The S1 has been really well received since its launch. When we first announced it, people were
looking for a catch or some trick in the small print, but as Photography News knows from its own review of the S1, there isn’t a catch. We wanted to create a light that would match the technology and function of comparable market-leading flash options, but at a price that would be compelling for everyone from the keen amateur or prosumer all the way up to working professionals. And that’s what we’ve created in the S1. What really excites you about the S1? I’ve been shooting with the S1 for around six months now and it still amazes me how adaptable it is to any given situation. It’s a real workhorse in the field and I don’t worry about battery life or colour consistency at all when I’m shooting on location. The controls are intuitive and the results are brilliant. More than anything it’s made people ask what they’re really paying for with more expensive lights from other brands. With the S1’s arrival, as it is a mains and battery driven flash unit, what is the future of the Stellar and EX lighting families? The S1, though accessible to everyone, is really for a niche market of photographers; those who want HSS, TTL flash metering, IGBT circuitry and the option to be fully portable with a true studio lighting solution. Having said that, there’s certainly still a place for the Stellar and EX studio light ranges. I’m sure that, moving forward, we will update and improve the ranges as technology improves, but it doesn’t have to be an either or scenario. The lighting choice comes down to the needs of the individual photographer. Interfit has also recently introduced the Proflash TLi flashguns for Canon and Nikon. These are the first speedlights with li-ion rechargeable batteries. Why is this an important feature for photographers? Imagine a world where you don’t have bags and
pockets filled with AA batteries. The Proflash speedlights make this a reality. With over 650 full power flashes per charge, HSS, TTL flash metering, plus master and slave compatibility with Canon and Nikon speedlights, these flashguns are a fraction of the cost of the on- brand battery powered flashes. Flash aside, Interfit seems to be working hard on continuous lighting too. With all the interest in videography, have you seen a greater interest in this lighting type? We have seen an increase in interest, but not just for video. Our F5 continuous lighting kits and our 19in fluorescent ringlight have seen incredible growth in the last three or four months with photographers. Continuous light is so manageable indoors and the effects of the ringlight are just stunning. They’re both balanced at 5400K so you can use them together for some really great results. What do you think will be the next big thing in lighting? For me personally, it’s the S1. I think we have reached a point where improvements are more focusedon fine-tuning andupgrading technology. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, it’s more about improving the function and performance. What else can we expect from Interfit in 2016? We have some more new products arriving this year, most notably, our new range of softboxes, modifiers and lighting umbrellas. The whole range is made with exceptionally high-grade materials, all the softboxes will come with grids included, and the price points will be inviting to say the least. The highlight of the range for me is the new 200cm (72in) Deep Parabolic softbox. I’ve used a prototype of its smaller brother (120cm/48in) and the quality of light is breathtaking.
Years in the photo industry? 12 Current location Hamble, Southampton Last picture taken I photographed an acrobat/break dancer in Sheffield. When youwere younger, what did youwant to bewhen you grewup? For a long time I wanted to be an ice hockey player, but then I found photography. Dogs or cats? Dogs Toast or cereal? Toast with Marmite Email or phone call? I get a lot of emails, but I prefer phone calls.
Rather than re-inventing the wheel, it’s more about improving the function and performance
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