Problem with amvona.com

Started Mar 7, 2005 | Discussions thread
Gene L.
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,787Gear list
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My Amvona Experience
In reply to Harald10, Mar 12, 2010

Harald10 wrote:

In a nutshell: Some of their daily deals are really attractive due to the excellent value for the money (even with the shipping charges).
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I've bought my share of stuff from Amvona and surprisingly, none of it arrived broken in spite of minimal care with packing. Everything works and most of it is better than the bottom feeder eBay stuff. However, there is more to this story, so read on.

There seems to be a common thread throughout the entire Amvona product lineup. Without exception, there is always a compromise in some area, either design, material, or build quality. I have lots of Amvona stuff from which to draw experience, so here are some examples:

Softboxes - Decent design, good construction, save for a few loose threads. Actually, very good value considering they come with grids, masks, and speedrings. The bad part is that the diffusion material causes a distinct blue hue, so you would not want to mix these with bare flash or other light modifiers. If not for this, they would be an excellent deal. Because of the blue hue, I now buy Photoflex (and like them better).

Boom Stand - Love the swivel lock and that it came with a nice counterweight. It works, but the material strength is questionable. The tube extension is not smooth, so it is difficult to extend the arm at about 1/4 exension. I think the steel tubing is too thin and suspect some day it will crack. I find my JTL boom is stronger, smoother, better built, and even looks better (more heavy duty). Of course, I don't care for JTL's swivel and had buy Calumet's counter weight. Nonetheless, I wouldn't recommend the Amvona.

Large reflector holder - It is a knockoff of the Photoflex. However, poor design and implementation make positioning and locking difficult. Operation is not smooth and the swivel cannot lock tightly. It does work, but I just don't like it and will some day probably replace it.

Backlight stands - They work, but are the same poor design as all the other eBay cheapies. Not enough foot print and super cheap material. Far better is the Calumet stand with it's flat on the floor feet, removable extension, and self-storing nib (it is the same as the Manfrotto for much less cost). For the money, the Calumet is the best thing out there.

Folding Reflector - I bought a 22" Amvona 5-in-1 reflector. It has a sturdy ring unlike the cheap eBay stuff, and has a perfectly neutral color influence. I was liking it quite a lot until the silver lining started flaking off. It had to be replaced.

I could go on, but at the end of the day, I think it just pays to buy up and get good equipment that performs as it should and possibly last longer. I would never say never, but for the most part would look elsewhere for equipment. Not knowing where the compromises are made is what bites.

-Gene L.
http://www.ttl-biz.com
http://www.studiography.blogspot.com

P.S.

I did recently buy a Tri-reflector kit from Amvona, but it was on sale for only $33. True to my previous experiences, it is typical Amvona cheap quality. The reflector material is thin and will probably flake some day, but the rings are nice. Reflector arms are light duty and plastic swivels, but they work. Hey, it was $33 and I needed a 36" silver/white reflector and holder. Guess I got hooked again by the "bargain"... sigh.

 Gene L.'s gear list:Gene L.'s gear list
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS 60Da Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM +3 more
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