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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons
Pros:
-Carrying Bags: For people who want to be able to travel with their equipment, the bags included are very helpful. The bags are cheap so I have another bigger bag that I put my equipment in, but having bags is better than not having bags.
-Sturdy Stands: I have had a stand EXACTLY the same as these for 4 years now and it still works just fine. After awhile...
Published 24 months ago by Joshua B. Hall

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars quality lacking
Nice idea, but needs to be more "industrial strength". All three softboxs of mine have broken ribs that push the box open. Its like a cheaply made umbrella. Also, the lock hinge that keeps the box in position broke, I have to prop it up too. A little embarrasing for a photographer tring to make an impression with clients!
Published 19 months ago by illinois photographer


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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pros and Cons, July 21, 2012
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
Pros:
-Carrying Bags: For people who want to be able to travel with their equipment, the bags included are very helpful. The bags are cheap so I have another bigger bag that I put my equipment in, but having bags is better than not having bags.
-Sturdy Stands: I have had a stand EXACTLY the same as these for 4 years now and it still works just fine. After awhile the oddly sized nuts that hold the legs to the vertical pole will wiggle off, so watch those, but they still have yet to fall apart (even without one of those bolts). The stands are also flat black so they look more professional and they don't reflect light.
-Nice Light Color: These lights do give off light between 5000k and 5500k. This is essentially daylight, which allows all colors on the spectrum to come out evenly and naturally! They really look good.
-Super Easy Set-Up: These are super easy to just push open and velcro the diffusion on. I can easily set it both lights in under 4 or 5 minutes, that's important since I will be travelling with these lights!

Cons:
-Softbox Construction: The softboxes aren't quite as taut as the bigger PBL VL-1000 softboxes when opened, as I had expected. When they are taut the diffusion fits on nicer and they just look more professional, but this could also be a good thing because if they fall, there will be some give in the material (which is thicker than other softboxes I've used that are more expensive) which should help prevent them from ripping.
-Bulbs: Although the bulbs are a warm (daylight color, meaning whiter than halogen) and they don't heat up when used (unlike halogen and other lights), which is a HUGE plus, they're tough to manage and transport since you have to take them out and put them in every time and may have to carry them in their boxes to keep them safe (which is more bulk to lug around).
-No "On" "Off" labels: REALLY?? Was it that hard to get switches that had "On" and "Off" printed on them? My lights (and I would assume all of them) didn't have any indicator of when the lights are off or on. I bet it wouldn't be hard to see which way they are pushed in relation to the cord to know when they're off and on, but it's fairly inconvenient and means that I will have to make sure they're not plugged in before I get the lights in. What a strange issue to have with lights...
-Softbox Swivel Head: There is a knob you loosen and then you can adjust the angle of where the softboxes point. When you adjust the angle though there's this nasty cranking noise and I feel like I am breaking something (Even though it seems like that's how they normally function). I'm not a huge fan.
Stand Quality: See "Sturdy Stands" above for some negatives involved in these stands even though they seem to hold together against all odds!
-Light Brightness: Don't expect to be using these as your key light. Although the light is a beautiful white (you can buy filters apparently to make them indoor light balanced) it isn't that bright. For a youtube video I did I used just these two lights on me and the color was a little dim. I could have opened up my aperture a bit more but like being closer to my aperture "sweet spot". That being said, if you have a lens that will do f1.8 you may be able to get away with these as decent stand alone lights. For those who require more watts, using these as fill and background lights and investing in something with a stronger beam would be the way to go (That's what I do. I use my PBL VL-1000 which will do 1,000 watts as my key light. Keep in mind the color temperature is different, but that doesn't bother me, like I said, you can always buy diffusion gels, etc.)

I hope that helps. For more in-depth video reviews you can go to my youtube channel by searching in the search box: the video maverick joshua hall.
Best of Luck out there!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent softbox set!, April 25, 2012
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
My two softboxes arrived earlier today. The setup was simple enough to where I'd probably find it an insult to stumble upon an instruction sheet. One of the softboxes came assembled in a diamond configuration as opposed to a square; essentially rotated 45 deg. This gave me a chance to become better acquainted with the construction of the "umbrella" mechanism, which I must say is quite impressive at any price point.

Each softbox is held to its swivel base with a pair of mounting rings. Those come apart after removing eight screws from each; very solid, well thought out, and easy to service. All I had to do was to remove the reflector, disassemble the back ring, rotate it to the desired position, and re-assemble it. The whole procedure took less than 5 minutes, again, with no instructions to speak of.

The light output from these is very nicely diffused, creating very soft shadows. Give the lamps about 10-20 seconds to reach their full brightness. Since they use standard sockets, the CFLs can always be replaced with LED bulbs, as long as you can find some with omnidirectional light scatter (since light uniformity depends greatly on how much of it bounces off the reflector.)

All in all, I feel like I've gotten my money's worth and then some, especially considering the lack of difference in the look, feel, and performance between these and far more expensive softboxes.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Newborn Photography, June 12, 2012
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I just added these to my newborn photography kit.

Pros:
Light stands are hefty and were not knocked down by my tiny clients' toddler siblings.
Set up is easy. It's a bit time consuming, but the umbrella style makes it a cinch!
Cheap. Other continuous lighting set-up are much more expensive. I'm a "Business pays for the business" type of gal so I really feel like I got my money's worth ;)
Lightweight and portable

Cons:
Light output isn't huge when using them separately. I still was shooting at ISO 400-800 with shutter speeds hovering around 1/100 of second which was better than 1600-3200 before lights. Don't expect to be freezing the movement of busy toddlers with this setup! It might help if I set them up next to each other to make a 48" square and used a reflector to open up the shadows. We'll see on my next shoot ;)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good light system at moderate price, November 2, 2011
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I have used this light system for several interviews for customer and once for a family gathering. They worked flawlessly and because they are soft box lights no one complained about being hot nor any heat build up in the locations. They set up and break down very easy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great and affordable universal kit for both the amateur and professional's equipment arsenal., November 17, 2013
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the 'quality' of this kit - It's always a gamble with so many budget lighting kits choking the market, and I have had my share of headaches with third world lighting products that seem to have a life span of 4 hours yet require 12 hours of assembly and modification to make them work.

Because of the last minute film and print work I do for my company there is never time to draft up a wish list when it comes to grip and lighting packages, so we opted to go with and use the budget ones and have used (and thrown out, destroyed or donated) several similar kits over the past few years. I'm happy to announce this is one of the better, if not one of the best kits in this price range. This review being posted after assembly, testing, color temp, test photos and video, and it passed with flying colors.

Assembly of the soft boxes is quite easy; They have all of the support rods built into the units so assembly is fast and easy, as one simply just has to push on the base to lock it into place - (it's almost like folding/unfolding an umbrella - A definite PLUS if you've ever spent 2 hours trying to assemble a soft box with instructions in broken English, or via watching a Youtube instructional video) - None of that here - I had them assembled within 5 minutes, mounted, powered and lit. A new personal record, as I figured the assembly would kill a few hours and shave a few years off my life and sanity.

PROS
As stated, boxes are easy to assemble. Set up and breakdown in minutes. Light output is solid and holds steady right around 5100K (almost full bright "noon" daylight, but not quite - Not an issue or noticeable enough to even complain about, at least for my needs) - Diffusion cloth fastens quick and secure with Velcro that is (shockingly) accurately aligned on the boxes, allowing placement without another modification. Great for indoors/small rooms where space/room is an issue. Light stays cool so structure fires and skin grafts are one less thing to worry about with these, as opposed to working with a cheap tungsten lamp that can melt lead after a few minutes of use.

Light Stands: Yep. They're cheap. Yet they aren't as poorly made as the others that come with every bargain lighting kit on the market today. I have a collection of cheap stands that are about as sturdy as a few straws and dental floss, and while these aren't quite as bad, they're still cheap, flimsy and liable to fall over from even the slightest sneeze. Okay for interior work - If you plan on using these on exterior gigs plan on clamping or tying them down to secure them. Sandbagging is a tedious option, since the support arms are about as strong as an emery board.

Carry Bag and pouches: Actually, the travel bag isn't too bad of quality. Normally the 'travel bags' are about as durable as the light stands, but this one looks like it might survive a few trips before it breaks down and falls apart.

CONS
Cords are short, so plan on using extension cords. The built in support rods on the box that allow for quick assembly are probably also their greatest weakness, as I can see them bending or breaking easy, especially if you will be breaking them down often for storage and/or transport. Not a problem if you keep them set up in a small studio but TLC is definitely needed if you're a run and gun shooter. Like most boxes, these are bulky and must be broke down for proper transport in the travel bag.

Perfect for the guy or gal on a budget, or amateur looking to weed out the DIY Home Depot work light kit (not that there is anything wrong with DIY) - Of course these aren't just limited to the amateur guy either - Great for the Pros too. (although a few pro's might detest the thought of being caught using bargain no named lighting) - The light does what it's supposed to do, and while we all might wish we had a cool and hip Arri light package, these will do just fine. Great as simple key and fill light for a portrait or interview, yet versatile enough for the DSLR or Independent guy on set. Throw some color gels on them and tinker with diffusion and shaping/bouncing/flagging light. Remember that while these are bright, they aren't going to transform a dark street or large area into retina searing high noon sunlight.

(if you need/want that on a budget, get yourself a couple of used Lowel Tota lights and throw some CTB gels on them)

For the beginner:
Since they're daylight balanced, using them indoors with standard tungsten household lamps will throw off the color temperature so you will have to white balance your camera accordingly. Under these conditions using your cameras AWB will just give everything a orange/bluish tint so you need to learn how to manually set and/or correct the color temperature (if you haven't already tackled that yet) - Note that these can be used to mimic sun filtering in through a window, moonlight, and with some creativity and gels, firelight, candle flicker, you name it. Add an LED, clear or colored bulb of equivalent wattage and you can establish whatever mood and lighting scheme you feel the scene calls for.

5 out of 5 stars - Not factoring in the cheap novelty stands of course.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Buy!, May 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I will definitely buy from the seller again. The Kit arrived sooner than expected and the lights are wonderfully bright as I had hoped. Stand is sturdy enough for me because it did not topple when my 2 year old hit it. Great buy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best package for the price, August 20, 2012
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
Product arrived promptly. Very easy to put together. I have limited space and these lights work great. They pack up and store easily.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great lights for the money., August 11, 2012
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I use these lights for video production and they are not my only lights. They are fairly bright, they go together easily and pack up easily. Keeping up with the bulbs when the lights are packed is a small pain. It would be nice if the bag was large enough to hold the bulb boxes too. But for around $100, I will probably order some more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great set at a great price, April 18, 2012
This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I researched a few sets online and on amazon and decided to go with soft box lighting as I didn't want my subjects to get too hot (manly do model photography) My in home studio is moderately sized and I wanted something not too expensive but gave me a bang for my buck. THe lights alone (ten included) almost cover the cost of the set. IT is super easy to set up and definitely portable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lasted one hour, April 4, 2014
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This review is from: PBL STUDIO PHOTOGRAPHY VIDEO LIGHT KIT CONTINUOUS LIGHTING KIT VIDEO LIGHTING EZ 24" x 24" SOFTBOX Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
First off, I bought this because is was recommended to me by my sister. I read the reviews about people having them arrive with one dead on arrival. I was a little skeptical after reading the reviews. I did think though that since I'm a stationary studio rather than travelling, maybe I would have good luck. Well I received the package, set the first one up, worked. Same with the second one. I went to move one to the other corner of the room and it just suddenly quit working. I tried replacing the bulb with the one from the other light and changing the outlet, no luck. I am sending these back today and am very disappointed. Not only did I waste 3 hours unwrapping and rewrapping and setting up, I also needed these for this weekend. I'm stumped, though, on how so many people are having the same problem. I have lamps around my house older than me that still work! Why can these not last a day? I called my sister after the light blew and she said one of them quit working on her a week after she bought them and she wished she had returned them but she needed them for work asap. I would not recommend this product to anyone. This product is not reliable.
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