Customer Reviews


76 Reviews
5 star:
 (49)
4 star:
 (14)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compact workhorse at a bargain price
I bought three of these umbrellas over a year ago after reading about them in a Strobist article. They have been fantastic. They hold up as well as the much higher priced brands after over a year of commercial field abuse. Their most endearing attribute is that they double fold when collapsed, so they are ultra compact when folded. Best of all, I have not had a single...
Published on November 11, 2009 by Jim Krupnik

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better umbrellas out there. Pass on this one.
The material that the umbrella is made out of is very high quality as is the internal spokes and shaft. But how the umbrella attaches to the retractable spokes is the weak point and is mind numbing why even cheap umbrellas seem to have a better idea of how to make these two things work together. After opening this umbrella 3 times! the thread that holds the umbrella to...
Published 9 months ago by Julius Caesar


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compact workhorse at a bargain price, November 11, 2009
By 
Jim Krupnik "jkrupnik" (Watchung, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
I bought three of these umbrellas over a year ago after reading about them in a Strobist article. They have been fantastic. They hold up as well as the much higher priced brands after over a year of commercial field abuse. Their most endearing attribute is that they double fold when collapsed, so they are ultra compact when folded. Best of all, I have not had a single failure of any kind since I bought the trio. I am not overly gentle with my photo tools, and this product has never let me down. Buy a lightweight, ultra collapsible stand, bungee the two together, an you have a portable light studio for your Speedlight and Pocket Wizard combo that is as as compact as a small folded newspaper, and pleasingly light to boot.

One review mentioned that the umbrellas included the Adorama logo on the outside perimeter. It's very true. I was surprised to see dual brands printed there, but after considering that my first purchase from Adorama was in the early 1980's, and that I have bought everything from film to large format lenses from Adorama since that time without a single complaint, I welcome the Adorama logo as an old friend, and I'm more than happy to display the name wherever I shoot.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent umbrella for those on a budget, April 26, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
I was looking for a large-ish umbrella at a budget price, and chanced upon this umbrella. I've used it on a number of photo shoots so far, and it has worked very well indeed.

(Do note that this is a shoot through style umbrella - where the outside surface of the umbrella faces your subject. It will not function well, if at all, as a reflector umbrella.)

Pros:
####
1. The light it generates as a shoot-through is soft and well diffused
2. It folds down to a very compact 6" or so size. However, it is often a struggle to pack it back into its tiny case.

Cons:
####
1. You get the build quality that you pay for - this isn't an umbrella that will stand up to rough use.
2. The extension handles are not the smoothest. It sometimes sticks, but this is not a show stopper issue for me.
3. The handle is a very thin tube - and I'm always nervous when tightening the screws that hold it in place.
4. Has an annoying Adorama logo.

In conclusion, this cheap accessory makes makes me look like a better photographer - so this is excellent value for money.

You might want to watch out for the build quality though - I use it very gingerly and rarely take it off the stand except when I'm transporting it.

I suspect that I'll upgrade this at some point, but for now, it works well enough for my needs.

Note that I use this umbrella in conjunction with a Manfrotto 5001B 74-Inch Nano Stand, a Stroboframe Bracket Shoe Mount, and a Manfrotto 026 Swivel Lite-Tite Umbrella Adapter. This combination works exceedingly well for my purposes.

Happy Strobing!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compact and portable, January 9, 2007
By 
S. Mermelstein "Photographer" (Burlington, VT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
Very large when open but extremely compact when closed. Ideal for on location multiple flash photography.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well thought out umbrella, but could be (slightly) improved, August 31, 2012
By 
An Average Joe (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
The umbrella is nicer than I expected after reading the reviews. I wanted a moderately sized white shoot-through umbrella specifically to use while on the go. I decided on this instead of one with a removable cover (Westcott Compact 43" White Satin Umbrella with Removable Black Cover - Collapsible) because I think a shoot-through is sufficient for the majority of mobile applications. I also wouldn't bother with removing and putting a cover back on and would probably just leave a removable cover at home anyway.

The package comes with a clear plastic cover, and a black nylon sheath that is admittedly tight-fitting. I think this is good as it makes the whole setup more compact and protects the white surfaces completely. I use this with a standard Strobist setup: Manfrotto 5001B 74-Inch Nano Stand Replaces Manfrotto 001B (Black), Manfrotto 026 Swivel Lite-Tite Umbrella Adapter, and Stroboframe Accessory Shoe holding up a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash and wrapped with 10pc Premium-Grade New Virgin Rubber 8" Bungee Ball Cords - Tarps, Canopy, Wrap Hose & Cords. With this setup everything is reasonably solid, the flash points directly in the middle of the umbrella, it's portable, and takes great photos.

PROS:
- It provides very nice, soft light. The "optical white satin" has a nice sheen to it and gives off very nice, diffuse light.
- It collapses very small, is light, and very compact when collapsed.
- It opens to a good size, and is competently built. It won't take abuse as it's a lightweight affair, but it will last if handled with care. You can't expect an especially strong shaft because it's hollow and therefore collapsible (with the exception of the reinforced tip for attaching to an umbrella holder). Any umbrella will break if knocked over on a stand enough times.
- The end of the shaft has been reinforced with a solid metal piece to keep you from accidentally crushing the hexagonal hollow shaft when attaching it to an umbrella adapter. The old workaround of glueing in a sawed off pencil is no longer required. This is a nice improvement made by Westcott recently and I applaud them for that.
- There is a lever-action "button" to snap the umbrella in the open position and close it easily. I really like this feature.
- The case is nice and tight fitting. It's pretty easy to get the umbrella in if you twist the fabric it closed tightly before inserting it into the sheath.

CONS:
- The "tips" around the diameter of the umbrella are a bit sharp, likely to accomodate a removable cover. I would prefer if the ends were capped in some way, or perhaps rounded at the ends. I may just cap the ends myself.

SUMMARY: A very nice umbrella with very minor drawbacks. I will definitely buy another one for back-up, and intend to get several more sizes and types.

*UPDATE (9/10/2012):
- A 2"Wx16"L mailing tube from the Post Office holds it perfectly if you prefer a sturdier case.
- After comparing the fabric and build quality on a few cheaper umbrellas, the Westcott is the one to get. The "Optical White Satin" provides very nice light, it has a nice sheen to it.
- Seeing the "spokes" in the catchlights bug me a little, but I fix that in post. I can't really blame the umbrella, though. At least the catchlights are round, which is what I personally prefer in most cases. For square catchlights I use a softbox (e.g. Lastolite LL LS2462M2 Ezybox M2 Hotshoe Kit (24-Inch X 24-Inch)). A softbox has less light spill, is more directional, and has nice square catchlights. On the other hand, it's 10x more expensive.

*UPDATE (12/27/2012):
- I still really like it, but now I wish I bought the Westcott Compact 43 inch White Satin Umbrella with Removable Black Cover - Collapsible. The cover is useless as a bounce umbrella, but the cover would be handy to partially cover the umbrella when you need to feather the light. The shoot-through gives very pleasing results, but it kind of sprays light everywhere which is a problem if you'd like to keep the flash off the background, for example.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Better umbrellas out there. Pass on this one., November 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
The material that the umbrella is made out of is very high quality as is the internal spokes and shaft. But how the umbrella attaches to the retractable spokes is the weak point and is mind numbing why even cheap umbrellas seem to have a better idea of how to make these two things work together. After opening this umbrella 3 times! the thread that holds the umbrella to the spokes broke and pretty much makes this umbrella unusable. I'll sew it back together myself because I'm past the return date, but this is just a stupid design and just makes me mad.

One more thing the shaft is larger than normal umbrellas and it will only fit into one of my stands and I have to seriously force it into it. I'm not sure what this was made for, but not the typical stands.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Umbrella, December 17, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
Cheaply made but will do for now. The ends doesn't have the plastic caps which makes the tips of the umbrella very sharp. It's very dangerous where it could cut you and damage your equipment.

Adomara also added their logo on there. Not a big fan of their logo on my umbrellas, but hey it's cheap and we have the choice to buy it or not.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Little Umbrella if You're Careful, September 6, 2012
By 
Sandra "sgc909" (Cape Girardeau, MO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
I took some incredible engagement photos using this umbrella. I loved the portability and ease of use. It's wonderful indoors, but outdoors beware. It's easily broken if it's knocked over. The second time it fell over on our outdoor shoot, it broke.

Even though I consider this umbrella to be a little pricey, I liked it so much I bought another. To me, that fact says it all...though I do wish the manufacturer would improve the durability of the product. Photography umbrellas are notoriously fragile, and nearly all require careful handling if you want them to last. Still, it seems that this one is more fragile than most. Otherwise I'd have given it 5 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars practical product, September 22, 2008
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
This is my first time to use umbrellas, and by using this one .. I had great results by using Speedlite 580EX II with it. perfect small packing size and light weight. very good for using indoors and outdoors. I liked it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More intuitive than a reflector umbrella, April 27, 2008
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
Got great results with a shoot-through umbrella. Easier to direct a flash light through this umbrella than a reflector umbrella. Nice soft shadows and pleasing light.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even, predictable color, June 24, 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Westcott 2001 43-Inch Optical White Satin Collapsible Umbrella (Electronics)
They say that the final arbiter is the output. So in theory, using a no-name China-made umbrella should be a no brainer, right? Well, that's what I thought.

I used a couple of China-made umbrellas to cross-light mounted paintings. Behind them were a couple of Nikon SB-800's of roughly the same age. When we were done with the shoot, we noticed that the umbrellas (from the same maker) were giving us a colour cast different from one another. Sure you can retouch in post, but do you really want to do that ALL the time?

When we tried out the Westcotts, we were amazed that the colours went back to neutral for both. So I'm very happy.
Plus the fact that there was certainly more effort in having the Wescotts made well. The no name China ones had the tip as you would with a normal rain umbrella. The compact Westcotts had flattened tops.

And, they fold into maybe 12"? So carrying them around David Hobby style is no bother at all.

Worth it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.