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Customer Review

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great quality, great price, perfect for a Strobist, July 30, 2010
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This review is from: PBL Photo Studio 40in Reflective Umbrella Softboxes Set of Two Steve Kaeser Photographic Lighting (Electronics)
I have been wanting a softbox solution for Strobist-type applications for a while. For the price of these umbrella softboxes, it was a no brainer - it is really a two-for-one deal. I use a Nikon SB600 and the opening is clearly meant for monolights, but using the built in zipper and cinch, it is no trouble at all to get the material to securely close around the strobe and avoid light leaks. The diffusion material itself is a nice, clean white, and the interior is a silver reflective coating, so there is very little light loss despite two levels of diffusion. First tests, doing some self portraits, were excellent. Light quality in images is great; nice and soft, excellent sharpness/detail, and offers great control in terms of focus and direction of light compared to a standard umbrella.

Build and strength wise, it is worth noting the interior stretchers and ribbings don't have much strength to them. It'd be no trouble at all to break them or at least compromise their integrity - if your light stand takes a tumble, don't be surprised if the umbrella takes a bit of damage. I don't plan on roughing up my equipment and I make sure to weight my stands, but just a forewarning to those looking for durability (you get what you pay for).

Despite this, I'm still giving the product 5 stars, as the value versus price paid is unbeatable. The seller shipped fast too (it probably helps I live in the same town though) and buying through Amazon was a breeze as always.

For those curious about how pragmatic this setup would be for them, the light source size is equivalent to a small studio softbox (24x32), making it good for mid length portraits, close-ups, and most still lives. You'll get small, oblong circles for catch lights, as the shape of an umbrella would suggest. If you're doing full lengths or large still lives (say, a motorcycle), this is likely too small (a large reflector umbrella is a better bet). Compared with any other umbrella, you can expect it to take up the same amount of space as other 40" umbrellas. The good thing is the shaft itself only extends about a foot from the diffusion material, so unless you're in a narrow hallway, this is actually still okay to use in close quarters situations. Obviously, a shoot through can get even closer, but I don't see that as necessary unless you want huge catch lights or need that much more power.

Overall, a highly recommended item, and an invaluable asset for any Strobist on a budget.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 4, 2010 9:26:36 PM PST
Steven Buri says:
Thanks for taking the time to post this review bro.

Posted on Jan 7, 2011 9:33:16 AM PST
Yeah, excellent review. I just ordered mine. Thanks!
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