82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
What I expected except for the brand name,
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This review is from: CowboyStudio Complete Photography / Video Studio Triple Lighting Light Kit, 10' x 12' Background Support System and Black, White and Green Muslin Backdrops (Electronics)
I bought this after much searching on amazon for other similar packages of lights and backdrops. Since I read just about every review ever posted for every single version of this light kit I can say I well knew what to expect. One thing I didn't expect was that I would get a different brand than Cowboy Studio. Instead I got Kaezi Photography equipment which seems to be of similar quality with the exception of some sad looking wingnuts and a few other minor engineering/packaging flaws. But everything arrived unbroken, on-time and functioning as I expected. Here's what you can expect from these kits and how I learned to stop worrying and love this kit:
- THE BACKGROUND STANDS ARE VERY UNSTABLE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THE MUSLINS WHEN THE BACKGROUND STAND IS FULLY EXTENDED.
- This doesn't mean they won't stand up on their own at all, but you have to be in a very controlled environment with a perfectly flat ground and your models being very aware of their movements.
-The top support bar that the muslin slides over bows slightly under the weight of the muslin when you are using all of the support bar sections. A simple vertical support bar can be made for the middle using some PVC and a little ingenuity. and if you use forethought, you'll make the support bar collapsible to the same size as the backdrop stand pieces so it fits in the same case.
- CHEAP SOLUTION: This is what sandbags are for and why when you do a search on Amazon for them there are tons to choose from in the photography section. buy some and/or make some and stop chasing falling stands.
- THE MUSLINS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP COMPLETELY WRINKLE-FREE.
- if you want wrinkle free it would seem the best solution is to buy a paper roll instead. or a lot of spray starch and just pin them to the walls.
- THE LIGHTS AREN'T REALLY BRIGHT ENOUGH FOR MOST SITUATIONS USING SLOWER LENSES(f/3.5-f/4).
- The CFS bulbs that come with this kit are almost the brightest bulbs I've seen on amazon with the exception of some 105 watts I found but don't know if that'll be much brighter than the 80 watts the kit includes. The kit is plenty bright for video however.
- CHEAP SOLUTION: I use my wireless trigger and flash as my key light and the others as fill/background/hair/etc. only problem with this is you're limited by the sync speed of your flash but 1/200-1/250 is still pretty fast. so, you know, just get more creative.
- EXPENSIVE SOLUTION: Is to buy a faster lens...something f/2.8 or faster...you'll like the bokeh better anyway so just suck it up and buy one already.
- Another option I saw which I've yet to try and I only advise trying in a highly monitored situation is that you can buy a special plug that screws into the single plug spot and provides 4 light sockets. Again, only try this if you can monitor heat levels and ensure that the housing doesn't get too hot or begin to melt. but considering they're CFS's, maybe it'll work. I would recommend using lower wattage bulbs as long as the equivalent of the 4 bulbs is greater than the wattage of the single bulb. If you try this method, you assume all liability for any damage that may occur to you physically/mentally or to anything on this planet.
- THE CARRYING CASE IS BARELY BIG ENOUGH FOR THE BACKGROUND STAND AND A FEW UMBRELLAS.
-they have some cheap bags on amazon that look like they could fit not only the light stands but the backdrop stands and umbrellas as well for around $25. I'd just do that though I haven't yet. or find another bag somewhere else. there are no shortage of bags in the world.
all in all, I've achieved some absolutely gorgeous photos with this lighting kit which is not to say I didn't wish I could afford more expensive equipment but this will definitely do in the meanwhile. I would recommend this for the anyone who's just getting into learning lighting technique and portraiture. Students could benefit from owning this as long as they understand the difference between this and the equipment they may use in school if they happen to be using more high powered strobes or any professional grade lighting equipment. I bet the lights in this kit perform better for video.