Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Suffers from under-exposure, August 8, 2010
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This review is from: Studiohut KIT2CS Photography Studio Continuous Lighting Umbrella Kit with 30 Watts 5500K CFL Bulb (Black) (Electronics)
Arrived on time and as promised. Pretty easy to assemble, with a few exceptions, mainly because the package contains no instructions, not even the little IKEA-type pictograms. So when you go to attach the light to the stand, you're on your own. Mine waited until I was in the middle of a photo session with some high-value vintage china and then the lamp, lamp socket and control, and umbrella all jumped off the stand and onto the china. Maybe it was due to that one piece of hard plasticized nylon mounted on the business end of the stand when I unpacked it, for which I could find no use if I wanted to attach the light to the stand, and which I keep just in case I have a "Eureka" moment at some point and understand its function.

But assuming you get it set up properly, the stand, in particular, works very well. Often at this level of pricing the equipment is shoddy, way too flimsy for a actual use, because it will invariably fall over just before the shutter clicks. So I was surprised and gratified to find this well-made and of good quality materials. Even the umbrella was of a nice quality and with sturdy connections and components.

But the light emitted and reflected back onto your subject by this set is very dim and of almost no use unless you are able to position it within a foot or so of the subject, which can actually be done for my purposes because I shoot vintage items and materials usually less than 12" x 12". I doubt a portrait subject would sit still for a light in such close proximity, especially since the light and the glowing umbrella would be right there in the middle of the picture. A moment between you and your reflector kit preserved forever.

The glow from the light, bouncing off the umbrella and back toward the object/subject, is a very pleasing soft white, and will, I imagine, serve to soften shadows and provide a little bounce-fill. But it really does not emit a light powerful enough to be used as front fill and illumination, even though that would probably be its main function, supplemented, as in my rig, with two soft-boxed side lights.

So unless you get this light really close to your subject, you are gonna need more light.

Underexposed and underwhelming.

***Update: Jan. 25, 2013***
OK, so I said in my original review that the stand was good, the light was bad, and the connectors that joined light and brolly to stand were, to be charitable, "challenged". Since that review I have used the product regularly, and I can affirm that the stand is good, the light is bad (the brolly diffuses the light, alright; it diffuses it so much that it serves little functional purpose), and the connectors not only aren't good but actually broke sometime early in its 2nd year of service. Now the bulb and brolly just sort of sit on the old broken connector (in this case, friction and the angle of repose are our friends) and are fine as long as you don't bump anything. I've knocked the rating down from 3 to 2 stars to reflect my dissatisfaction with the product but also to recognize that it does work to provide a lovely, diffused, reflected light, even though that light is very dim.

This product remains underexposed and underwhelming.
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Location: Putnam County, IL USA

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