116 of 122 people found the following review helpful
Like it, hate it...,
This review is from: ePhoto H9004SB-69BWG Photography Studio Video Lighting Chromakey Screen 3 Muslin Backdrops Lighting Kit Background Support Kit-Green/Black/White (Camera)
I was going to do a video review on this, but couldn't fit in the time to shoot and edit everything. There's so much to be said about this kit. Some pros, some cons. Just need to get some more information on this.
First of all, the pictures for this kit is TERRIBLY deceiving. The carrying case is MUCH larger, all the stands have equal base spread, the muslin background looks like high quality, and it makes the hair light stand/boom look nice and long. You won't get what you are seeing in the picture.
This kit would BEST be suited for a studio or a semi-permanent installation. It is my professional opinion that this kit not be used for any kind of mobile use. I've shot commercials for a good 6-7 years with Lowel florescent lighting kits, which were made for the specific use of setting up, moving around, and tearing down quickly. This kit from ePhoto doesn't do this. I've tried my hardest to assemble the kit and pack it away in a fashion that would be quick and low-frustration, but it simply isn't able to do this. The soft boxes are not like an umbrella setup, where you simply slide a sleeve up and down a rod, and the box spreads open. Nope, it isn't that simple. The hair light (the one on the boom) kinda does this, but the box doesn't securely stay open. Once in a while, even when I thought I had opened the box and locked it open, it would still collapse unexpectedly. A note about the softboxes too, the power cables are WAY too short. When the stands are fully extended, the power cords go halfway up the stands. You MUST get extensions for them. Nasty con for the lights indeed.
The two other lights (key and fill) have a weird rod and notch assembly. You have 4 rods. You take one rod, and connect it to one corner of the diffusion side of the box. Then the other side slips into a notch on the fixture itself. After putting all four rods in place, it will form the soft box. It's NOT a quick setup! It takes me at best 4-5 minutes of setup, and that's JUST one soft box assembly. After setting up all the stands and boxes, that's a solid 20 minutes lighting assembly. That simply can't happen on a shoot, especially if you want to project any sense of professional work. It's got to be no more than a 2 minute setup. And I do not recommend moving them around. There isn't a very confident sense of stability with these. Yes, if you're careful, you could easily and safely move them around, but honestly I wouldn't move these while still put together.
It's also my suggestion to get a much better set of Muslin backdrops. The picture shown here are very deceiving. When the stands are fully extended upwards, there is NO way those muslin sheets lay on the floor like they do in the pictures. The sheets are SO thin and delicate that you can easily tear them. This IS a result in terrible workmanship. There are loose threads and all kinds of bad sewing on each sheet it's not even worth it.
Also, the bulbs sounded very promising, however I wouldn't suggest them either. They flicker very nastily, and I had them plugged into clean power too, so it wasn't the electricity I was using. Possibly getting CFL bulbs or some kind of LED bulbs would work much better then the supplied florescent bulbs.
The carrying bag for the lights is so-so. I cant understand the orientation of the zipper/handles when it's closed. When you set down the bag, the handles are on top, and the flap/lid/zipper is on the side. Why? A lot of weight is placed on the zipper, and I'm afraid that one day the zipper will inevitably tear open from all the weight pulling at it. Why not put the zipper on the top side of the bag?
All in all, for this price, it's an o.k. kit. No matter what, replace the Muslin cloth and the bulbs with something else. If you're just using it as studio lighting where it's more stationary, it's an okay kit. IF you want to move it around and be an on-location kit, you'll have to do some modifications to the kit to make it more secure. However, I still do not suggest this kit, as the setup time will still be longer then desirable.
I hope this review affects everyone's decisions positively.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 15, 2012 7:52:20 PM PDT
Dominique Hadley says:
what seller WOULD you reccommend for this type of kit?
Posted on Jun 11, 2012 5:35:36 PM PDT
Thank you for taking the time to write this. It was the perfect add-on.
Posted on Mar 2, 2013 1:34:44 PM PST
Promo Stills says:
Can you advise of a affordable lighting kit for an indie film maker? Not for outside, mainly indoor simple scenes and interviews- Thanks!
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