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on December 17, 2010
I purchased this set to use for photo and video production to profile some products my company sells. First off, CowboyStudio shipped this to me fast - so fast, I got it several days earlier than the listed arrival date on Amazon. A pleasant surprise.
Now to the product. The entire unit didn't come with any assembly instructions, but its quite easy to figure out how everything goes together. The backdrop support and light kits all fit inside the included carry case, but the muslin backdrops do not nor would I force the light bulbs in there either. Not a significant issue, but one that should be noted.
The muslins are all of good quality and fit nicely on the support system. Of course, you'll have to iron/steam the wrinkles out, but that's easily done as well.
I did find that the 40 Watt/5000K lights while giving up nicely balanced light, were underpowered and needed to be close to the subject - something that given the size of the backdrop didn't prove to be an effective solution. We ended up buying different bulbs locally.
Overall, happy with the set, happy with the price and happy with the company. If the bulbs were better suited and everything fit in the case, would be a 5-star review.
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on November 9, 2011
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:

- 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.

- 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 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'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.

-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.
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on December 31, 2010
I just purchased this set up for my husband. It's great! Everything just as described.
Everything! Even the material has a sleeve where the bars go through! So no need for clips.
No carrying case
I would recommend getting a middle support for the back drop because once it's set up to it's full width it bows a little in the middle.

Other then that I would recommend anyone to buy this product.

It was very easy to set up and take down also.
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on March 5, 2013
The umbrella skeletons are so weak, that they bent on their own after one week of keeping them open...mainly because they are made of the thinnest, cheapest metal (probably tin or nickel). The light bulbs fused and burnt out within an hour (I use a surge protector)..and i Mean ALL the light bulbs. The tripods are good. The stand strong..but the bar that connects the tripods, and on which you would hang your backdrops, is flimsy as hell. IF i could, i would use it as a Q-tip, because it bends so easily.

The case and the backdrops themselves are good. Freshly starched, clean and well packed...But seriously guys..get rid of those damn umbrella skeletons and get a better quality umbrella..I am looking at mine right now, and three of the points are broken, and the umbrella has lost its circular shape and looks like a punctured football.

I guess I got what I deserved for the price, and its not bad..for its price. HOWEVER, its longevity is questionable.
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on March 6, 2012
Sets up easy, looks great. The background stands come with a great carrying case (very compact). The light stands, bulbs and umbrellas are pretty compact as well, I just need to find something to carry the whole package in now.
I like this kit.
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on April 1, 2012
Seems to be a decent enough package especially for the price. However, one of the floor lights arrived broken. Currently trying to get a replacement for it. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: Sent an email to the company requesting a replacement part. No response from them. Sent a follow up email. Again, no response. I don't want to return the whole set as it would be a huge pain to repackage & send back to Amazon. So I have two working lights and one that arrived broken. Bottom line is I guess you get what you pay for. Zero customer service and products arrive broken.

UPDATE 2: Finally received replacement part. Took numerous emails and months to get but did finally receive the part. Would I buy this again? For the money I would say yes. I would say absolutely yes if none of the parts had arrived broken. FYI - If it arrives broken, go to their website and complete the return authorization form. Keep contacting them and eventually they will send a replacement part. I hope this helps.
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on August 29, 2015
this studio is easy to set up and tear down! Everything you need to start taking great photos are included. For a more seamless paper efffect, make sure you get a steamer for your muslim cloths that are included ! this is a photo I took of myself using my Cannon T3i and the CowboyStudio
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on September 19, 2015
The kit is easy to set up! My only problem was the little stand with the light bolb fell and broke! Hard to set that one up! Lighting could be better so I'm getting more! I also love how you can just slide the curtain on and don't have to clip it or anything! I totally recommend to get!
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on June 16, 2011
I ordered this and I am so satisfied with what it does. It has taken my photography to another level. I use to love outdoor photography, but now I changed my room to a photography studio and I have no regrets. This is a must for anybody that is starting to perfect their photography skills.
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on April 7, 2011
I was so excited to order this! It came to my door really fast too :) The only complaint I have is that the bulbs that came with the set are not very bright. I had to buy additional 105W bulbs that work a lot better. Other than that... its awesome. The muslins are wrinkled as well... but nothing a dryer & iron couldn't fix.
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