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CowboyStudio New Design 2275 Watt Photo Studio Lighting Quick Setup Softbox Video Light Kit Boom Set & Carry Case, N-2000WBOOMKIT
|Price:||$205.00 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Two (2) Top Quality Light Stands, One (1)Boom Kit with Grip Head, Two (2) Quick Setup Soft boxes and Two (2) 5 Light Sockets
- One (1) Quick-Setup Soft box with AC Socket, Ten (10) 45 Watt Photo Bulbs, One (1) 65 Watt 5 Photo Bulb
- One (1) Carrying Case
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|Item Dimensions||15 x 15 x 15 inches|
|Shipping Weight||28 pounds|
The Cowboy Studio 2275 Watt Digital Video Continuous Soft box Lighting Kit/Boom Set is used in the studio to provide any form of lighting above the subject. This product is particularly effective as a hair light or back light, which breaks up the subject from the background. This kit is ideal for all level photographers. This quick setup soft box is one of a revolutionary new design made the kit. This soft box is made to snap open like and umbrella to create a full sized soft box in seconds. The zipper close hole in the soft box allows a stand to insert without light leaks. One of the main questions are customers ask us is “what is the difference between continuous and strobe lighting?” Continuous lighting uses a constant light source to light your subject, meaning that your lights will stay on during the entirety of your photo shoot. Continuous lighting is recommended for beginners. Strobe lighting uses a flash of light at the moment your camera shutter opens to illuminate your subject.
Top Customer Reviews
Altogether, realize that this IS NOT a $2000 lightbox set. It cost me $177. It came with all the parts, and included 20' power cords for each lamp head (standard IEC connector - but by far the longest cords I've worked with).
10 ea 45W bulbs draw 450W of AC power and are spec'ed go give 2000W equivalent light output. That's a little better than 4:1 ratio, and CFL's are often specified at higher numbers, so I'll take the calculations, however there are 2 diffusers between the bright cfl lights and you.
Ceramic light sockets for strength
Individual switches (5 on each head) for variable power
20 foot power cords (amazing)
Stitching in the lightbox itself is a bit weak
Some items that should have been stitched were not
Heavy reliance on velcro to hold it together
Does it work - very well. Watch the video. If you have questions, my email is in my profile. Pleae don't ask comments here as I only check comments on my reviews on an irregular basis.
Now for the details. I was initially lured like most people to the prospect of high wattage lighting with likely diminished build quality. Since I'm an amateur videographer who could probably stand to never need to re-assemble again, I thought, "hey, it's 1/10th of the price as the 3 light Wescott Spiderlite setup so who cares about the "build quality". I just need "light" and I'm not going to be moving this all over town on any aggressive basis. So "light" is just "light" and who cares.
Upon opening the package you'll find that you receive no actual instruction manual. As marginally irritated by the notion as I was, I figured there was some online manual to be found and this really couldn't be "that difficult" to figure out anyhow. Well, I was correct on both accounts.
Frankly, the build quality is absolute crap. In my conclusion, I'll come back to this but for now let me simply say that if you have any background in production and pro-sumer products from companies like "manfrotto" you will be in for a disappointment. The tripod supports are made out of what feels like tin foil gaged aluminum. As amusing as I found the quality to be, I still wasn't disappointed because "what do you expect for $200". And again, I just need this set up once... As you continue to unwrap the product you'll see that all of the products look very professional, yet feel like plastic toy versions. Again, didn't care...
Finally, once I began to attempt to assemble the soft box I found that it was borderline impossible to install without feeling like something would tear, rip, or break. Essentially, you have a completely cheap soft box made of crappy material with amazingly fragile stitching, an actual light assembly, bulbs and the tripod. The first step I to assemble the light box to the light assembly. (This is where I recommend you watch the video on Cowboy Studios website before dismissing my opinion). Much like the video, this engineering design is laughable at best. From the laughable drilled into plastic holes that the rods are supposed to stay in, to the crappy soft box itself one can't help but take mental wages on which part will break first. Well, suffice to say, after carefully watching the video and replicating, the moment I got to the Velcro strap the stitching ripped on the right side. GAME OVER!!!! Unless you feel like learning how to stitch, you have NO LIGHTBOX anymore...
Seriously, that's the entire story... My expectations were remarkably low and somehow this product managed to still disappoint. I was very much hoping for a "dirtbag version" of the real thing that would be too fragile to use "on location" but render adequate for affixed studio situations. What I received is utterly worthless.
All I can conclude is that the lighting worked, and if your budget is "this or nothing" than simply realize that you are buying a lamp without a shade. If you know how to sew and don't mind putting in some "elbow grease' to recessitate the components, then it's marginally better than a $100 workshop rig from Home Depot. But if you are like me and were hoping for relatively comparable lighting with simply a less resilient build quality, just don't waste your time.
First, I got the kit in an amazingly short period of time, which was nice. It came double-boxed, with a soft case inside the double box. Inside the soft case were carefully packaged all the various boxes...the CFL lamps, the stands, the soft boxes themselves, and all the power cords and accessories. Also included was an instruction sheet...more on that in a moment.
Everything was quite intuitive to set up. It helped that I had gone onto the Cowboy Studio website ([...]) and watched the assembly video. It's a bit tricky to build these soft boxes, but no trickier than any other brand. The very nature of the beast makes all of them a bit of a pain. The backlight is an umbrella arrangement that opens quickly and locks into place..so it's not bad at all. But I experienced none of the poor quality that another reviewer mentioned. Everything assembled quickly and easily, and all the parts were included. One thing I noticed was that great attention to detail was given to things like individual sleeves for the umbrellas...there's a place for everything. And all the CFLs are individually-boxed for shipping...sadly, in styrofoam that will be unusable. But I had planned to buy a pick-n-pluck foam case for the lamps anyway, so that's not a huge deal.
The boom stand is sturdy...make sure all the heads lock into place on all the stands. They're a bit of a firmer fit than you usually find, so make sure everything's firmly seated. I was a bit disappointed with the stands for the two soft boxes...their bases don't spread out much, so when you have the head at the upper limits of the stand, it's a bit wobbly...you'll want to be sure to bag the bottom of the light stands (which you would probably do, anyway).
I love the heads on these lights...each of the five CFLs per head, has its own toggle switch. This will make it SO easy to dial in the amount of light you need. Plus, as soon as you plug in the head, a pilot lamp on the back lets you know you have power, without turning on any of the CFLs. That's a nice touch. The back light has just one socket, so its power switch is an in-line switch. The switch feels like it might be a little flimsy, but again, at this price you accept a few shortcomings here and there.
The coolest thing? I fired up all the lights (10-45 watt CFLs and the backlight, a single 65-watt CFL) and the entire setup draws only 253 watts! That's amazing! Your whole light kit on one extension cord's worth of power, with tons of amps to spare (253 watts is less than 3 amps out of the 20 you usually have to work with).
One thing that could use a bit of help is the instruction sheet. I've never understood why companies don't re-do the Chinese-written instructions that go into their products. There's one photo that's even wrong (it illustrates the right way to screw in the CFLs [using only the base, not the tubes themselves], but labels it the WRONG way.) But as I mentioned, watch the video on the Cowboy Studio site, and you'll know what you're doing before the product arrives.
I was considering trying some of the "build your own" softbox things on YouTube and such. My recommendation? Don't bother. Spend the money and get something that's well-thought out and professional looking. It'll make a difference to your clients, and you'll walk a little taller at the shoot.
All in all, for the price, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better value than these lights (and no, I don't work for the company!). I was looking for something to add some "production value" to my shoots (I've been using daylight CFLs in hardware store clamp-on lights), and these will certainly do the trick. Don't be fooled by the off-brand ones on eBay...they have only four CFL sockets per light, and don't have the individual power switches. If you're looking for a compact, inexpensive way to get into 3-point lighting, don't hesitate for a moment to buy these lights. I'm even considering getting a second set to have around...they're that good a value.
Thanks for reading!