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CowboyStudio Photography & Video Portrait Umbrella Continuous Triple Lighting Kit
Style: triple kit|Package Type: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$73.87+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on March 3, 2013
As a photographer with over 30 years experience, I can tell you that these lights are simply awesome. There have been many reviews from what I can only assume are drooling morons about the socket quality, the stands quality, the low light levels. Guess what? They are $60.00 bucks, not $1,500.00 like my main set!

The Stands are of a thinner tubing than the $1,500 dollar variety, yes, and of a pot metal construction (not aircraft grade aluminum) with lower quality plastic clamps and adjusters (not machined and polished aluminum) HOWEVER... they are most certainly sturdy for light stands and absolutely useable for what I can see as a very long life (if you're not a tool!)

Also, the light fixtures themselves are very sturdy AND accommodate the included bulbs very well.

As this is a continuous light system and not strobes, I have used them for studio lighting along with 2 softboxes. The light level is strong and clean, with no flickers or other anomalies.

The light levels are steady and at the advertised rated output continuously.

The accompanying nylon bag is branded with Cowboy Studio's logo as with all of their products. The bag is really descent and holds the gear for transport properly and completely as it should.

CONS: None, for 60 dollars there is not a one. Even for $120.00 I would be very satisfied.

All in all, for 60 bucks, these are awesome and very much worth the money and will serve you well... unless you're a tool.
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on June 18, 2016
I ordered this light set for an indoor photo shoot. I was skeptical about the quality of the product, because of the price, but it surpassed my expectations. I travel with the set and set it up indoors for photo shoots. The size of the product packed up in the travel case is manageable, lightweight and easy to carry. It comes with two umbrella lights, a smaller light (3 stands all together), three light bulbs and a carrying case.

With the smaller light I aim it away from the subject and project it off a cheap poster board towards the subject. These are constant lights and it will get hot in a room fast, a fan is an extra bonus if you have one!

The only thing I recommend that you add to your purchase order is an extension cord or two as these cords are not that long. I also recommend that you keep ALL the product packaging (minus the shipping box) and take down the equipment and store it like you received it every time you use it. This is what I have been doing with it for over a year and I have not had to replace anything with it.
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on May 14, 2015
This is a great starter kit for the home photographer/videographer, and I would highly recommend getting it if your budget is limited but you want to work with lighting. At first I had problems because the head pieces that came in the kit had defective metal rings, making it difficult for the bulbs to screw into the headpieces (I attached two pictures where you can see how the metal rings were busted up inside the socket or simply popped out of the socket). For one of the headpieces, the bulb screwed in and then did not want to come out. With the other two, the bulbs never screwed in all the way...they just kept spinning round and round. But don't worry about this issue! I contacted Cowboy Studio via Amazon, and they very quickly shipped me replacement head pieces (it took just 2-3 days after submitting my claim). The new headpieces have not had any problems. This kit is great, and Cowboy Studio was very responsive about sending replacement parts. I'm very happy with my purchase. The lights are nice and bright white, and very good for what I am doing shooting some photos and video at relatively close range indoors.
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8 people found this helpful
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This is an AMAZING value considering what each piece would cost if you bought it separately! The stands alone are worth the price.

I don't shoot much video, so I don't use these very often. As such, I was very surprised when one of the bulbs stopped working after a handful of uses. I always store them in the foam inserts inside the original boxes, so they didn't get knocked around. It just stopped working.

All other pieces are holding up fine. I regularly use the case and stands for my regular photography work, which involves going on location to shoot headshots for business people.

Don't use the umbrellas much, as I prefer softboxes and reflective umbrellas. Nice to have them just in case, though.

45W CFLs sounds like a lot of light, but photography requires more light than most people realize. I was not surprised these required ISO 800 even in close quarters to get decent shutter speeds and aperture.
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on July 5, 2015
I am a part-time professional photographer and have owned this kit for three years now. Although this is not my main set up, I have used it quite a bit over the years and it is still holding up very well. Nowadays, I use it for product photography (to illuminate a light box), and it does the job very well. In the past, I have used it for newborn photography, and it worked, but keep in mind that you will absolutely have to replace the bulbs that come with the kit with brighter ones (I'd recommend 100 Watts ).

If you expect the highest-quality materials, you're going to be disappointed, but - for under $50 - this is a remarkable value. Although the plastic is rather cheap, the kit is sturdy. I have had no issues with any of that stands falling over and have used them on both carpet and hard surfaces. If you use them outdoors, you'll probably want to place some weight at the base to prevent them from tipping over in windy conditions, but that, for the most part, is true for any set.

The light stands are height-adjustable and have quite a bit of range, which makes them ideal for many different applications. Keep in mind that the lowest they will go is about 3 ft., so if you need them for applications that require lower height, you'll probably want to look elsewhere. The short stand is right around 2 ft. in its lowest position, but there is only one of those (unless you purchase additional).

I have had no issues with the sockets and they have accommodated various light bulbs over the years. The light output is continuous without any flickering or other defects. I'm currently using 100 Watt bulbs with them.

The carrying pouch that comes with the kit is also nice and convenient, and it is still holding up.

Overall, for the price, you can't beat this kit. If you use it as your main kit and constantly have to transport it, or if the stands are exposed to harsh conditions (drops, harsh weather, etc.), I am not sure what the durability would be, but if you use them moderately and don't abuse them, they will last you a long, long time.
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on February 25, 2017
Works well for lighting, taking pictures of my LuLaRoe inventory. I've had it for 5 months now, and I have 2 main problems with it...(1) the single light without an umbrella falls over easily. I bumped it a few times and was able to catch it sometimes. However, each time it falls to the ground, the light bulbs have shattered. I realize that it's my fault that I knocked them over. But if that piece had a larger base, it would not knock over so easily. (2) On one of the umbrella lights, the on/off switch does not work anymore. It is always on, and I have to unplug it to turn it off.
I do like the carrying case, it's great for storage. Easy to set up and take down, but I'm in the process of looking for another lighting kit to replace this one.
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on July 27, 2013
There is a reason why B&H and Adorama don't carry or sell CowboyStudio products, and I should have checked before purchasing this "kit".

This kit has a very "single-use" disposable build quality to it. The stands were probably the most decent thing about this kit. The umbrellas were alright, one of mine came with several bent arms... they're fragile compared to a cheap $10 umbrella but they did the job. The light sockets are really cheap, molded ABS with thin socket material. The bar that holds the light sockets and umbrella holder is sloppy and almost requires three hands to adjust. The carry case is way too big unless you put everything back in the boxes, but the boxes are flimsy and won't handle much, so the case is pretty much sales gimmick.

There is no way on Earth that the light rating is even close to 1200 watts. The color of the bulbs are fine, but I had to push up the ISO to 800 with my 85 1.2L wide open to get stable shutter speeds. If you want to be cheap, get the less-expensive single bulb units from CowboyStudio for $59, then add 2 4 bulb adapters for $12.99ea and add 2 more CFLs for $32.49 and you'll have the same amount of light for about the same price, but you'll be able to add 4 more CFLs down the road, and after seeing what 4 of these bulbs do, you will want to add more.

This kit isn't horrible, but you're better off spending another $20+ on a different kit. Read the reviews on that two letter audio video site and Adorama (who has a shop here) and come back here to make a purchase on a higher quality unit.
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on March 29, 2016
This is a great set for a beginning or small studio. I bought this for a public "photo lab" in one of the residence halls at my college as they need to take pictures of various projects throughout the year to compile portfolios and presentations. The stands are very light (which has its pros and cons), but they seem to be well made. The mini light stand for the direct light is very easy to tip over and we had to replace a light bulb because of that, so be cautious, but otherwise it is very easy to set up, get running, and use for portrait or object photos.
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I received this product in today. I did read all of the reviews prior to purchasing so I didn't have extremely high expectations however I was pleasantly surprised when I un-boxed everything and put it all together. Id like to note that I have never used any lights like this before so I really don't have anything to compare it to but I will tell you what I think. These lights went together very quickly without any instructions. I think it is very self explanatory.
When unfolding the stands they do not operate super smooth however they are very sturdy. All of the latches and tightening knobs seem to be strong enough to handle what it is intended for.
I read in other reviews that the threads in the light sockets would come out when you attempt to screw in the light bulb. I did not have this problem. the light bulbs screw in just fine on the lights I received. no problems at all. The light bulbs were shipped inside of foam padding and inserted into original boxes. I will continue to reuse this padding and I believe it will last quite a while if I take care of it. The bulbs are not super bright but they do give a nice crisp look objects placed on my white backdrop.
I ordered these lights to assist in picturing stationary metallic objects on a white backdrop. I was having trouble with shadows and color being off prior to purchasing these lights. I think they will work perfectly.
Everything came prepackaged in boxes and in a carry case. This case is plenty large enough to add extra equipment if needed. And again, I believe the carry case will last a while if I take care of how I handle it.
I will be putting them to use over the weekend and will update this post if my opinion changes.
In short, these are very inexpensive lights. I believe they are a good value for the money you are spending. I believe you will need to take care how you handle them especially if you plan to set them up and take them down often.
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on October 18, 2015
This is a fantastic setup. I'm gonna be able to take wayyy better selfies than everyone else now. Seriously though, this stuff altogether is light (no pun.. maybe a little..), and sets up quick and easy. Plus if anyone comes in here it really makes it look like I know what I'm doing.

Originally I was going to get the largest lightbox I could find, so I could take pics of a variety of items (backpacks, bottles, rifles, etc..) to include in the survival books I write. This set eliminates the need for that, and allows all sorts of functionality I would have still needed such as shooting video for example. I didn't notice a lightbox for sale that was big enough to stand in, or sit at a desk. The only ones available were like the Derek Zoolander Lightbox For Dudes Who Can't Take Pics Good, and Want to Learn To Do Other Things Good Too. They need to be at least three times that size. Umbrella lighting set sweeps the leg and takes the trophy.
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