Top positive review
255 people found this helpful
For the Money, it's Fantastic ... but read my review anyway:
on November 29, 2012
Keep in mind with this kit is not a $1,000 lighting kit, but for less than $200, it is fantastic. That's the key reason that I gave it 5 stars. I am even thinking of buying a second kit because in my opinion, the heads, softboxes, bulbs and case even minus the stands is worth the money for this kit.
If you have never put together a soft box, you may find it frustrating. However, since I have experience with soft box setup, I found it easier than most. It will likely take you 7-10 minutes per light to set up even if you know what you are doing. You have to unpack it, put it on the stand, attach the soft box, put in the 5 bulbs and put the cover on the softbox. No matter how good you are, this would take time with any similar unit.
The lights are bright and you can switch 1, 2, 3, 4 or all 5 bulbs on. It holds 5 bulbs and has one switch for each bulb. That's pretty cool for an affordable kit.
I own several quality light stands already. One of my favorites for the money is Giottos LC325 10.7 feet 4-Section Air-cushioned Light Stand which is currently in the $60 range per stand here on Amazon, so if you needed 3 for this kit, that's nearly another $200. Since I own several stands including nice C-Stands, I don't plan to use the stands that came with the kit. However, the stands are usable but are not the quality that I personally like.
Again for 15 bulbs, stands, a case, soft boxes and heads for under $200, you cannot expect the heads to be what you'd find in a $1,000 kit. I said that first to state that the heads are kind of cheap feeling, but they do the job. You need to just handle like you would anything else that is not super high quality. I plan to baby them for the most part.
Travel (Just an Opinion at this point - not fact based from experience with this kit):
I have not traveled with the kit yet, but I believe it's a lot about how you take care of your equipment. If you are a heavy user of these type of lights and would be setting them up and breaking them down 3 times a day, 5 days a week, I could see the wear and tear catching up to the quality. However, I think this kit will be fine for light use even on a weekly basis.
Because I have alluded more than once about the quality of parts of the kit, I thought that I would add this segment in. Remember, this is a kit that is under $200. I own professional equipment and I own some cheaper stuff. There is a difference and that's why you pay more in most cases to have professional equipment. I still believe for the money this kit is hard to beat but you cannot man handle it like you do some pro-equipment. My c-Stands are heavy duty and two of them probably weigh more than this whole kit but they cost more than the whole kit. Just keep in mind you have to consider the quality based on what you paid. In this case, I would not have been disappointed if this kit had cost more than it did, but I like what I paid for it. I am very happy for the price paid and what I received in return. It's not fair to compare this kit to a $1,000 kit because it's not, but for the money, it is fantastic.
If you take all your soft boxes out of their cases at once and lay them out, you may have a hard time figuring out how to get them back in their cases. I recommend taking one light out and setting it up first leaving everything else packed up, so that you can get an idea of how to pack it all back up. Just a thought...totally up to you.
If you have a $1,000 laying around, you should find a $1,000 kit that is built like a $1,000 kit. If you want to get a nice kit for under $200 that will do the job if you take care it, then I say buy this kit.
Happy Lighting ... I hope this review helped.