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Video Lighting Kit Photo Studio Kit 2000 Watt Continuous Portrait studio lighting kit with Carrying Case - 2 light stands, 2 softboxes, 2 Light Heads w/5 bulbs, 10 photo bulbs by Fancierstudio UL9026S
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- 10 x 45 Watt Compact Fluorescent Perfect Daylight Balance Light Bulb (equals 2000 watt)
- Two 20" x 28" Perfessional Quality Softbox
- Two Premium Quality Light Socket And Power Cords
- Two High Quality 7' Light Stand, Free Deluxe Carrying Case Included Able To Fit the Whole Kit In One Bag
- These CFL light bulbs rated for 120v for USA standard. Please make sure before buying if your country uses 220v please do not use these bulbs they will pop or blow.
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Brand New 2000 Watt Softbox Compact Fluorescent Video Lighting Kit. Softboxes are a great addition to any kit. They gently focus the light, providing soft, very forgiving, shadow free illumination that makes even a beginner look like a pro photographer, videographer or filmmaker. This Kit Comes with ten (10) x 45watt 5500k perfect day light compact fluorescent bulbs perfect for video and photography. Also Included are Two 20" x 28" Professional Softbox. And Two Premium Quality Light Socket And Power Cord. Two High Quality 7' lightstand and a Deluxe carrying case is also included. One of the best deal you can find on internet.
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On paper and in the pictures it looks great. It has everything you should need for a studio set or a reasonably inexpensive traveling / location kit. 10 powerful, daylight balanced CFL will let you shoot all day with plenty of light. Soft boxes are nice an large, providing an even light flow. Cords are long enough to be useful - but extention cords would be helpful. Tripods are nice an tall. And the bag is easily large enough to hold it all in an easy to handle size.
Then reality kicked in. The tripods are extremely light weight and unless weighted down cannot handle the weight of the soft boxes at a moderate extension over 6 foot tall. Mounting heads for the soft boxes leave a LOT to be desired - a locking bolt to hold them in place would be a good start. So would proper size mounting heads. Moving on to the lights - they're fantastic. Exactly as advertised and in individual Styrofoam boxes for protection. But the softboxes... oh the PAIN!!!! To say they are difficult to assemble is putting it mildly. There were NO instructions included in my kit for how these fabric creations go together. A video in a prior review made it appear easy - only 8 minutes to assemble. He much have practiced. The "caps" for the stiffening rods are for all intentions non-existent or little snippets of Velcro that form a pocket for the end of the rod. Trying to get the diffusion cap on was impossible - the Velcro attachment was either missing / fell off / too small to do the job. By the way only gravity and tension hold these rods in place. And as you might predict, in the middle of the photo shoot - gravity won. The bottom rod fell out of the light base and the whole box collapsed. One bloody knuckle later - as it slipped and nicked my fingers when being put back together, it was back in operation if looking somewhat dilapidated.
As for the carrying bag, it makes for an awkward load when you have photo equipment and background to bring along with it to the location. It really should have a sturdier frame - it is just thin fabric - and wheels for easier transporting. I don't give the fabric carrying handles much time if I added the weight of my background to the bag.
Overall rating: IT SHOULD BE BETTER.
I'll be replacing the light stands as soon as possible with a far sturdier pair similar to my background supports as quickly as my finances permit. They are just too flimsy to handle any needed weight bags without the risk of bending. I suppose they might be all right if able to be left alone in a permanent studio set up. But certainly not on location or where they have the slightest risk of being bumped.
The light heads / lights are keepers. Although I plan on get a better mounting head/bracket for them, if I can.
I would gleefully throw away the soft boxes in a heart beat if I can find a more reliable option. They need a better sown in pockets for the rods, a sturdier way of attaching to the light head, would a mounting ring be too much to ask? As for the diffuser, the loops and internal anchor points need to be totally redesigned. A simple alligator style clamp / tension cord would be 1000X better than what they have now. The external cover is impossible to use unless you can get the softbox to ridged perfection. Even then, good luck attaching that Velcro as the slightest touch can have the tension rods slipping out.
This really should be a good starter lighting set. It has everything you would need / want in one convenient package deal. But given that you'll soon be wanting (and needing) to replace / upgrade just about everything, I would recommend spending your starting money on a more traditional umbrella style kit.
Putting them together was not difficult (except for the hoods)- the instructions don't help much. (Hint: make sure the hood rods are FULLY inserted when you attach the hood, they have a tendency to slip out a little, then you have problems).
The stands themselves are pretty decent, but the fixtures and adjustable clamps are of lesser quality. If you plan on putting these together and leaving them in your studio - they will work fine. I would not suggest them for remote/location shoots - the hoods are way too difficult to put together.
The quality of light and brightness is just fine, and having a separate switch for each bulb gives you plenty of variation. Not as handy as a real dimmer - but it works.
If you need some extra, light-duty, studio lighting, and you have a place to store them (without tearing them down) - these will do nicely. For less than $150, it's really tough to beat these.
As usual - Amazon did a great job with on-time delivery and packaging.
UPDATE: I'm changing this to a solid 2. If you're aware of the problems with these lights and are ginger with them, they will probably work out OK. However, I simply inspected the fuse replacement knob and started turning it in the direction it says to turn it and immediately the whole component started turning and I started feeling that familiar feeling of torquing a component that's soldered to something and sure enough, it killed the entire light and I heard sparks upon plugging in. I might take a shot at disassembling it, but seriously, this whole package is a tad too far in the "Cheap Chinese Crap" column, and that's a column I use sparingly as I buy a lot of Chinese products of varying quality and these lights are pushing close to terrible, but they're not unusable.