Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
Good enough for probably 90% of people.
on July 23, 2014
This kit is what it is. It's an inexpensive kit that works adequately for most people's needs. It's not professional grade, but if you're just taking photos of items that are less than 16" square so that you can upload them to a website for sale, this kit is quite adequate.
I've found that the lights that came with the kit have a very orange-ish cast to them, in layman's terms, so they may or may not truly represent the color of your item in your photos. To get around that, you may wish to order the "NEEWER® 160 LED CN-160" video light. In my experience, with the clear filter on that light, the color of the items I've photographed was more natural.
I used this lightbox to photograph products for a friend who sells jewelry, and the plain white background served as an excellent backdrop. The only issue I had was that the sides of the lightbox are not connected to the bottom, so occasionally there was some of the material underneath (in this case, dark carpet) showing through. That can be easily remedied, however, by simply placing the lightbox on a white countertop or a white sheet of some sort.
And for photographing items where you may want a slight reflection (such as jewelry, where that reflection is called the "Tiffany effect," after the famous jeweler), all you have to do is purchase a sheet of inexpensive, clear acrylic from your local large hardware and building supply store. They will also cut it to the size you want; I chose 14" square to leave some room on the edges, though I'd probably choose 16" square next time.
One other piece of advice for DSLR users: purchase a remote for your camera. That will allow you to decrease your ISO, set your f-stop somewhere around f/22, and have longer shutter speeds. My shots were done at f/22 with ISO 400, and I was getting 1/2 second shutter speeds. That would be awful for anything handheld, but on a tripod and photographing nonmoving small items, it allowed me to have probably 99% of even large necklaces in focus and have very clear photographs. I did have to add some weight to the tripod that came with this kit to use the large LED light in my camera's hotshoe, but the lamps that came with the kit did a good job of being ballast!
After post-processing, the photos looked amazing and my friend's customers were very impressed! Considering the affordability of this kit, I am very satisfied.
The only issue for me is that I was sent one red, one white, and two blue backgrounds. The kit was supposed to have a black background. It seems like this was a packaging error, given how the item shipped. I will contact the company and ask if they will assist me in getting the correct background. If not, it's still no big deal- a piece of black felt cut to the correct size would do the job just as well.
EDIT: Just received word from the seller. They will be shipping me the correct black Chromakey background! One less problem to worry about!