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LimoStudio Photography Studio Lighting Kit, White Umbrella Light Muslin Backdrop
|Price:||$129.99 & FREE Shipping|
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- (2) x 86" Tall Studio Light Stand | (2) x 85W Photo Light CFL Bulb
- (2) x 33" Studio Translucent Shoot Through White Umbrella Reflector
- (2) x Photography Single Light Head | (1) x Photography Backdrop Support Stand with 10' Crossbar
- (1) x 10 x 10 ft. White Muslin Backdrop | (1) x 10 x 10 ft. Black Muslin Backdrop | (1) x 10 x 10 ft. Green Muslin Backdrop
- (2) x 4" Photo Studio Canvas Muslin Paper Backdrop Clamps
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(2) x 86" Tall Studio Light Stand Material: Premium Aluminum Alloy Construction Solid Safety 3 Legs Stages Industrial Standard Mounting Stud Solid Locking System for Light Safety Height adjustable 53" - 100" (2) x 85W Photo Light CFL Bulb Color Temperature: 6500K Watts: 85W - Equals to 350W Regular Incandescent Light Bulb Output Style: Spiral Lamp Tone: Day Light Overall Size: 4"x11" (2) x 33" Studio Translucent Shoot Through White Umbrella Reflector Works well to diffuse the light from any Flash/Strobe Light and Constant Light White: produce neutral color temperature Premium Umbrella Snow White translucent Reflector (33" Wide) Adjustable Light Head for perfect light stream to your object Reflect and Spread light stream evenly Eliminate glare and spots (2) x Photography Single Light Head On/Off Switch Max power can be used 105W energy saving bulb Lamp base E26/E27 x1 Code & Plug included (9 ft.) (1) x Photography Backdrop Support Stand with 10' Crossbar Solid Safety 3 Legs Stages Premium Quality Support Bars Height Adjustable: Min 3.5 ft. - Max 8.5 ft. Width Adjustable: Min 4.5 ft. (2 cross bars)- Max 10 ft. (4 cross bars) (1) x 10 x 10 ft. White Muslin Backdrop (1) x 10 x 10 ft. Black Muslin Backdrop (1) x 10 x 10 ft. Green Muslin Backdrop 100% A grade premium quality A seamless and weaving surface Crimped along the edge to prevent tears Pre - stitched loop/easy to fold Size: 10' X 10' 3" Rod Pocket on 10' side (2) x 4" Photo Studio Canvas Muslin Paper Backdrop Clamps
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UPDATE : I took my first family shoot with the set up this Christmas season. It came out very nice. I still am happy with this purchase and at this price you can't go wrong.
A few tips ....
Get more lights than the two this comes with. It isn't for lack of quality, a little research will show most set ups are 3 - 5 lights anyway.
Buy a small garment steamer. Muslin backdrops get wrinkles and traditional ironing can burn it. Plan on buying a small steamer, I found one for $20.00 that fits my needs.
If you are new at backdrops, do some research on how to light them properly. It is a learning process. All of my photography has been natural settings until I got this set. It pays to do your research.
Set-up time was about 10-15 minutes.
I had bought items from the LimoStudio brand before. It was a two umbrella one tabletop light stand with two 45 watt and one 35 watt fluorescent light bulb (Those lights weren't bright enough). I also bought two 105 Watt fluorescent light bulbs. So I was familiar with the quality.
The backdrop support system is easily tipped, and would require some weights, but for this low price, other reviews have said the same with similarly priced backdrop supports. I quickly found out that this is a two person job if one sets the poles as high as they can go and then try to put the crossbeam up. I found that it was kind of hard to put the crossbeam poles into each other due to them not being perfectly round, and the spring buttons wouldn't pop up so well. I then took the wing nut and washer off, put the crossbeam on and then put the washer then wing nut back on.
There are no instructions, but I found that with the muslin protector which is the consistency of thin fabric interfacing, that I had to wrap it around the end poles using the included backdrop clamps. I was using three of the four crossbeams. The crossbeam only goes one way in terms of snapping together, so it doesn't take much guessing to figure that out. With the muslin protector in place, I unscrewed one of the crossbeams and threaded the big pocket of the green screen muslin onto the crossbeam and then put it back onto the pole using the wing nut and washer. Granted, I didn't do this the easy way, but one has to do whatever works best for them and I'm still learning. For me, it was a two person job. As other people have commented on other muslin backdrops, yes, this does feel like nothing more than a big bed sheet. The carrying case, how it folds out, seems to be only able to carry the support stand and crossbeam, not the umbrella light stands themselves.
I do have the advantage that this is in a spare bedroom that is going to be used as a studio and it isn't going to be subject to the wind. I also have the advantage that I have bought two umbrella lights and one light stand before this. So I had the 85 Watt lights and stands included in this product with no umbrellas pointed at the green screen, plus the table top light stand I already had shining up at the green screen with its 45 watt light bulb. On the subject, in my case a teddy bear, I had my two umbrella lights that I had bought earlier (All the umbrellas are the white umbrellas as in this product) shining on it with both light sockets having the 105 watt fluorescent light bulbs.
People have complained that the light bulbs don't give off the described hue of light. For that, I taped a piece of white cardstock on my wall and shined these 85 Watt Fluorescent light bulbs at it. I then set my camera for Custom White Balance, using the photo of the white cardstock as my test. It brings the white parts of a photo much closer to being actual white than a predetermined setting.
For green screen removal, I recommend FXhome Ltd Photokey 4 Automatic Green Screen Removal Software for Photographers using Mac and Windows or something similar. It does a great job at automatically removing the green screen. In my case, I was too lazy to take the wrinkles out of the green screen and yet it was powerful enough a tool to instantly remove 98% of the wrinkles.
So this isn't a top of the line studio backdrop and light set, and it isn't meant to be used by itself. The rule of thumb is two feet from the background have lights on the background. Two feet from that, have the subject. Six feet from the subject have two more lights angled at the subject at 45° angles. That is the rule of thumb, but isn't a hard set rule. Either way that is still a 4-5 light setup.
Overall I'm happy with the purchase. I'm not doing professional photography, but this works well for my needs as just one piece of the pie when it comes to creating great photos. One still needs a camera with custom white balance settings for optimum white balance with these supplied light bulbs, and more lights around to light up both backdrop and subject to keep shadows at bay.
Update: I found it best to put the muslin background on before hoisting it up, being careful to keep the crossbeam from bending, going to each side and loosening and tightening as needed.
I purchased a Conair Compact Fabric Steamer because my high priced iron actually hurt my muslin by making it more shiny in the light and it didn't get all the wrinkles out. I just simply left the backdrop up and pressed the cool touch head directly to the muslin. It got out the wrinkles much better, faster, and was much easier to use than an iron and ironing board. I ruined a nice green screen backdrop with the iron, but all I have to do is buy another green screen backdrop from this company and use the ConAir fabric steamer on it from now on. I should have listened to this one reviewer to use a fabric steamer and not an iron, even on the silk setting. I thought the fabric steamers were just overpriced and underpowered items, but this one I found tonight at the store made me feel like an idiot.
I am using some clamps I got at the hardware store, I stretched the backdrop as tight as I could to help get rid of more wrinkles and held the stretched fabric over the poles using the clamps.
Everything was just as advertised. Nothing looks like professional quality products, but I had no expectations of that either. For $100 including shipping though, pretty much everything was of a higher quality than I expected.
Backdrop stand is a little flimsy, but still better than I would have guessed.
A couple of people have commented on not having any instructions; while it's true that there aren't any, everything really is self-explanatory. Everything goes together in minutes. For people who need instructions though:
The taller stands with the threaded tops are for the backdrop. The smaller ones with the non-threaded heads are for the light bulb holders.
Everything slides to length and is tightened with thumb screws.
Backdrop: About the only thing that is slightly confusing is the 4 bars that go together to support the backdrop: just make sure the slotted openings go towards the ends to go over the wing-nuts on the stands. The pieces are labeled A, B, B, and C to show which order they go in but don't tell you which end goes where. It isn't hard to figure out though.
The muslin is held to the bar with the spring clips.
Can't speak for the quality of the muslins. Made sure they were all there, but wasn't ambitious enough to unfold them yet. They look ok I guess.
Umbrellas, light holders, light stands and bulbs all look decent. One note: Maybe I'm not used to photography bulbs, but the bulbs are enormous! Much, much larger than I expected and much larger than the photos online make them look. Not sure how much they cost by themselves but having bought CFLs for my house I have to guess that they would otherwise cost a small fortune bought locally.
Carrying case included only stores the pieces of the backdrop holder. The rest of the stuff needs to be stored in their cardboard boxes. Not really a big deal, but nothing something that is made totally clear.
Overall, I think it will be a good basic set. Certainly an improvement over shooting in my living room in front of furniture in the background. Also, I plan on using it for a fundraiser later this year. Will update after trying everything.
UPDATE: The fundraiser photo shoot went great and everything in the kit performed admirably. Nothing would be mistaken for professional equipment, but pretty much everything did better than expected. About the only quibble is with the lightbulb holders - when you try to tighten the screw to hold the umbrellas, they start to expand spread apart before the umbrellas get really tight, but they umbrellas never moved all day despite being banged into by loose dogs at numerous points.
I've decided to up the rating to 5 stars. for $100 I really don't think anything could be made better than they are.
I didn't get to try to muslins yet; we used a custom backdrop we had purchased.
The lights are not super bright. As some other people have mentioned, you may need more than the 2 provided depending on your setting. However, we used just the two umbrellas with some crappy overhead fluorescent lights, little outside lighting, and yet were able to shoot all day without a flash.