Top positive review
83 people found this helpful
Tremendous value and higher quality than expected
on November 28, 2012
I wasn't sure what to expect when I ordered this package. The reviews looked mostly positive and the package contained the components I needed for product photography. When it arrived I was pleased to see everything packaged up in a relatively lightweight, padded case. Perhaps I didn't read the listing thoroughly, but the case was a pleasant surprise. While not a high quality case, it does adequately store and transport the product from office to location as needed. The included components allowed me to achieve my best product photos to date with less effort than I would have anticipated.
Here's an itemized breakdown of the kit with the pros and cons of each piece:
1) Tents - The large 30x30x30 and small 12x12x12 light tents are packaged in their own pouches for easy transportation. They opened easily enough. However, the first time or two closing them up will prove to be a challenge for most. It requires a bit of technique, finesse and process to achieve a refolded tent. However, after one or two tries and watching an online tutorial it will be easy.
The tents themselves are high quality and well sewn. They fabric is heavy enough to seem durable. The metal hoops that create the structure appear to be solid and durable enough for many opening and closings.
The backdrops conveniently use hook and loop fasteners to attach to the rear wall and floor. They are folded, so each will require significant ironing for a flawless background. The variety of included backdrop colors allows you to do high key or low key photos for a professional final result. Once you have your backdrops ironed roll them up on an old tube from wrapping paper.
2) Lights, Bulbs and Stands - Many reviews complained that the lights weren't strong enough. Well, those reviewers are just wrong. The lights more than adequately lit the entire interior of each tent. One will need to know how to use their camera to achieve correct exposure. The bulbs are labeled as Square Perfect brand and worked well. Some reviewers have complained that the light stands are flimsy. Again, they are wrong. The stands are perfectly adequate for the job and are configurable for an infinite variety of positions to achieve optimal lighting. The bulbs and shades hardly have any weight at all. The stands securely hold the lights in whatever position they're set. Any larger, heavier or higher quality stand would be overkill and a waste of resources. One caveat. The stands are short, so if you have the tent on a small table that doesn't also have room for the stands, you will need taller stands. The solution: Use a long table such as a board room table or conference room table. No table like that available? Move things to the floor. This may only be an issue for some when using the 30x30x30.
3) Camera tripod - This will be just fine for many hobbyists and home photographers using lightweight point and shoot cameras. If you use a professional DSLR consider using a more substantial tripod. Longer exposures require a complete lack of movement and I'm not confident that this tripod will perform to those standards. Its a freebie so don't feel bad about not using it. Donate it to your local goodwill or gift it to someone without a tripod at all.
4) The case - The zippers are cheap and the padding is minimal. I wouldn't consider traveling with this case if I were to check it on a plane or put it with other luggage. While the entire setup is easily stowed in the bag it doesn't provide anything more than adequate basic protection. The front of the case had a chalk marked "02" on it near the logo. I'm not sure how or when that would have occurred but that is the way it came. A minor annoyance, but not anything I'd send it back for.
All in all this product still gets five star rating. For most experienced photographers you'll have a few more pieces than you may need but the overall value is excellent. You could piece together a similar kit, but you probably wont' save any money and you won't have a specially designed case. You could buy a similar kit for $300+, but why? If you're shopping for similar kits on Adorama, B&H, etc, just save your $ and get this one. It will do just fine.