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PhotoSEL LS21E52 Softbox Studio Lighting Kit - 2 x 85W 5000lm 5500K 90+ CRI Bulb 40 x 60 cm (15.7 x 23.6 inches) Softbox
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- 2 x 5500K 85W 5000lm pure white daylight bulb
- 90+ general colour rendering index (CRI)
- 2 * 40 x 60 cm (15.7 x 23.6 inches) softbox with removable inner and front diffuser
- Flicker Free
- For still photo or video
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The PhotoSEL LS21E52 Softbox Studio Lighting Kit - 2 Light Kit is an ideal kit for portraits in a confined area or product photography, and can be combined with a light pod or pop up light tent.
If you have been trying to shoot pictures with an accurate colour representation of the items you are photographing, it is very likely that you have been relying on special filters and/or software editing to improve the results. With the PhotoSEL LS21E52 Lighting Kit, this may well be a thing of the past. Rather than providing inferior quality 6400K 50-80 CRI light bulbs, this kit includes two high quality 5500K 90+ CRI fluorescent light bulbs. Set-up is easy: plug the lights in, place them on the ground, and turn them on. The result is 5500K light output that's ideal for taking digital shots by collectors, arts and crafts hobbyists, sellers, archivists, and desktop publishers. The lighting kit can also be used for DV talking head shots, digital still portraits, and webcam desktop video conferencing.
The lighting kit provides a soft uniform diffused light. The front and inner diffuser on each softbox are removable, offering hard or soft light options. The lighting kit comes supplied with two 85W 5500K 90+ CRI 5000lm daylight fluorescent light bulbs. Also included are two 40 x 60cm softboxes, two bulb holders, two power cables with in-line switch, two 80-190cm light stands and one carry bag.
Input Voltage: 230V AC
Lamps: 85W Fluorescent x 2, E27 base, included
Softbox Size: 40 x 60cm
Light Stand Height: 80-190cm
2 x bulb holder
2 x power cable
2 x PhotoSEL SBPR4X6 softbox
2 x PhotoSEL ST231 light stand
2 x PhotoSEL BBEH5 light bulb
1 x carry bag
From the manufacturer
PhotoSEL Softbox Studio Lighting Kit
Ideal for Portrait / Product Photography and Video Shooting
The PhotoSEL LS21E52 Softbox Studio Lighting Kit - 2 Light Kit is an ideal kit for portraits in a confined area or product photography, and can be combined with a light pod or pop up light tent. It can also be used for DV talking head shots, digital still portraits, and webcam desktop video conferencing.
5500K 90+ CRI Pure White Daylight Bulb
If you have been trying to shoot pictures with an accurate colour representation of the items you are photographing, it is very likely that you have been relying on special filters and/or software editing to improve the results. With the PhotoSEL LS21E52 Lighting Kit, this may well be a thing of the past. Rather than providing inferior quality 6400K 50-80 CRI light bulbs, this kit includes two high quality 5500K 90+ CRI fluorescent light bulbs. Set-up is easy: plug the lights in, place them on the ground, and turn them on. The result is 5500K light output that''s ideal for taking digital shots by collectors, arts and crafts hobbyists, sellers, archivists, and desktop publishers.
Soft or Hard Light Options
The lighting kit provides a soft uniform diffused light. The front and inner diffuser on each softbox are removable, offering hard or soft light options.
- Voltage: 220-240V AC
- Watts: 2 x 85W
- Lumens: 2 x 5000 lm
- Colour Temperature: 5500K
- Colour Rendering Index (CRI): 90+
- Full-spectrum: Yes
- Softbox Size: 40 x 60cm
- Light Stand Height: 80-190cm
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I bought this light stand set for two reasons: portrait photographs, and creating even lighting for a green screen background.
What's in the box:
- Two Photosel light stands,
- Two photographic white daylight bulbs,
- Two light heads with on/off switches and UK 3-pin plugs,
- Two 40x60cm soft boxes (silver inner, black outer),
- Two inner diffuser sheets,
- Two outer diffuser sheets,
- Eight metal support rods,
- Carrying bag.
The light stands are fairly lightweight but totally adequate for supporting the heads and softboxes. The softboxes themselves are very well made, and the only let down is that the light heads are made of a cheap plastic which feels like it is going to break in your hands.
One nice surprise is that the light heads include a slot for a photographic umbrella, so you can add those to your lighting arrangements without having to buy anything else.
The bag supplied is a bit dubious. It is about 5' long with a zip at only one end, so it can be difficult to actually get the kit into the bag and there is no arrangement I can find that does not result in masses of unused space. Coupled with the fact that the carrying strap is utterly useless, this makes the bag a bit of a white elephant. Sure it will keep everything together and clean when it's in your car, but you won't be dancing for joy about how neat and portable your lighting kit is.
The bulbs on the other hand are absolutely smashing - in the 'great' sense, not the damaged sense. The light is clean, strong, even, and super-pure looking, and the softboxes perform admirably with these bulbs. Each CFL bulb comes in polystyrene packaging surrounded by a cardboard sleeve, so keep this and use it to protect the bulbs during transit and storage.
I would say that this set is just at the edge of costing too much for the quality of the product, but having said that the kit is basically "what you need" at a reasonable price. Putting together the same setup by sourcing the individual bits elsewhere is likely to cost more with variable results.
If you want to light photos at home, you're just starting out with studio photography (and perhaps don't want to plough too much money into it just in case it turns out you are rubbish), or you want some cheap lighting for film/DV, then buy these. If you're in the market for a kit comprising more robust products then you are probably going to need to spend a bit more money.
For me, this kit ticks all the boxes. So it's five stars! I am not docking Photosel a star just for that stupid bag. It is after all included as a courtesy.
So I didn't want to spend very much money, and I wasn't expecting and certainly don't need a lighting rig fit for a professional studio (having had a studio photography lesson a couple of years ago, I know that there is no way that I would want to spend that much).
So I ordered the PhotoSEL kit and it arrived this morning.
Contrary to some reviews, I found it very easy to put together. The reason being that there is a step-by-step picture guide included in the box. I went from receiving the package to shooting the first photo in under an hour, and that included ten minutes of me hunting for the scissors so that I could get into the packaging.
The lights are perfectly bright enough for simple head/should photos or product shots. I have a photo that I took yesterday evening under standard room lighting, and the same photo taken this morning with the lighting kit in place, and the difference is truly remarkable. Note that in both cases the camera was mounted on a tripod, I used the timer (I don't have a remote/cable shutter release for the Lumix G that I was using), and took a white balance calibration photo with a WhiBal card.
The stands are perfectly robust enough to cope with the Softbox light. There is no doubt that they flex when fully extended, and I'd never mount my camera on one, but they are tough enough for the lights themselves. They are also quite stable, particularly if you ensure that the light is positioned over one of the tripod legs, rather than in a gap. The cables are more than long enough to reach the ground, but you will need an extension cable in most situations.
I have no fear, as some have, of stripping the plastic screws. I think that you'd have to work quite hard at it to break them. Treat them with a modicum of care and there should be no problem.
They come supplied with a carry bag that you can use for storage, but I'm fortunate enough that I won't be taking them on my travels and I have a store room where they can be left fully assembled. I think that getting all the stuff apart and in the bag would be a chore if you were doing it on a regular basis, but then that would probably make you more of a pro photographer, so you'd probably want something a little more robust than this.
The lights aren't adjustable, other than by moving them further away. They are bright enough for taking more than decent images of products, and because the colour temperature closely matches daylight, I didn't have to worry about darkening the room. Adjusting the white balance of the photo to "Daylight" in Lightroom pretty much matched exactly the white balance I got from the WhiBal card.
It's obviously early days, yet. My initial impression is that these are decent lights for taking pack shots and v-blogging, and maybe for budding photographers who want to take nice portrait photos of their friends and family. They're not "professional" lights.
But they're good enough for me at their price point.
Then there is the softbox itself... beyond the over zealous branding all over the place, the softbox is not so bad but has one MAJOR flaw. The amount of tension on the tiny metal bars that keep the softbox stretched is quite scary and has lead to me tearing one, and a constant fear that if I slip its going to end up in my eye causing some serious damage. I'm not exaggerating here, it requires an enormous amount of tension to keep the softbox straight on an extremely thin metal bar.
Overall these softboxes are ok, but they are certainly not worth over £100. They should be more like £50 and ebuyer are selling the exact same kit for about £40.