Don't take this review too critical to the overall worth of the product. Ultimately you pay for what you get and this is a very reasonable price for a starter home studio setup. I've been working with freelance photography for a few years now, primarily as a hobby, and decided to buy this as a portable setup I can take just about anywhere I want. Everything was functional for that purpose and works wonderfully. The light fixtures come with lights that aren't dimmable but adjustment of height and distance from the umbrella to the bulb can suffice. The carrying bag is fairly poor quality but it's kind of just a nice little extra you get with the package so I didn't take that to heart. The stand pieces, both for the backdrop and the lights, are fairly well made but if you aren't gentle they can be easily broken. As for the backdrops themselves, you get a white, black and green one; all of which are the expected colors and are decent material. However, if you intend to set these up indoors (or outdoors for that matter) be sure to have a background that is plain. These are not the thickest back drops and you can really see just about everything behind them if you aren't caring enough to have a plain backing. Overall, I am satisfied, but you shouldn't expect this to be the only kit you will ever need. Adequate for the beginner but once you really want to make a serious home studio, you will need something much more advanced.
When I received this it was folded down to 1'x6" package. After unfolding it, every fold line is very visible. Also the interior lights on top are part of the drop. This is an old time type of backdrop that depicts like a French street in late 1800 to early 1900 why there is a interior ceiling with lights on the top of this backdrop is in my opinion stupid. Also the seams should have been glued in a downward overlay application. Instead they are in a upward application which makes the top of the seam fold down exposing the white backside of the drop. Avoid. And by something that is actually cloth and not vinyl.
Cotton is a great photo background because it works well with the subject, especially if the lighting is properly set up. Also, if you want a backdrop that’s perfect for traveling, invest in a cotton fabric backdrop. It’s portable and easy to transport, set up, and collapse. It varies in size, too, so make sure to pick the right one before going to your location.
In the shot above I used a two light setup. The main light, camera left, is a Profoto D1 1,000Ws head inside of a 50 inch Westcott Apollo Softbox. While the idea of mixing what is considered to be a high-end strobe with a budget softbox my not sit right with some, I find the indirect lighting source from a Westcott or Photek to give a really nice and even light. The 60 inch Photek Softlighter, which I also enjoy using, may only cost $95 but gives a really nice, soft, and even light. If these lower cost indirect sources are good enough for the likes of Mario Testino and Annie Leibovitz, then they are good enough for me. Clay Cook did an great article on these lighting sources, "Lighting Like Leibovitz," that you can find here.
We offer a product range that’s unsurpassed for its variety, selection and value. From smooth Seamless Paper in every color under the sun to Floor Drops with amazingly lifelike, dimensional patterns that can create the look of location shooting in the studio, we make the products that photographers rely on for creating perfect backgrounds for virtually every situation. Just starting out and need a flexible solution for a space that does double duty? We have reversible backgrounds that are easy to set up and break down. Upgrading your high-traffic commercial studio and looking for a timeless, professional backdrop set? We have heavy-duty, durable vinyl that will stand the test of time.