Recently, here at Nicolettecinemagraphics in Columbus, Ohio, I purchased the ePhoto 3800W Lighting Kit through Amazon. Amazon’s grey market goods are often sketchy and are lucky to function even at half of their intended capacity. But you get what you pay for, and often you should save your money and buy a better product.
Unboxing the ePhoto kit rendered me more than disappointed. The bag is cloth and has no bottom support, not even a cardboard attempt at support. The stands are shoddy and are lucky to hold the weight of the lights – tighten them once and you’ll never get them loose again. The boom is an instructionless joke of a puzzle. Once you actually balance out the light the boom bows from the weight. The soft boxes are impossible to attach and the sides do, indeed, touch the lights for that extra fire hazard fun. The base of the sockets are hard to position and utilize nothing but plastic parts.
All this… Yes all of this at once and I was infuriated, of course I was. I had just laid down… Oh, wait, it was only $130. But I’m enraged, this is sheer garbage – I’m sending it back, right? So I started to cobble together something similar, but nothing had a base that could control each individual bulb. None of the sockets looked any better in quality. Then there’s the bulbs, that’s over $100 worth of CFL power. So I kept it for the value of the bulbs and decided that the kit was only worth it for the bulbs. I can buy umbrellas or reflectors and c-stands instead of the soft boxes. I have different stands. I can get another boom. For now the lights work and I have a kit for basic video shoots – sort of.