Review: Square Perfect SP500 Platinum Photo Studio In A Box

 

How is June 2012 going for everyone else out there?  Mine is about to fly by since I’m prepping for our big trip at the end of the month!  We are headed to California  to go to the biggest anime convention in the US, Anime Expo!  This is a huge deal for me and my boyfriend for more than one reason.  We’ve never been to California or anywhere on the west coast.  I haven’t traveled at all in the western United States.  Plus Anime Expo is supposed to be huge and have a lot of big names and events.  What makes it even more amazing, we are going with some good friends of ours.  Can’t wait!

Anyway…..Review Time!!

So a month ago, I purchased the Square Perfect SP500 Platinum Photo Studio In A Box.  Long name, huh?  I’d rather just call it a Professional Light Box.  😉  Remember way back when I talked about how I made my own light box?  http://littleneko.com/2010/03/light-box-fun-part-1/  Well I wanted something bigger and something that could be kept in the closet better than the box I had.  Also I had work lamps that I could clamp onto the box or I would just have to sit them next to the sides of the light box.  This time I wanted something that was a bit more adjustable, compact for storage, and a bit bigger since I’m photographing larger items now.  Don’t get me wrong, the light box I made worked great and I still recommend it to anyone who is on a budget.

So this kit comes with two photo tents (one 30 x 30 x 30 and one 12 x 12 x12).  I couldn’t believe how big the 30 size tent was!  That’s right…so big I wanted to see if I could fit in it.  Lol.

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Heh, heh…  I fit and without damaging anything!  Because I didn’t have enough room to set this up in my craft room at the moment, I had to set it up on our guest bed.  Not the best thing to do unless you have to because of the soft surface of the bed.  The lights wanted to fall over and any item with a decent amount of weight would sink into the bottom of the tent.  I definitely recommend doing this on a large, solid surface that is raised up, like a table.  That way it’s easier to work and this would be a nice height for your tripod as well.

The tents are made from velour fabric which is supposed to be heat resistant and delivers uniform illumination while eliminating harsh shadows and reflective glare.  In the album, posted below, there are some examples of bags I took photos.  I believe the tent worked well, but because it’s so big I think I needed more light.  I grabbed one of my old work lights and set it on top of the tent.  Yes the light bulb was laying directly on the fabric.   It worked well and was using bulbs that don’t produce much heat anyway.

This kit also includes 8 background, 2 high input lights(with stands) and 1 camera tripod stand.  The backgrounds are nice, but I wanted to get the wrinkles out of them so I used a steamer which worked nicely.  The backgrounds velcro to the tent to stay in place.  The stands and light bulbs seemed of good quality.  The camera tripod I didn’t think was of great quality.  I’m not a photo pro by any means, but it’s my opinion that if you compared this to other tripods it would rank at the bottom.  It was a little herky jerky to adjust here and there, but got the job done.  For someone like me who doesn’t have a tripod, it works…..because I now have a tripod!  😉

Breaking it down:

Pros:

  • Great starter studio kit for photographing items.
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Good price for what you get
  • Comes with soft case for everything to be contained in(has carrying handle).  This makes for easy storage and travel.
  • Multiple backgrounds in different colors.

Cons:

  • Cases are not made of good quality
  • Tripod is not made of great quality
  • Not very easy to fold up tents for storage
  • Diagram Instructions to fold up tents suck
  • No other instructions or paperwork are included with this kit.

So I believe this is a great starter kit for someone that needs a light studio for small items.  As you can see you can also fit some larger items in it as well!  😉  If you are a pro photographer this still could come in handy, but I don’t think you would be happy with the quality of some of the equipment.  The price is great for what you get and I’m very happy with it.  It does what I need it to do, but I could use more lighting in the larger tent.

I already explained my thoughts on the tripod.  The reason I mentioned the cases not being very good is because the night I first opened up one of the tent cases the zipper broke.  Meaning when I zipped it open and then back the other way to close it, it did that thing that crappy zippers do and the zipper teeth opened either way.  You really need those cases to stay zipped especially after you struggle to get the tents folded down and they won’t stay folded down on their own.  It’s not fun folding down the tents, but it can be done.  I recommend being careful not to get popped in the face with one of these!  Luckily this didn’t happen to me, but I had a close call when I lost my grip on one of the edges.

If you would like to purchase the Square Perfect SP500 Platinum Photo Studio In A Box , here is a link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000OZRFR2/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00

I love purchasing from Amazon because you can usually get whatever you want, they have lots of user reviews and we have Amazon Prime which included 2 day shipping.

Thanks for reading my review and have a great day!

Back to prop work now.  😉

-Little Neko

 

 

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