View Full Version : Photoflex soft lights?
02-08-2004, 06:17 PM
Anybody use the Photoflex soft lights?
02-08-2004, 07:25 PM
No experience with the Photoflex softlights. However, if you want the most unbelievable deal in softlights, look at the JTL Everlight kit.
Here's an example:
In that kit, you get three complete lights: heads, bulbs, softboxes, even some very nice stands, and one of the stands is a convertible boom stand. And you get a carrying case. Now, Lowel charges about $400 for just one Rifa light -- no stand, bulb, or case. But JTL gets you three lights, bulbs, softboxes, stands, and case, for around $500. Unbelievable value.
The lights are pretty good. They're not Chimeras, but they're way better than they should be for that price. And you can use them without the softboxes, as open-face units, if you get an $18 reflector for them.
02-08-2004, 07:55 PM
JTL.... man its almost a revolution.
02-09-2004, 12:31 AM
I was watching 20/20 the other night and they cut to wide shot of the host and talent talking and you could see an array of Softboxes! I think I counted 3-4 and then I saw what looked like a Kino Flo off to the side. It might have been another softbox with a egg crate diffusion now that I think about it. I plan on getting some softboxes for interviews and such.
02-09-2004, 10:19 PM
Where can you get that kit besides ebay?
02-10-2004, 08:22 AM
adorama.com sells the JTL 3-light Everlight kit for $499, but it doesn't include the boom stand.
i'm thinking about getting that jtl setup from ebay. *would this be an ideal setup for 3 point lighting? *is 500 watts a good amount of light coming from a softbox? what type of situation would 3 softboxes be used for as opposed to getting a light kit from lowel, arri which include other types of lights? *thanks!
02-10-2004, 09:48 AM
I don't know that I would say "ideal"... hard light is very useful.
The JTL kit is extremely affordable. That's its #1 attraction.
Having a soft key light is very handy in many situations, and for interviews, I'd say it's preferred in most situations. But I prefer to use a small hard light (like a pepper or a Lowel Pro-light) for hairlight.
The JTL's can be used without the softboxes, as an open-face unit, but you'd have to get an additional reflector (which is only like $18) to mount behind the bulb.
500 watts is not a strong softlight source. It's plenty for a close interview setup, but if you have to compete against other sources it won't have a lot of punch.
Lowel kits are just as expensive as everything else, they're not cheap. But they're small. That's their main advantage, is that they can be highly portable. But they're not first-class stuff.
Three softboxes might make for a good setup for a two-person interview (like on 20-20 or something), but for most circumstances you'll probably be better off having a couple of different units as well. A couple of focusable fresnels would round out the JTL kit nicely and still keep you under $1000.
cool, thanks barry :) which fresnels would you recommend to complete this setup? much appreciated.
02-10-2004, 10:27 AM
Soft boxes are great, but you can get either 2 350watt open or frez, or a good 650 light and shoot through some diffusion material to create something soft. Barry is bang on about using a small inky for hairlight, even a 150watt works great.
I have never used JTL lights but they look pretty good. As long as they arnt built like the cheap arrilite open faced lights, they should be good.
02-10-2004, 06:46 PM
I have both Silverdome NXT and Cinedome softboxes from Photoflex. They're both very well-made and much less expensive than the Chimera equivalents.
Not to throw any cold water on the JTL lovefest, but I know some folks who have had *very* bad experiences with JTL lights. One person got badly shocked from a JTL light which turned out to be ungrounded. In other cases the lights just fell apart after very light use.
JTL appeared on the scene a few years ago with a very broad line of products. I think they were hastily thrown together knockoff designs. Caveat Emptor.
02-10-2004, 08:50 PM
Hmmm. I can't comment as to the JTL's durability, I only really used the kit once.
Well, as always, caveat emptor. Wayne Orr over at dvinfo has used 'em for a while, hasn't reported any problems, but at this price point it would seem that compromises could have been made. Still, my experience with them was positive -- but that was the first time the kit had been used, too.
02-11-2004, 10:17 AM
Jarred what do you have against Arrilites? 8)
02-11-2004, 05:30 PM
I cruised over to dvinfo and found the JTL thread. The experiences, including Wayne's, seem to be pretty mixed. Many of the comments on the web do not inspire confidence. It's clear that the customer service is minimal to non-existent and there are some problems with the designs. When the fixtures can't operate properly with the recommended bulbs--that's a problem--an electrical fire hazard type of problem. Poor design, cheap materials, and lack of quality control are not a great mix.
Maybe I'm more sensitive to this stuff because my father is an electrical engineer, but the JTLs seem a little dangerous. In my mind, it's a better idea to buy used good quality lighting fixtures. However, if the temptation of the JTLs proves too great--please buy an electrical grade fire extinguisher and keep it close by--a good practice in any case.
02-11-2004, 05:41 PM
The early reactions were mixed, that's true. But most of those issues came from people using hotter than 500w bulbs. Yes, JTL said you could use 'em, but the reality was, you couldn't.
So now, I believe they recommend to stay at 500w, and if you use them at 500w, they shouldn't have a problem.
Hey, I'm not saying it's a great light kit, all I'm saying is that the ability to get three complete softboxes for under $500 is amazingly inexpensive. Definitely caveat emptor as to whether it's worth it to you.
02-15-2004, 07:51 PM
I use a Chimera as well as softboxes from Photoflex. Both are great but I find the photoflex much easier to set up.