Amvona DP-LH-3497O enSuite Light Head Kit Review

standing.jpgLighting is a difficult concept to master but to put it simply, the larger the light source, the softer the shadows are going to be. A large softbox will really do wonders for portrait and product photography. The Amvona DP-LH-3497O enSuiteâ„¢ Light Head kit is a great example of this giving you a large diffuse light source at an incredibly affordable price.

With a 34 inch diameter, the Amvona DP-LH-3497O enSuiteâ„¢ Light Head kit provides a nice large area with features such as multiple interior panels, interior diffusion baffle, and external honeycomb grid. You will be shocked to know what this baby will cost you and just how well it works.

On the Amvona website this kit sells for something like $620 so it will most likely surprise you to know end that you can pick up the complete system on eBay for $70 or less! Compare this price to a name brand like Photoflex for close to $450. You just have to ask yourself all the obvious questions like “is this a complete pile of junk?” or “How can this even be worth buying when its so cheap?”. Let’s take a long hard look at the unit and see if we can answer these questions and more.

Features

Rating: 1000 watts maximum
Socket: Mogul base screw
Lamp: (2) 500 watt / 8500 lumen / 3200° K bulbs
(2) 1000 watt / 22000 lumen / 3200° K bulbs
Average Bulb Life: 2000 Hours
Volts: 120V
Amp Rating 10
Light Bank Diameter: 3′ (91.44 cm)
Light Spread: Permits a narrow profile while creating a large wrap-around light spread
Softbox Magmaâ„¢ Fabric: High-heat resistance
Removable / interchangeable gold and silver inner panels included
Integral softbox connector / reflector
Swivel mount included
Setuppoles.jpgThe setup isn’t very difficult but it may not be completely obvious the first time you do it. The easiest way is to lay out the main base with the inside facing on the floor. Work the steel rods through the sleeves and into the pockets. The small side goes into the sleeve while the large side goes into the center in order to fit into the light head. Once you have all the poles into place, then flip the entire thing over and grab the light head without the bulb in it.

built.jpgStarting with the pole next to the ball end pole and working your way away from the ball end pole, slide the end of the pole into the light head connectors. It will get more difficult as you go around. There is distinct technique to it as you get near the end, it is kind of a push-tilt-twist manuever. The final pole is the ball-end pole, this you bring in from the front of the connector and with the same push-tilt-twist with an added bend-twist-snap it should go right into place. At this point it is ready to mount and finish up the rest of the assembly.

bulb.jpgOnce mounted on a light stand, you can now finish up the assembly. The softbox kit itself has a white internal panels that will give you a nice soft effect. If you need more contrast, the kit comes with pieces that can be velcroed into place that are silver on one side and gold on the other. With four of these add-on panels, you can use any combination of silver and/or gold to fine tune the color output. There is also another internal diffuser you can add if you want to soften the light output even more. At this point you can go ahead and insert the light bulb. Do not touch the bulb with your bare hands as it will get oils from your skin onto the bulb and with the temperatures that these bulbs get to there is a chance the bulb could explode.

rear.jpgWith the front all finished, you can then put on the optional rear panel. To keep the internal temperatures down you might want to leave the rear panel off, however, if you need to prevent any light spill from having the rear panel off, then put it on but keep an eye on the temperature and turn off the lamp if it starts getting too hot. Any time you are using hot lights you should always have a good fire extinquisher handy just in case.

While the materials are all better quality than you would expect, the fit isn’t to the tightest tolerences and there is quite a bit of play. Once everything is in place it will look just fine and will hold up perfectly well.

Usage

grid.jpgThe softbox head will throw out a really nice soft light with a decent spread to it that will light up an entire room nicely. If you need to keep the light from spilling too much, there is an included grid that can be easily added to the front.

Summary

ith the large size of the 34970 you can really get great results. While the overall quality of the unit itself may not be on par with units costing 10 times the amount, the light output and quality is every bit as good. At under $100 for everything including a light stand, this puts it into the price range of just about anybody wanting to get a good quality light system.

Features: 4
Quality: 3
Results: 5
Price: 5
Value: 5
Overall: 4.4

Website: http://www.amvona.com

KerryG

Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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1 Response

  1. February 5, 2009

    […] Amvona DP-LH-3497O enSuite Light Head Kit Review Big lights are good, and really big lights are even better. This large octogon softbox is really worth checking out http://cameradojo.com/2007/07/07/amvona-dp-lh-3497o-ensuite%e2%84%a2-light-head-kit-review/ […]

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