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PhotekSoftlighter II Umbrella (60")
 
4.5

(based on 137 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (83)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (44)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (81)
  • Reliable (51)
  • Consistent (47)
  • Easy to setup (43)
  • Easy to set up (30)

Cons

  • Short lifespan (7)
  • Flimsy (6)
  • Not durable (5)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (90)
  • Photography (61)
  • Strobe lighting (57)
  • Artificial lighting (42)
  • Indoors (19)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (70)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (59), Semi-pro photographer (33), Photo enthusiast (13), Professional (9), Semi-professional (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

It's a great big softie! Here's why:

First of all, it was a nice surprise to find out that the diffusion cover is NOT "silk", but grid cloth! Gaffers love this stuff... it provides the most...Read complete review

First of all, it was a nice surprise to find out that the diffusion cover is NOT "silk", but grid cloth! Gaffers love this stuff... it provides the most even light diffusion - much better than a silk (hold it up to a point light source - see pics). Anyway, the kind of grid cloth used in this cover looks to be "noisy" quarter grid cloth (it's slightly crinkly) and it's great!

Was going to get the 46", but they were back-ordered so I bought the 60". It's not as unwieldy as I had feared (I have other large Paul C Buff softboxes that can be a pain). Setup with a boxy strobe like an Einstein takes some wiggling to get the "sock" evenly-centered, but it's not going to make you tear your hair out. The removable portion of the center rod is really ingenius. The results make it all worth it.

If you're buying the 60", I highly recommend picking up a lighting boom arm.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Indispensable but finicky

Just to get this out of the way: this is one of the most versatile modifiers that you can own. Think of it as three units in one: large reflective and shoot-through umbrellas...Read complete review

Just to get this out of the way: this is one of the most versatile modifiers that you can own. Think of it as three units in one: large reflective and shoot-through umbrellas as well as a large brolly box. When traveling and kit size is an issue, this gets brought along before my 5' octabox does.

The removable shaft is brilliant, allowing the unit to get closer to your subject when used with the diffuser.

That said, there are times when Softlighters drive me crazy. The ribs are very, very fragile, more so than on other umbrellas: they'll overlap and snap when opening the umbrella, they'll bend and snap if falling to the ground even gently. I've replaced each size of Softlighter multiple times.

The rib tips, that secure the black cover, constantly pop off and require adjustment.

This thing is several times the weight of other umbrellas of comparable size.

I don't stop buying them, but I definitely have a love-hate relationship with them.

Reviewed by 137 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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1.0

Defective Item no Solution!

By Unhappy Customer

from Florida

Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

The umbrella arrived defective, one of the ribs was missing a screw so it's lose making it unable to close or open. No positive answer was giving regarding sending the missing screw to the domestic address so I can fix this! I am sure this could have been a great modifier but the one on this website does not even come with the silver and gold circled reflectors and there has not been any response to my second email asking to please send the missing screw to the domestic address.

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5.0

Best shooting umbrellas!

By JC

from NYC

Verified Buyer

Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

I have been using these umbrellas for 30 years, they at the most durable and color consistent of any I have tried. From shooting models on location to the studio. I highly recommend this product.

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5.0

Softlighter II

By JPhill

from Dallas, Tx

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Beautiful Light Modifier
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • General Use
    • Indoors
    • Portraits

    Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

    I recently purchased the 60" softlightee II after having the 46" version. I love both of these modifiers. They are a great soft light modifier the produce high end results on a budget.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Big soft source.

    By J6photo

    from Washington DC

    Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

    I love the portability of this product, and the soft light it produces. I will say the umbrella is fragile, the spokes are thin and could bend easily. But if you care for it properly it will last a long time.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A must have in every photographers kit

    By rckmrqz

    from Las Vegas, NV

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Securely
    • Durable
    • Good Color Value
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • General Use
      • Indoors
      • Night Time
      • Outdoors
      • Portraits
      • Special Events

      Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

      I have so many different modifiers but the Softlighter is my go-to 9 out of 10 times.

      It just get's the job done with little fuss

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Photek

      By Jeremiah

      from New York, NY

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Securely
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • General Use
        • Indoors
        • Outdoors
        • Portraits

        Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

        I use this for portraits. It is large, light, and easy to attach the diffuser.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Amazing soft box for the money

        By SchuylerPhoto

        from Boston, MA

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Affordable
        • Compact When Broken Down
        • Lightweight
        • Quick Assembly
        • Well Built

        Cons

        • Not Wind Resistant

        Best Uses

        • Indoors
        • Portraits
        • Studio

        Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

        I bought this to replace a 36" Octobox soft box and I couldn't be happier. The quality of the light coming from this 60" Softlighter is some of the best I've worked with. The setup is very quick and easy, and the ability to control the shape, direction and feathering opens up a ton of new portrait lighting possibilities. I can't recommend this soft box enough!

        I did fabricate a custom bracket to allow me to use two speed lights with this unit. I didn't want to spend the money on the more expensive strobe dedicated unit. This way if I upgrade to studio strobes at some point this is still the best unit to use. I am very happy with the quality of light this produces with two Nikon speed lights inside.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Sweet!

        By Watersart

        from Georgia

        Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

        Easy to use! Great results and light coverage, quality materials!

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        5.0

        Great tool

        By BenjaminScot

        from Columbus, OH

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Set Up
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

            Used with Profoto heads. Love the looks you can get with this. I prefer it without the sock for a punchy light that is also soft. Great product. We have multiple Photek umbrellas in several sizes.

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Diffuser looks loose and baggy but overall it does it's job

            By emissivity

            from Santa Clara, CA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Diffuser Fit Is Loose

            Best Uses

            • Photography
            • Portraits
            • Strobe Lighting

            Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

            Diffuser doesn't look like the picture where it's fitted and stretched. I received a baggy fit diffuser which looks like it's oversized for the umbrella. I checked online and it looks like Photek delivered same fit for other people that bought it recently.

            However all that matters is it works.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            4.0

            Great results, average build quality.

            By Cullen Collection

            from Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Pros

            • Easy To Set Up
            • Great soft light
            • Lightweight
            • Reliable

            Cons

            • Fragile
            • Short Lifespan

            Best Uses

            • Portraits
            • Weddings
            • With Bulk Sandbags

            Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

            I couldn't be happier with the results this produces BUT I've only used it for a couple of months and it's already broken. Partially my fault, I was quite gentle with it and it was coming apart a bit but then at a wedding a gust of wind came when it was unattended (I thought it'd be ok for 2 seconds haha) aaaand now it's beyond repair.

            Definitely recommend this product but just be careful!

            Also I will probably buy two of the 46" ones instead - I do a lot of group shots etc - and would like to be able to light from both sides. I'm also thinking the smaller sizes might me a bit sturdier. Maybe.

            The 60" is easily good for 2 people full body, I've been using it for bigger group shots too and have been very happy with the results.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Lovely light, but a bit fragile for location

            By dgphoto

            from Suffern, NY

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Easy To Set Up
            • Lightweight
            • Reliable

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Artificial Lighting
              • Photography
              • Portraits
              • Strobe Lighting
              • Weddings

              Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

              Wonderful for lighting scenes with up to 4-5 people.
              It fell over with the wind, and became a bit damaged right away. On location, you must use sandbags.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              4.0

              Pretty Good

              By Sojian

              from Torrance, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent
              • Lightweight
              • Reliable

              Cons

              • Non-intuitive

              Best Uses

              • Artificial Lighting
              • Photography
              • Portraits
              • Strobe Lighting

              Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

              I use this as a nice large fill light coupled with a pocket flash. I bought it as a gateway into getting strobe units. It provides a nice large diffuse light. It is quick to setup but can be confusing on occasion on putting the diffusion sheet over the flash first before doing the umbrella. Also the detachable stem has very fine threads so it took awhile to screw/unscrew and fear it will easily jam in the future.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Fantastic modifier, but be gentle.

              By Sweet John

              from Austin, TX

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Lightweight

              Cons

              • Short Lifespan

              Best Uses

              • Artificial Lighting
              • Photography
              • Portraits

              Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

              This is a modifier I have been waiting a long time for. The light it gives is amazing! I use three speedlites on a Westcott triple threat inside. One thing you will find is that semi-strong wind (under 15mph) will bend the shaft of the umbrella. I had it on a weighted light stand and it held but when I packed it up it needed to be straightened out. Still, this is one piece of equipment I will always have at the ready. I'm probably going to order a couple more of these and a couple 42" ones to make sure I have the right one for the conditions. I also own the 36" and that one is perfect for a boom to use outside for a soft key/fill.

              Definitely get one, just be gentle and it will last you a long time. (I'm not, so I will be buying them again and again, but that's what happens, right?)

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              4.0

              Big, well made modifier.

              By rswannabe

              from New England

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Set Up
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Artificial Lighting
                • Photography
                • Portraits

                Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

                Only four stars for now as I've only used it three times, but it's a really big, sturdy modifier that is also super portable.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Enormous Modifier Worth it

                By Colorblind Photographer

                from Houston, TX

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Great Price
                • Lightweight
                • Lots Of Options

                Cons

                • No Instructions

                Best Uses

                • Artificial Lighting
                • Portraits

                Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

                I bought this to use with my PCB Einsteins. It can be used shoot through or bounce or bounce and diffuse. I will warn you though that if your are using it on einsteins or another PCB light that the shaft will be too short to screw off the end, I would recommend buying an adapter for it to use on a tripod instead so you don't have about 12 inches of metal poking around toward your subjects. It doesn't come with instructions, but there are plenty online. For the price this thing is awesome, and I can't wait to use it more.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

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                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Yes - Buy It

                By Shawn R H

                from Pittsburgh, PA

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Set Up
                • Lightweight

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

                    There is a reason why this is a go to on location modifier for so many photographers. You will get BIG soft light from this bad boy. Also, (fyi) I recently used Yongnuo speed lights in these and it worked wonderfully. Don't spend the extra money on the speed light version of the softlighter. If you comb the internet enough, you will find "how to" videos for putting a speed light into this modifier. It actually is very simple once you see how it is done. Plus, if you get this version, it's already made for larger studios strobes. In other words, the best of both worlds!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    1.0

                    Bad product quality but good soft light

                    By ray

                    from taiwan

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                      • Unreliable

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

                        I just jot my softlighter 60" and only used once, it became like this, can it be fixed?I am really disappointed although it produces amazing light, I only used it for ONE time!!!

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                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Best lightning modifier!!

                        By Dylan Rives

                        from Miami

                        Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

                        Bought this instead of a soft box.. Extremely happy with the results and ease of use. Highly recommended!

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Fantastic light, essential tool

                        By Dag

                        from DC

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Set Up
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Artificial Lighting
                          • Photography
                          • Portraits
                          • Strobe Lighting
                          • Weddings

                          Comments about Photek Softlighter II Umbrella (60"):

                          One of my favorite modifiers of all time! Simple, versatile, and well-constructed.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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