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PhotekUmbrella - Softlighter II - 60"
 
4.6

(based on 119 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (74)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (38)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (68)
  • Reliable (48)
  • Consistent (44)
  • Easy to setup (43)
  • Easy to set up (25)

Cons

  • Flimsy (6)
  • Short lifespan (5)
  • Not durable (4)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (79)
  • Photography (56)
  • Strobe lighting (54)
  • Artificial lighting (37)
  • Weddings (16)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (52), Semi-pro photographer (28), Photo enthusiast (11), Professional (9), Semi-professional (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (59)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Poor Man's Octabank

I've recenlty tested the Paul C. Buff Parabolic soft silver umberella with the diffusion material and the Softlighter II. I have to go with the Softlight because it is way fater to setup and...Read complete review

I've recenlty tested the Paul C. Buff Parabolic soft silver umberella with the diffusion material and the Softlighter II. I have to go with the Softlight because it is way fater to setup and its much more realiable under windy situations outdoors. The first time shooting with the parabolic one of the plastic ribs broke. No problem with the Softlighter because of the rugged materials used.

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 119 customers

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5.0

Best lightning modifier!!

By Dylan Rives

from Miami

Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

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

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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 Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

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

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Photek SoftlighterII

    By Jenny Lane

    from Holly, MI

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Set Up
    • Lightweight
    • Reliable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Photography
      • Portraits

      Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

      I had done a lot of research on finding a new light modifier for the studio. I could not have made a better choice. The size is perfect, the light is soft and has a nice wrap due to the size.

      It is built of well and is easy to set up. I use it with Alien Bees and it works great.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      4.0

      Perfect for Portratis

      By Jon

      from Los Angeles, ca

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent
      • Easy To Set Up
      • Inexpensive
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

      • Short Lifespan

      Best Uses

      • Artificial Lighting
      • Photography
      • Portraits
      • Strobe Lighting

      Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

      This is my go to lighting accessory for portraiture.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      4.0

      Doesn't fit on all strobe lights

      By AMAC

      from Vancouver, BC

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Photography
        • Portraits
        • Strobe Lighting

        Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

        Great product for the price and portability. I have elinchrom lights and the 46" and 60" softlighter fits in the middle of the light fine however my norman lights do not work with this 46". Make sure your lights have a center umbrella mount or you will be disappointed. For non center umbrella holes the diffuser sock stretches too much and makes the umbrella frame a wierd shape from bending.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Great Product

        By jendow

        from los angeles, ca

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Easy To Set Up
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Durability

        Best Uses

        • Artificial Lighting
        • Photography
        • Portraits
        • Strobe Lighting

        Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

        Best bang for the buck. Quick setup and love the results.
        Not the most durable product for on-location but great for anything indoors.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Industry secret.

        By Derp derp

        from Sacramento

        Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

        Love these. They are cheap yet very effective. They close up like an umbrella so they are easy to store. It's really big and had a nice spread of light.

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

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

        By TampaFamous

        from Tampa, FL

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Beautiful light
        • Lightweight
        • Reliable

        Cons

        • Flimsy

        Best Uses

        • Artificial Lighting
        • Photography
        • Portraits
        • Strobe Lighting

        Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

        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.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        3.0

        Not the speedlite one!

        By nommek

        from San Antonio

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

              This is NOT the Softlighter that works with speedlights. Bought it by mistake. Has a weird sock-thing in the very center for mounting to studio lights (I presume) and does not work with speedlites.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              kind of what I expected

              By DK

              from Vancouver Canada

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Set Up
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                  Love the light quality from this simple product. Easy to take on location and assembles quick. It tends to not stay together at the end points of the umbrella, fro time to time it's a bit of a pain, I'm a little concerned this will get worse over time.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  The sublime Softlighter 60"

                  By wrjrimages

                  from Chicago, IL

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Photography
                    • Portraits
                    • Strobe Lighting

                    Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                    I discovered this product a year ago looking for a full body solution to soft portrait lighting. I recently used it as part of a boudoir session in three point and as a single light source and it was impressive! The images have the wonderful falloff that Annie Lebowitz has made so famous while retaining a luscious vibrance without overwhelming during close in work. Assembly is simple and straight forward, get it and you won't regret it!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    4.0

                    Soft light, indeed!

                    By HoustonPhotog

                    from Houston, TX

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                    • Expensive

                    Best Uses

                    • Artificial Lighting
                    • Bridal Portraits
                    • Portraits
                    • Strobe Lighting
                    • Weddings

                    Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                    I use this product for my main portrait light. I am not one for elaborate lighting set-ups, I pretty much like a main light and maybe a 2nd accent light. I find that my female clients love how this light makes their skin look and frankly so do I. I am a user of octaboxes, beauty dishes and umbrellas but the Softlight II does the best with reducing the hot spot for a great feathered look.

                    With that said what is not too awesome is the price. I mean after all it's just a umbrella with a diffuser. You also need to make sure you are practiced with the set up so you are not caught off guard at a photo shoot.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    4.0

                    Compact design and beautiful light!

                    By guhl

                    from Austin, TX

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                    • A Hassle Walienbees

                    Best Uses

                    • Artificial Lighting
                    • Photography
                    • Portraits
                    • Strobe Lighting

                    Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                    The umbrella concept makes for easy storage and transport, and the light it produces in this 60" size is gorgeous. I now own 2. Curiously, the first one I bought allowed me to slip the 'sock' portion of the diffuser over my 7" standard reflector on my Alien Bees strobes, but the second one I bought does not. I even called Photek thinking the second one must be defective, but apparently the first one was! What a shame because I can keep the first one fully assembled and attach it to my light in seconds, but the second one is a pain because I have to take the reflector off, put the diffuser over it, put the reflector back, attach the the Softliter, and then thread the diffuser onto each of the umbrella spokes! I was told this is only a problem with the Bees and Einstein lights though, that other strobes are designed differently and the sock portion does not come into close contact with the bulbs and doesn't require a reflector. I know how to sew and will probably just put some elastic in the sock opening where it joins the diffuser fabric so I can slip it over my reflector. If not for this issue I would give it 5 stars. I even told Photek they should use elastic in the opening so the Bee/Einstein folks would not have this hassle, but I'm sure that's not cost-effective for them. I recommend the Softliter for anyone looking for beautiful lighting though!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Great product at a affordable price!

                    By Rusty from the valley

                    from LA, CA

                    Verified Buyer

                    Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                    Such a versatile umbrella. Nice size for a single person or a small group.

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                    5.0

                    Excellent Excellent Portrait Modifier.

                    By Imthe1will

                    from Los Angeles, CA

                    Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                    Wow love this Umbrella, quality is great for the price material is good hope it will last for a long time it's also a pretty Big modifier. But for the price cant complaint. You will love this modifier for group or single subject portraits I would suggest to search it on YouTube to how easy is to set it up. If want some samples of what kind of this great umbrella is for portraits just head to Clay Cook photography or the one and only Annie Leibovitz. She uses it for most of her well known portraits.

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                    4.0

                    The Best.....

                    By TomG

                    from Nashville, TN

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent
                    • Easy To Set Up
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Artificial Lighting
                      • Photography
                      • Portraits
                      • Strobe Lighting

                      Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                      .....when you can find them. If they are in-stock, buy a few. Durable product, but IF something were to happen, would hate for it to be during a time when they are out of stock.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Great tool

                      By Always learning

                      from Sydney Australia

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent
                      • Easy To Set Up
                      • Lightweight
                      • Reliable

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Artificial Lighting
                        • Photography
                        • Portraits

                        Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                        This gives a beautiful big soft light with minimal setup time.

                        I only have speedlights, no strobes, so the options for soft boxes were relatively limited and mostly much more expensive for smaller sizes than this. I'm very happy with the softlighter for the money - the quality of materials isn't quite as good as my Bowens convertible umbrellas but it certainly does the job.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        5.0

                        Awesome! a must have

                        By Marco

                        from San Francisco

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent
                        • Easy To Set Up
                        • Lightweight
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                            These Umbrella - Softlighter II by Photek are just plain great. I mow have three of them and use them all the time on location for portraits!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Looks like a great product

                            By Shoeboxphotography

                            from Adelaide, Australia

                            About Me Pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent
                            • Easy To Set Up
                            • Lightweight
                            • Reliable

                            Cons

                            • Over Packaged

                            Best Uses

                            • Photography
                            • Portraits
                            • Strobe Lighting

                            Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                            Does a great job of spreading light. Not easy to control the light spill, but the light is very consistent and wrappy, and great for portraits.I love that there is a shoot thru option as well the reflective option.My only gripe was the cost of postage to Australia where you just can't get this stuff. It was a smaller box packed inside of a larger one... the only reason to do this was to include a catalogue of stuff I won't buy and would certainly research if I was in the market. I feel like I paid $60 instead of $40 shipping to get this just so they could include this stupid catalogue.Someone should import these things to Australia and make a million, because there are plenty of strobists out here.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            4.0

                            Nice

                            By nicobel

                            from Quebec

                            Comments about Photek Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60":

                            Like the softness of this umbrella

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