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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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Westcott7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver)
 
4.8

(based on 120 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (104)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (65)
  • Easy to set up (55)
  • Reliable (37)
  • Consistent (33)
  • Durable (26)

Cons

  • Flimsy (3)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (74)
  • Photography (50)
  • Strobe lighting (38)
  • Indoors (30)
  • Artificial lighting (24)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (46), Semi-pro photographer (38), Photo enthusiast (12)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (89), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

New Favorite Modifier

I have many different types of softboxes and modifiers, but this one is top dog now.

Once you break it out of the box it's as easy as opening an umbrella. ...Read complete review

I have many different types of softboxes and modifiers, but this one is top dog now.

Once you break it out of the box it's as easy as opening an umbrella.

The quality of the light that you get with this 7' beast is unbelievable. I also have a 70" octabox that was my favorite piece of gear, but once I set this modifier up there was no looking back.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Yes and No

Yes, the quality of light from this umbrella is absolutely wonderful. No, this umbrella will not last very long, especially in the hands of a clumsy assistant and certainly not if used outdoors...Read complete review

Yes, the quality of light from this umbrella is absolutely wonderful. No, this umbrella will not last very long, especially in the hands of a clumsy assistant and certainly not if used outdoors (which would be difficult anyway due to its size).

My solution to extend the life of this umbrella in the studio is to mount it with an umbrella swivel which is then angled down 45Ëš, and then use gaffer tape to further secure the shaft to the bottom of the flash head. This creates more stability for the shaft which appears to be the weakest point of this modifier.

If Westcott added a solid steel shaft and doubled the price of this umbrella, I'd absolutely buy it as it would still be quite affordable compared to other available parabolic reflectors.

Reviewed by 120 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Fantastic modifier for the price.

By Bal Deo

from Vancouver, Canada

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

I have quite a few modifiers and was looking for a large light source. I bought the diffuser with it and was just pleasantly surprise at the soft light quality. Also the light pattern variation was extremely good by simply moving the umbrella distance from the head. Great modifier that is easy to setup.

 
3.0

Great for beginners, ok for pros

By Samer

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

Indoors: eliminates shadows but portraits look rather flat.
Outdoors: I have not tested yet awaiting a day when I know for sure there won't slightest breeze.
Overall: Good value, makes life easy, other light modifiers enable me to be more creative.
If you are a beginner, get it. It is easy to use. However, make sure you mount it on a heavy duty stand and stabilize it with sand bags.

 
5.0

After this, I may never need another modifier, excellent!

By Markus

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

This was my first event with an umbrella of this size. It was Awesome! Whether shooting up close within three feet or far back as fifteen feet, it renders beautiful light. Yes, the silver pops and that's what I wanted. Light weight, easy setup and when attached to a 1600 watt head, it will light just about anything. BTW, it makes for great ice breaker conversation.

 
5.0

Excellent Group Light Modifier

By Mike

from Canyon Lake, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

This 7' umbrella is perfect for lighting large groups/scenes. The silver surface gives light a real "punch" and still retains a degree of softness because of its size. Easier to transport and use on location that a comparably sized softbox.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Thank You PCB for inventing this brolly

By Shoebox9

from NSW Australia

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

After the Chinese factory (one of only 3 large scale umbrella factories in the world) that Paul Buff initially worked with to produce his parabolic "PLM' umbrellas started selling his design to other retailers, he switched manufacturers.
This is his V1 design, I have it in all 3 sizes bought from PCB several years back, and now 3 copies of the Westcot 86" version. They are identical, and they are very good. They have totally changed the world of photographic umbrellas. Paul Buff had some idiosyncrasies, but he was a genuis.

His V2 design is claimed to be quite a bit better due to being closer to a true parbolic shape (ie the first 1/4-1/3 has more bend instead of being fairly flat), but I have not used these yet.

Meanwhile, why use the normal umbrellas with their totally stupid light dispersion characterisitics if you don't have to?

A hard silver would give you a true collumn of light, these give you softer version of that, OUT PERFORMING most soft boxes in DIRECTIONALITY, SOFTNESS, and LIGHT OUTPUT.

True, some softboxes are more directional, some are softer (ie Elinchrom indirects), and some silver octas with no diffuser may offer more output, but these amazing brollies probably out perform every softbox in the world if all there of these factors are taken together.

Unless you want to use them outdoors, whats not to like?

 
5.0

Simply LOVE!

By SLouPhoto

from Victorville, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

Brilliant! This 7' parabolic is lightweight, easy to set up, and provides really nice fashion style impact! Love how simple it is to use and the variety of looks this powerhouse can provide! It is great for transporting to location and will provide enough light for small group images!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Yes and No

By Eric

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

Yes, the quality of light from this umbrella is absolutely wonderful. No, this umbrella will not last very long, especially in the hands of a clumsy assistant and certainly not if used outdoors (which would be difficult anyway due to its size).

My solution to extend the life of this umbrella in the studio is to mount it with an umbrella swivel which is then angled down 45Ëš, and then use gaffer tape to further secure the shaft to the bottom of the flash head. This creates more stability for the shaft which appears to be the weakest point of this modifier.

If Westcott added a solid steel shaft and doubled the price of this umbrella, I'd absolutely buy it as it would still be quite affordable compared to other available parabolic reflectors.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Beautiful

By vadtelphotography.com

from Brooklyn, NY

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

Beautiful, well made, huge. Used it recently for formalsome with studio strobe as a main light with white diffuser (need to buy separately). I'm not a big fan of umbrellas cause they tend to spread light everywhere, but you can'take beat them for events, as they do save you a lot of time. This one is perfect. Silver gives you a bit of contrast, while it's still soft. Feather if you don't want to wash everything with light and keep your distance.

 
5.0

Nice light

By Dukes

from Philadelphia

Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

Only used once so far and love the results.
The big test will be in a few weeks for large dance groups.

 
5.0

Love it

By Robert

from Houston texas

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 Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

    Great for lighting up large areas and group of people

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Awesome addition to my set up

    By KMH Photo

    from Denver Colorado

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent
    • Easy To Set Up
    • Lightweight
    • Reliable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Artificial Lighting
      • Photography
      • Strobe Lighting

      Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

      I am a portrait photographer. for the past few years I have been photographing with a 4'x5' soft box. The thing was super heavy and needed to have the light stand weighted down.

      The Parabolic is so light and portable. The light I am getting is very soft and the catchlights are awesome.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Good

      By Mike

      from Logan UT

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Set Up
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Full Body Portraits
        • Photography
        • Strobe Lighting

        Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

        Had to add a diffuser to get the softer lighting I wanted.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great soft light

        By Mel S.

        from Calabasas, CA

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Set Up
        • Reliable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Artificial Lighting
          • Photography
          • Portraits

          Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

          Excellent for portrait photography. Got great results without any other light source, just a reflector to fill in the slight shadows. Used a diffuser for the softest light possible. Great also for group shots. No shadows when positioned in front of the subjects. Highly recommend this umbrella for anyone who shoots portraits!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Good umbrella but very weak shaft

          By PA

          from SFO, CA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent
          • Easy To Set Up

          Cons

          • Short Lifespan

          Best Uses

          • Photography
          • Portraits

          Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

          As most of the folks reviewed. The shaft is extremely weak. The umbrella is big and the light output is beautiful too. I wish they had built a solid / stronger shaft. I feel like every time I adjust the height of the stand..the shaft will break or bend.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Giant Light Source

          By jkorin

          from Long Beach, CA

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Set Up
          • Lightweight
          • Reliable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Photography
            • Portraits
            • Strobe Lighting
            • Weddings

            Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

            Excellent large light source that provides nice specular highlights. The silver lining does a great job in reflecting the light. I primarily use it with a standard strobe light for portrait and fashion shots. It provides a great light source at a fraction of the cost of some of the larger parabolic modifiers on the market.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            "I would buy this product again and again"

            By Alejandro

            from MIA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Consistent
            • Easy To Set Up
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Photography
              • Portraits

              Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

              Very good umbrella for portrait.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No
               
              5.0

              Don't delay--Order one today!

              By Recycle Bin

              from North Aurora, IL

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Set Up
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Portraits

                Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

                I had this item in my wish list for far too long. It's easy to set up and use. I also ordered the Westcott Umbrella Diffuser for Parabolic Umbrella. The diffuser is a tad tricky to put on but no big deal. And the light that comes through is fabulous!

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No
                 
                5.0

                Practical and unexpensive

                By jorgearagonphoto

                from NY, NY

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy To Set Up
                • Lightweight
                • Reliable

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Big Products
                  • Photography
                  • Portraits

                  Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

                  Fantastic for PRO or semi PRO photographers, allows different kind of lighting effects and its easy to carry.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No
                   
                  5.0

                  For Serious Photographers

                  By Patrick C

                  from Memphis, TN

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent
                  • Easy To Set Up
                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Photography
                    • Strobe Lighting

                    Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

                    Looks small but once open it is wow HUGE. You must know how to adjust light and make it work for your subject.. I created some nice images so far!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Just Get it!

                    By GlennOfStuart

                    from Stuart, FL

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Set Up
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

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

                      Comments about Westcott 7' Parabolic Umbrella (Silver):

                      A wonderful piece of equipment that's up to Westcott's usual superb quality.As everyone says, this dude is huge but that's what you wanted isn't it? Throws beautiful light.Only caution is that this umbrella needs a serious light stand under it. I tried attaching it to my Elinchrom BRX 500's and using the aux. umbrella mount. It put so much stress on it I thought for sure that it was going to break so I attached it to an articulating umbrella holder. Works great.The day after it came in I had a night wedding with 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, and obviously a bride and groom. Lighting 12 people at 6pm in winter is a tall order for almost any modifier. This umbrella was up to the task.Hard for me to believe that anyone wouldn't get $ of benefit from it.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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