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Comments about Photoflex 39 x 72" LitePanel Kit:
I had one of these same kits 5 years and sadly left it recently on a some shoot and didn't realize it for months. It's pry the best reflector kit out there... opens up to the size of a door to light a full standing figure, and built tough to last. The new frame seems to made with even better, sturdier PVC tubing, so I trust this new unit will have even greater longevity. Still, reflectors are an easy item to leave behind because it's not something you use everyday and put on your internal checklist when packing the car back up after a shoot... so the lesson taken from my lost kit is now to always keep the bag next to the camera/tripod. It's nice that the new bag comes with a little window to put your contact info in to help prevent future loss when some layperson finds a mysterious bag they might not guess belongs to the videographer that was there filming earlier, but one of the bummers is that the bag is barely long enough to fit the middle support arm and the struggle to put it in with a tight zipper is a time loser if you're hurrying to get to the next location. Also the zippered side pockets meant for holding the elastic fabric reflectors could stand to be a little larger as well, like they used to be in the old bag, because trying to load 4 total fabrics (2 on each side) ain't easy and also loses time. This new kit came with 3 covers, but was missing the most important one, in my opinion, which was the silver/white fabric, the best for big bounce, so I grudgingly had to buy that separate, (used to be included with the old kit). The silver can be so bright that you sometimes have to place it 10-20 feet back from the subject so they're not blinded. If not much reflection is needed, I just turn the supplied gold/white fabric inside out and use the white side for softer bounce. Another complaint with the new kit is that the new bracket which is used to secure the reflector to the supplied light stand (for un-manned support in calm conditions with little wind) is a little clunky and requires a supplied allen wrench to attach, which I'll pry lose soon. The old one had a hand crank for quick tool-less use. If Photoflex fixed those issues in future incarnations of the kit, it would be absolutely unbeatable... totally beyond Thunderdome. It's still pretty unbeatable as it is, all qualms aside, and I would DEFINITELY recommend it to any videographer... indispensable. It's saved some shots when the subject or host had to stand in front of some landmark and the sun was behind them... equalized lighting so I didn't have a dark, shadowed subject or a blown-out white background on the other end of the spectrum. Just bring an assistant or snag a bystander to hold it securely at the right angle if it's windy.