Photek SL5000 46" Softlighter, Diffusing Umbrella with Black Cover.

Photek

About Photek Softliter

Not a softbox, scattering its light through a diffuser directly at the subject, the SOFTLIGHTER II delivers light that has been totally reflected before it is diffused, light as soft and as even as moonglow.

Because it is a rule that the closer the light source the softer the light our SOFTLIGHTER II design comes with a removable center shaft to bring the light source even closer to your subject. And add something even more special - Photek's SOFTLIGHTER II SL-4000 and SL-5000 includes one each gold and silver light enhancing discs. These light modifiers can warm the color of your light or give it more sparkle and contrast, as well as increasing light output by a full half stop. The SOFTLIGHTER II sets up in moments, no collars or rib set up.

Building its original design from the classic umbrella shape, the softlighter has developed that classic light source into a total system. This system ranges from the basic professional reflector/diffuser umbrella to a most sophisticated lighting instrument capable of a variety of lighting tasks.

Designed in three appropriate sizes, every SOFTLIGHTER will fit any light head 7-1/4" or less in diameter

The Photek Softliter is commonly used for Artificial lighting, Photography, Portraits, Strobe lighting, Studio and more.The Photek Softliter is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Enthusiast, Professional, Pro photographer, Semi-pro photographer among others.The Photek Softliter is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Photek Softliter: Consistent, Durable, Easy to setup, Easy to use, Lightweight and Reliable

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Pros:
Lightweight (45),Reliable (35),Consistent (26),Easy to setup (26),Durable (12),Easy to use (9),Easy to set up (8),Attach securely (5),Good color value (5)
Best Uses:
Portraits (47),Strobe lighting (30),Photography (26),Artificial lighting (19),Studio (9),Indoors (8),General purpose (6),Travel (5),Outdoor events / games (5),Low light (4),Outdoors (4),Weddings (3) Professional work (3) View All
Reviewer Profile:
Semi-pro photographer (18),Pro photographer (14),Enthusiast (10),Professional (10),Photo enthusiast (5)

Photek Softliter Features

  • White reflective surface, free of bleaches and fluorescence, perfectly reflects the color of your light.
  • Stout black nylon cover stops all stray and ricochet, enhancing total light control.
  • Unique construction consisting of ten panels instead of the usual eight gives more reflective surface and a more perfect circle of light, so flattering when seen as catch lights in the eyes.
  • So versatile a product is the SOFTLIGHTER II, that by removal of its black cover and a reversal of direction, the SOFTLIGHTER II becomes everything a softbox promises. It becomes a shoot through diffuser providing light that canbe used either as a main light source or as a flattering fill.
  • Final touch. The SOFTLIGHTER II sets up in moments. Its unique translucent cover fits directly onto the tips of the SOFTLIGHTER II. A totally fireproof material creates its own collar around the lighthead, with no time consuming fitting of mounting collars or rib setups involved.
  • Best of all. After inserting the SOFTLIGHTER into the flash head, the bottom portion of the shaft is removable, allowing the unit to get as close to the subject as possible.

Photek Softliter Specifications

Overall Length
29.5 "
Tip-To-Tip Diameter
46"
Total Light Area
11.05 SQ. FT.

Photek Softliter Reviews

Review Snapshot®

 
4.6

(based on 61 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (39)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Lightweight, Compact, and Works

The Photek Softlighter II gives a beautiful diffused and soft light similar to a beauty dish. The ability to remove the umbrella shaft and move the light close gives a beautiful transition between light and shadow for portrait work. Catchlights take on an octagon shape. While I prefer a beauty dish in the studio, the portability of the Softlighter makes it the modifier of choice for traveling. Set-up is a quick and easy one person affair once you learn the procedure. The entire Softlighter c...

View full Review

The Photek Softlighter II gives a beautiful diffused and soft light similar to a beauty dish. The ability to remove the umbrella shaft and move the light close gives a beautiful transition between light and shadow for portrait work. Catchlights take on an octagon shape. While I prefer a beauty dish in the studio, the portability of the Softlighter makes it the modifier of choice for traveling. Set-up is a quick and easy one person affair once you learn the procedure. The entire Softlighter collapses into a case no larger than that of a 54" umbrella. The construction is top notch. While many people use the Softlighter with battery powered flashes, I use it with an AB800 monolight. One 54" Softlighter is large enough to light a 3/4 to full figure with no light fall off. The sock opening is just large enough to fit over the monolight.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Purchased in 2008 Hardly USED IT BROKEN

Purchased in 2008 Hardly USED IT BROKEN, one of the spin tip broke off, still usable, I wouldn't have written this bad review if I got some use out of it, used maybe 5 to 10 times. You get what ya pay for sometime.

Reviewed by 61 customers

 
5.0

My best Adorama purchase ever

By

from Carmel Ca.  -  Semi-pro Photographer

The removable shaft is terrific. The 60 inch Softlighter fits into my small studio well. I get great light even with one speedlight at medium power.

 
5.0

Must have for Gorgeous Soft Light

By

from New York  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Well made product that sets up fairly quickly and produces a soft light like no other. It's like having a giant movable source of window light at your disposal.

 
5.0

As good as they say!

By

from St Louis, MO  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I read about this lighting modifier at Strobist and was skeptical about it performing anywhere near as good as an octa-box. But now I know better. with an appropriately powerful strobe attached it throws a huge amount of smooth, soft light. I use it with an old Vivitar 285 for outdoor and indoor shooting and it works great! Just be sure you have strong enough stands/booms with counterweight and sandbags if there's any chance of a breeze because it makes a pretty effective kite as well.

 
2.0

Purchased in 2008 Hardly USED IT BROKEN

By

from Chicago, IL  -  Casual Photographer

Purchased in 2008 Hardly USED IT BROKEN, one of the spin tip broke off, still usable, I wouldn't have written this bad review if I got some use out of it, used maybe 5 to 10 times. You get what ya pay for sometime.

 
5.0

Excellent product & great value!

By

from Orlando, Florida  -  Pro Photographer

I have used this for both studio and outdoor shoots with my Alien Bee strobes and am super happy with the results. Its quick to setup, durable and simply gets the job done.

 
5.0

SOOOOO SOFT!!

By

from St Paul MN  -  Professional

I have used this for a couple of portrait sessions since I purchase this last month and it is amazing. The efficiency and quality of light is great. It gives you the control of lighting equipment along with the large soft quality of natural light. It is HUGE and probably not the best for travel use if you are using it in studio or at home it is great...If you do take it out and damage it, it is far less then some of the competitors options so you can afford to replace it. I really like the breakdown shaft that allows you to shorten the umbrella shaft which allows you to get much closer to your subject.

 
5.0

Big & Beautiful

By

from Springfield, Illinois  -  Hobbyist/Enthusiast

First things first, this thing is huge! I use it in an empty spare bedroom/studio with regular 8-foot ceilings. Obviously you have very little maneuverability with the Softliter. It's worth the trouble though. It really does throw a wonderfully soft light. Used with an AB800 with the shaft removed, you can cozy it right up to the subject for marvelously soft, surrounding light. There is one issue for some people in that the catch lights have a dark center caused by the AB800 as well as a "tail" caused by the power cord descending from the AB800 to the floor. You can either ignore these, or if a perfectionist, go in and clone them out. I have only used this a couple of times, and both indoors. I think almost any breeze would present real problems trying to stabilize this giant sail. Also, it helps even indoors to have a fairly sturdy light stand. You don't necessarily need cinematic C-stands, but $10 stands from some outlet store are probably not going hold up well with the size of this thing. There is also some info out there that the umbrella is difficult to install. I've had no problems in that regard. I use it with the AB800's. I attach the AB umbrella reflector to the AB800, then slide the Softliter II "sock" over the reflector, being careful not to cover the ventilation slots on the AB800. Drape the diffusion screen over the AB800 and insert the shaft of the Softliter into the shaft holder. I then slip the grommets of the diffusion material over the tips of the umbrella ribs and it's done. Ending as I started, to sum up the Softliter II 60 incher, it's big and beautiful.

 
4.0

Good product, Good Quality

By

from Nashville, TN  -  Semi-Professional

Excellent product thats very good as a large light source for portraits or studio work.

 
4.0

Very Soft Light

By

from Washington, DC  -  Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Great for large source portrait light

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Easy to use and Good, Diffused Light

By

from Dallas, TX  -  Hobbyist/Enthusiast

I use this for portraits, and liked it so much, bought a second one. Much easier to set up on a location than a 5 foot octagon soft box. I use Nikon SB 900 speed lights with Pocketwizards.

Q&A

Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  Why Did You Choose This?
JESSE P  The light it throws is spectacular.
Shopper  Does this umbrella come with everything I need to mount a alienbees b800 on a light stand or does it need some kind of boom? Is the shaft included? I don't see how to mount the light in the umbrella on a light stand.
JILL S  I BELIEVE THIS PRODUCT IS DESIGNED ONLY FOR HOTSHOE SPEEDLIGHTS, NOT FOR PRO LIGHTING. ......EVEN WITH LITTLE SPEEDLIGHTS, ATTACHMENT WAS A CHALLENGE, AS YOU'LL SEE ON PHOTOGRAPHY THREADS. SORRY I COULDN'T HELP!
Shopper  I just received this and an Alien Bee strobe. Question is about the Sock on this - I pull it over the strobe as far as I can. The opening on the sock is not quite large enough to entirely lay on the strobe casing, causing a small portion of the sock to be very close or touching the flash bulb. Should I be worried about a fire hazard? Anyone else using the Alien Bee with this? Thanks Very Much!
GALE Z  I do--I stretched out the cuff to pull the sock completely over the strobe casing, so the alienbee is entirely within the umbrella and diffuser, and the cuff is lossely around the umbrella st. It makes it a little fidgety to access the controls on the strobe, which are now completely behind the sock cuff but otherwise works fine. I would not use it with the strobe close to or touching the cuff--it seems dangerous and also I don't think it'd create the kind of light effect I want from this modifier.
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