Photek SL5000S 46" Softlighter, Diffusing Umbrella with Black Cover, 7mm Thick Shaft.

Photek Softliter: Picture 1 thumbnail Photek Softliter: Picture 2 thumbnail Photek Softliter: Picture 3 thumbnail Photek Softliter: Picture 4 thumbnail

List Price: $125.00

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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 adds 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

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Lightweight (46),Reliable (35),Consistent (27),Easy to setup (26),Durable (12),Easy to set up (9),Easy to use (9),Attach securely (5),Good color value (5)
Best Uses:
Portraits (47),Strobe lighting (31),Photography (26),Artificial lighting (20),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 (15),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.

Photek Softliter Specifications

Overall Length
Tip-To-Tip Diameter
Total Light Area
11.05 SQ. FT.
Mfr #

Photek Softliter Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 62 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


I love this product!

I love this umbrella. It is easy to set up and when folded takes up very little space. The reflected light is just right every time. The ONLY issue I have is the the opening of thesock does not fit over the housing of my strobe completely. While the sock stretches, the actual opening in the diffuser is not large enough to encase the housing, which makes it a bit difficult to keep the sock off the bulbs.

Reviewed by 62 customers


Great little modifier


from Los Angeles, CA  -  Pro Photographer

I use this for location lighting for a single or two-person portrait outside. This is the perfect size for an assistant to hold or to hang over a boom. It doesn't get caught in the wind as easily as the bigger sized modifiers. It's easy to transport and the light from this is really nice.


My best Adorama purchase ever


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.


Must have for Gorgeous Soft Light


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.


As good as they say!


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.


Purchased in 2008 Hardly USED IT BROKEN


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.


Excellent product & great value!


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.




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.


Big & Beautiful


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.


Good product, Good Quality


from Nashville, TN  -  Semi-Professional

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


Very Soft Light


from Washington, DC  -  Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Great for large source portrait light


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Elliott C  I read that the 7mm thick shaft on the 60" Photek Softlighter is not detachable (a portion of the 5mm shaft unscrews to enable putting the softlighter close to the person being photographed). Is this also the situation for the 46" Softlighter with 7mm shaft?
MICHAEL H  Elliot sorry was referring to the 69" Softlighter II.
dan v  Can one use this with a mono light or strobe?
DALE H  Yes. I use one on a Photogenic powerlight and I use one on an Elinchrom Ranger.

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