andoer lights

I bought an Andoers Studio kit from TomTop, and am happy with my purchase.

You pays for whats you gets, and I paid cheap. In fact, I paid half the price of much the same on Amazon; not exactly a difficult feat, admittedly. The kit is perfectly good, and does what it says on the tin. It comes with two softboxes and two white brollies, all with stands, plus lightholders and bulbs, three thick paper (I think) backgrounds with clips and stand, carry cases, and even some power cable tidies.

a portrait taken with the kit

The lights and their stands are fine. To my uneducated eyes, they appear to produce daylight, as you’ll see from the image of my brother–in–law. I am very happy with the softboxes and the light they produce. The only flaw is where I put them!

The kit includes a background cloth holder with white, grey and green cloth. The holder offers a full 3m width, which surprised me; I was expected about half that. The “cloth” is a bit cheap, in fact I think it’s paper. Even so, it behaves as it should, providing a perfectly good grey background. If I pursue portraiture, though, I’ll buy something better.

I’ve heard stories about stands from some suppliers being unstable, but these were fine. It probably helps that my wife and my brother–in–law hardly top five foot. You might have a problem if your portrait subjects tower over the local basketball team, in which case you may wish to invest in a couple of President Sarkozy’s boxes for the background stands.

I took that photo of W almost immediately after I’d unpacked the boxes. That’s why the background has fold marks. I’m not sure how to get rid of them, beyond leaving it up for a few days (which I can’t do in the flat).

There were no printed instructions. The kit itself is pretty easy to assemble; it’s obvious what goes where. Mind you, I’m one of those rare people who can understand IKEA instructions. Even so, I would have welcomed something, specifically on how to get rid of those folds. I don’t think I dare iron paper.

The carry cases are cheap and functional. They’ll be fine for occasional use. I’m a little concerned about the zip, though: it’s not exactly gargantuan. However, it should behave, with care and attention.

Many years ago, I had some Jessops’ Portaflash kit. They were legally stolen by bailiffs, after an English court decided it wasn’t worth informing me about a case, let alone worth bothering to hear my side of the argument, before passing a ‘fair & balanced’ judgement against me — such endemic corruption is one of the reasons I quit the UK. In consequence, I am effectively a newbie with lights. I think this kit is exactly what I need. It’s cheap, but sufficient to allow me to explore portraiture. If I find I really get into the subject, I’ll upgrade, probably starting with better backgrounds. If not, I’ve hardly wasted my money.

I must give a shout out to TomTop, who sold me the kit for £78 including P&P to Lux. There was an online issue with the card payment, about which they were rightly cautious: they contacted me personally to ensure everything was above board.

In summary, IMHO, this is an excellent beginners’ studio lights explorer kit.