There are times when you wish to manipulate light sources but don’t always have the luxury of having an assistant to position and hold a reflector. The Impact 42″ 5-in-1 Reflector with Lightstand and Holder Kit comes in handy during such situations, as it allows you to tinker with different lighting angles, position the reflector, lock it in place, and carry on with your shoot. It is like having an assistant when one is not available (albeit a rather silent one!). It also comes in handy when it is not convenient to take multiple lights with you on a photo shoot. The reflector kit can act as a “second light” by maximizing the effects of a single light.
1) Initial Thoughts
Once again, Impact has done a good job of combining a few of their quality products into a useful kit at a value-based price.
2) Product Specifications
Impact 5-in-1 Collapsible Circular Reflector Disc – 42″
Size Open: 42″ (106cm)
Size Closed: 14″ (36cm)
Surfaces: Translucent, Silver, Gold, Silver-Gold, White
Impact Multiboom Light Stand and Reflector Holder – 13′ (4m)
Minimum Height: 40″ (102 cm)
Maximum Height: 13′ (4 m) as light stand
9 ft (2.7 M) as boom stand
Closed Length: 40″ (102 cm)
Footprint Diameter: 36″ (91 cm)
Leg Tip: 20mm
Weight : 6 lbs (2.7 kg)
Maximum Load: 5 lbs (2.3 kg) as light stand
3 lbs (1.4 kg) as boom stand
Attachment Size: 5/8 in stud with 1/4″-20 in threaded tip
Clamps: 2 (hold reflector or other light modifiers)
Accepts Wheels: Yes
Air Cushioned: No
Finish: Matte black
2) Features And Construction
John Bosley reviewed the reflector’s larger 52″ brother some time ago. The reflector in this kit is 10 inches smaller but includes 2 additional surfaces – a gold and gold-silver combination. This Impact 42″ reflector appears to be built as solidly as the others I have from Wescott and Lastolite. The core translucent base and frame are well made. The seams are solidly constructed. The zippers open and close smoothly without any catches.
Nasim also reviewed this lightstand as a stand-alone item. Like all Impact lightstand offerings, it is solidly built. It is much smaller and lighter than my other multiboom stands, some of which weigh upwards of 23 lbs. Multiboom stands are incredibly flexible, but due to their size and weight of many of them, most are not very practical for trips outside the studio. This Impact stand, however, is far more attractive option if you need to transport your gear. The Impact stand multiboom arm retracts into the center of the stand so as to help minimize its size. It is a slick design that gives you all the advantages of a normal lightstand, plus the added flexibility of a boom arm.
This multi-surface reflector operates as most others. Pop it open, select the colored sleeve you want to use, slide it over, and zip it up. Despite reading Nasim’s review, I wondered how well this lightweight stand would perform holding the huge 42″ reflector, particularly with the arm extended and positioned at a 45 degree angle. I extended the stand to approximately 9 feet (I had to tilt it sideways since our ceilings are only 7 feet), angled it at a 45 degree angle, and attached the reflector. I half expected it to topple over, but it didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this little stand supported a load so far from its base. As long as you position one leg parallel to the boom arm, this stand will easily support the weight of this reflector. If I were to extend the arm any further than 9 feet, I would likely add a 10-15 lb sand bag for additional security. I consider it good practice to add sandbags even when I am comfortably within the weight limits for multiboom arms since it makes little sense to take a risk with either your lighting equipment – or your customers! This lightstand could easily serve double-duty by holding a speedlight for portraits as well.
One of my favorite tricks with reflectors is to position a flash, such as the SB-900 on the floor or a small table and aim it into the reflector to create a sunrise/sunset or moonglow effect.Since John and Nasim already showcased some beautiful portraits taken with similar reflectors and stands, I thought I would try something a bit different, using one of my not-so-regular models. As you can see below, this kit did a good job of helping me with my “Gargoyle In The Moonlight” shots! ;)
4) What’s In The Box?
- Impact Multiboom Light Stand and Reflector Holder – 13′ (4m)
- Impact 42″ 5-in-1 Reflector with Lightstand and Holder Kit
5) Quality and Value
This reflector and stand are as well-built as those from the brand name manufacturers. At $114.50, this kit is attractively priced. Similar kits from competitors such as Interfit and Wescott range from ~$75 to $210. While you can pay slightly less, you will find that the associated light stands only extend to ~8′ – a good 5′ less than the Impact’s 13′ height. I would opt for this kit because of the additional height offered by the stand. Additional flexibility usually comes in handy. If taken care of, this kit should last you a lifetime.
6) Suggested Improvements
I normally find something worth suggesting in my equipment reviews, but I struggled to find anything worth noting with this kit.
If you are getting into product photography and want to do so without busting your photography budget, this Impact kit is an excellent choice. The kit offers a very solid value compared to offerings from Lastolite, Wescott, Interfit, and others. In particular, the 5′ of additional stand height tip the balance (no pun intended!) in favor of this kit.
8) Where To Buy
You can find the Impact 42″ 5-in-1 Reflector with Lightstand and Holder Kit at B&H Photo.