View Full Version : ebay Strobes

16-07-2011, 7:26pm
Hi All,
Am lookling at getting a studio lighting setup from ebay. The ones that come from China, 3 x 300 w lights, softboxes, umbrellas etc. I see a few people on here have talked about buying them. What is the verdict from any one using these ? I am just after something to learn with initially and later down the track venture into a better setup if warranted.
Are these ok to use or a waste of money ???
Any feedback would be appreciated.....


I @ M
16-07-2011, 7:33pm
Simon, it might help to post a link to the item on e$ay as there are quite a few different kits available at differing prices. :)

17-07-2011, 12:33am
Andrew i would but have no idea how to do that !!! :confused013

Oh hang on, something like below if i did it correctly.


If you have any views either way would love to hear them before i make my sdecision....


17-07-2011, 2:02am
Andrew, you may have better knowledge of this stuff than i do. The link above i dont beleive the flash bulbs can be changed, ( i may be wrong ) Is it better going for something that can such as


It may work out a little more expensive up front buying everything seperately, but would it be better in the long run ???

Do the bulbs blow often ???

Most of this is new to me so sorry for all the questions.....


27-08-2011, 12:10am
Hi Simon - I see this thread appeared to have stalled. Did you make a decision and a purchase? Your links above don't seem to work, but I too have been looking at the 3x300W and other variation Chinese kits on ebay that go for around $400-500. Like you, as a beginner in studio work, I can't justify the $1000 plus price tags on the equipment you see in high street shops - something like this would be good as a starting point IF the strobes are powerful enough and the equipment is reasonable quality. I must admit - I hadn't thought about the strobe tubes blowing, but modelling light bulbs should be fairly easy to replace. I'd be interested to hear from you (or anyone else) if you've bought one of these cheapo kits.

28-08-2011, 12:40am
Hi Grumby,
Its funny that you have replied as you are correct it has stalled !!! I have decided to give the ebay strobes a miss as i feel that it would be money wasted that could go towards a reasonable set. Whilst i agree that it is cheap and prob good to start with and to gain some practise on ( as was my original thought ) , i really do think that with a purchase like this if you dont get a reasoble light that will give consistant results, one may be diassappointed and " lose interest" so to speak. This is something that i have great interest in and am looking more for a reasonable long term purchase. I think this is a better way to go. In saying that though i cant justify spending thousands, but 800 or so on something that you could at least replace bulbs and be somewhat servicable is i think a better long term solution. I have found a few kits that look reasonable from Aust suppliers that i would feel a little better spending my money with. Its funny that you reply to the thread as i have been sitting here for the last 2 nights researching alternative kits and am just about to make a purchase prob this week. Will let you know how i go with it all....


29-08-2011, 8:14pm
Cheers Simon - would be very interested to hear how you go, and what equipment you decide on. Good luck.

12-09-2011, 9:48pm
Hi Simon - did you get one of the strobe sets yet?

12-09-2011, 10:27pm
if it's the set I'm thinking of, I have that set and it's brilliant. It's not going to compare with the more expensive ones, but they certainly do the job well.. :th3:

12-09-2011, 10:47pm
One thing to check about the cheap units: Is the strobe replaceable and how do you get spares?

14-09-2011, 8:42am
Grumby i did but not one of the cheaper ebay strobes, it arrives soon... cant wait.

Kym is spot on here... all of the the cheaper strobe sets that i saw have non user replaceable strobes... you have to wonder just how long they will last and once the strobe does go... well really it is just a paperweight from there on..


14-09-2011, 8:48am
Grumby, here is the link to what i have purchased, i think it will see me through a fewe years of learning and has everything to experiment with to give me what i think will be a good foundation of lighting techniques. Once again, i know this is not a top of the line set but all bulbs are replaceable so its serviceable. Its also bowens mount so extra goodies are readily available. Its a little more money but really for a lighting kit i think its still quite cheap really, but overall reasonably good value.

Will do a bit of a reveiw once they arrive and let you know what i think if your interested....



JM Tran
14-09-2011, 11:47am
If I were in your position, I would have rather bought the Bowens twin 400ws kit for roughly the same price, it was down to $800 on special a few months ago. Much more reliability and consistency and much faster recycling.

Looking at these cheap strobes you bought, what really irked me was the 3 second recycling time at full power.....really? thats a life time if you are shooting a subject and making them wait when you are at max power - and 300ws into a softbox isnt that powerful so either you will only use it in a small studio or for head shots and half body only.

I mucked around with some Chinese strobes I bought last yr in Shanghai - 600ws Bowens compatible - recycling and everything worked fine and fast - but the Bowens mount was a faux one meaning my genuine Bowens stuff I use at home can slot in, but couldnt connect/click in to lock so that was disappointing - not all Chinese ones will be incompatible as some will be.

14-09-2011, 9:55pm
Jackie the specs on the lights show a recycle time of 1 sec, so maybe a typo on the front page ???? Either way these will be good to learn with and i can go from there in the future..


14-09-2011, 10:16pm
Cheers Simon - that looks like a great kit - pretty much 3 of everything! But $900 is way out of my budget, whether it makes sense or not. If the Chinese strobes are a bad idea due to their non-replaceable bulbs, then I'll have to revert to plan B which is a home-made constant light setup using halogen worklamps from Bunnings - not nearly so professional looking when you arrive at someone's home for a shoot :( but better than the 'nothing at all' I've got at the moment.

I'd still be very interested to hear your comments when your kit arrives, but I'm sure you'll be over the moon with it.
Good luck

JM Tran
15-09-2011, 1:19am
Jackie the specs on the lights show a recycle time of 1 sec, so maybe a typo on the front page ???? Either way these will be good to learn with and i can go from there in the future..


could be Simon, if its 1 sec recycle then thats music to my ears!

26-09-2011, 8:00am
Could be just typos - the front page also says a colour temp of 5800K but the specs page says 5600K. Simon - I've just been having another look (so sorely tempted and so jealous), and I can't see any mention of remote triggers and/or sync cables. One of the pictures shows what I assume is a remote trigger hanging from the strobe, but it doesn't look like they come in the package. Did yours arrive yet? Can you confirm?


04-10-2011, 12:08am
Grum The part you can see hanging from the strobe is a remote control for want of a better term, you can adjust the settings via the control pad rather than the back of the strobe. And yes triggers are included, they are listed in the Barn door and gel section from memory, al be it rather cheap ones.
No i dont have mine just yet, but am definitely counting down the days now.... should be less than 2 weeks to go, luckily i have beed absolutely flat out with work so tha waiting time has passed reasonably quickly.......

Will definitely let you know my thoughts once they do arrive......


05-01-2012, 11:35pm
Hi there Simon,

how are you finding the kit you purchased? I have been looking at the same kit and wanted some opinions before i laid down my hard earned.

any issues that have arisen? Your comments will really help me out thanks


06-01-2012, 7:27pm
Hi Simon...I'm really interested in how your kit has road-tested too...what's your feedback?

17-01-2012, 12:39am
Hi Guys, I havent really had a chance to use the lights a lot so far, work got crazy late last year and all things photographical had to take a back seat unfortunately:(. I have used them though and so far have nothing but praise. Everything works as it should, the lights do recycle VERY quickly, 1 sec or so at full power. All light modifiers ( soft boxes, umbrellas and beauty dishes ) seem reasonable quality, and overall no complaints really. I got 3 beauty dishes with mine so i have modified 2 so that i have 3 slightly different effects, just painted the inside of 1 white, left one as is etc. I would advise to do as i have and get a decent set of wireless triggers, the set comes with 1, and the rest are to be set to fire optically from that one, not really ideal.
Overall i think its a good kit for the price, pretty much everything you would need to get going, try a few things out and if its what you want to do maybe down the track buy some higher end gear if you think that what you need.
Oh and as a side note, the supplier i got mine from where great, excellent communication and always available for questions. I had a small issue when mine arrived, 1 phone call and it was sorted no questions asked and the missing item shipped to me immediately. Its nice to get good service these days.....
If there is anything in particular you are after, feel free to ask, only to happy to help where i can.... and sorry for the late reply, just moved house..... NOT FUN :D


17-01-2012, 1:25pm
my friend got some too, great value at that price