Savage Product Pro Led Light Table Review
Lighting for your small products
Like many of us over time, we may want to replace our equipment with newer stuff and have a need to place ads on any of the many internet sites that offer the service. As you know having excellent product pictures goes a long way in quickly selling your products - It makes the experience for potential buyers more pleasing. Sure, there are plenty of ways to take adequate photos of used gear - but do you want a reliable way to adjust lighting to enhance the products? or light key areas of interest? If so the following product may be of interest to you.
As a bonus, I added my thoughts on how to convert this table to a wireless flash table.
As a note, there are two sizes to choose from a 15 x 15 " model and the 22 x 22-inch version.
What do you get in the box:
(1) LED light table with power source
(1) Accessory tray
(4) Rechargeable 36 bulb LED lights
(4) AC Power cords for charging lights
(4) Diffuser socks
(4) 20” Flexible arms
(1) Nylon protective sleeve for transport and storage
How well does it work:
I had no problems with my setup and use of the lighting system. The flexible light arms allow you to adjust the LEDs to many positions suitable for your desires and lighting needs. As far as for usability it works as advertised. One nice feature is the dim-able light table base by holding your finger on the flush mounted switch, this is nice for obvious reasons. I find the Savage Product Pro LED Light Table simple to setup and use and when things are simple you tend to use them more and that said I will be using it quite often around the house.
The other uses may be beneficial for the Macro photography folks, I fell this product has potential in that area as well. It is not intended for large objects or wide shots due to the open design. This limits your placement and size of your products - trying to keep the black arms out of your shots may also be challenging. Other semi-enclosed seamless solutions may be a better cheaper alternative - link below. But this one works well for small objects.
What I liked:
Ease of use and setup, the included soft light diffusers for each LED and dim-able light table base.
Now for the rest of the story:
Be advised there are a few irritations with the product. Like the non-user replaceable battery for the LEDs. So as battery life goes you may be finding the need to replace the entire Led head. The second irritation is the Charging system in general for the LEDs, you need individual power sources, this is simply stupid and adding the 5th power source to power the table means you need an outlet that supports five power supplies. Secondly, the power cables are not integrated into the arms and cable management with 5 dangling wires + your user supplied and needed extension cord can cause for some feet in the loop situations. This is my biggest complaint - Too many power sources, nonreplaceable LED batteries and the charging time for the LEDs takes hours. (read my final thoughts how I modified to wireless flash below)
Savage should re-think how power is provided to the system in a more elegant way - all the wires routed up to the LEDs look dated. One saving grace is the LEDs are chargeable and can run continuously if needed without the need for power being applied - but don't expect hours of use, mine ran down in about 30 minutes following a recharge. Charging your LEDs once again you need to plug each light into separate power chargers and find somewhere to plug 4 into AC outlets, with charging taking a couple hours.
The power management could easily be addressed by adding a power panel at the light base near each arm, and simply adding coiled cables that encircle the arms and plug into the base - Duh!
The build quality is kind of sketchy, I had the feeling while I was putting it together that something was going to break, although it never happened. The LEDs are low quality plastic with a base that screws into the 20" arms and if I am not mistaken they will mount on a camera flash shoe as well. The lighted base seems adequate and solid, in fact, it is the heaviest part of the setup, rightfully so. I am not 100% certain but the base looks to be made from two sheets of plexiglass separated by Led strips running around the edge. The product is overall comprised of plastics which I do not have high confidence in for the long haul, the only metal is the arms.
Out of the box the flexible arms work, however, based on my experience, over time, and use, the metal will become fatigued, stretched and weakened causing difficulty in placing the lights exactly where you need them without sagging. I have yet to have a light using these types of the arm that did not become limp - time will tell. Why they went with black arms and not white is beyond me, or just have the arms on separate bases allowing you to place the arm anywhere and not locked to each corner.
LED Light Output:
Using my Sekonic 858 light meter I measured the total lighting and found the LEDs to have adequate light output. The LEDs are bright enough and provide adequate light for static subjects - after all, you have your cameras ISO settings if you find yourself needing the extra speed. My Sekonic shows at ISO of 200 @ f5.6 I can get a shutter speed of about 1/100s plenty fast enough for stuff not running or moving. BUT, light fall off must be considered and the further the lights are on the subject you will need to bump up the ISO or shoot at lower shutters and apertures, and this is why I adapted my wireless flash.
LED Lighted Base: This is probably the best part of the product, solid, firm and dim-able. There is some flexing if you move the table around but should not pose a problem when setting up in your work location.
In My Summary:
Love hate for this product - To me it seems not much thought went into the product and was piece milled; as an example of that, the power management was given no thought by the manufacturer whatsoever, and seems the thought was just toss some stuff in a box and sell it without any consideration on a better-engineered solution. Annoying to say the least based on the price you pay. Simple DC ports at the base could have been implemented for a few dollars.
The cost for what you get is high @ over $220.00 for the 15 x 15" model; Using the internet search I found retail prices and broke down each component, like the LEDs, BETTER ones retail for about $8.00 each, the lighted base one could make for about $50.00; or buy a 24" one on Amazon for $80.00, you can flexible arms for about $40.00 total. So, I did not understand why the high cost, especially for an mfg who does not pay retail prices to make the product and most of this setup, is cheaply made.
Adapted for flash use
Show here is the RRS adapters and the Nikon SB-R200s attached.
If you need a small lighted led product table and do not mind paying the price go for it - Otherwise make your own or take a serious Google search dive - like this one.
One final thought:
Because the flexible arms allow for attaching 1/4 inch screw on items, I purchased 4 Really Right Stuff FA-QR200 adapters for my Nikon SB-R200 Wireless Speedlights which I also own. If you have not seen Nikon's SB-R200s and Nikon's R1C1 macro setup, take a look, link below. Now with the adapters, I can use LED or traditional remote flash. Additionally, I went ahead and purchased a 1 to 4 extension cord providing 5 outlets to plug all the adapters into and keep it tucked under the table where I work so when I use the setup as a Led table it will help with the wiring challenges as mentioned. Otherwise, I will use it primarily as a wireless remote flash setup which for me is the better method.
The future: I plan on replacing this setup with the following;
LitEnergy 24.3 Inch Diagonal A3 LED Portable Light Table for Tracing ($80.00)
(4) White OxyLED OxyRead T34 Dimmable Eye-Care LED Desk Lamp, Clip-On Book Light, Flexible Gooseneck Table Light, 2 Brightness Level & 3 Light Color, White ($15.00 ea = $60.00)
| Cheaper Replacement using off the shelf products
| Lighted 24" dim-able table
||Flexible Led USB chargeable lights with power ports