We all know that Polaroid isn't really Polaroid anymore (although the latest change of hands brings it peripherally closer to home), but that's besides the point—at least for today. There's a new flash lighting kit from Polaroid that's formally called the Polaroid Pro Studio Digital Flash Umbrella Mount Kit, priced at $70 ($65 on Amazon). Before you start rolling your eyes, hear me out.
The kit includes two 6-foot, air-cushioned, heavy-duty, molded-aluminum light stands, which hold up to 15 pounds each. You'll also get two umbrellas with white satin interior and a removable black cover, two shoe-mount umbrella adapters that can accommodate most shoe-mount flashes and are adjustable for angling the flash guns. The entire kit, weighing 8.6 pounds, fits into a bundled carry bag.
If you're a pro, you likely have a ton of high-end lighting gear in your studio, but if you, or someone you know, is just starting out and is on a very tight budget, this kit could be a life saver.
Let's say you're doing a shoot in some remote location that you have to hike to, or someplace where the elements may wreak havoc on your expensive light stands; there's no reason not to take this kit. If the sand or mud or whatever else you encounter puts wear and tear on the stands or the umbrellas, so what? You can pick up a replacement Polaroid umbrella for $16. And if you want your second shooter to have their own flash lighting kit, the Polaroid kit won't make a dent in your budget—unless you're providing the flash guns, too.
I'm seriously considering buying one of these kits for when I travel up and down the east coast by train. I'm a sucker for gear that collapses, fits into a single carry bag, doesn't weigh much and has everything I need for shooting with a couple of flash guns. Polaroid may not be known for lighting gear, but at this price, you don't have a whole lot to lose.