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on December 3, 2013
Works as advertised- but its definitely not made to withstand anything other than occasional use. I have been using it with three bent ribs because they are so thin.
If its used gently (open it gently- the ribs will bend if you're too aggressive) and always indoors it will work great for you. However, if you're a pro (or aspire to be) skip this product and buy a Westcott Apollo: its 3x the price but will be able to take the daily use and last much, much longer.
0Comment19 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 15, 2015
amazing softbox for the money great for the price great for full length portraits or head shoots cast very even light shoot with and set up it in seconds and set it down with my pocket wizard plus III work great only thing I wish the softbox could shoot at other angels
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0Comment13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 23, 2013
It is really cool thst you can use this umbrella softbox not just with a speedlite but witha monolight as well. I initially bought for easy portability and setup for location shoots but Ive been using it in my studio as well with alien bees B800. Excellent results!
0Comment13 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 15, 2013
I really like the price and light quality, however it's durability is questionable. It tipped over in the wind into a shrub and bent a rod. It's still workable, but to have that happen on my first shoot was slightly disappointing.

The other knock is that it takes a considerable amount of time to setup compared to some other "instant" softboxes that pop up with the screen in place. You have to go around each of the 8 segments and push the velcro to connect for both the white scrim and black grid. So it's not something you can just put together in 15 seconds between locations on a wedding day. More like a "setup and carry as one piece" type of thing
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on February 7, 2014
Alright- here's the deal. This is a great little unit. The fact that it opens up like an umbrella is SO convenient. Takes 2 seconds to pop up or tear down. It's also nice and taught. However, I have a few issues with it. First off, the shaft to mount it is very short. I would have preferred a slightly longer shaft that could then poke through the diffuser if you use it. IT would give a little more latitude to how close the flash is. (The diffuser is nice, and sturdy. Easy pop on and off.) You don't have to use the diffuser. It attaches with velcro around the edges. Your flash *could* be further from the unit itself had they included a slightly longer shaft.

The zippered slat to slide a light stand through is peculiar to me. As you can see, it is a good 6" long. The issue is that it goes backward toward the center of the umbrella. That would allow you to.......point it up. Not exactly useful. Having a light on a stand usually means you need to tilt it.....down. You cannot do that with the light stand through the slot. I personally don't slide the stand through the zippered slot. I just attach the diffuser at the top and pull it down the sides as far as I can in relation to where the stand catches it. It would have been more useful if the zipper zipped straight to the edge of the unit. In stead, it stops at the black "collar" around the front of the unit where the velcro strip is. I'm considering cutting through where the zipper is at the edge and then getting a couple of velcro strips to hold the slit shut when I don't need a light stand to poke through right there.

The unit itself is sturdy and is highly reflective in the interior. I've used it to make some very nice head shots and I would buy it again. For the price, you can't beat it. It even includes a case to slide it into to keep it from getting too beat up in your trunk. I think it will hold up well especially considering the fairly tough feeling material it's made out of. At this price, you won't really lose sleep if something happens to it anyway.

Don't forget however if you use a diffuser with this, you'll have to keep pulling it up to adjust your flash if you don't have expensive transceivers (ie- pocket wizards or phottix odins). That is the one advantage of more expensive (shoot through the back type) umbrella soft boxes. In those you have access to your flash and the whole unit is mounted from behind so you have more latitude with positioning. If you don't use the diffuser, there's really no issue. Just know the zipper is useless unless you're going to shoot with the box in a perfectly vertical position. (Or pointed up.) (also-this unit is for flasheads only- not studio strobes.....but I think anyone with studio strobes would know that.)

Would buy again.
77 comments11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 23, 2013
I've gotten good photos using this with a single Sony HVL-F43AM Sony Alpha System HVL-F43AM Flash Unit for Alpha DSLR and a silver reflector.

You'll have to mount this on a stand extension with a swivel head under it to get much tilt out of it. The swivel on the umbrella adapter just doesn't move much inside of this softbox.

A boom arm might work too.
44 comments10 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 4, 2014
The package arrived on time.
The umbrella feels cheap, but it is in relation to price.
The light quality is not good ... it has a good spread of light is concentrated at one point. The contrast was very noticeable in my tests and that does not help me in my photos.
I think it's better to spend a little more and buy a better quality product.
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on April 29, 2014
I have to admit I was skeptical at first of the claims of this softbox turning a speedlight into a "big light". I'm pleasantly surprised to say I was wrong. It turns my Yongnuo YN-560 II into a HUGE studio light!! Just from a few test shots I can see only needing 1/4 to 1/2 power at f4. This just goes to show you DON'T have to spend an arm and a leg to get very nice, professional results. My only complaint is there are no instructions included. If it weren't for the product photos on Amazon I'll still be trying to figure out how to put it together. Highly recommend. :)
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on November 27, 2012
This octobox is one of the easiest I have found to set up. It is basically an umbrella internally that pops open in which you put on a stand. Put a speedlight or strobe in it and you're good to go!

It gives off an amazingly soft large light source which makes for a great fill light for outdoor or environmental portraiture, or wedding portraiture.

All around this is a great product from cowboy Studios, . it seem well built and very east set up and take down

Great value, for great products, just what photography needs.

Yes, I would recommend this to a friendCowboyStudio Pro 30-Inch Octagon Umbrella Speedlite Softbox for Nikon Canon Flash Light
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on April 26, 2015
This softbox is a really great deal! If you have a compact enough speedlight AND an adjustable umbrella mount, this unit will work beautifully!

Because it's on the small side (it is for speedlights, after all...) you'll likely want to use it as a secondary lighting (highlighting, low 'fill' lighting, etc.) source and not your primary light. Unless it's at night, and you've got a TTL cord (thus being able to control the power of your light!) then using it as a main will work pretty good!

These are a couple of shots I did on prom night I used my little SB-500 with this softbox, set at about 7 feet, with me shooting from under it (short cord!) and they didn't turn out too bad. I set it to TTL, and they were about 12 feet away. The soft focus on my subjects was due to their distance and my lack of skill with manual focus at night! ;)

My only complaint is the same as many others; I can't get much forward tilt out of this. But honestly, this setup isn't meant to be your primary, so it's a really great option to the MUCH more expensive setups. You could pay three times more, but will your shots be three times better...?
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