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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2014
See my video review here for a closer look!

What a great product! For less than $22 you can get a terrific portable and easy to assemble softbox. The results and performance is similar to a regular large softbox except that it requires just a fraction of the time to assemble. Here is my list of pros and cons:

Pros:
- Inexpensive.
- Extremely easy to assemble.
- Good performance. Almost as good as a regular softbox.
- Lightweight.
- Very portable.
- Good quality materials.
- Can be used with Alienbees or speedlights (see my video).
- Fast shipping through Amazon (and Prime elegibile).

Cons:
- Only one layer of diffusion (most regular softboxes have two).

I have used this brolly box for a couple of shoots and I'm very happy with the results so far. The lighting is soft and easily gets rid of most shadows. Very impressive!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2012
I upgraded from standard umbrellas because this help to diffuse the light much better and there is a lot less wasted light because it is contained in the brolly. These have stood but to the wind and have bent many times but have never broken nor ripped. I recommend them to anyone out there and i plan on ordering more or an even bigger size when the time comes. There really do help reduce harsh light on your subject.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2012
I just received my Cowboy Studio 43" Brolly Box. I have a couple of other Cowboy Studio umbrellas and did expect this to be about the same: cheap, yet (barely) functional. Actually, this one is considerably better than the others. My other two umbrellas have hollow shafts, which tend to crush when you tighten down the screws. This one has a solid shaft. The others have cheap plastic sleeves to store them. This one has a black fabric carrying sleeve with a Velcro close (though cramming the diffuser into it is not that easy). In general, it's a solid and good quality product that works so much better than just a shoot through umbrella for those of us who don't have the space or money for a true soft box.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2014
Cons:
1) Not much. It's round and I prefer a rectangular catchlight in the eyes, but that's a small issue for the tradeoff.
2) Wasn't designed to take an eggcrate (that I can tell, anyways).

Pros:
1) Very portable. No speed rings or any other non-sense to deal with. It folds down just like a regular umbrella, something you can't do with a softbox of this surface area size. Comes with its own little case so things don't hook on it like an exposed umbrella would, even if it had a little strap to close the fabric. This is much better and faster cuz you don't have to line up the fabric.
2) Reliable. I've dropped it once while in full-setup mode with the flash and stand inserted and everything. Fell about 8 feet down to grass, but directly perpendicular to the stem. Hard to describe, but basically, the worst way to drop this. One of the inner arms bent. I just reached in and bent it back. Hasn't been an issue.
3) Price. A softbox of this size would be much much much much more expensive.
4) Quality. Unlike some of the other brolly boxes that are MORE expensive, this one works by inserting just like a regular photo umbrella, which means YOU CAN ADJUST THE ANGLE. It's ridiculous that some of the others don't allow you to angle down. That would a giant deal breaker.
5) Quality of light. Seems pretty even to me but I honestly don't nitpick over that kind of thing often cuz I shoot outdoors on the go and fast. The size of the umbrella dimensions are true to advertisement.

Conclusion: One of the those game-changers the Chinese have been bringing to photography ever since they've entered the market. This kind of brolly box used to be sooooooo overpriced. Just get it. I've stopped used my softbox that takes ~8 minutes to setup and break down and isn't nearly as transportable and was 3x the price and was SMALLER. This is so cheap I don't even care about taking care of it and can focus on being creative and just bang it up, I don't care.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I ordered it with low expectations. I was very surprised the color is consistent with my Alien Bees, and the build quality is on par with my Paul Buff umbrellas at half of the price. I will definately be a cowboy studio customer in the future. I was so pleased I ordered the shoot thru as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
This brolly box is great quality and price! It's SIGNIFICANTLY brighter (at least a full stop) than a regular black and white umbrella. Couple this with the Cowboystudio 1200 Watt Photography, Video, and Portrait Studio Umbrella Continuous Lighting Kit With Four 85 Watt, 5500K Day Light Balanced CFL bulbs, Black and White Reflective Umbrellas, Stands, and Carrying Case and you'll have some GREAT lighting for video! Check out my (8bitDigitalTV) review of this combo on YouTube!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2011
I got the brolly box for my studio. I received an unopened, brand new item in great condition. The 43" did exactly what I hope for.

It distributed the light perfectly for my shots. I am very pleased and will definitely recommend this company to other photographers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2013
I was looking for a large softbox for more wrap arounnd lighting than my boxes were providing. This 43" fills the bill well. It isn't heavy duty by any means but it does a good job of spreading and softening the light. The inside is reflective so light isn't wasted. Great for transporting. It's easy to set up, no needing to mess with rings or velcro strips. No user manual but unless you don't know how to open and close an umbrella, you're golden. I would like to see this in a larger diameter.

I didn't find the shaft length to be a problem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2014
This produces a nice catch light and works well as a roundish softbox. As with most cowboy studio products its not too cheap as to be worthless but also not made with extremely durable materials. If your using this kind of thing day in and day out you might want something stronger. If this is a once a week shooting accessory it should hold up just fine.
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on March 23, 2015
I have number of umbrellas and have used, broken and replaced these things over the last few years. I found these brolly box to be more diffused than regular shoot through umbrella or bouncing from an umbrella as the diffuse panel seem to make the light softer. I've used these from doing regular portraits to newborn photography which came out with flattering lights with no harsh shadow.

Currently I use the light stand (same as Impact) by Paul C Buff with OM-18 full aluminum umbrella adapter bought here on Amazon. The flash used are Yongnuo YN560II's and the setup isn't difficult at all. You do have to stretch the outer diffuser a bit to get the flash head inside. Of course once it's in, it's a bit tedious to adjust the flash power if you don't have a way to control it remotely. You probably can make it so the diffuser is resting on top of the head and exposing the menu but it seems to have a strong elastic and didn't want to chance ripping the fabric or stressing the flash head.

This umbrella pops out like regular umbrella and while the build is good, I wouldn't say it's a pro grade either. Not a diffuser you want to drop so I would make sure to weigh down the light stand. I've destroyed two umbrellas in the past with a light fall. The weakest point is always on the outer arms that are often thin material.

Rambling on but it's a great diffuser. Get this brolly box close to the subject for a very soft light. If you want something softer I would probably get a bigger umbrella (like the 72") or consider other softbox but this should diffuse the light plenty. Just be sure for any portrait work to use it relatively close to the subject if you want the softest lighting (and be careful with the stem sticking out...)
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