Most helpful positive review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great Stripbox for Speedlights
on June 18, 2013
This is a really nice product for people working with speed lights. I do a lot of food photography on location and sometimes on the fly and needed a good strip panel that was easy to transport, use, and put away. This is it. (Thus the name Rapid I suppose). It folds up nicely and compactly in the included carrying bag, and opens like an umbrella. It goes right on to the standard stud of a light stand with the included bracket. Attach your flash and you are ready to take pictures. No fighting with the typical speed rings and soft box ribs (ugh!). I modified a Buff stripbox to use with my speed lights but it was way too heavy and big for my purposes. This one is the right size and weight. The attached speed ring allows for 360 degree rotation.
A couple of tweaks would make this a perfect accessory. Without the optional deflector ($10.00 U.S.), when the strip is in the vertical position (perpendicular to the speed light), it gets a serious hot spot on the diffusion panel. If Westcott would include the deflector or a secondary diffusion panel, the hot spot would improve considerably. Given the price of this box, it should be a given. The deflector eats a stop of light or two but vastly improves evenness and softness. The product description (on Amazon) says, "A silver reflector is sewn into the back of the diffusion panel to reduce the hot spot", but not in the panel I got. I spent the $10.
There is no lock to hold the box open. The instructions say to open and twist slightly after it is on the spindle. But it still slides off (with significant pressure from the outside). It's not a deal breaker, but as the box ages and does not have as much tension on the spindle I think it will be more of a problem. Again, given the cost and the otherwise great design, it seems like an oversight.
Given other models I've seen I'd buy this one again. With a reduction in price, a fix for the hot spot, and a lock to keep it open it would get 5 stars.