58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
Good tool for the strobist,
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This review is from: CowboyStudio Photo / Video 24in Large Speedlite Flash Softbox with L-Bracket, Shoe Mount and Carry Case (Camera)
It's a softbox, not super complicated. If you're in the market for a softbox, you already know the deal; more control and efficiency than an umbrella, in exchange for higher cost and a slightly more complicated setup. You can compare this with similar units made by Lastolite, Alzo, Adorama, and numerous eBay sellers.
At 24" square, it's a useful size,and significantly larger than a lot of the 16 and 20 inchers you see out there. Works well for single person head and shoulders portraits, or a soft hair light. Or my personal favorite, pull it back a bit and use it as a full body edge/rim light.
- Cost. This is one of the cheaper 24" hotshoe softboxes out there.
- Weight/Packed size. Softbox itself folds like a reflector, and it's very small indeed when you're done (especially with compared to a 24" monolight softbox). The bracket , the ring, and the ballhead stand mount, add some bulk, but not considerably so. I usually carry it in my lighting bag, but I can throw it in the top compartment of my Lowepro Fastpack with a flash and a compact lightstand in the side pouch, and have a capable, compact, lightweight kit.
- Softbox quality - So far, the softbox itself seems to be made from sturdy, quality materials.
- Quality as a light modifier - Works pretty well. Makes your hotshoe flash capable of making fairly soft, even light (see caveat below) on location. I was worried about spill from the back, but it seems well controlled.
- As mentioned, the ballhead stand mount is flimsy. It's easily replaced with something better, but that adds to the cost.
- The bracket is well sized to hold a flash, but not so much a flash on top of a radio trigger. The 1/4-20 screw is a bit long for the screw socket on CTR 301 triggers (I'd assume their screw insert is standard depth) and there's a stud on the bracket that blocks the trigger's forward travel, and thus perhaps your ability to get the flashhead into the opening. Don't get me wrong, it works, but is a bit fiddly. And of course that varies by the strobe and triggers used.
- Accessory quality - As with ballhead the above, this is obviously where some money was saved. While having a pouch for the softbox and a case for the whole kit is nice, that stuff is made out of very thin nylon with flimsy zippers. With any level of use/abuse i'm sure it will disintegrate. But as they say, TANSTAAFL.
- Single diffusion panel. It's fine under most circumstances, and with a hot shoe flash power is at a premium, so you'd probably only use a single panel most of the time anyway. But you will get some hotspots.
- No instructions. This is the biggest weakness. If you don't already have an idea about how these things typically work, you'll fumble a bit. And refolding is quite tricky (at least for me) at first. A simple 1 page instruction sheet would be a huge improvement
Even with these caveats I still think this is a good deal, provided you know what you're getting. I intend to buy another.
Tracked by 6 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 25, 2010 10:37:39 PM PST
Paul Ruggeri says:
Do you think the ring will fit (and support the weight of) two Vivitar 285HV flash units?
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2011 4:31:40 AM PST
R. Whiten says:
No. A 285 head won't fit inside the ring. Therefore two would be impossible.
Posted on Feb 25, 2011 6:26:18 PM PST
Dennis Hinkamp says:
Good review: have you tried any continuous lighting with these? That's why I opted for the 24 instead of the 12 inch, I thought I might use it for video lighting as well.
Posted on Apr 9, 2011 3:51:54 AM PDT
Joseph J. Taibi says:
Mine arrived with an inner diffuser in the package. It has little metal clips at the corners to attach it inside the soft box (as opposed to the usual velcro tabs) but it's pointless because there are no corresponding attach points inside the soft box itself!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2011 4:01:07 AM PDT
Joseph J. Taibi says:
The 285 can be made to fit. Instead of mounting it first to the bracket and pointing the flash head through the ring (where, as you pointed out, it won't quite fit) First put one side if the 285 head through the hole at a 45 degree or so angle and move it over and slide in the other side. At this point you can slide it into the shoe on the bracket! I managed to do this even with the cowboy tall remote attached but the bracket is at the very top of its reach and you have to get the angle on the cowboy receiver bracket just right!
Posted on Jun 8, 2011 8:10:20 PM PDT
A. Graves says:
Great review. What did you use to replace the ball mount? I can't even get my softbox to stand still. As tight as I can possibly make the ballhead joint, it still eventually sinks down.
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 9, 2011 2:45:48 PM PDT
R. Whiten says:
Bought this: Giottos MH1304-110C Professional Mini Ball Head
Working pretty good so far.
Posted on Oct 29, 2011 11:20:19 AM PDT
Check out the Neewer 24" 60*60cm Portable Professional Softbox Kit for Flash before purchasing this one!!!
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2011 5:37:24 PM PST
Great catch Henry ... the Neewer looks like what I am looking for. Neewer 24" 60*60cm Portable Professional Softbox Kit for Flash Speedlite
Posted on Apr 30, 2013 8:17:15 AM PDT
I have a question (please don't mind me since I'm an amateur). How would you fit the rectangular speedlight (Nikon SB700) into a circular fitting of the soft box ???