Sunday, May 27, 2012
(Edit: It would appear that this softbox by Phottix is no longer available in the U.S., so the only option to get one of these may be via EBay. Otherwise, the Apollo 24" softbox is nearly identical, although it costs a little more.)
There's a new kid in town!
Are you in the market for a softbox for your speedlights but not sure what to buy? With all of the choices out their nowadays it can be a bit daunting because over the last few years the market has been flooded with all types of modifiers for speedlights with every kind of design, feature and price tag you can imagine. However I have to say, after experimenting with many of these new products, I think I may have found a new favorite!
Phottix Easy-Up Softbox, made by a company that is already producing a lot of cool photography tools at very affordable prices! The Phottix Easy-Up softbox is a 28" softbox built on an umbrella frame that folds down just like any standard umbrella which takes minimal room in just about any gear bag. It produces a directional, soft quality of light, that comes with a front diffusion panel and also (perhaps my favorite detail) an included egg-crate grid!
Frio coldshoes on all of my adapters for an extra secure fit.
egg crate grid for maximum shape and control of the light! Most softboxes on the market don't come with grids so this is a very welcome addition. Not only can it be hard to find grids for some softboxes, but sometimes the grid themselves can cost as much as the softbox itself! The included grid simply velcros in to the recessed front right over the diffusion face.
So how about the quality of light from the Phottix? Well I have to say after initial testing and also using it on two assignments already, I'm very impressed! It produces a really nice, rich quality of light with little specularity on your subjects. Also, by having the recessed front, its very easy to feather the softbox away from your subject so that you can create a more wrapping light with a noticeable edge. The size of this softbox also makes it perfect for portraits, headshots, 3/4 poses and can even be used for full-length poses albeit with a little fall off of light.
The Phottix also appears to be a rather efficient light modifier barely using a stop of light with the diffusion fabric on with no noticeable color casting. In this series of photos you can see the quality of light it produces by noticing the highlight to shadow transfer areas, the minimal lack of specular reflections and also how using the grid can really create a more dramatic look.
you can find in this post. In order to mount this softbox to a light stand, you have to run the stand up through a zippered slot in the bottom of the softbox. Because of this design, you get very limited mobility when try to tilt the softbox up or down. If you're using an assistant then this isn't so much of a problem as they can tilt the softbox for you, but if you're shooting by yourself, as many of us often do, this can be a frustrating problem when it comes to getting the softbox in the exact position you need.
Ok, if you've made it this far, I have probably saved the best detail about this softbox for last. The Phottix Easy-Up Umbrella Softbox is literally half the price of its next closest competitor and that's including the grid!!! HALF THE PRICE! That is a steal if you are in the market for one of these, so much so that you may want to run out and get two or three!
Hopefully this review was helpful and if anyone has any questions, just give me a shout! Now time to go play with this thing... see you next time!