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Fast setup softbox?
  
 
Twistedimg
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Fast setup softbox?


Can anyone recommend a fast setup softbox that won't break the bank?

Would prefer at least 36". Has to be bowens mount.

I've seen the Wescott Rapid Box but not finding other options. There has to be others to consider. Maybe my googlefu is just weak today.



Sep 18, 2017 at 07:32 PM
Chris Court
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Fast setup softbox?


http://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/q32x48.htm

I don't have this box, but I have a couple of their parabolics and other modifiers, and they're pretty decent quality.

C



Sep 18, 2017 at 08:23 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Fast setup softbox?


I'm a big fan of the Rapid Box XL. It is a little pricey, and perhaps a little overpriced for what it is, but mine has been awesome and produces great light. It's my most used lighting modifier and I've thrown it into a checked bag cross-country multiple times and it's still rocking. The only thing that's gone wrong with one of mine has been burning the fabric because it got too close to a hot light during a shoot, but it still performed fine.

I also have the XXL (48"), 26" speedlite specific octa, 24" para beauty dish, a couple of the 12x36 strips and a couple of the 7ft para umbrellas and the 36" is still the one I reach for most often.



Sep 18, 2017 at 08:31 PM
Elijah
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Fast setup softbox?


I've owned them all, PCB, Westcott Rapid, Profoto, etc.

In my opinion, there's more to just having a soft box that sets up fast
I ended up with the Rotalux Elinchrom deep octa for a few reasons: it's still relatively easy to setup, most lightweight modifier on the market of its kind, durable, stylish and sexy.
I will say that the PCB and Rapid boxes & octas are a bit faster to setup but they're not what I just mentioned above.
Also, you still have to take the front diffusion panel off to setup a softbox so in reality, the Rotalux line might only take seconds longer to setup than other "fast setup" softboxes.

YMMV.







Sep 19, 2017 at 12:53 PM
Ryukyu
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Fast setup softbox?


Check out the Fotodiox EZ Pro octas and rectangular softboxes. I have the 36" and 48" octas and they setup quickly, and so far seem pretty well made.


Sep 19, 2017 at 01:35 PM
BSPhotog
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Fast setup softbox?


SMDV has some pretty nice dodecagon boxes that fold up fast, have steel rods, and a few different mounts available. As far as price, they are kind-of middle of the road. Not sure what budget you had in mind.



Sep 19, 2017 at 04:56 PM
GabrielPhoto
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Fast setup softbox?


BSPhotog wrote:
SMDV has some pretty nice dodecagon boxes that fold up fast, have steel rods, and a few different mounts available. As far as price, they are kind-of middle of the road. Not sure what budget you had in mind.


I have Westcott boxes and had the XXL but I was as well going to recommend the SMDV A90 which is 36" and I love that is very round not octabox. Extremely well built too. Of course you can also try a Fotodiox EZ Pro or even their Beauty Dish which are semi easy to open as well (I have their 56")
All these shots were done with the SMDV A90:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1509245

Good luck!



Sep 20, 2017 at 01:04 AM
rico
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Fast setup softbox?


From a folded position on the floor, my Chimera Medium Pro Plus II is mountable onto a strobe in 30s flat. The trick is using the Chimera quick-release speedring, and keeping the two diffusers attached. For some, this combo will break the bank but I prioritize build quality and personal safety.


Sep 20, 2017 at 02:26 AM
sungphoto
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Fast setup softbox?


I'd add that you might also want to think about longer term company support and warranty. Even the best light modifiers will fail at some point depending on how heavily you use it.

I had an issue with my 24" westcott beauty dish (the new one that has the 16 rib design) where a rivet popped out because I use it quite a bit on location, and they sent me a new one no questions asked after I sent them a photo. They paid for shipping both ways, and didn't hassle me at all with the support request. It may have something to do with the fact that I have a lot of westcott modifiers, but still was impressed.

If you don't use it much, then I think the cheaper modifiers will produce totally acceptable light, but if you plan on using it a lot I'd consider it a work investment. As the saying goes; "buy cheap, buy twice".



Sep 20, 2017 at 05:15 AM
voidsherpa
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Fast setup softbox?


sungphoto wrote:
Even the best light modifiers will fail at some point depending on how heavily you use it.


Most of my Rotalux start to have the silver lining peal after 2 years.The only other thing I dislike about them is having to set the box up with your head inside of it.



Sep 20, 2017 at 09:16 AM
 

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Twistedimg
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Fast setup softbox?


I'm appreciating all the suggestions and I've been looking at each one. Some great info and advice here.

I'm all about buy once cry once and hadn't really set a budget. Seems that a couple few hundred will get a great option. I was secretly hoping to find a decent $100ish option but that appears to not be happening.

I will only use this maybe once a week at the most. More like once every couple weeks. So I probably don't need to spend the money on something that will be a daily workhorse, but will if it is the better option overall.

I'm liking the Rapid Box more and more for the option to use as a beauty dish. I've never used a beauty dish but could be a good opportunity to have one to decide how much I like it.



Sep 20, 2017 at 03:01 PM
GabrielPhoto
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Fast setup softbox?


Twistedimg wrote:
I'm appreciating all the suggestions and I've been looking at each one. Some great info and advice here.

I'm all about buy once cry once and hadn't really set a budget. Seems that a couple few hundred will get a great option. I was secretly hoping to find a decent $100ish option but that appears to not be happening.

I will only use this maybe once a week at the most. More like once every couple weeks. So I probably don't need to spend the money on something that will be a daily workhorse, but will if it is the better option
...Show more

About using the Rapid Box like XL and XXL as beauty dish..honestly I wouldnt bother. It feels like an afterthought and checking the patterns and "light shaping" it creates with the plate it was pretty bad in my opinion. Nothing like a true beauty dish like their own 24" or much less like a Mola Setti for example.
I bought it when I had the XXL and after a couple of tests, never used it again. In fact, I still have the plate but not the XXL box any more.
Regards



Sep 20, 2017 at 03:32 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Fast setup softbox?


I've noticed that it's been pretty easy to resell the westcott gear should you decide that it's not for you, so there's that - from what it sounds like the 36" one is right for you. Check on eBay too as I've seen them pop up from time to time used there. Like I said, I use my XL 36" a lot and it's held up really well.

And the light it produces isn't really much like what a beauty dish does - it's more marketing (just like how everyone is slapping "parabolic" onto every brolly that has more than 8 ribs nowadays). Beauty dishes have a distinct punch to them that I've found are hard to replicate with a collapsible softbox - my Joel Grimes 24" one comes the closest, but to be honest I don't know if I could have justified it if I hadn't got a great deal on it.

The 36" XL is a very versatile modifier to be sure though. Get it close with both diffusion panels and it's super soft, and great for headshots (ie people that don't have model perfect skin). Get it about 6 feet from the subject and it gets more directional and a bit harder. My favorite look with them is the reflector plate and inner diffusion panel, as it produces a great mix of soft light in the center and harder light from the silver on the edges.



Sep 20, 2017 at 07:39 PM
rico
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Fast setup softbox?


Yeah, I notice the marketing corruption of BD and parabolic labels. Especially with catchlights and other speculars, a true BD is easily identified:



2x-scale crop of Profoto white BD with opal glass diffuser.



Sep 20, 2017 at 10:21 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Fast setup softbox?


I usually just keep the diffusion materials partially attached when I put my rapid boxes back into the carry cases, so the main thing I have to do when I take it out is really just spinning the reflector dish on. One thing I don't like about the design though is that it's way too easy to lose the mount and screw for the reflector dish - I've resorted to just going to the hardware store to pick up a few spares in my bag.

I have been eyeing the Elinchrom modifiers though. The fact that they're lighter is definitely a plus. Are you using Elinchrom strobes or just using adapters?



Sep 21, 2017 at 05:14 AM
Twistedimg
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Fast setup softbox?


Everyone has given some great feedback. I got to the point last night in reading, researching, and shopping that I needed to just order something and be done with it so I ordered the Rapid Box XL from Adorama.

A little back info that maybe would have been better given prior but I'm using a Godox AD600 that I recently purchased. I also picked up a nice C stand and a couple Godox octaboxes. I have had great results and have been happy with it all, still learning, but also find that I tend not to bust out lighting as often as I should simply because putting together these Godox boxes is a pain in the butt. Once together they have worked great but the time to assemble and disassemble kept me from using lighting as much.

A couple below from the current setup. (Still learning, I've only used lighting a few times thus far)

Link because there is a lot of skin but no nudity: http://www.jacobcarrollphotography.com/Main-Galleries/People/i-xvLG4px/A






Sep 21, 2017 at 01:32 PM
sungphoto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Fast setup softbox?


Just another FYI - I just found out that you can swap out the integrated speedring on the Rapid Boxes (I'm pondering switching over to another strobe system) for the price of the speedring - about $70 for the part from westcott


Sep 21, 2017 at 06:34 PM
stuuke
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Fast setup softbox?


Elijah wrote:
I've owned them all, PCB, Westcott Rapid, Profoto, etc.

In my opinion, there's more to just having a soft box that sets up fast
I ended up with the Rotalux Elinchrom deep octa for a few reasons: it's still relatively easy to setup, most lightweight modifier on the market of its kind, durable, stylish and sexy.
I will say that the PCB and Rapid boxes & octas are a bit faster to setup but they're not what I just mentioned above.
Also, you still have to take the front diffusion panel off to setup a softbox so in reality, the
...Show more

Elijah, just curious but have you tried any of the grid options for your deep octa?



Sep 21, 2017 at 07:10 PM
Elijah
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Fast setup softbox?


stuuke wrote:
Elijah, just curious but have you tried any of the grid options for your deep octa?


I do not have any grids for my 27" deep for few reasons: Elinchrom doesn't provide any, this eBay version looks good but too expensive for what it is and I already have two huge Profoto 1x6' strip boxes that have grids, as well as a PCB 60" octal box with grid.

I specifically bought an elinchrom deep for on-location shoots such as engagements, weddings, etc. for it's stylish look, as well as being super lightweight and easy to setup. So far, I do not need a grid for it because I have modifiers that have grids.
If I ever do end up buying one, this is the one I would buy.



Sep 22, 2017 at 12:13 AM
GeoLaing
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Fast setup softbox?


+1 for SMDV.

I have the Speedbox 70 (27.5") which I bought to replace the Westcott Rapid Box. It is deeper, it opens quickly and is a much more refined product. I bought it with a Bowens mount instead of the speedight mount. With an "S-mount" adapter I use it with my AD200 Flashpoint/Godox. I can also mount it directly on my AD600. It does not have the central reflector option that the Rapid Box has, but it does have a removable second diffusion panel. A nice bonus also is you can leave the diffusion panel(s) in place when you collapse it.

(I was never wild about the internal design of the Rapid Box. The mechanism is solid and opens quickly but I always felt when it was assembled there was a huge mass of innards right in front of the speedlight tube. I always felt the mechanism design eats up lot of light. Anyone else feel like this?)

After using the 70 for little over a month I purchased the SMDV Speedbox A100 (39") to replace my Profoto 3' Octa. I love the Profoto but I will be transitioning to a smaller vehicle so I needed something collapsible. A fully assembled Octa was not an issue in a truck.

Both included nice zip up cases. I ordered from Legio Photo(authorized US distributor) and they arrived in two days. There are certainly less expensive products out there but these feel well made and they throw nice light. (Note Adorama has their Glow Parapop line which look identical but they are not. Look around online for a comparison.)








Sep 22, 2017 at 01:29 AM
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