I just bought my first "real" soft box: a ProStudio Solutions EZ-Pro 36" Octobox by Fotodox (I don't count the Lumiquest LTP as quite "real" - though it is useful).
When I was researching what to buy I couldn't find a whole lot about it on POTN so I decided I would post a little about this box and my initial (meaning the thing came this afternoon) for others. I know some of you have them (or the bigger brothers) so maybe you can add to this. I get a lot out of this forum. This is a small way to give a little back.
So, to start with, I was looking for a smallish, easy to setup soft box to use primarily with speed lights, but also that I could use if I get proper strobes in the future. It was really between this and the 24" Cheetah box. I'm an amateur who plays at this photography thing. This makes me not want to part with a lot of cash because I won't make it back with clients - only in enjoyment. This box, with the bracket for the speed light, for $99 from amazon definitely fit that mold.
Removing the SB from the box, I see it comes in a nice bag, and removing it from the bag I see it has a speedring for a bowens mount installed in addition to the camera mount in the bottom of the box (I think it is a bowens? It has 3 square bosses that look like they engage the mount on a strobe.)
There are no assembly instructions, but it's easy to figure out. A screw driver is required to mount the speed light bracket. The bracket is pretty robust and has a nice cold shoe.
Set up, it's a nice looking bit if kit that has a robust feel to it. It's not exactly light. Not sure how much it weighs, but it's more than I expected. Here's what it looks like:
Mounted up on a light stand, folded up:
IMG_8567.jpg by MCG photo, on Flickr
And here it is opened up:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8031368458/
_MG_8547.jpg by MCG photo, on Flickr
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8031319091/
_MG_8543.jpg by MCG photo, on Flickr
The back of the box opens up for easy access (primarily for breaking down). This is a handy feature. Velcro closures close things up without any light leaks:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8031318452/
_MG_8544.jpg by MCG photo, on Flickr
The inside of the box is substantial with a nice cast aluminum structure for the foundation:
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8031319931/
_MG_8545.jpg by MCG photo, on Flickr
Here you can see one of my YN560's with a RF603 trigger. The bottom of the L bracket is a little short, but that's not a problem, just turn the flash 90 degrees and everything fits nicely. This is actually a good thing: It means when the box is up high and pointed down the controls are pointed to the side and not pointed up where you can't see them.
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8031316396/
_MG_8536.jpg by MCG photo, on Flickr