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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 27 Sep 2012 (Thursday) 20:14
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ProStudio Solutions EZ-Pro 36" Octobox

 
nes_matt
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Sep 27, 2012 20:14 |  #1

Hi all,

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:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8456/8031321769_9eaf5c3cf2.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031321769/  (external link)
IMG_8567.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

And here it is opened up:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8038/8031368458_f7937d154e.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031368458/  (external link)
_MG_8547.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

The Logo:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8319/8031319091_5c3c0fa2d2.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031319091/  (external link)
_MG_8543.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), 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: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8176/8031318452_2fc52e03b5.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031318452/  (external link)
_MG_8544.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

The inside of the box is substantial with a nice cast aluminum structure for the foundation:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8451/8031319931_87f626839d.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031319931/  (external link)
_MG_8545.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), 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: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8169/8031316396_4f4af1ff8c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031316396/  (external link)
_MG_8536.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

Canon 6D & Rebel T1i | Tokina 11-16 F2.8 | Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro | Nifty-Fifty |85mm f1.8 | Canon 24-105 F4 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
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nes_matt
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Sep 27, 2012 20:15 |  #2

The bracket and mount allows for reasonable tilt, but it could go further if you cut the unused bit of that bar off:

IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8041/8031317793_3f748f471e.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031317793/  (external link)
_MG_8537.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8462/8031317080_ed425844e8.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031317080/  (external link)
_MG_8538.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

Here it is a full tilt before cutting:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8311/8031317414_10dcafb287.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031317414/  (external link)
_MG_8540.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

As far as uniform coverage... well I had to stop down to F9 and put the flash on its lowest setting to see this detail. In the picture you can see the inner baffle and the outer. Both are held in place with velcro and can stay mounted when folded.
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8031/8031315918_2e4da8b418.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031315918/  (external link)
_MG_8531.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

And last question is how is the light? Well, I'm afraid here you will have to settle for my ugly mug as I was the only one home at the time. When I took this shot I was standing about 18" away and very near the edge of the box, so it would have been softer if I had more of the box in front of me:
IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8451/8031321361_7006769109_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/59191886@N04/8​031321361/  (external link)
_MG_8566.jpg (external link) by MCG photo (external link), on Flickr

So, that's it for now. I'll try to update as I get some more experience with it.

Canon 6D & Rebel T1i | Tokina 11-16 F2.8 | Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro | Nifty-Fifty |85mm f1.8 | Canon 24-105 F4 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
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nes_matt
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Sep 27, 2012 20:21 |  #3

Oh... one last thing: The light stands I have are from the $100 two stand/umbrella kit from B&H. These stands just barely hold the thing up. The base is just too narrow. If the back leg lifts more than about 1.5" it will tip over. Weights are definitely needed, as is attention to which leg is pointed where.


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dmward
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Sep 27, 2012 22:59 |  #4

I have a couple of these octas. They are very serviceable.
I use them with E640s and don't have the speedlite adapter.

As for best way to get the light stand situated. Have one leg directly under the octal. Then put a weight on each of the two legs that are pointed away from the back of the octa.


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MsKutispwet
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Oct 19, 2012 11:53 |  #5

@Nes_Matt, is this the same Octa that you have?
Fotodiox EZPro36 (external link)




  
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Oct 19, 2012 14:00 |  #6

I also have one of these that I use with an Einstein. I think its a great modifier. This shot is with the EZ pro - http://500px.com/photo​/12559847 (external link) . Ive been putting off buying the grid due to mixed reviews.


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nes_matt
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Oct 19, 2012 18:52 |  #7

MsKutispwet wrote in post #15143253 (external link)
@Nes_Matt, is this the same Octa that you have?
Fotodiox EZPro36 (external link)

Yes, that's it but I purchased through amazon and got free shipping.

I have not seen where to get the grid for it though (it come separately).


Canon 6D & Rebel T1i | Tokina 11-16 F2.8 | Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC Macro | Nifty-Fifty |85mm f1.8 | Canon 24-105 F4 | Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
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Jarhed27
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Oct 19, 2012 19:06 |  #8

Great post Matt. You just sold me on this.


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JordanH
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Oct 19, 2012 20:25 |  #9

If it was me I'd throw a little convex auto mirror in the middle of all that internal support jazz right in front of the flash to try and efficiently kick out as much of that light as possible.

Maybe even a shiny drawer knob if I couldn't find a small enough mirror.

...but I tend to get carried away with DIY. I love hacking stuff to try and make it perfect. 8-)


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nes_matt
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Oct 19, 2012 21:02 |  #10

I thought about the doing the same thing with a mirror, but my motivation is a probably a little different.

The front of the soft box and the diffuser are mounted with velcro, so if you remove those and add the mirror it will be sort of like a giant silver beauty dish... I need some time to play with that.


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EmaginePixel
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Oct 19, 2012 21:22 |  #11

I like it. Thanks for taking the time to write up and illustrate with photos. Now, since I have similar sized softlighters, will I notice the difference in light quality? If so, how?


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dmward
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Oct 19, 2012 21:28 |  #12

nes_matt wrote in post #15145090 (external link)
I thought about the doing the same thing with a mirror, but my motivation is a probably a little different.

The front of the soft box and the diffuser are mounted with velcro, so if you remove those and add the mirror it will be sort of like a giant silver beauty dish... I need some time to play with that.

When I got my first one from Fotodiox I added a convex mirror as suggested. I think it was a 6" one. Worked well. Later Fotodiox started selling them with a disk included. Its plastic and about 12 inches in diameter. It fits onto the shaft that sticks into the middle of the octa. It does turn it into a big deep beauty dish like modifier. It doesn't fit snug onto the shaft so it will slide when the light is tilted. a bit of duct tape fixes that. :-)


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Oct 19, 2012 21:32 |  #13

dmward wrote in post #15145172 (external link)
When I got my first one from Fotodiox I added a convex mirror as suggested. I think it was a 6" one. Worked well. Later Fotodiox started selling them with a disk included. Its plastic and about 12 inches in diameter. It fits onto the shaft that sticks into the middle of the octa. It does turn it into a big deep beauty dish like modifier. It doesn't fit snug onto the shaft so it will slide when the light is tilted. a bit of duct tape fixes that. :-)

I find a clothes pin to be much easier to use and carry. :)


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dmward
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Oct 19, 2012 21:35 |  #14

JakAHearts wrote in post #15145184 (external link)
I find a clothes pin to be much easier to use and carry. :)

That would work. Or one of those small metal clips with the rubber tips. I have a bunch of them floating around in my grip bag in the trunk of my car.

Thanks for the suggestion.

BTW, have you found an optimum position? It looks to me to be about 6 inches from the latching frame if I go without diffusion panels


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Oct 19, 2012 22:02 |  #15

I dunno how optimum it is but I put mine about three inches from the latch.


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