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The Ultimate Softbox: Introducing the Lastolite Ezybox

One of the biggest problems that a strobist will face when lighting a subject is coverage of light. When you consider the size of the head of a speedlight vs. your standard run of the mill monobloc its easy to see why we strobists finally succumb to large lights. There have been numerous attempts at creating a softbox that would spill the light in all directions to achieve an even balance and more coverage.  I myself purchased the Lumiquest Softbox III when I started out and was amazed at its versatility and it fast became my goto light accessory on the road as it flatpacks down to virtually nothing. Perfect for quick setups in Belfast city when light is a factor at this time of year and some angry drunk is trying to take a pop at my subject. I digress….

Don’t get me wrong the Softbox III is a superb accessory and still has a place in my satchel for quick portraits but the truth of the matter is it can’t give me full coverage on my subject and often creates heavy vignetting that’s impossible to dodge back. There is however a solution!

The Lastolite Ezybox is a remarkable hotshoe softbox and can light a subject from top to toe from relatively close distances…. a feat not possible with the Softbox III or any other softbox for speedlights that I haven’t mentioned. It’s secret? It’s a whopping 60cm x 60cm allowing your speedlight to effectively light your scene with ease and also diffuse the light making it perfect for outdoor fashion shoots and portraits (just be careful in the wind as it becomes one big kite….an expensive self-destructive kite I might add!)

Ok I know what you’re thinking, there’s always a catch and believe me there is. Firstly, When shooting through this beast you are loosing 2 stops of power so you will eat through batteries quicker so I recommend getting yourself some Sanyo Eneloops and a Maha charger to give you more power and less pain. Read about them here. Secondly, the bolt on accessory for mounting the Ezybox to your stand clips straight onto the light stand and therefore makes it impossible to angle your light source unless you have a voice activated light stand (VALS – a person holding your stand). I will hopefully address this issue with a black & decker and post a tutorial but in the meantime this is an irritation. Thirdly, my speedlights (580 EX II, 430 EX II, SB-28) struggle to get through the hole at the back when I mount them onto my wireless triggers. The bracket assumes that your hotshoe is free – tut-tut lastolite! You can adjust the height of the bracket but sadly it falls short by a mere inch when coupled with my triggers, but it still works.

This is still a fantastic breakthrough in terms of increasing your power output without spending crazy money on a monobloc with travel battery that you’d need an elephant to carry around with you. I will post some shots of the results in the near future.

Another small step for strobism…

Rick.



  1. toxicpixel on Tuesday 19, 2010

    Hi Rick,
    I purchased one of these myself a couple of weeks ago and am pretty impressed with it,although I’ve only tested indoors so far due to our spell of freezing weather.I would agree that if you attach it straight onto a lightstand with the supplied flash bracket you are limited to the direction of your light.I use mine attatched first to a Manfrotto lite tite swivel umbrella adapter and then attach this to the lightstand thus giving a decent up and down angle of movement.I also had the problem with the height of the flash head attached to the triggers so I found it easier using pc sync cables and velcroed the trigger to the side of the flash although Ive gave up on the ebay triggers and bought some skyports and they are working a treat!
    anyway,good luck with you’re new toy :)
    toxicpixel

  2. redskyni on Tuesday 19, 2010

    Hi Toxic

    Great Idea I will check out the stand adapter as an accessory to the softbox. I haven’t much confidence in tilting this outdoors as the slightest wind would cause all sorts of mayhem! As I use canon equipment (if you are a Nikonian just switch off at this point) I still need to fit a sync hotshoe for the 430 EX II so it’s slightly frustrating that Lastolite didn’t look into this. I can always change up to the 580 EX II but anyone with a 430 is in trouble. It’s a shame they didn’t look at the market they were catering for we only needed another inch. That said it’s a fab piece of kit and looking forward to using it tomorrow in a fashion shoot. Shots to follow.

    Rick.

    Skyports are fantastic and next on my shopping list (the list without an end!)

  3. toxicpixel on Tuesday 19, 2010

    Hi Rick,
    I came across this cool mod for the 430EX while browsing some strobist info and thought it may(or may not):) be of interest to you.. http://www.rmphotographynow.com/2009/11/430ex-ii-mod.html

    toxicpixel

  4. redskyni on Tuesday 19, 2010

    This is great and very brave I might add. I can appreciate the level of worksmanship that went into this. If any else has tried this mod i’d be keen to know.

    Rick.