Sooner or later, while doing “subject” photography, you come to the issue of improving equipment to get better photos. And here the question does not always rest on the camera. Softbox is the solution to this issue, and the ability to quickly change backgrounds, install and adjust the backlight makes it easier to solve.
Perhaps questions immediately arise about the appropriateness of this device and you can simply set the light, lay the background and get an identical result, but spending much more time.
Despite the low price, the kit turned out to be quite rich and includes not only a softbox, but also 4 colored interchangeable backgrounds (and given that they are double-sided — glossy / matte surface, then all 8), a mobile backlight with controls, a case and a storage bag . There is also a small instruction with pictures on how to properly store and fold the softbox itself. Why fold? Because it is not collapsible and folds by analogy with a self-folding tent.
The instructions describe this in detail, with pictures, but no matter how much I tried, it did not work out. Either I’m from the wrong planet, or the pictures are wrong.
But the manufacturer went further and offers a video version of how to fold the softbox, everything is beautiful, but it still doesn’t work. So far, I left this idea and gave it to the lucky owner of his purchase.
Carrying case for the photobox. Round, folded and did not work. Well stitched, comfortable handles, but I think it’s not worth folding every time, nevertheless it is fabric and can tear.
Large bag to carry the whole set. Sewn from a denser material, the whole set will fit inside. It is possible to carry and can be used, but it is still worth storing, especially backgrounds that are not in such a dense lineup.
As mentioned above, the package includes 4 backgrounds: white, black, green and blue. Dimensions 120*60 cm. Installed inside the softbox on Velcro tape. Before use, it is worth smoothing, because during delivery they wrinkle a lot. Along the entire edge, the fabric is swept with high quality, but there are protruding threads.
To expand the possibilities of photographing and increase the backgrounds, the fabric is made in such a way that it has a glossy finish on one side and a matte finish on the other. Although not much different, in rare cases it may be required.
The backlight consists of a plate on an aluminum base-radiator with 96 LEDs. Although it is indicated on the product page as 192. On the front side, there is an additional protection made of transparent plastic that protects when installed in a softbox. To connect from the back, a wire with a plug at the end is brought out. There are 2 such LED plates in a set.
Installed quite simply. We stretch under the rubber holders, bring the wires out, through the holes of the softbox located in the corners of the square. Oddly enough, LED plates are universal and are designed not only for rubber mounts, but also for plastic guides.
After 1.5 hours of use, the heating is significant and the reverse side already burns the hand, so it is worth using either with an additional radiator, which is unlikely to work in a closed space, or reducing the time of use. And at the moment of changing the background or objects, turn it off. So you extend the life of the LEDs by protecting them from degradation. After installing and turning on at least one plate, the interior is completely flooded with illumination, thanks to the silvery coating of the softbox fabric, even the slightest shadows from objects disappear. The difference from the inclusion of 1 or 2 plates is almost invisible to the eyes
The power supply is combined with a dimmer and allows you to smoothly adjust the brightness of the glow. The power supply is located approximately in the middle between the power wires, and their length is only 2 meters, which is not always convenient when the dimensions of the softbox are 60 * 60 * 60 cm. The PSU has an LED indicator for connecting to the electrical network. Near the regulator and it is also a switch for supplying power to the LED panel. At the extreme left position, a click is heard and the power is completely turned off. The maximum voltage given out by the power supply corresponds to the declared one and is equal to 12.5 volts, although 12 is declared. There is a sticker with technical characteristics on the bottom. After using it at maximum brightness (the regulator is turned to the right as far as possible) for about 1.5 hours, the heating is not fixed.
Now let’s talk about the softbox itself. Perhaps someone has already encountered this device or seen collapsible models. Here, everything is different and resembles a children’s tent (self-folding) and at first glance does not inspire confidence. But later, when used, the design is quite reliable and stable. She arrived, of course, twisted, but one careless movement and I could no longer turn.
If you go a little deeper into the structure, you can understand that metal (rectangular) springy plates are installed inside, creating the effect of stretching the side surfaces, but even when exposed to them, they have quite strong resistance and do not add up. Therefore, when you try to fold according to the instructions, it doesn’t work for me, and I think that the girl won’t have enough strength either. I achieved the maximum effect when folding to a flat state, and that’s it. The entire inner surface resembles a mirror and perfectly reflects light. The outer surface is completely black.
For the happy owner-photographer, several removable windows are allocated. In the upper part there is a round window covered with a massive “patch” with a mirror surface.
In the front part, a single piece of the side surface is used, and if it is removed along the edges with a movable lock, then in the upper part with a regular Velcro. Comfortable and practical and quite durable. In the middle there is a window that can be divided into 2 parts to save backlight. Although in this photobox there is a surplus of it.
According to the assurance of the happy owner, not only did the photos begin to turn out to be of high quality, but the process itself accelerated in time. No need to expose additional light, remove unnecessary phantom shadows. A surface of 60*60 is quite enough for all the needs of product photography.
Price can be found here
Convenient in every sense budget softbox (photobox) with a set of interchangeable backgrounds and adjustable backlight. “Convenient” storage, according to the seller, in a portable bag is achieved by folding, but you have to get used to it. The backlight is adjustable in brightness, but unfortunately the permutation is not provided, but there is enough light.