Neewer Hotshoe Softbox
We are always on the hunt for great products at good prices. Maybe its because all of our employees are also photographers, and we search for products with ourselves in mind. When we first saw the Neewer 47" Hotshoe Softbox, we were excited because we loved the previous 32" version. Some of the reasons that we loved the previous version is the good build quality (heavy materials and well sewn seems), good design (deep box to achieve even light across the front face), and great price ($59.99). All of these great qualities are also found in the 47" version. With both of these boxes, they are also very easy to set up and take down which is important when time is limited. They simply unfold and open up like an umbrella and click into place. No rods to bend and put into pockets or cumbersome mounting plates. If you can open an umbrella, you can set up this softbox.
So I (Sean) wanted to try out this box before I sell it to our customers. I grabbed Mark (even though he was eating his lunch) and convinced him to eat on a stool so I could snap a couple pictures with the new box. Of course I wanted to multi-task so I grabbed the new T6i to get familiar with it as well.
The softbox performed just as I has expected with good even light across the front face. This is due to its design of placing a hotshoe flash facing backwards into the box. This setup reflects the light from the back of the box before it comes out the front through the front diffusion fabric and creates very even light without absorbing too much from multiple layers of diffusion.
The only down side to placing the flash in the box (as compared to other boxes that from the rear and shoot forward) is the inconvenience of not being able to adjust power setting or other features without removing the front diffusion fabric. This used to deter me from this style of box because it took too long to open the box, turn the power up 1/3 of a stop, replace the fabric, and then try again.
Now we finally have a solution! As time and technology has progressed, many of the flash systems allow remote power control. Canon and Nikon systems both now include this feature either with Commander Mode, or radio triggering (Canon 600RT). What is also equally exciting for the less expensive crowd, the Yongnuo 560-IV flash paired with the 560-TX transmitter will enable remote power level control in three groups. For a long time, it took a lot of money to benefit from a setup like this. Now, it is available to almost anyone in many different brand setups. You will hear me say it again and again, we are living in the golden age of photography where there are so many great products on the market, and they are driving all of the prices lower and lower.
With all of these features working together, the Neewer 47" or 32" softboxes are a steal at $59.99 and $79.99. If you are looking for a good hands on opportunity to learn how to use them, we also have an "On location portraits" workshop coming up May 29th.