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Review: LumiQuest Softbox III

December 10th, 2008 by admin

I have used a few flash modifiers in my time, and haven’t been really happy with any of them. I thought I would give LumiQuest‘s new Softbox III a go, as it looks like one of the biggest portable flash softboxes you can get.


LumiQuesti Softbox III

The all plastic device attaches to you flash (in my case a 580EX) using Velcro, so fitting and removing it is quick and easy. Notice the central oval in the output side? That is designed to further diffuse the direct output of the flash, and make use of the entire area of the softbox.

LQ III

One reason why I went for a unit such as this, is its portability. Folded down its completely flat and smaller than an A4 sheet of paper, making it light and very easy to carry in most camera bags.

SQIII folded

Here are my test images, using a 1:18 scale R34 GT-R.

No flash:
no flash

Raw direct flash (mounted on camera):
raw

Softbox III fitted (flash mounted on camera):
soft direct

Softbox III fitted (flash off camera above car):
off camera

naked flash (flash off camera above car):
raw flash above car

And finally here’s what it looks like hand held:
example

As you can see, the difference is subtle when the flash is still on the camera but becomes more noticeable when the flash is off the camera. It is an improvement in the softness of the light, and perhaps this is not best illustrated using a shiny, sharp edged model. I have used the softbox on a stand and photographing a car’s interior and engine bay and I was happy with the results. Once those images are published I will post more examples. This is the first flash modifier I have decided to keep.

Pros:
Affordable, portable, easy to use, well made.
Cons:
Subtle difference, not as soft as a large, twin layer softbox, can block flash IR sensor.

LumiQuest

3 Responses to “Review: LumiQuest Softbox III”

  1. Linhbergh Says:

    That’s awesome. I’ve been looking for something like this for a while! thanks for the post :)

  2. Amir Says:

    I hadn’t heard of this particular flash modifier until today, I might take a look at it :)
    In the meantime, I was wondering if you had heard of Gary Fong’s LightSphere product? ( see here: http://store.garyfonginc.com/diffusers.html ). If you have, what do you think of it?

  3. Mark Pakula Says:

    Actually the fong lightsphere is one of those diffusers I was not happy with. I bought one and tested it a bit, even used it at a wedding, and all I really saw it doing was cutting my flash output by 2-3 stops. I still have, and will sell it cheap if you want to give it ago:) I do see quite a few people using them.

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