It cannot be stressed enough how important light is to photography. You could have the priciest and most comprehensive camera on the market and pair it with a wide array of different expensive accessories, but if you do not have an appropriate and effective lighting solution in place, then your photographs will never be anything other than average. This is why you will see so many recommendations for investing in photography softbox lighting and photography umbrella lights.
Our Top Best Speedlite Softbox Reviews
Let’s take a look at what we feel are the best speedlight softboxes available to buy right now.
- Color: Black/Silver
- Dimensions: 24 x 24 inches
- Weight: 10.05lbs
In other articles on the site we have spoken favorably about the company Neewer and certainly, when it comes to softboxes, they are the market leaders.
Although it may not feel like the most robust or weighty thing in the world, the Neewer softbox gives you a wide range of different options with regards to storage, meaning you can store everything away and still have space left over.
It’s also competitively priced, at just under 20 bucks and has a slick design that is aesthetically pleasing. What’s to like? The double thick metal frame of the Speedlite means that it is actually tougher than it looks while giving you an amazing degree of portability which is what your arms and back will love when you are spending hours on a shoot moving around.
You will also find that it is really intuitively designed so that it folds out easily in the same way as an umbrella. So you don’t have to be afraid of bulky and complicated equipment to figure out.
Now for the nitty-gritty. The dual layer of nylon gives the Speedlite a surface for diffusing light that does its job well, bouncing it back in a more appealing, even and softer tone that will help with capturing greater product and portrait shots.
The only major downside to this Speedlite softbox is that it does not come with an umbrella mount. Meaning you will have to buy your own separately.
The price tag and many of the other great benefits noted above, make this a worthy investment if you are not looking to spend very much on a photography softbox.
- Color: Black/Siler
- Dimensions: 12 x 26 x 26 inches
- Weight: 3lbs
Another very popular and of the best softbox manufacturers is the photography lighting accessory experts Westcott’s Rapid Box Octa. We have chosen this model because of its very compact construction and just how easy it is to use. Of all the softboxes the company offers, this is probably the most affordable while being made from the same higher-grade materials and being able to produce as fine results as the pricier softboxes in their collection.
This is ideal for use on both outdoor and indoor shoots and even darker shoots in the evening. Rapid by name, rapid by nature; this is a high-performance softbox light rig that delivers all the time and folds down into a handy carry case when you are done for the day.
As it has an adjustable depth as well as height, it is also very adaptable and versatile. While some softboxes are designed to work specifically with certain flashes, this one will work with most, making it easily one of the most compatible on our list.
As noted earlier, because Westcott uses the exact same, high-grade materials on this line of softboxes as they do on the higher-end models, you still can achieve professional results.
Despite the many positives, some customers have noted that it should perhaps have a little more diffuser strength than it does for the price tag.
We still think if you are a fan of Westcott already or have more of a budget to play around with and are looking for a versatile softbox, this could be the one for you.
- Color: Black/Silver
- Dimensions: 7 x 18 x 7-inches
- Weight: 3lbs
The Fotodiox EZ-Pro Flash Softbox may be one of the cheaper models on our list, but don’t let its modest price tag fool you into thinking it is inferior. What you get for just over 50 bucks is a softbox with a wide surface area for diffusing light, that performs incredibly well and is just as easy to fold away as it is to set up. One of the best things about it is undoubtedly the high quality reflective Omni-bounce material with an outer layer that will keep it safe from various weather conditions if you are shooting outside.
Among a selection of great extras, there is the rotating flash speed-ring and hot-shoe mount, giving you a few more things to play around within the studio.
So, if you are not looking to break the bank too much, but want a high-quality softbox that will give you great results every single time, this is a worthy addition to your lighting setup.
- Color: Black/Silver
- Dimensions: 31-inches
- Weight: 22Lbs
Although this model is not quite as full to brimming with features as other softboxes we have spoken about or the one below, it is still worthy of a spot on our list thanks to its bold color options, innovative construction, and modern design.
This is the ideal softbox for you if you are a photographer that is not afraid to get up close and personal with your subjects.
Considering the fact that you can get this softbox for under 25 bucks, it performs far better than anything should for that price point. A major downside of the lightweight design and sturdy construction is the fact that it can sometimes be quite hard to adjust and tilt into the positions you need to produce the best shots.
By far the biggest selling point of the Godox Speedlight softbox is the light quality it produces and the fact that it softens harsh light and reduces shadows adequately. These are the kind of things you expect a basic softbox to do, sure, but when such a modestly priced item does it, you have yourself a softbox that offers a great return on your investment.
The biggest flaw is also its biggest strength. As you’d expect, the lower price means that there is a compromise in the quality of the construction. However, if you are not intending on getting involved in anything to arduous, it will do the job it was created for well.
- Color: Black
- Dimensions: 13.3 x 7.4 x 3.9 inches
- Weight: 2.4lbs
Last, but certainly not least on our list is this very high specification model from SMDV. We had to feature this, despite it being pricier than the last two because it will definitely suit the budding photographer who has been working for a while now and is looking to expand the capabilities of his photography studio and outdoor shoots.
The one thing that SMDV do really well with their softboxes is making them reliable, durable and extremely portable. Whether you are fearful about clumsy models (or clumsy photographers) knocking into it in the studio or it getting damaged in transit or use on the road – you needn’t be with the Speedbox-40.
There is an ingenious hammock attached to the interior that holds your camera suspended above the bottom of the pack, providing an extra protective layer that will keep your equipment safe from hard bumps and bangs.
You will be hard pressed to find a reviewer who doesn’t have something glowing and positive to say about this softbox’s sturdy construction, but in addition to the construction and high-quality materials used in its creation, it also has double diffusion panels that mean you will have a reliably pretty reflection of light each and every time it is used.
Add to that the fact that it can be used with just about any studio flash setup, so there’s no need to fret about whether it will adapt to your brand and model of flash or not.
Be warned though, if IKEA flat-pack furniture has been known to throw you into a ball of white-hot fury, this may not be the best choice for you after all. The initial setup can be tricky and a little complicated. You should also factor in the steel reinforcements incorporated into the frame as these make this heavier than other similarly priced speedlight softboxes.
If those downsides are not deal breakers, however, you will find in the Speedbox-40 a reliable and high performing softbox.
Speedlight Softbox Buyers Guides
What Is a Photography Softbox?
A softbox is a light modifier, that diffuses the light and makes it softer and more balanced. If it is used properly, it can reduce and even eliminate hard shadows. The general rule is that the closer you move a softbox to a subject or model you are shooting, the light produced will be softer and much more akin to what comes through the window.
Things To Consider When Choosing Softboxes
When you first start looking into photography lighting you’ll often be stuck with the burning question, Softbox vs Umbrella lighting. So now you know what a softbox is, we will discuss some of the factors to consider when choosing the best one.
That It’s Well Made
This should go without saying but is worth highlighting that it is important to invest wisely in a softbox that is not going to fall apart easily. You want to choose one with a robust material on the outer layer, like a thick nylon. This helps to protect the technical components on the inside.
Within Your Budget
If you are serious about taking the best snaps you possibly can, you will probably need to invest in more than just one softbox (although there’s still a ton of great photo effect that can be achieved with just one speedlight softbox). None the less, you need to factor that into your decision when buying the best softbox for speedlight photography.
Quality Fabric With Minimal Creases
Obviously, there is no use in spending money on a softbox that does not perform well. You want one that will help you to produce photographs that are illuminated and well-exposed with as little shadow as possible.
Ensure You Pick One That’s Adjustable
As with anything in photography, you are often dealing with a number of different variables, so you need to make sure you find a softbox that offers you some versatility. This will help when it comes to positioning and setting up to achieve the lighting you really need for a particular shoot.
They Fold Up & Are Portable
Although you may not be doing any outdoor shoots, having a softbox that is portable and easy to carry around can help you avoid fatigue on those long days. Alternatively, if you’re photographing smaller objects or products, you may be able to get away with a purpose-built portable photo light box instead. These are available in a wide range of sizes, styles and price points and provide you with the perfect set up for product photography.
So Why Spend More on a Photography Softbox?
Are you worried about getting the most out of the money you spend? It may be worth investing more upfront in a better softbox then. Although some of the highest spec softboxes on the market can cost as much as several hundred dollars, there are still very affordable models that are not quite budget priced but offer high spec in exchange for a mid-range investment.
When you spend more, you can expect to find that your softbox is made stronger with greater durability. Often they will include an inner diffusion shield that is more reflective and a thicker layer of protective material on the exterior. It is also generally the case that the more expensive models perform better and help produce softer and stronger light, as well as being more compatible and able to accommodate better studio flashes and folding right down for storage.
It is possible to kit out your photography studio on a shoestring budget, but spending a bit more will always future proof your equipment considerably more.
Softbox Light Review Summary
So, wherever you are in your photography hobby or career journey, we hope we have helped you to understand the importance of light and why you should invest in a softbox. We also hope that we have helped to make the task of choosing the best one out of the plethora available on the market a little easier while offering you tips on what to look out for when making your decision. Happy snapping!