Friday, April 30, 2010

My hotshoe diary

Father Joe came knocking by my door recently and reprimanded my use of available light. Nah.. I'm kidding. I needed a softbox and I didn't want to rely on cheap China brands, though they may be of a usable quality. Hence by sheer chance, I got myself an oversized 30" x 30" Lastolite.

14mm, ISO 125, f6.3, 1/200sec. FL 50 flashgun triggered at 1/8 power, 12mm

I believe I'm one of the first few in Malaysia with the new Lastolite 30" x 30" Ezybox hotshoe kit. It's so new that it hasn't been even featured on their website yet. Wonderful wrap around light. The kit includes the EzyBox Hotshoe (with plate), 4 section stand, tilthead bracket, extending handle (24cm - 48cm), padded shoulder bag and circular carry case.

Their website claims that this softbox is easy to pack up, has very low light loss (only half a stop), and is colour balanced.

The steel air cushioned light stand is quite impressive. The legs of the lightstand can be folded out to an admirable degree for maximum stability, though I doubt it will be able to prevent the rig from falling in strong wind. (You wouldn't want a broken flashgun, do you?) The lightstand can be raised to a height of at least 2.5 meters, but I doubt you would want to go any higher in case the rig topples due to instability.

The monster sized 30 x 30 inch softbox has a reflective silver interior, and its sealed on all sides compared to the Westcott Apollo I've used before. There are 2 layers of diffusion material which you can mount to soften the light output. Otherwise you may remove the inner 24 inch layer for harsher light. The softbox feels quite durable and should be able to withstand some abuse. It can be neatly folded to be packed into the circular carry case included with the kit. Quite compact indeed.

I would have liked it better if the Ezybox hotshoe and the tilthead bracket featured some lightweight steel construction instead of the plastic that I see now. Supporting a full sized flashgun with a softbox that big is bound to break the components if not handled properly.

The new Ezybox Hotshoe plate (2414) is now compatible with the Nikon SB900 Flashgun and most flashesHowever, without a cold-shoe mount on the bottom of some wireless receivers (most of them have a 1/4" metal socket for use on tripods), you may need adapters to mount it on top of light stands or flash clamps. A simple solution would probably be to go to your hardware store and purchase a 1/4" screw to be able to mount the flash receiver.

The extending handle is a useful feature for those who would like to use a voice activated light stand (VALS), as some folks call it. For better handling, a monopod is still recommended, as the handle is quite short. I'm not sure how durable this extending handle is, but preferably handle it with care if you're holding up a softbox that big.

I guess this is what I can say so far about the kit. I don't claim to know everything, but I'll try to explore this kit more in the future.


1 Comment:

@lv1nX said...

Just an idea here. Depending on how daring you are, you can try doing a strobist stranger shoot and take night portraits for strangers passing by. It'll also allow you to expand your network:) Just thought you'll like to know since the photography club here in Toronto was doing it yesterday and today.


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