Cheap Softbox = Expensive Results!

Its me David Griffin A.K.A. “The Prince of Cheap” here!

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack – here with another short review of another piece of cheap gear that you can use to get better results with your photography! This time its the ubiquitous softbox. The cool thing is that I’m now a fan of smaller tools for harder light. This softbox I’m reviewing, a 24 by 24 inch wonder that comes from ebay complete with a grid. Its another Bowens “S” mount tool… as you can tell from my last two short articles, I love the Bowens “S” mount… it got lots of tools, its cheap and wow you can find them everywhere!

Above is the box full assembled and opened up. In my un-humble opinion, I believe this is one of the best made soft boxes you can find. Having this box for the past 4 months I have: dropped it, wet it, and even tripped over it. (I work really sloppy, ask Bill Schutt of Smash Photo how sloppy I work!) After all that abuse for over six months, it works just fine and have not bent a rod! WOW!

Here are some images of the light output pattern that you can get. Here the strobe was at 1/8th power and 2 feet away front he background… 

Here’s the light spread with both the inner diffuser, outer diffuser and grid assembled! The light spread is pretty tight and controlled

As you can see with the grid removed the light spread was enough to spread edge to edge over the black background.

Remove the grid and the outer diffuser and what you have is a snappy light with slight containment. I would use this setup outdoors when you need more output from your strobe to balance against daylight.

Here’s what you get when you remove everything but the box! You get super snappy light with minimal containment and maximum power of your strobe with all the light being redirected from the front.


You know what people… for only $28.00 you get a sturdy 24×24 inch soft box, a grid that offers more control to reduce light spill (a must when you have a small studio space like a home studio)… you get an irresistible deal! Get this if you need lots of soft light. You can even back this up for a harder light source. Put it in close and you get a soft light source that doesn’t have a lot of spill light (allowing you more control over your background!). Put on the grid and you will have even more control over spill light. Bottom line. If you have two or more lights…. this will make a great main light in 1 and 2 person setups when used between 3 and 4 feet from your subjects. My advice, if you have more than one light get it and say sorry later. I for example find it great outdoors in the afternoon because of its durability and its ability to tame spill so well. Just remember, you WILL need a Bowens “S” mount flash to use this on.

Come see my work at This is where I use all my cheap crap!

Published by David Griffin

The Prince of Cheap I am a "Jesus Freak" and a DIY photography junkie! I'm also the *second* cheapest man alive... but only 'cause my Dad is the first!