Taken with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 135mm f2.0 L lens, a Man is focused on his smartphone while the Path Train approaches the Christopher Street train station in New York City
While at the PDN PhotoExpo in New York City at the Jacob Javitz Center in October; I feel in love with the Lastolite booth. Why? Good question. The booth was centralized around the Manfrotto booth, as I later found out, they operate under the same flag. But the flash, glitz and glamor of those mighty names wasn't the cause for my affections. It was the well built products. Especially the Lastolight flashgun products. I was introduced to the Ezybox II Switch XL softbox. This softbox easily and quickly converts from a 46" x 17" softbox into a 46" x 46" softbox with the unzipping of two easily accessible zippers, located at the top and bottom of the unit.
The Ezybox II Switch is well built. Everything about the unit felt great in my hands. It had weight and seemed to have been built for mobile use. The fact that it works with everything kind of light source was a huge plus. This means, I can easily purchase a bracket for any sort of strobe system out there, such as Profoto, Dynalite, Elinchrom and Hensel to name a few. The units had flashgun brackets attached. The flashgun brackets allowed for the support of two flashguns, with both Canon and Nikon mounts. Lastolite creates a grid for the unit as well. However when used, I observed one flashgun was powerful enough to light a group of people well. The Ezybox II Switch comes in a very portable light blue Lastolight bag. Very easy to carry and light. It assembles easily. However I advise you assemble it at home completely to get a full understanding of how large it really is. Off of one flashgun it provides a nice even and consistent light source. There is one minor drawback. Collapsing the softbox may take a couple of tries. As it is very similar to collapsing a reflector, but not exactly the same. I had to get my own motor memory skills adjusted. Honestly I was afraid I may damage it, as I am a pretty strong guy.
In addition to the Ezybox II Switch softboxes, they offered two sizes of Octaboxes. On display they had the Ezybox II Octa Medium and Large. I was advised the Medium would be the limit for the flashgun configuration. The Ezybox II Octa Medium is 31.5" in diameter. Lastolite provides an optional grid for both Octaboxes. I found the Octabox to be constructed just as well as the Ezybox II Switch. In my opinion, it's just a bit more sturdy. I believe its due to the shape of the unit, vs. the quality of the build or any other reason. Just like the Ezybox II Switch, the Octabox also allows for a multitude of 3rd party brackets. I would again suggest setting the Octa up to get a feel for it. It's setup is incredibly easy and it collapses just like a reflector. It too collapses small and comes with a great carrying bag.
Be advised, the Speedlight brackets also come in a small Lastolight bag. All in all the packaging for Lastolight is in my opinion unparalleled.
In the end, I purchased the following:
- LL LS2731 EZYBOX II SWITCH show price x 2
- LL LS2701 EZYBOX II Speedlight Bracket x 3
- LL LS2957 Fabric Grid for EZYBOX II Switch x 2
- LL LS2720 EZYBOX Octa Medium x 1
- 1052BAC-3 Manfrotto 9’ air cushioned Stacker stands 3 pack x 1
If your lighting configuration is portable; and you need softboxes, I highly recommend you consider the Lastolight line. I've not been so happy with lighting equipment since I purchased the Profoto Acute 2 1200's.
Below you'll find links for each softbox at Lastolight's and B&H's site. Please be advised the imagery used in this posting come from Lastolight.com and BHPhoto.com They deserve your business.