LumiQuest Softbox (Original) flash diffuser review

Mar 08 2010
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LumiQuest SoftBox

LumiQuest Softbox (original) (best flash diffuser rating: 8.56) is one of the oldest flash accessories available from LumiQuest. It's been on the market for over 15 years. It's an easy to use light modifier that softens the light with a translucent panel in front of your flash head. The diffusing panel is approximately 6 times bigger than an average flash head, which makes the light softer.

LumiQuest Softbox is made of high quality materials, and it is likely to last for a long time. It easily folds flat and is very portable.

It's designed to be attached to a flash head with Velcro tabs. You can either use the self-adhesive Velcro pads included with the softbox or buy an optional Cinch Strap that allows you keeping your flash clean from adhesives.

LumiQuest Softbox: diffusing screen LumiQuest Softbox: side view
LumiQuest Softbox: compared to Canon Speedlite 580EX II flash LumiQuest Softbox: open flaps
LumiQuest Softbox: logo

The bottom side of LumiQuest Softbox has a cut-out, which prevents the unit from interfering with some of the flash features, such as auto-focus assist, external metering, etc. This makes the softbox equally usable on- and off-camera (unlike LumiQuest Softbox III that does interfere with those features).

LumiQuest Softbox: cut-out

Even though LumiQuest Softbox is larger than a flash head, it is still relatively small compared to, say, a human face. So, if you want to use it for portraiture, you should bring your flash with the softbox closer to your subject to get softer shadow edges. Below is a sample image taken with LumiQuest Softbox positioned at about 3 feet from the subject.

LumiQuest Softbox: portrait example

Increasing the distance from the Softbox to the subject results in harsher shadows, but the images are still better than the ones taken with a bare flash. You may find it impractical to use LumiQuest Softbox beyond 6-8 foot distance form the subject.

The world of macro, however, is another story. This is where LumiQuest Softbox really works well (being larger than macro subjects and also being portable). In the example below LumiQuest Softbox was to the right of the flower and less than a foot away. The sun was on the left. The sunlight was stopped down 1 2/3 stops.

LumiQuest Softbox: macro example

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below.