review: Lastolite Ezybox 24×24 softbox
Softboxes used on location shoots, need to be easy and quick to set up. Ideally they should also be compact. Several photographers have recommended I check out the Lastolite Ezybox. So I took the plunge, and got the Lastolite EZYBOX 24×24″ softbox (affiliate).
Lastolite has a range of other Softboxes as well. All just as easy to use, with the Lastolite-specific way of expanding and collapsing. There’s a specific way you twist it to collapse it. It’s all in the wrists.
The cold-shoe for the speedlight can swivel around and lock into different positions. This makes it perfect if you use wireless TTL flash, and need to turn the slave flash around so that the sensor faces your master speedlight.
The speedring simply clips into position. The setup is very simple, although we’ll have to see how durable it will be. The softbox and clamps and speedring all fits into a surprisingly compact zippered bag.
Details for the main images:
1/250 @ f5.6 @ 200 ISO for all the main images.
I used wireless TTL flash for the entire session. My on-camera / master speedlight’s output was disabled, only firing the slave flash held with the softbox.
Flash exposure compensation: 1st image, -0.3EV // 2nd image, -1EV
If you’re going to use the Lastolite on a monopod,
you’re also going to need a brass stud to attach softbox to monopod (affiliate)
Here is the link if you’d like to order the Lastolite EZYBOX 24×24″ softbox (affiliate).
85 Comments, Add Your Own
1Tom K. says
Nice review Neil. I have always wondered about that Lastolite Ezybox. I am using a Westcott and it’s a pain to open up every time I need to change the flash settings.
Thanks for posting this review.
2Paul Hodgson says
Been using a brace of these for a few years now and uber impressed with them. I especially like how the second diffusion screen really softens the lightsource.
I was looking at this via the B&H link. It says that there is a SB-900 adapter for this, but one of the B&H reviews said that the adapter was not needed. Does the SB-900 attach to the EZYBOX out of the box? (sorry for the unintended pun)
4Neil vN says
Stephan .. the double cold-shoe for the speedlight has two places you can slide the speedlight foot into. The one is very tight and I couldn’t get the SB-900 foot in. The other one seems to be designed for a fatter foot like the SB-900. So I don’t think the adapter is necessary. But you would have to figure out which end the SB-900 fits better. I’m going to mark mine with a black marker for future.
5Sean S says
Utter simplicity compared to the alternatives, eh? The magic comes in the aiming, angling and feathering.
6Neil vN says
The problem with the Westcott Apollo, is that the speedlight is inside the unit. So wireless TTL is a problem unless you use Radio Poppers.
The type of softbox here the speedlight is mounted outside, makes it so much easier to adjust the flash.
New to TTL and ordered TTL flash to try out with Yongnuo 622N. You said “wireless TTL is a problem unless using radio poppers. So for TTL to work another flash has to trigger it? So it can’t be inside hidden away?”
The above shoot btw is one of my favorites of yours. The colors in the background and the dress and model.
6.1.1Neil vN says
What I meant with my comment is that the optically triggered wireless TTL is a problem since the flash is enclosed.
If you use a radio trigger, then the problem is non-existent.
This review was written in 2010, before the Canon 600EX came out, and before many of the other radio triggers for Nikon came out that could handle TTL.
7Sean Farrow says
I got one of these about 6 weeks ago. I LOVE IT!!! You’re right about just popping it open and off you go.
Is it really any faster to set up and tear down than the 24×32 litedome? I mean, I keep the rods in my softbox, so all I have to do to set it up is pop the 4 rods into the speedring, which takes like 10 seconds. Then I just attach my speedlight to the ring by sticking the head into a tight weave of bungee cords that also stay permanantly on the ring. It’s really very fast, lightweight, and secure, and a lot cheaper. Plus if it falls over, the flash doesn’t get damaged because it’s not attached by its foot.
Just curious. I wonder if getting chimera’s quick release speed ring would make setup/tear down even faster.
I use the Apollo, and CLS works fine through the box- I’ve never had problems getting it to fire. The criticism about having to open up the box to get to your flash is valid, though I do flash compensation on the camera anyway.
Can you comment on how you achieve wireless TTL? Is this a feature on the new SB900 flash units without the need of Pocket Wizards and such?
I’m actually a canon user and was wondering how I can do wireless TTL. And maybe how I can have a 580EX II on-camera but have the flexibility of only firing an off-camera flash (not necessarily a canon flash) that has PW receiver on it.
I do have a MiniTT1 that i tried putting the 580EX on…
BIG THANKS IN ADVANCE!
11Neil vN says
Shahn … you have the same feature with the Canon speedlights. You set one to master, and the other to slave. You then control the master flash from your camera to fire the slave (or slaves).
It is simplicity itself with the SB-900
12Jim S. says
Hi Neil, nice to see this review. Fantastic shots btw. I’ve had my 24″ Ezybox Hotshoe kit for maybe a bit over a year now. I think they must have re-designed the flash mount since then, as mine is all metal. It’s not particularly heavy, but it’s definitely not what is shown in the images on the B&H page. I also don’t think the older version allows the cold-shoe to swivel, but I could be wrong. I normally use this with a Canon 540ez or 580exII, and a cactus v4 wireless trigger. On the 540ez I use the hotshoe mount, on the 580 I use the sync (?) cord. Either configuration works fine, and the flashes are easy to position.
Very nice review Neil. Just wondering – there are pieces of velcro visible on the outside of the softbox… what are they for? Attachments of some kind?
14Neil vN says
Love that softbox, shall have to get one.
I have 2 questions. I don’t think I have seen it mentioned before on your site, so forgive is previously stated.
I am shooting 1D MkIIIs and 5D MkII
1] Picture Style used. Standard or?
2] Do you adjust any of the ‘styles’ and/or colour adjustments.
16Neil vN says
I always thought that the Ezybox was only good for head and shoulder or head to waist portraits. I wonder how you set the Ezybox for those execellent full lenght photos?
18Neil vN says
Jose .. I did wonder about that as well, since my previous softbox was 24×32 and I always made sure to turn the softbox the same direction (horizontal / vertical), as I was holding my camera. So the smaller 24×24 size was something I did wonder about.
Part of the explanation might be that we’re visually okay with some gradual light fall-off to the bottom of the portrait. In fact, we even want that often enough for companies like Westcott to have created an Asymmetrical Strip Bank. You often want that fall off to the bottom, accentuating the top part of the portrait. Here is a blog post where I described using the Asymmetrical Strip Bank.
Back to the Ezybox, it does seem like the diffusion is really good in scattering the light .. and in pulling the softbox back a bit, I get a fairly even spread of light, as you can see in the to image here, and on this next image.
can you post the affiliate link to purchase the monopod you used to support EZYBOX set up? thanks!
and, do you have a review and/or affiliate link to a setup you use for when you have more daylight? What option do you go with now-a-days, when the Speedlight inside the softbox is just not enough light? Do you still use the Q-Flash? And, what is the setup on that? Thanks so much!
20Neil vN says
21Neil vN says
I use the Manfrotto 680B monopod, but there are other monopods which might be slightly lighter.
Then I also use a stud to attach the softbox to the monopod.
I had been considering a 28″ Apollo when I ran across this. Then, when looking for more info about the Ezybox, ran across the Cheetah Qbox 24, for a lot less money and with metal mounting bracket for the flash & speed ring. Do you have any experience with the Cheetah QBox?
23Neil vN says
24Anoop Nair says
I got a Lastolite Hot Shoe EZYBOX Softbox Kit (24×24)and a Monopod with Quick relese plate yesterday but unfortunatly i couldnt find the attachment to connect the Monopod Quick relese plate to Softbox hardware . could you please send me a link of this item? any experience of a 18 x 18 Lasolite EZYBOX? is it suitable for a Onlocation shooting?
25Neil vN says
I just got this Ezybox today. It comes with two white sheets: a large and a small. The larger white sheet attaches to the velcro lines that are just inside the softbox. However, I have no idea where to attach the smaller sheet, which only has velcro strips on the corners of the sheet. I was at the Lastolite website, but I didn’t see any video or manual that shows what to do with this smaller sheet. Can you help?
27Neil vN says
Thank you for pointing out those smaller velcro strips inside the softbox. I mistook those strips for label tags and never inspected them closely. I have my 2 baffles set up now. :-)
29Anoop Nair says
Thanks for your kind help i will stick with the larger size softbox. i got a question… after firing the Flash i can see a -2EV or someting similer on the righ top corner of flash LCD and the picture is underexposed. does it means i need to increse the +2 Stops or flash exposure or my picture is -2 stops underexposed? your advise will be appreciated
30Neil vN says
31Anoop Nair says
Sorry my mistake I mean +2 stop on camera via ISO,Shutterspeed,or Aperture so can get the correct exposure. iam i correct? . one more thing for a correctly exposed image if i apply +1 FEC on flash how the picture will be effected?
32Neil vN says
Ive been admireing your shots here – brilliant as usual!
I would like to ask if you set the Zoom on Flash to 105mm when on location with or without the Softbox.
34Neil vN says
Thanks Neil for your nice and informative review, though I couldn’t afford this softbox. I did purchase the Cheetah Qbox 24″ instead because the price is about half compared to Lastolite Ezybox. I am glad that everything came similarly and plus for the metal bracket as mentioned above. Two white sheets, small (internal baffle) for diffused light and make light lit even on the 24″ panel. Though everything seemed to be similar, except for the price. Has anyone here compared the result of these two softbox? I would guess they are similar :)
How do you do the last fold and twist so it goes back into the bag? If it were circular at that stage, it’d be cake. Everything else is really straightforward and I am quite pleased with it (just picked it up from B&H using your link, if all went as planned).
Update, sorry. I was able to kind of munge it together into three lobes, and once those are flattened, it easily fits in the bag. I’m quite happy with the build quality; everything is nicely stitched and overall it has a surprisingly solid feel. I’m pleased that the spring frame doesn’t bind at all, thanks to semi-elastic fabric surrounding it. Nice touch.
38Neil vN says
If it helps anyone, I found this Ezybox folding video on Lastolite’s website, although the demonstrator folds the Ezybox with the baffles still attached.
Of note is that a 580 EX II sitting atop a TT5 and the AC5 grounding shoe adapter is far too tall to fit through the hole in the back of the Ezybox. I inquired at Lastolite and was told they’re considering a redesign of the “lollypop”. For the short term, that doesn’t at all help those of us with that equipment. Some kind of L bracket that makes the whole thing mount sideways might be a nice workaround.
@Stephen, thanks. That is *way* better.
The image at the top is totally beautiful!!!, the way that the light falls is just totally amasing and the shadow details are just, to me, just right.
You may want to call or visit B&H and find out what items are in that product. It doesn’t mention that it comes with baffles. Sometimes, vendors will sell only the softbox and nothing else (no mounts, no baffles), so the product is listed at a lower price. I think this is done in case you have existing components and need to replace another worn out component.
The Lastolite link Neil listed includes everything for the softbox (mounts, baffles, and the softbox itself).
Another concern about the Interfit is the ball bracket. Having tried a low-cost ($35) tilt mount, I think most low-cost tilt mounts cannot support the weight of the softbox, mounts, and strobe setup. So, the entire softbox may tilt even if you tighten the ball to the maximum.
Unfortunately, I have not used Interfit products, so I cannot add anything else to the discussion.
43Dickie Gill says
When doing “head and shoulder” shots what is the approximate distance that you have the soft box away from the subject, likewise what sort of distance for “full length”
44Neil vN says
55 comments or so and nothing… absolutely nothing… one of us has to say it…
Jessica is hot. No way around that and the light in the shot only highlights that in spades. There. I’ve said it! :-)
This comes from a guy who’s been happily married for over 18 years (and hoping for many, many more, as many as God will allow).
Just my two cents. :-)
I have this same softbox and am finding that it falls off very easily from the round support ring in the slightest wind. Have you heard of a fix to secure it so it handles better in wind?
Are you tucking the flash ring inside the ribbing of the softbox? It’s supposed to be a decently tight fit on all four sides. Slight breezes should not be knocking the softbox off the ring. I had the softbox get knocked down by strong wind (20mph gusts), and that ring stayed on the softbox until the entire thing hit the ground.
Perhaps you have a defective softbox?
Sorry for the double post.
FYI: I went to get a second Lastolite 24″x24″ Ezybox at B&H. It appears Lastolite changed the packaging. The softbox is no longer in the twisted and collapsed shape in a tiny round nylon case. It now comes just folded in a triangular shaped nylon case. Perhaps too many people couldn’t figure out how to collapse the Ezybox into the original case. In any case, the Ezybox itself is still made from the same material, so you can still twist it into the collapsed shape.
49Neil vN says
I noticed that it is a tighter fit if the ezybox logo is on the side and not on top. I used a new assistant yesterday and she might have been putting it on incorrectly. Even when it’s on correctly though, I wish the fit was a bit more snug. Thanks for responding and Happy New Year!
51Bob Madia says
Happy New Year to you and your family … still wish that the Cleveland -Erie – Buffalo – Pittsburgh region could secure you …your insight is awesome and practical.
Ok then ..since you are a fan of the Ezybox, would you suggest the the 24″ or 30″ …
(I know “depends”..but for general use) … any thoughts would be appreciated ..
52Neil vN says
Hi Neil… i have been using this setup with my Canon Speedlights 580EXII and find that I’m missing a LOT of shots because my master and slave were not in-sync with their recycle times (even with fully charged rechargeables). It’s very frustrating because maybe 1/4 of my shots are underexposed because no flash was present.
I also noticed that the recycle times were much slower when shooting master/slave then when just using one speedlight on camera (no softbox), for whatever reason.
Do you notice this?
Also, do you turn off the flash from the master? Right now, my master still fires a flash when it sends the signal to the slave on the Lastolite EZYBOX softbox. But, then I get the master’s flash in the eyes of my subject, which is unwanted. I guess that can be solved with the Black Foamie Thing, but…
Do you encounter any of the above or are Nikon Speedlites just superior ;)?
54Neil vN says
Makes sense, Neil, thanks. Just curious, tho, why not battery pack on the master too?
56Neil vN says
You are not imagining things. I looked at Lastolite’s website, their product catalog, and did some google searching, and the 24″x 24″ kit appears to have been discontinued by the manufacturer. If you want to confirm this, you may want to call your region’s Lastolite distributor.
58jim brandano says
Hi Neil, I was wondering if this would work with the Quantum Trio? If not would you recommend one that would?
Lastolite now seems to have a 21×21 and a 30×30 in kit form. I’m leaning toward to 30×30 softbox. Anyone think that might be to unwieldy for location shooting?
60Randy R. says
I’ve been considering an Ezybox for a while now. I’m close to buying something but still trying to decide what. I like the looks of the Ezybox. It seems to be well liked by its users. The only thing I worry about is using it in the wind. Around my area, 20 mph winds are considered calm. I don’t want to have to fight to keep the box attached to the ring if the wind picks up.
I also already own a flash bracket from kasey enterprises. They make a speedring that allows the bracket to be used with a traditional softbox. I could pick up a light-weight softbox and use the bracket I already have. I don’t expect any traditional softbox to be as light and portable as the Ezybox.
Anyone tried using the Ezybox in the wind?
I have used the Lastolite Ezybox mounted on a Manfrotto stand in wind gusts of about 5 mph but not 20mph. The entire stand went down. The softbox did not fly off the Lastolite default bracket ring. However, if you are dealing with 20mph winds, you should be securing your softbox anyway (i.e. counter weights on the lightstand, reinforce the bracket and softbox, etc.)
I was wondering if the Lastolite kit can point up or down when mounted on a light stand, or would I need another adapter for that?
63Neil vN says
is there enough room to use this with the radio popper px?
65Neil vN says
I’m trying to find where you have a link in here for the swivel for the Lastolite Ezybox softbox, I remember you mentioned it was available in here somewhere since I’m about too order the soft box and stand..thanks! :)
This what you are after: Lastolite Tilt Head & Spigot
How would you mount a radiopopper px bracket to this? It doesn’t look like they’re compatible.
69Neil vN says
Thanks Neil, after some additional searching, I found this site:
Which basically says to remove the coldshoe from the bracket, flip the spacer block around and hold it to the underside. Use a Manfrotto 015 adapter 1/4? to 3/8? to lock it onto your RadioPopper PX mount from beneath.
Always helpful. I got two of the 24 inch. I have mono pods but prefer to use light stands so that I can put them down between shots if required. I sivel the flash and use IR. Can mount flash on RT – cactus V5 if required (hot show or cable firing. Range 200m.
When Fill flashing in doors, an umbrellas is used to help defeat the shadows.
When outside, the softbox better utilizes the flashs power. Canon 580 ExII, Quantum T5d (150 W sec) and Cameron 300 w-sec
What do you think about the smaller 40cm x40cm softbox, would it be useful at all, or 40x40cm is too small for general portrait use.
73Anoop Nair says
What is the Distance you prefer the Softbox from the person for an indoor and outdoor shoot.and any perticular angle? I had a wiered expereice 2 days ago, let me brief you. I was shooting with 2 Nikon D3S attached with 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm VR2 2.8. I did make sure both camera were on similer settings including ISO,Shutterspeed,Aperture,Picturemode and others and I was shooting from Far and close. i found photos from Both cameras look differnt. any expereice? and Photos from 70-200 was not razor sharp. is it because my VR was on?
For any folks concerned about the size reduction in the softbox from 24″ to 21″ please note the following from Lastolite’s site:
“* Due to a change in how we measure our softboxes, the 60cm (24″) Ezybox Hotshoe (2462) has recently been re-named as the 54cm (21″) Ezybox Hotshoe (2462). Both softboxes are in fact the same size and item number. Any accessories designed for the 54cm (21″) Ezybox Hotshoe are also compatible with the 60cm (24″) Ezybox Hotshoe.”
So it’s the same size – evidently they just changed the manner in which they quite their measurements.
Hope this helps folks.
i bought the ezybox hotshoe 24′ a few days ago, and i was/am planning to use it for travel photography. now that i got it delivered i am not so sure if it was a mistake to buy it.
it seems just a bit too big to be comfortably carried around, and there seem to be softboxes on the market, that are as big, but can be collapsed into much smaller sizes.
what are your experiences in terms of portability of that softbox (24′)?
First let me say I think your web site is one of the best I have found, no let me try that again it is the best I have found.
As I say to all that help teach us the best way to take photos. Have you ever taken great photos with say a Nikon D5000, one SB700, one Ezybox and a trigger, lenses 55-200m, 18-55mm and maybe a 50mm 1.8g.
As a beginner it seems that anyone and everyone that teaches and are trying to help us learn always do it with the best gear out there. They say all the time that gear doesn’t matter but I have never seen anyone teach a beginner with the beginner gear or I should say with the gear we can afford.
But as I said your site is the best I have found and can’t stop reading the pages.
Also thanks for the time you put into this web site as most I have contacted here where I live seem to be scared to death to help you I guess they figure a person will take all their work from them….lol
Sorry for going off but I would love to find someone that would help from the lower end of the gear and if you know a place on the net that does this would you send me the link…
Thanks Neil for the best info out there for all of us to see.
77Neil vN says
78Florian L. says
which zoom position do you set at your speedlite when use it with the softbox? I guess you prefer manual zoom to auto zoom.
79Neil vN says
I normally zoom to 35mm or 28mm. ie, wide, but not so wide that I increase the risk of the fresnel melting.
I have ordered both the ezybox 54×54 (24) and the speed-lite version. My question is whether the two white diffusers both have to be attached to the softbox?
Will we not lose more power by having two white sheets to diffuse the light?
81Neil vN says
I usually leave both diffusers in if the light levels aren’t too bright.
But when needed, I do take the inner baffle out to give a bit of extra juice.
If you wanted to leave it out permanently, you’d probably not notice.
82Radoslav Atanasov says
Hello, I have a small problem and I hope you help me. I have a flash Nikon SB-800 will want to take the box for her. I Chose Lastolite Hot Shoe EZYBOX Softbox Kit 76 x 76cm but I’m not sure that the light is evenly because Boxing was big. The other models are not less in the same range, but with a smaller size Lastolite EzyBox Hotshoe Kit him 2471. Will mainly shoot portraits and models in full-length. What would you advised me. Thank you.