The 11 Best Softbox for Speedlight Of All Time Reviewed & Ranked by Experts

A few weeks ago, one of my friends advised me to get a softbox for speedlight as it would help me get more natural light in my shots. I went online, did a search, and I bought what I thought was the best softbox for speedlight on the market. The manufacturer described it as an all-round speedbox for any occasion. It turns out they were lying. It was cheap, kept falling over, and didn’t really achieve the look I wanted at all.

Top Pick

In short, I went back online in search of a new softbox for speedlight—one that actually worked. Check out my review of the seven best products I found, and the accompanying buying guide.

I fell in love with the Neewer Octagonal Softbox Speedlight as it a versatile gadget with a sturdy design. It comes with a set of nice features, and it can adapt to an impressive range of environments.

Top Softbox for Speedlight Reviews

Neewer Octagon Softbox Speedlight

You can hardly search for the best softbox for speedlight without the Neewer Octagonal Softbox popping up on Google. With a rugged design, this softbox is suitable for all kinds of environments. You can comfortably use it inside a studio or on an outdoor shoot.

Features

  • Octagonal shape
  • Made from nylon and aluminum shaft
  • Back exterior and silver reflective interior
  • 32-inch (80cm) surface
  • Weighs 10.05lbs

What I like

The Neewer octagonal softbox is one of the most portable softboxes on the market. It has a handy dual zip system that makes it easy to pack up when you are traveling. Also, its silver reflective surface has a marvelous light diffusion capability without leaking any light.

What I Don’t Like

There are instances where the umbrella jams when opening up. Some of the parts may also break up if they hit the ground hard. You have got to be cautious when you are packing or adjusting it. This option might not be best if you travel a lot with your gear.

Pros

  • Zero light leakage
  • Easily adjustable angle
  • Light and sturdy
  • Sleek two-way zip design

Cons

  • Umbrella tends to jam
  • Fragile middle shaft

The Neewer Octagonal softbox is a versatile and highly portable softbox that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. It comes with a decent set of features including a high-quality silver reflective inner surface that prevents light from leaking.

Overall Score – 4.6/5

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Westcott Rapid Box Softbox Speedlight

This is one of Westcott’s cheaper softbox speedlights. It maintains the company’s long-held reputation of producing high-quality softboxes without cutting costs on design and materials. It has received positive reviews from professionals as well as enthusiast photographers.

Features

  • Weighs 3lbs
  • In-built speed ring and tilting bracket
  • Black exterior and a silver interior
  • 12 x 26 x 26 inches

What I like

The Westcott rapid box softbox speedlight is one of the easiest pro softboxes to set up. It only takes a few mins to have a fully functional diffusion light up and running. Made from sturdy material and excellent design, you shouldn’t worry about wearing out your softbox when you are traveling. It works great even during daylight.

What I Don’t Like

One problem I noted with the Westcott Rapid box is that sometimes the shaft plus the folding system blocks light. The diffuser is also not the strongest.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Adjustable flash mount
  • Robust and durable
  • Easy to set up

Cons

  • Unfolding mechanism blocks light
  • Not suitable for large portraits

Rapidbox is a fantastic light modifier that creates clean and even lighting. It works well in both studio and outdoor events. You can easily fold it up like an umbrella and travel with it in your backpack.

Overall Score – 4.6/5

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Godox Umbrella Octagon Reflector

Designed for casual users, the Godox Umbrella Octagon Reflector is an awesome softbox that’s affordable and simple to use. It has solid parts that can withstand the test of time and comes with a nice carrying case to keep it in good condition.

Features

  • Nylon material with silver interior
  • 47-inch (120cm)
  • Double metal frame
  • Carrying case, translucent cover
  • Foldable umbrella design
  • 7lbs weight

What I like

I love the high-density nylon material that covers its outer surface as it’s stylish and durable. It will look good in your studio as well as in any outdoor event. Thanks to its compact umbrella design, you can fold it up and pack in a carrier bag or backpack.

The other good thing about this softbox for speedlight is its bright reflective inner surface that gives the perfect diffusion.

What I like

On the flip side, the Godox Umbrella Octagon Reflector has a wobbly inner shaft. It also appears that the materials used are not durable. I felt like it would break every time a strong wind would sweep by during my outdoor photoshoot.

  • Extremely versatile
  • Light but solid build
  • Easy to set up
  • Highly reflective surface

Cons

  • Flimsy center shaft
  • Not the best diffuser material

Godox Umbrella is a beautiful and user-friendly softbox that is perfect for portraits as well as product photoshoots. It doesn’t cost a fortune either.

Overall Score – 4.5/5

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Fotodiox EZ-Pro Octagon Softbox Speedlight

The EZ-Pro Octagon is another affordable softbox in our list of best softboxes for speedlight. Its claim to fame is its super bag-to-full-deployment speed. You can set up this softbox within minutes.

Features

  • Octagon shape
  • Silver interior and black exterior
  • Has a removable front face
  • Weighs 8lbs
  • 39 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches

What I like

One of the major highs of this softbox is that it’s easy to set up. It only takes thirty seconds to get the softbox up and running.

Since it has a large surface area, it can diffuse excess light on a big subject. You also be happy to know that it’s durable. Thanks to its high-quality parts, the EZ-Pro Octagon can serve you for many years.

What I Don’t Like

One of the problems I had with the Fotodiox EZ-Pro Octagon Softbox Speedlight is the inner lining. It is attached to the octa-box using velcro rather than hooks or pins. You will occasionally have the lining pop out as a result.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble and dissemble
  • Large reflective surface area
  • Rotating flash speeding

Cons

  • Flimsy diffusion material
  • Silver lining fades

Fast, sturdy, and high diffusion—these are just a few of the words that describe how good the Fotodiox EZ-Pro Octagon Softbox Speedlight is. It is an affordable and high-quality softbox.

Overall Score – 4.5/5

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Godox Umbrella Octagon Softbox

The Godox Umbrella Octagon Softbox is one of the most affordable softboxes in the market. Because it’s rugged, it’s capable of handling any environment, too.

Features

  • Carbon fiber bracket
  • Silver reflector with white cover
  • Polyester silk material
  • 25pounds
  • 1 x 3.5 x 2.4 inches

What I like

One of the things I love about the Godox Umbrella softbox is the quality of the build. This softbox is built from the ground up using superior materials to give you the performance you need wherever you are. It packs up well and is easy-to-set-up.

What I Don’t Like

The major drawback has to be the size, which can cause problems when you try angling it down. The other thing is that this softbox takes up a lot of room and may eat up space in your studio.

Pros

  • Solid construction
  • High-quality parts
  • Extremely portable
  • Excellent soft light

Cons

  • Hard to angle down
  • Depth issue

The Godox Umbrella is an all-round softbox that works well with flashes and studio flashlights. It is easy to install, has a silver reflective surface, and light enough to carry around.

Overall Score – 4.4/5

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SMDV Professional S40 Hexagonal Softbox for Speedlight

The S40 Hexagonal Softbox from SMDV has a unique design and lots of decent features that put it on par with other high-end models. Since it’s lightweight, it’s a joy to carry around when shooting outdoors.

Features

  • Black exterior
  • Weighs 2.4lbs
  • 17-inch (40cm)
  • Superior dual diffusion panels
  • Patented fast release system

What I Don’t Like

The S40 has a quick-release system that makes it superfast to close or set it up in a new location. It comes with two panels that can diffuse extra light and a detachable internal baffle that softens light at the same time, reduce hotspots.

What I Don’t Like

On the flip side, the SMDV Professional S40 Hexagonal Softbox has flimsy rods that can be damaged by moderate to strong winds while doing a shoot. Luckily, you will find some spares in your package for such scenarios.

The other thing is that it has fragile plastic parts. If you’re not cautious or apply excessive force, they can snap.

Pros

  • Super lightweight
  • Soft and even lighting
  • Durable steel rods
  • High-quality carrier bag

Cons

  • Complicated initial set-up
  • Rods are too thin

The S40 Hexagonal softbox is hands down the best softbox for pro photographers who work with various types of flashes. It’s sturdy enough thanks to its high-quality parts, yet super-light to carry around.

Overall Score – 4.5/5

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GODOX Mount Foldable Mini Softbox

The Mini softbox from Godox eliminates the hassle associated with setting up softboxes. It is easy to use and is robust and durable. This softbox is built from high-quality material and has a small form factor that is highly portable.

Features

  • Weighs less than a pound (400g)
  • Black exterior finish
  • Silver inner lining
  • High-quality plastics

What I like

The GODOX Mount Foldable Mini Softbox is both easy to set up and use. It doesn’t need any assembly. Just take it out of the bag, and you are good to go. The speedlight has a unique mounting as well. You can mount your speedlight either vertically or horizontally. The best part is that it’s compatible with different brands.

What I Don’t Like

You can take out the GODOX Mount Foldable Mini Softbox in minutes, but I can’t say the same about packing it. I spent a better part of an hour trying to fit it back into the carrying case without breaking anything. It is also worth noting that when opening it, it springs up fast. If you are not careful, it could hit your face.

Pros

  • Adjustable mount size
  • Small compact design
  • Highly-portable
  • Versatile lighting options
  • No assembly or disassembly

Cons

  • Difficult to fold back
  • Plastic bracket

Of all the softboxes I reviewed, the Minibox is one of the most portable and versatile softboxes. It is compact and offers a handful of customization options.

Overall Score – 4.3/5

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

Softbox for Speedlight Buyers Guide

Many people struggle to buy the best equipment for their cameras, including the best softbox for speedlight. If you’re wondering what to look for or not sure what to consider, here are a few tips that might give you a good head start.

Strong is always better

We always overlook the small stuff that we don’t consider as being important such as the material used to make softboxes. The best way to ensure your softbox internals are safe and in tip-top shape is to get a solid outer cover for your softbox. Many professional photographers and manufacturers trust an outer nylon cover to protect their softboxes.

Not cheap, Not expensive

If you are still a newbie to photography, you might end up buying expensive camera gear that’s not going to be of much use. The same applies to softboxes. When shopping around, it is advisable to for the best value for your money. Chances are you might need more than one softbox for the effect you are looking in your photography session.

Best Material Over Everything

The type of material defines the quality of pictures that you get. The best photos are the ones that have perfect lighting and minimal shadows. So be cautious about the choice of softbox material. Don’t get anything that will easily crease.

Portable vs. Fixed softbox

Softboxes come in different shapes and sizes. If you move about a lot, as most photographers do, you should get a lightweight and compact softbox that you can carry around to your shooting location. You don’t want to tug around a heavy softbox that is hard to pack with your gear and worse, cumbersome to carry.

Softbox Inner Color

Most softboxes are available in two colors; white and silver. The silver inner-lined softbox has a vibrant light and provides rich contrast and light projection.

On the other hand, a white lining is subtle. It will help if you consider it for shoots that require you to maintain neutral colors.

How Big Should You Go

Unlike other lighting accessories, the size of the lightbox depends on the size of the subject. There is a common misconception that you can buy a small softbox for speedlight and use it for all kinds of subjects. That’s not true.

The size of the softbox matters for the type of effect you want to achieve with your photos. Go for a bigger softbox in case you need soft light around your subjects. If you have more than one subject, you should consider using more than one softbox. The size rule still applies even when using more than one softbox.

Adjustable Softboxes

We have just seen the importance of size when it comes to selecting softboxes. Some designs are versatile. You can set them up the way you want and adjust them as well to match your needs. When shopping around, ensure that you get a customizable softbox set up for the particular shoot or subject.

Softbox Shapes

Softboxes come in many shapes. The shape of your softbox generally determines the diffusion of light as well as the outcome of the photo. The most popular shapes include squares, rectangles, octagonal or just long, and slender strips. Other less popular shapes are round, parabolic, and hexagonal.

Final Thoughts

Softboxes not only come in different shapes and sizes but serve different occasions and purpose. While I couldn’t pick all of them, I went with what worked for me. I particularly loved the Neewer Octagonal Softbox Speedlight because it’s affordable and convenient for both the beginner and the professional.

The process of setting it up and taking it down is super simple. You can hardly miss the use of high-quality materials throughout the softbox.

While this was the ideal option for my needs, you might find one of the other options on our list better for you. If not, I hope our buying guide helps you single-out the perfect match for your next shoot!

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