8 Best Softboxes for Speedlight in 2020

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Photostudio tech light devices equipment illuminated indoors

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Often, photographers find their best outdoor shots to be marred by bad lighting. If this sounds familiar, then you’re in need of a softbox.

Photography is tricky. Be it extreme shadows or excessive light, anything apart from optimal lighting conditions can prove disastrous for the most interesting images. In order to fix this, a softbox is mandatory.

As one of the most useful items in a photographer’s toolkit, a softbox serves a variety of needs. While some are perfect for nature photography, others work best in studios and for portraiture.

However, with the sheer number of models available in the market, selecting the right one for your needs can be difficult. This is why we’ve done the legwork and picked the 8 best ones for you.

Without further ado, let’s get straight to the reviews!

Best Softboxes for Speedlight

Document
IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Our Top PickOur Top Pickhstcstbl-table__imageFotodiox F60 Quick-Collapse Softbox
  • Stand-mount softbox
  • Internal diffuser baffle attached
  • Ideal for macro photography
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hstcstbl-table__imageNeewer Bowens Mount Softbox
  • Attached grid to diffuse light
  • Doubles up as a strobe umbrella
  • Ideal for portraiture
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hstcstbl-table__imageNeewer 32-inches Octagonal Softbox
  • Adjustable internal diffusers
  • Includes a universal Speedlight mount
  • No pre-assembly required
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hstcstbl-table__imageAltura Flash Diffuser Softbox
  • Fits most Speedlight brands
  • Offers flexible shooting
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
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hstcstbl-table__imagewaka Flash Diffuser Light Speedlight Softbox
  • Available in two shapes
  • Equipped with a Velcro strap
  • Diffuser lining attached
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hstcstbl-table__imageNeewer Round Universal Magnetic Ring Flash
  • Nylon straps for strong attachment
  • Ideal for extreme close-ups
  • Available in 12-inch models
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hstcstbl-table__imageFotocreate Collapsible Strip Light Softbox
  • Strip stand-mount
  • Convertible softbox
  • Ideal for backlighting subjects
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hstcstbl-table__imageWestcott Rapid Box Softbox
  • In-built speed ring and tilting bracket
  • Adjustable flash mount
  • Good for both studio and outdoor shoots
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Empty photo studio with lighting equipment on white

  1. Fotodiox F60 Quick-Collapse Softbox

Our first recommendation is from one of the most trusted brands in the photography industry. A highly functional and reliable piece of equipment, this softbox from Fotodiox also scores high in terms of operational efficiency. What’s more, its incredible features are hard to come by and offer great value for money.

Fotodiox F60 Quick-Collapse Flash Softbox - 60cm (24in) Hexagon for...
  • Premium grade softbox material with reflective and...
  • Simple take down - tabs on the back of the...

Why Did We Like It?

Right off the bat, this model impressed us with its capacity to disperse light. It features a six-sided design along with a deep parabolic draft that allows for even distribution of the available light to give you a soft glow. Also, the internal diffuser may be removed to soften the light further. This mechanism is the reason why the softbox works well in a studio setup.

Moreover, when it comes to mounting, Fotodiox’s model proves to be versatile. Fitted with a pistol grip flash, it can be mounted on stands and be operated hand-held with equal ease. In addition to such efficient functioning, the unit is also easy to assemble and requires little effort. Ideal for portraits, it is a reliable device that delivers commendable performance.

Last but not the least, Fotodiox’s product constitutes a sturdy construction and is hexagonal in shape. Lightweight and durable, it is also perfect for macro photography and makes for the ideal companion for photographers who are just starting out.

What Could Have Been Better?

The only concern about this otherwise wonderful softbox is that the body is slightly plastic-heavy and may not hold up in all situations, which in turn, can affect its durability. However, it has a lot to offer and is an excellent device for studio photography. So, no way are we striking it off the list!

Pros
  • Multiple mounting options
  • Versatile functioning
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good value for money
Cons
  • Plastic-heavy build
  1. Neewer Bowens Mount Softbox

Next up is another dependable piece of photographic equipment from a brand that everybody in the industry knows and trusts. Neewer is a company that always commits to its values and the Bowens Mount Softbox is no exception. As one of the best products in the market, it does a commendable job and is built to last.

Neewer 24x24 inches Bowens Mount Softbox with Grid and S-Type Flash...
  • By diffusing the flash, the softbox creates an...
  • The remarkable s-type speedlite mount presented by...

Why Did We Like It?

It may be useful to mention straight up, that this is one of the best softboxes for indoor portrait photography. Whether it’s close-up shots of food or products, the dimensions of the device make it the perfect choice for either. Also, it makes for an equally good light source under unfavorable weather conditions. It is then that this softbox truly comes to your aid.

In addition to that, the unit is equipped with a number of features that enhance its functionality. First and foremost, it comes with a grid that allows the photographer to diffuse the light and get that soft, glowing look that can completely transform an image. Furthermore, the softbox also doubles up as a strobe flash umbrella if required.

Lastly, Neewer’s product is built to provide years of use that guarantees your money’s worth. Sturdy in construction, it stands up well to adverse external conditions, which further improves its suitability for outdoor photography. All in all, we’d say watch out for this one!

What Could Have Been Better?

The only aspect where users may have reason to complain is the weight. At 2.7 lbs, it is heavier than its peers, which makes it slightly cumbersome to operate and impacts its portability. But, given the features on offer, surely this is a small compromise to make.

Pros
  • Ideal for shooting in low light
  • Enhanced diffusion of light
  • Sturdy and long-lasting
Cons
  • Heavier than other models
  1. Neewer 32-inches Octagonal Softbox

Another excellent product from Neewer, this octagonal softbox is a favorite with professionals and amateur photographers alike. Not only is it extremely useful in portraiture and studio settings, but it also makes for a dependable tool that lasts a long time. After going through its features, there’s no way one isn’t impressed!

Neewer 32 inches/80 centimeters Octagonal Softbox with S-Type Bracket...
  • KIT INCLUDES: (1)32x32 inches/ 80x80 centimeters...
  • OCTAGONAL SOFTBOX: A softbox when being spread and...

Why Did We Like It?

If you’re looking for a softbox to achieve that perfect framing and gauzy glow for your images, Neewer’s unit could be the right candidate for it. Equipped with a host of incredible features, it allows for a great deal of versatility while shooting portraits and close-ups.

Being fairly large-sized, the softbox has the capacity to fully accommodate the subject without leaving out edges or cropping the image awkwardly. Also, the internal diffusers are adjustable and offer soft lighting that makes for attractive portraits. The softbox functions equally well as a studio umbrella, thus offering a variety of functions in one kit.

Last but not the least, the kit is well-furnished and contains both kinds of mounts – the universal Speedlight mount as well as the one required for studio lighting. Lightweight and well-sized, it needs no pre-assembly or breakdown and offers good value for money.

What Could Have Been Better?

An issue that all Neewer products seem to face is that of durability. Some parts of this otherwise reliable piece of equipment are prone to bending and, in extreme cases, even breakage. We’d suggest contacting customer support as they are a responsive team and such problems can then be easily resolved.

Pros
  • Versatile use
  • Allows for attractive portraits
  • Lightweight and large-sized
Cons
  • Some parts may be prone to bending
  1. Altura Flash Diffuser Softbox

Sometimes, you’ve got to use your own hands! And Altura’s softbox is precisely what you need for such occasions. Incredibly efficient as a handheld unit, it is one of the best products from a well-known brand and promises to deliver.

Flash Diffuser Light Softbox 6x5” by Altura Photo (Universal,...
  • Altura Photo Softbox Flash Diffuser for Shoe Mount...
  • EVEN LIGHTING: Reduces harshness and softens...

Why Did We Like It?

There is no dearth of reasons to be impressed by Altura’s product. As a handheld softbox, it is quite the nifty item and allows for great flexibility in shooting. This makes the unit a go-to choice for seasoned photographers who like a greater degree of control over their shoots.

Also, the softbox is designed with versatility in mind and fits most Speedlight brands in a manner that is snug and sturdy. It can be mounted directly on the flash and is adaptable enough to allow for strategic shooting. Because of this, the photographer will have no problem bouncing light off the ceiling or wall and focus it on the subject.

Moreover, this is a unit that also offers great portability and ease of operation. When not occupied, the softbox can be folded and attached to the flash, or completely collapsed for easy storage. Whatever your requirement may be, Altura’s product is sure to deliver.

What Could Have Been Better?

The only aspect that the unit falters in is its size. Considerably smaller than its market counterparts, it is designed only to work on flash heads that have smaller dimensions. However, it is devoid of any functional flaws and for that, we’d recommend it by all means!

Pros
  • Affords greater control to the photographer
  • Can be mounted directly on flash head
  • Offers easy portability
Cons
  • Fits only smaller flash heads
  1. waka Flash Diffuser Light Speedlight Softbox

Next up, we have an excellent product from waka, a brand that has been around long enough to have established a name for itself. Exceptionally well-equipped to tackle unfavorable lighting conditions, this nifty softbox is a worthy addition to any photographer’s toolkit.

waka Flash Diffuser Light Softbox, [2 Pack] Speedlight Softbox...
  • GET 2 IN 1 PACK - Come with one 8" Octagon Softbox...
  • WELL PERFORMANCE - Reduces harshness, eliminates...

Why Did We Like It?

The biggest USP of this product is that it comes in two shapes – rectangular and circular – to ensure that it fits most Speedlight brands. Versatile and highly functional, it employs cutting edge technology to diffuse light as needed. To that end, the interior is fitted with a diffuser lining over the PVC that offers optimum lighting conditions. 

Moreover, the variation available in its shape means that the photographer can experiment with the kind of effects they wish to incorporate into the images. Put simply, they have more options for lighting and are able to work with a variety of fill lights in order to achieve the desired look.

Last but not the least, this is not a product whose fitting you need to worry about. The softbox has a Velcro strap attached to it for ease of operation, one that ensures a tight fit on most flash heads. Additionally, it offers excellent portability and is easy to collapse and store away when not in use.

What Could Have Been Better?

While the softbox from waka certainly has its perks, it could improve on the durability of the unit. Some parts are prone to breakage and also fit a few Speedlights better than others. However, there isn’t another fault to find with this excellent product and we’re more than willing to bet on it.

Pros
  • Offers optimum lighting in unfavorable conditions
  • Easy to operate
  • Offers great portability
Cons
  • Construction could improve
  1. Neewer Round Universal Magnetic Ring Flash

By now, we need not explain just how amazing Neewer is as a brand. The third product from the company on the list, this magnetic ring flash scores high on utility as well as durability. Different from a round light, it works to ensure a well-rounded shooting experience and, more importantly, the desired images.

Sale
Neewer Round Universal Collapsible Magnetic Ring Flash Diffuser Soft...
  • Fits most DSLR's w/standard & telephoto lenses &...
  • Maximum diameter is 45cm, inner diameter is 13cm

Why Did We Like It?

If you spend an enormous amount of time in the studio shooting portraits, then maybe it’s time to add the magnetic ring light from Neewer to your toolkit. Excellent for both professional and amteur photographers, this is the ideal softbox for extreme close-ups that leave no room for mistakes.

The shape of the unit is well-designed to accommodate the camera in the center, well fastened by nylon straps that come with the light. Similarly, the Speedlight’s flash may be attached through a baffle inside the ring. The result, therefore, is a soft, glowing light that adequately fills in the shadows around a subject.

Neewer’s product is easy to operate and even beginners are sure to have a breeze of a time with it. While 12-inch models are also available, they may be too small for the user to handle the camera efficiently.

What Could Have Been Better?

This particular softbox is without faults to a large degree and it’s hard to be critical. The only possible point of concern could be the shape and camera placement which may be cumbersome for users. However, this can be easily resolved if the unit is used with a tripod, which will also make it easier to operate Zoom lenses.

Pros
  • Suitable for both amateurs and professionals
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Easy to operate
Cons
  • Camera placement could be deemed cumbersome
  1. Fotocreate Collapsible Strip Light Softbox

Our penultimate suggestion is a strong contender for the top spot in the market and you’ll see why! A nifty and functional piece of equipment, it serves as a tool you can count on when natural lighting conditions are far from ideal. It delivers well on its word and can contribute significantly and positively to any shooting session if used right.

FOTOCREAT 8"×35"(20×90cm) Collapsible Strip Light Softbox With...
  • A portable, collapsible flash diffuser which...
  • 35inch(90cm) long strip of soft, evenly diffused...

Why Did We Like It?

First things first, we were thoroughly impressed by the unmatched versatility offered by Fotocreate’s product. As a convertible strip softbox, it allows for diffusion of light at two levels. Also, both internal and external diffusers may be removed from the device. What this results in, greater control of the photographer on the shooting.

Furthermore, the external grid of the unit can be separately added in order to alter light intensity depending on the requirement. And alongside this, the softbox performs equally well as an umbrella for studio lighting.

The unique shape and design of the softbox makes it the ideal device for providing backlighting for a number of subjects. As light beams are projected through the bottom of the strip and point upwards, they allow for the creation of mood lighting – a feature not commonly found in all softboxes. Sturdy and dependable, it offers good value for money and caters to a wide range of budgets which leaves us even more impressed!

What Could Have Been Better?

The only aspect where this otherwise excellent product falters slightly is the construction. Compared to other models, it runs the risk of being deemed flimsy as the softbox is prone to losing shape. However, weighted against the features it has to offer, this is a rather minor issue and by no means a deal-breaker.

Pros
  • High degree of versatility
  • Affords greater control to photographer
  • Ideal for studio shoots
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Flimsy construction
  1. Westcott Rapid Box Softbox

Westcott’s excellent product is our last recommendation for you. Despite being on the more inexpensive end of the range, it lives up to the brand’s reputation of constructing high-quality and high-functioning camera equipment. Read our review of it to learn more!

Why Did We Like It?

Westcott is a trustworthy brand that, over the last few years, has garnered quite the fan-following among photography enthusiasts as well as seasoned professionals. As one of the more inexpensive models from the company, the Rapid Box functions as a handy tool to have around and also an efficient one.

Ergonomically designed to deliver, it comes with an in-built speed ring as well as a tilting bracket that allow for versatility and control during indoor as well as outdoor shoots. The unit disperses light in a balanced fashion to ensure that images are well filled-out and devoid of unsavory shadows.

Last but not the least, the construction is sturdy and it has one of the simplest installation procedures among the products on this list. Setup is a matter of minutes and you’re all good to go! An ideal softbox to include in the kit while traveling, it is a lightweight device that promises to deliver.

What Could Have Been Better?

The only cause for concern in this sturdy piece of photography equipment is that the shaft and folding system block light. This may result in uneven lighting which, in turn, could affect the dispersion. In such cases, we’d recommend contacting customer support directly to be able to resolve it.

Pros
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Allows for versatility during shoots
  • Easy and quick installation
Cons
  • Unfolding mechanism blocks light

Photography studio flash strobe for light and picture taking

Softbox Buyers’ Guide

Photography is a passion that many harbor out of pure love. So, it’s no wonder that photographers want nothing short of the best for their cameras. With so many excellent products thronging the market, however, it can be a tedious task to choose the right model for your requirements.

In order to help you out a little more in that direction, we’ve compiled a brief but comprehensive guide, outlining the main factors to consider before investing in a softbox. Take a look!

Construction

This is a no-brainer when it comes to softboxes; you must buy the sturdiest model you can get your hands on, even if it means shelling out a few extra dollars. Believe us, it’s worth it in the long run.

In addition to considering the material of the unit, a useful tactic could be to keep the internal mechanism safe within a solid outer cover. Many professionals use nylon covers for the same as it is highly durable.

Budget and Price Range

With softboxes, you may not always hit the nail on the head; photography equipment is often a matter of trial and error. That’s why, instead of splurging on the most expensive model as a newcomer, it’s best to try out a mid-range model and see if it meets the requirements. In most cases, photographers use a combination of softboxes, so it makes more fiscal sense to allocate the budget accordingly.

Portable or Fixed?

This is one of the most pertinent questions that arise in any conversation on softboxes and the issue depends entirely on one’s individual requirement and preferences. If you tend to travel on shoots, it’d be wise to pick a compact model that weighs considerably less. However, for indoor shoots fixed softboxes work just as well.

Inner Color

The inner side of most softboxes are painted either white or silver. White lining allows for subtle lighting and is an excellent choice for indoor shoots that demand a neutral setup. On the other hand, silver makes for vibrant lighting that is rich in contrast. Both have their unique uses and aesthetic appeal and it’d be advisable to carefully gauge the needs of the shoot before making a selection.

Size and Shape

These are crucial factors that greatly impact the nature and quality of the image. Dependent mostly on the subject, the size of the softbox determines the kind of lighting it provides. Larger models lend a soft glow to subjects while smaller ones leads to greater contrast. Multiple subjects usually call for more than one softbox as there’s no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to this particular unit.

Shape, on the other hand, determines the amount and nature of dispersion of light. Squares, octagons, strip lighting, and rectangles are popular shapes used by photographers. Softboxes are also available in parabolic, circular, and hexagonal shapes, however these are far and between.

Spotlights realistic transparent background for show contest or interview vector illustration eps 10

Verdict

With that, we come to the end of our recommendations and buyers’ guide, and we hope it has proved to be helpful.

As the last step, and to guide you further in the right direction of the ideal softbox, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites in certain categories.

For outdoor photography, our pick would undoubtedly be the Bowens Mount softbox by Neewer as it affords the photographer exceptional control even in the most discouraging external lighting conditions.

In terms of value for money, waka’s flash diffuser light proves to be an excellent choice. However, for the best overall functioning, our vote goes to Fotodiox’s excellent softbox for its mix of operational efficiency, functionality, and durability.

We would love to know what you think of our suggestions; do let us know in the comments below.

Till next time!

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