Since I got rid of my Nikon gear (and all my studio strobes) I’ve been looking for a good portrait replacement lighting system.  I’d already brought three Lumopro 180 speed lights to go with my fuji kit and they are excellent, but good lighting has more to do with excellent modifiers that soften the light, rather than a powerful flash of light (which is after all what you get from a speed light).

Now I have a few speed light soft boxes, including some Westcott Apollo’s and Lastolite EzyBox’s but neither really delivered on what I was looking for.  I really wanted something that was small and portable, easy to set up, delivered soft wrapping light, and was easy to control.  Then I found a review of the Westcott Rapidbox.

The Rapidbox comes in three flavors, there’s a 20″ mini-octor, a 26″ bigger octor and a small 24″ strip box.  The strip box being nice and thin is great for hair or back rim lighting and I sold my elinchrom strip with all my Nikon gear, so I liked the idea of getting a replacement.  I also liked the size of the 26″ octa, which would be great for single person head shots.  So I ordered both from Amazon.

Yesterday they both arrived so today I get them out to try out a quick portrait.  The challenge being, could I set up both lights and grab a nice portrait headshot in say 10 minutes.

So that’s what I tried to do.  Firstly I should call out that it took longer than 10 minutes – try 20, but that was more to do with learning how to set the lights up.  Now I know how to do it, I’m confident I can do this in the target 10.  I also asked Abi to pose for me and she kindly agreed – she doesn’t do that very often these days, and I grabbed a couple of shots.

Here’s my favorite:

I have to say I was really impressed with these modifiers, they delivered on the easy to set up and gave me the control I wanted to capture a nice portrait, they also come in tiny portable boxes.  So all in all I’m really pleased with my purchase.  These two boxes will definitely be part of my traveling lighting kit from now on.


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