NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

HUGE & CHEAP octadome softboxes for video & photography

These are SUPER cheap sofboxes [LINK] from China that work well with pretty much any light. I've been using them with My Pixapro 100D lights [LINK], Aputure 160 LEDs [LINK], Triopo flash and trigger kit [LINK] and Godox flash and trigger kit [LINK], and they've been almost perfect.

I bought three of them. They are so cheap that I will buy more. I've always wanted a lighting setup with five or six HUGE softboxes. I also have an 80cm one, which is great but I only bought it because the 120cm ones weren't available at the time. There are a couple of different versions of these. I tried two and I like the Selens brand a little more, I don't remember what the other one was, but it was also fine.

 

Three Pixapro 100D's, two back lights with the cheapo octodomes and one front light with the 150cm Pixapro octodome. I actually lit most of this shoot with the Godox flash and trigger kit [LINK], video coming soon.

I've not edited the photos from this shoot yet, here's a random one from the set.

What I love about them:

  • So cheap they are almost disposable compared to other quick-opening softboxes.
  • Great light diffusion.
  • Available with grids for £10 extra.
  • Low light spill, even less with the optional grids.
  • Available in different sizes. I have three 120cm and one 80cm. For these prices I'd highly recommend the 120's, they are lovely.
  • Almost indestructible. I've been dropping them, squishing them, throwing them, and so far they have taken every little bit of abuse without even flinching. They are bendy enough to prevent breaking
  • They open in about 1 second. I leave the white diffusion material attached, I don't see any need to remove it when putting them away.
  • They fold up far smaller than my Pixapro umbrellas, so they don't take up much space in my Samsonite case and allow me to take many more things to a shoot.
  • They move all the way back to the wall, so I have TONS more shooting space compare to many other lighting diffusers that attach to the front of the light rather than right around it.
  • They sit around the light, so give some much needed protection to your lighting. It provides fantastic protection from rain, dust and drops. Obviously I can't guarantee this will definitely protect the light in every situation, but in my opinion this is a a hundred times better than no protection at all.
  • The weight is centered on the light stand. It means you can use light stands that are cheaper and much lighter in weight.

The lovely Triopo flash with a wireless trigger that came with it in this kit. Both inside the cheapo octodome. Used as a back light and mixed with ambient lighting. The big stand you see is the awesome Rocwing boom [LINK]

What can be improved, mostly with simple DIY fixes:

  • They are slightly brighter in the center, not a big issue but I'm gonna add some extra material. Either inside or on the outside cover. White ripstop nylon fabric is £5 for a huge sheet on eBay, enough to add additional diffusers to all my softboxes.
  • They take slightly longer to set up compared to the Pixapros, which clip to the front of the light.
  • I cut small vertical slits in my sofboxes so I can easily reach my lights to change brightness. As you can see in the photos above I set it up with the Pixapros sticking out of the back of the light. This hasn't reduced the quality of the light I get, but allows me very easy access to the light and a way to very easily grab the light to move it around. You don't have to do this, you can just open the velcro at the side a little bit and stick your hand in from there.
  • There is less tiltability than with some front mounted diffusers, but this is not at all a problem. I rarely need to tilt my sofboxes more than these can do. The only times I did need this much tilt, I anyways needed to use the boom stand because otherwise the stand would be in the shot. If you want more tilt angles using a regular stand, just cut the opening (where the stand comes out) to make it wider.

Another one with the same setup as above. As you can see the cut I made in the fabric closes by itself so it's not at all problematic, actually it's very helpful.

Of course every new piece of equipment must be approved by Kitty. These softboxes have passed with a rating of five meows.

Links to buy them:
GET THEM ON EBAY UK [LINK]
GET THEM ON EBAY USA [LINK]

Also, here's a random shot taken with the 80cm version with its grid.


UPDATE: Here's the first video: