Aurora Lite Bank softboxes & bags - recommended!

Started Jun 9, 2006 | Discussions thread
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Eric Volstad
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Aurora Lite Bank softboxes & bags - recommended!
Jun 9, 2006

Greetings from Germany,

I discovered this South Korean line of products through a German distributor on eBay several months ago, and the manufacturer is so good but so little-known in the West that I felt I should share my experience here. To date, I've bought a 150cm octabox, a 213cm octabox, a 3-flash carrying bag, and a large bag for 4 light stands. I use the stuff with my four Bowens Esprit Gemini 500 WS monolight strobes. Overall, the quality of these Auroa products is excellent, and more than a match for my Bowens lights.

The softboxes are made of a beautiful heavy woven black fabric with a good, pebbled silver lining, and the inner and outer diffusers are a neutral white and highly diffuse. The 150cm box uses solid steel rods, while the 213cm box uses aluminum tubes. In comparison with my Bowens softbox, I prefer the fabric and overall fit and construction quality of the Aurora softboxes. The Aurora softboxes are also odorless, unlike the Bowens softbox which gives off a bit of a rubber odor.

Speed rings are available for 26 different mounts; the speedrings for Bowens are also apparently used for the latest Aurora line of monolight flash units. In comparison with my Bowens speedring, the Aurora rspeedrings are lighter but just as rugged; they hold the rods at a more even angle (resulting in less warp in the boxes), but do not mount on my monolights quite as smoothly. (One of these days I'll try filing the mounting lugs down a bit for a perfect fit.)

The carrying bags are a pleasure to use. The fit and finish is as good as the fancy Bowens kit bag that came with my monolights, and look very professional.

The tubes for my 213cm softbox developed some small splits at the speedring ends and I reported this to the manufacturer by email; they immediately couriered a replacement set to me from Seoul at no cost. I had mentioned some things I thought would improve the design of the rods (for smoother insertion into the speedring and better holding in the softbox pockets), and was pleasantly suprised to see these improvements incorporated in the replacements.

The marketing and distribution of these products in the West hasn't nearly reached its potential yet, so if you can find the products at all, you'll probably note prices that are considerably lower than other brands. The only dealer on eBay seems to be the one here in Germany; I and others have had mixed success in receiving timely deliveries and replies to emails from them. But the manufacturer in Seoul is extremely responsive, and sold me one of my softboxes directly at what seems to be a wholesale price. (Even with wire transfer and shipping costs, my cost was less than buying a comparable softbox anywhere else I that could find.)

The manufacturer's web address, in Korean and English, is http://www.alb.co.kr . If anyone else has had good or bad experiences with Aurora Lite Bank products (particularly their flash units, which seem to have some great features), I'd be interested to compare notes further.

Cheers,

Eric

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