Fotodiox softbox junk or not?

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions
Mahmoud Mousef
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Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
Apr 10, 2013

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003EWPA2E

A review on Amazon

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful June 13, 2010 Waste of money! 2.0 out of 5 stars By Elle McArthur Amazon Verified Purchase Size Name:24" x 36"|

We could not even get it put together before it broke in two places. The ring LOOKS like metal, but it is plaster painted with metallic black paint. The plaster crumbles when you try to put the rods in place. The soft box is near impossible to assemble this way.

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Can someone confirm the materials of the speedring?

I'm looking at the Alien Bees version, but would appreciate any info on the materials used on any other speedring in the Fotodiox range too.

Any other thoughts you care to share on your Fotodiox softbox experiences (materials strength, ease of assembly/take-down)?

Thanks.

Sailor Blue
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 10, 2013

Think about it - you have thousands of dollars of camera, lenses, and studio equipment and you want to buy a cheap softbox that got terrible reviews.

No experience with Fotodiox but the old adage that you get what you pay for apparently applies from the reviews.

The softboxes from PCB are high quality at a very reasonable price.

Buy quality and you won't regret it.

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Mahmoud Mousef
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to Sailor Blue, Apr 10, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

Think about it - you have thousands of dollars of camera, lenses, and studio equipment and you want to buy a cheap softbox that got terrible reviews.

No experience with Fotodiox but the old adage that you get what you pay for apparently applies from the reviews.

The softboxes from PCB are high quality at a very reasonable price.

Buy quality and you won't regret it.

Thanks or the response.

Paul C. Buff softboxes may be good; but I'm just trying to suss out the competition, like I do in any new purchase.

Nearly all reviews on Amazon have wildly different opinions / reviews, some of them totally wrong or unreasonable. What I'm trying to determine is a few simple things from forum members here:

~~~~~

What is the speedring made out of? I assume the reviewer means plastic, not plaster. But I want to know whether that is true or not. Plus any other things anyone is willing to share.

~~~~~

If the speedring is made out of silver-painted plastic, I will give the Fotodiox a wide berth

If it's metal, I may buy one to try.

If I just bought things from well-established brands, I'd never get to discover the many great products I have in doing some simple research, because there are a lot of inexpensive but good quality products out there. Even if I do end up with junk, it's usually not 100% useless, so I can give it some other uses.

Cheers.

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wcrosman
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 10, 2013

I've a couple of their  24 inch square ones.  They are not collapsible.   I'm totally pleased with them.

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PenFan2011
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 10, 2013

I got the largest soft-box on that page, metal through and through.  Can't vouch for the smaller ones.  Fotodiox is monetarily cheap, but in my personal experience they are a good 'bang for the buck' option.  I'll admit the assembly process can be a pain in the ***, no direct instructions were given concerning mounting points on the ring (has about a dozen holes for different boxes I would assume), but overall I am happy with my purchase   I feel bad for anyone getting a 'plaster' product, as that either means they were ripped off or Fotodiox standards have taken a dive.

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lamike
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 10, 2013

Quality is similar to Photoflex.  I have 6 of there boxes and strips.  However when you grid them they droop a lot, especially on their x-large box.  Speedrings are the same as Photoflex versions.  I think people break speedrings because there assembling them wrong.

If you need to disassemble quickly and reassemble then I would go with there Pro Studio Solutions brand.  They are built like the PC Buff softboxes/umbrella style.  Have these as well and good quality.

By the way I'm not affiliated with them, but two of my studios are built around these products.  Let me know if you need more info.  All boxes mounted on Alien Bees or Einsteins.  Also the bigger softboxes are too heavy to support the standard Alien Bee mounts.  You have to use the Kacey Enterprise softbox adapter to support the weight.

Mike

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realgeek
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to PenFan2011, Apr 11, 2013

PenFan2011 wrote:

I got the largest soft-box on that page, metal through and through.  Can't vouch for the smaller ones.  Fotodiox is monetarily cheap, but in my personal experience they are a good 'bang for the buck' option.  I'll admit the assembly process can be a pain in the ***, no direct instructions were given concerning mounting points on the ring (has about a dozen holes for different boxes I would assume), but overall I am happy with my purchase

+1

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MBlasto
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 14, 2013

I have multiple Fotodiox soft boxes which are great for the money. They're a bit tricky to assemble, as are other models. I've used them in the same scene as other brands and there's no discernible difference in the light produced.

As an aside, I met the Fotodiox team at NAB and they're a good group. They were patient in answering a number of questions, including tips on how to better assemble the boxes.

Regarding the question - the Fotodiox are cheap enough to purchase and try.

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Kirk Tuck
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Re: Fotodiox softbox junk or not?
In reply to MBlasto, Apr 15, 2013

I have three different speed rings from Fotodiox and they are metal thru and thru. I own a number of their products and have been very satisfied.

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Mahmoud Mousef
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thank you all
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 16, 2013

...for the experiences and advice. Keep them coming if you have anything else to add. I'm giving them a shot.

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bills_pix
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Re: thank you all
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, Apr 18, 2013

I got the grid for my Photoflex 24x32 and it was very poorly made plastic webbing type material and already coming apart.  I returned it to Amazon.

This is an excellent bundle as either the softbox or grid alone is nearly worth what they want for the bundle.  http://www.adorama.com/PFLDMP.html  The grid in this is excellent quality and I expect to use it for quite a few years.

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bills_pix
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Re: thank you all
In reply to bills_pix, Apr 19, 2013

bills_pix wrote:

I got the grid for my Photoflex 24x32 and it was very poorly made plastic webbing type material and already coming apart.  I returned it to Amazon.

This is an excellent bundle as either the softbox or grid alone is nearly worth what they want for the bundle.  http://www.adorama.com/PFLDMP.html  The grid in this is excellent quality and I expect to use it for quite a few years.

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'There is only one success - to be able to spend your life your own way.' -- Christopher Morley

Meant to clarify that I purchased the Fotodiox grid and found it to be substandard.  The Photoflex one is of much higher quality.

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lamike
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Re: thank you all
In reply to bills_pix, Apr 20, 2013

Also for value, the inside is silver.  Something comparable, Photoflex silverdome is like two times the price.   Yes the last poster stated the grid is poorly made.  Yes it's not sewn together and tears really easy, but it works.  Picture enclosed x-large box with Alien Bees + Kacey AB bracket.

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Mahmoud Mousef
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Fotodiox 24x24 impressions
In reply to Mahmoud Mousef, May 11, 2013

I bought the Fotodiox 24 inch x 24 inch. Overall impression: decent.

A real pain to set up and tear down (so in a sense I can understand the frustrated Amazon reviews; flexing of rods was quite the chore), but the speedring is definitely metal and the quality is there. Amazon reviewers can be a crazy bunch sometimes (or at least using some other model I am not).

Next purchase will be something easier to assemble for sure. I have been looking at some Chinese vendors on Alibaba, and I think I have found some that might be worth a shot in this deparmtment but I haven't bought them yet.

Aside from that, The Fotodiox 24x24 does what it needs to do and appears to be reasonably well built. I have no issues with the build of the speedring. Instructions were pretty good too, but they really don't communicate how much you have to flex those rods to make them fit in those pockets. Pockets could be designed a bit better too; more visually/physically distinctive but not a big issue.

PS. Thanks for the additonal comments regarding grids, etc.

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Mahmoud Mousef
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bonus grid
In reply to bills_pix, May 11, 2013

bills_pix wrote:

This is an excellent bundle as either the softbox or grid alone is nearly worth what they want for the bundle.  http://www.adorama.com/PFLDMP.html  The grid in this is excellent quality and I expect to use it for quite a few years.

very nice

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