PBL Photo Studio 40" Umbrella Softbox Review
If you are in the market for a softbox, but you don’t want to deal with the setup and teardown process associated with them, then I suggest to you the PBL Photo Studio 40″ Umbrella Softbox. This umbrella comes with a permamently attached material used to diffuse the light. The interior of the umbrella has a reflective material (somewhere between silver and white) that bounces the flash back towards the light source, diffusing it in the process. As the light exits the umbrella it passes through material that further softens the light. The result is nice soft shadows in a very portable package. Example images taken using 2 of the PBL Photo Studio umbrella softboxes. One placed to the left, and one to the right. As I mentioned in the first sentence in this review, the major benefit of the PBL Photo Studio Umbrella Softbox is that it is very easy to set up. I can have it out of the carrying case/sleeve and set up on a light stand in a matter of just a few seconds. It goes up nearly as fast as a normal light umbrella, the only difference being that you will need to tighten a strap around your speedlight or studio light to prevent light from leaking out around the middle. The build quality of the product is about average. The center rod seems to be made of a pretty sturdy metal that should stand up to a little abuse when attaching it to your stand. The umbrella ribs are capped off by some blunt plastic bits, which is a wise idea since umbrellas have nearly taken my eye out on a few occasions. The only negative aspect is the length of the umbrella rod. As demonstrated in my video review, the rod stocks out quite a bit, which limits how close you can get this softbox to a model. I believe that the product would be improved if they were to shorten the rod, or make it retractable. The product comes as a set of two umbrella softboxes (all for $21). For the price alone I give this product a 10/10. The quality of the light is also very good.