I often fill my truck to the ceiling with lighting equipment on an assignment. I hate to limit my lighting options on a photo shoot. I might want my strip bank for this effect, and my big square softbox for this look. I better bring my speedlights for quick and easy shooting, and I know I will want my studio strobes for big soft light. And on and on it goes. Before I know it, I have packed volumes of gear for a simple portrait! But recently I have been shooting with a new accessory that simplies my photo packing dilemma: the Lastolite Ezybox II Switch.
This softbox is the first of its kind because of it cameleon abilities. First, it changes shape. This softbox has a zipper and pole system that allows it to be shot as a strip bank, or changed into a large square softbox. And that is just the beginning. This box can be used with two speedlights and studio strobe heads. When I travel I often only carry a few speedlights, but still want to use a large softbox. The double bracket system on the Switch takes 2 of my SB900s, which really helps with recycle times using a large softbox. The other night I was photographing a model in an alley, and I had my trusty Elinchrom Quadras with me. The Switch also has a metal stud that allows using my Quadra heads with the box. And if I need even more power, these boxes can attach to 1100 watt Elinchrom Ranger heads using another bracket. So now I have a box that changes shapes, and can use three different types of lights. Very cool.
If you are wondering about the quality of light coming out of the Switch, it is fantastic. I have used the smaller Ezyboxes around the globe photographing indigeous people and the light looks great. The Ezybox II Switch uses internal and external diffusion panels like standard studio softboxes. Changing shape from strip to square takes minimal effort; you unzip the fabric inside and attach two rods to give the box rigid shape. The boxes come with two sizes of diffusion material for both shapes. To pack the Switch for travel, the softbox collaspes like a foldable reflector for flat packing in your suitcase. The large Lastolite Ezybox II Switch retails for $249.99. If you are looking for a softbox that does double duty, check out the Switch.