For the last few years I own a Lastolite EZ Box 24″x24″ (With the silver interior) and I like it a lot. It is quite versatile, easy to set up and transport and most important I like the quality of light I get with it. On the other side I feel it is on the pricey side for it’s quality. I believe I spent somewhere close to $200 for the box and the bracket. At that cost I would have like to receive a metal flash bracket holder as supposed of the plastic one they provided. The black elastic band surrounding the edges, wore out on one side and now there is a small section on the box showing its metal rib that shapes the box. Back when I got it it came inside a caring bag large enough to fit a sliced bread sandwich. I was able to take it out but is not worth performing the double twist and forcing it back every time you need to use it. To me, the caring case it was worthless.
Two days ago I found out that Calumet is going out of business and I stopped by their store to see what I could find. I ended up purchasing a Calumet 24″ Speedbox for $59 and a beautiful, strong metal bracket for $39. Granted it was on sale therefore I did save about $50 to $60 from retail price between the 2 items. I can’tt say that the box itself it’s better or worst in terms of construction compared to the Lastolite. The fabric does feel a bit thicker though. The lastolite EZ Box does have an internal diffuser that the Calumet speed box lacks. The last noticeable thing between them is that the Calumet Speed Box came with a great caring bag that fits the box perfectly.
Here are 2 images I took of my trusty model Niky. She did not move a muscle during this trial therefore we can see the difference in illumination between these two boxes quite clearly. I used a Canon 7D with a Canon EF 80mm f1.8 set to manual mode iso 400, speed @ 250th, f8, and manual color temp to 5500K. For the first image I used the Calumet Speed box with Canon flash 580EXII set to manual at 1/64. I took the picture and then removed the box from the stand and replaced it with the Lastolite. I used the same flash unit to make sure the light source was the same and although the Lastolite EZ box comes with the internal buffer and needs more light output to compensate for that, I decided to leave the light power set at the same to see in real life the actual difference. (in Lightroom 5.5 I estimated that if I increased the exposure by .6o I would get about the same exposure)
Click on images to see large.
The picture on the left side was the one taken with the Calumet Speed Box and the one to the right is the one with the Latolite EXBox. These images are SOOC “straight out of camera” with the exception of adding .60 more exposure on Lightroom 5.5 to the image taken with the Lastolite, there is no other adjustments of any kind. No color correction sharpening etc, etc.
Again the image on the left is the one taken with the Calumet Speed Box and the one to the right with the Lastolite EX Box cropped 100%.
And the last two images are in the same order. Calumet Speed Box on the left and Lastolite EX Box to the right side. the only thing I did to these pictures was bringing the withe balance to the same values on Photoshop CC .Altough I used the same color temp to take both images the boxes show there is a difference and the background shows it quite well. I selected a point on the background right above her hear and took a reading of the RGB and brought the values on those two spots to be the same R30 G30 B30.
So the results…
It’s up to you. You have some of the facts here. Seems like the shadows at 100% are a bit softer on the Lastolite EZ Box; since it has an extra layer of diffusion it was expected. I’n my mundane world I can’t see that fact to make such a big difference. In terms of color cast, that should not make that much of a difference on this digital world. (It might if you mix them in the same shoot since you will have warmer and color tones in the same image)
If you have any thoughts you like to share about this topic or post fell free to make any comments.