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WestcottApollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28")
 
4.2

(based on 89 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (45)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (27)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

85%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Durable (34)
  • Lightweight (30)
  • Attach securely (26)
  • Good color value (17)
  • Long-lasting (15)

Cons

  • Flimsy (7)
  • Difficult to use (3)
  • Heavy / bulky (3)
  • Weak (3)

Best Uses

  • Indoors (40)
  • General purpose (36)
  • Outdoors (29)
  • Portraits (26)
  • Low light (20)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (26), Semi-pro photographer (23), Photo enthusiast (10), Semi-professional (6), Enthusiast (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (56)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Like it's ease of use

Although I've not used other soft boxes, I can't compare it to others. I like that it's based on the umbrella frame. It pops open easily without having to build and attach a...Read complete review

Although I've not used other soft boxes, I can't compare it to others. I like that it's based on the umbrella frame. It pops open easily without having to build and attach a speedring like other systems.

The flash is mounted inside and facing the back of the soft box which gives a nice soft light. I believe you loose 1- 1 1/2 stops of light. For the most part, I've been able to use my speedlite at half power with relatively good success and results.

The front baffle uses velcro to close and makes it easy to access your speedlite and make adjustments when necessary.

The bottom opening uses zippers to seal the softbox. Although you can use a standard light stand, you're limited as to how much you can angle down the softbox. I would recommend that you have a boom arm or a light stand that has an extension arm that will allow you to angle the top portion. It'll give you more flexibility in adjusting the angle and positioning.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the quality of the build, ease of setup, portability and quality of light. I would definitely recommend this or the 50" (my next purchase) to anyone doing location shoots. If you're in a studio, the ease of setup may not be an issue.

I don't think you can purchase a better softbox at this price point.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good starter softbox, not tough enough

This softbox setups easy, and is useful for someone like myself who is just learning to light since it doesn't need a speedring to mount. Its limitations became quickly evident though, when I...Read complete review

This softbox setups easy, and is useful for someone like myself who is just learning to light since it doesn't need a speedring to mount. Its limitations became quickly evident though, when I started to bring it around or try different angles. Its umbrella like design means it's susceptible to being crushed by its own weight if it falls, which happened to me scarcely a week after getting it. The arms of it don't extend out anymore, so my softbox is no longer square. The inability to angle it is also a hinderance to creative lighting. My recommendation for it would be to use it indoors only, weighted down, or spend the money to get a more durable one with an adjustable bracket if you plan to do more with lighting in the future.

Reviewed by 89 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

This one works!...

By Rachelle

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

Westcott does it again w it's design! Construction is great, set up and take down is fast, and light from softbox is also great!

 
3.0

I'm keeping mine but be aware of the design limits

By David

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

These are just first impressions as while I've tested it out have not used it on any real shoots yet.
Nice size at 28" for using in a non-studio setting - that is to say it set up OK in our kitchen. Also was large enough for a three flash mount inside - but depending on the mount and the flashes, when mounted on top of a trigger (I"m using a Godox X1) the flash head was close to the top of the box. I changed to a FA-300HS and used one hot shoe for the trigger and mounted a flash each of the other two and that worked well.

Seems sturdy enough. Assembly is a breeze.

You will need a boom arm if you want it to tilt more than just a little. There is a video on the Westcott website that shows you have that works but if you don't have a horizontal bar then tilting is very limited range. If you need it to tilt, factor in a boom or look at different design - this is a failing of all of the 'in the box" style softboxes. The other downside to the in the box design is access to make changed to the flash power or otherwise touch the flash unit. If you've used the diffuser and the grid it means ripping them off to get to the flash units. If your trigger allows for remote control of power levels then that is less of an issue. If fully manual - then that can be a real bother, makes you want to get it right the first time.

Disappointing it does not include a bag. Really? Even the cheapies include a bag. Common Westcott don't cheap out. Even a strap that hold the umbrella closed would have been a small consolation. (I've dug out an old velcro cord management strap that worked). This 'cost savings measure" cost them a star in my review.

The real test of course is how well it softens the light and how well the grid controls it. I have no scientific mans to test this. The grid does direct the light as grids are prone to do. Laws of the physics of light still apply. A shot of the diffuser panel shows uniform light with no hotspots so it works as it should.

 
5.0

Everyone should own one.

By Keith

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

Great softbox.

 
5.0

Nice portable, easy set-up light modifier

By Alan

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

Nice portable light modifier and very easy to set up. Purchased to use primarily with speed lights for head shots and small products. At time of purchase the matching grid was also included.

 
5.0

Nice for what it is, good construction and packable

By Hardy

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

Works great, though I wish there was an extra diffusion panel, the light can be a little softer.

 
5.0

My second Medium Apollo Softbox

By ChipS

from Raleigh, NC

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

This is the second medium Apollo soft box that I have purchased. I like the first one and wanted two with grids to use for edge lighting. For the price you can't beat the quality and convienience of these soft boxes . My only wish is that there was another zipper on that could be used to reach in and turn the mounted speed light on and off.

 
5.0

Excellent product.

By IPRC

from Monterrey, Mexico

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

Well built, easy to setup and tear down. Only funny thing is that you have to open and close everytime you chance settings on your flash, but it's pretty easy to do that as well. I got a grid for mine and the combo has proven very useful, and I've been using it non stop since I got it. No problems whatsoever, and very nice control over the light!

 
5.0

Perfect Lighting

By Frank

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

This lighting is nice and soft when used for Modeling, Music Videos And Interviews. I had one 9 years ago, Wore it out, So now that there back, I will buy another one. These things are hard to find, If you get one, Hang on to it!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Require radio transmission

By Pistolpete

from Michigan

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

Too complicated. Stobe is completely inside softbox. Needs radio transmission to activate and unless you have the newest stobes requires opening softbox to adjust light.

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

At long last ... the right size

By QRB

from Seattle, WA

Verified Reviewer

Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

I do mostly environmental portraiture. The Apollo builds have been very kind to me in recent years... I have the Orb, the Strip, and the 50-incher (which is pretty similar to the Orb). For some reason I waited till now to buy the standard 28"x28" model. I wish I would've bought it sooner, then expanded to the others. That would've probably helped me visualize the way light works more...

Anyway, for most of my shoots I just use a standard shoot-through umbrella. That's the simplest way to light up a whole room quickly (for my day job, I tend to turn off the overhead lights because they're usually an ugly fluorescent). But I wanted a more controlled light that could still illuminate a full upper body. Hence, the 28"x28" softbox. Here's a shot from my first shoot with it today (I used a grid to further control the beam). Window light filled up the background. 50mm 1.2/L at f/2.5, 1/125, ISO 125.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent for location work

By LehighValleyPhoto

from PA

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Long-Lasting

Cons

    Best Uses

    • General Use
    • Indoors
    • Outdoors
    • Portraits

    Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

    I have used this softbox for the better part of 20 years now. It is outstanding in its simplicity. It sets up and breaks down infinitely faster than my Chimera or Hansel boxes with speedrings, which makes it perfect for location photographers. It has been set-up/broke-down thousands of times. It is stored, without a protective sleeve, with light stands and other modifier in a soft case. There are no holes, tears and the velcro is still strong.

    To new photographers-- the speedring design is very popular for softboxes now. Having used both, I will tell you that assembling and breaking down speedrings is a royal PIA. For the location photographer, or someone who cannot leave their softboxes set up, this Westcott design is a blessing.

    Though the material is not as heavy as higher-end modifiers, as stated above, mine is 20 years old and without issue.

    For most lights and brackets, the light can be directed towards the back or towards the diffuser provided your umbrella retention system allows the shaft to pass through in either direction [my Hensel mono-lights will only allow umbrellas to pass through in 1 direction]. My original Apollo, came with an accessery-arm and nylon bracket, which allowed the light to point straight up through the softbox. This allows for complete adjustment of the controls and angle. I am not certain if the new version still has this or not. If not, it is easily made from hardware store parts.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    Great Softbox, nice quality of light!

    By Damon_C

    from los angeles, ca

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Hard To Change Settings

    Best Uses

    • General Use
    • Indoors
    • Low Light
    • Portraits

    Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

    I was looking for a softbox like this, glad I found this one. I usually use the PHOTEK Softlighter for my fill light but always wanted a bit more control and not as much spill. This softbox has similar quality of light, very soft. I use it with a mono block head and not a speed flash. It's a bit annoying because you have to open the diffusion to change any settings, but it's not that big of a deal. Very happy with this product.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    Wonderful light

    By Catvibe

    from Asheville, NC

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Securely
    • Durable
    • Good Color Value
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • General Use
      • Portraits

      Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

      The recessed diffusion and the shape of this softbox make this a wonderful light modifier for many reasons. Not the least of which is the beautiful result. The build is solid yet light making it an extremely portable softbox. Love the way it folds up like an umbrella. Works great with my speed lights.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      4.0

      Very good medium softbox.

      By Lex

      from Detroit, MI

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Securely
      • Compact
      • Durable Frame
      • Good light
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

          This is my go-to softbox. Small enough to pack easily, large enough for broad light, and deep enough for some punch. The fiberglass support rods are a welcome improvement over traditional stamped-steel designs. More flexible, and resistant to buckling and denting. Easy to pack in slightly hostile locations.

          The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is that the fabric is somewhat sensitive to abrasion. I've put a few small holes in mine thanks to resting it against a couple concrete blocks in my trunk. In a few days, it wore through. Easily repaired, and easily avoided, but something to watch out for.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          2.0

          Good but limited

          By The Photog

          from Albuquerque

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • General Use
            • Indoors
            • Portraits

            Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

            I purchased two of these to use with my 600EX-RT speedlights.

            Pros: The quality of construction is top notch. No complaints here. It sets up easily.

            Cons: Impossible to angle. Since the flash is completely contained within the softbox you have to repeatedly remove the diffuser panel in order to make any adjustments. The way the pole attaches to the light stand makes the flash sit very high in the box. This makes the light bouncing off of the inside of the box pretty uneven.

            If I had to make the purchase again I would go with the Westcott Rapid Box.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            excelent

            By Cartridge World

            from Arecibo, Puerto Rico

            About Me Photography Student

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Securely
            • Good Color Value
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • General Use
              • Indoors
              • Outdoors
              • Portraits

              Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

              Easy to use, looks great and very professional contruccion

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No
               
              5.0

              Quality

              By Randmvision

              from Las Vegas

              Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

              I usually buy soft boxes or modifiers on @ , usually cheaper and last pretty well , immediately after opening this and setting it up , I noticed a massive difference in the build quality , it doesn't break down as thin as some of my other modifiers but it's very useful and great for on location shooting, I use mine with a 600 exrt if that helps. This sucks about a stop of light of it.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great all-around soft box

              By Patrick D

              from Sarasota, FL

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Securely
              • Durable
              • Lightweight
              • Simple to operate

              Cons

              • Lacks Storage Case

              Best Uses

              • Indoors
              • Portraits

              Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

              Overall, the Westcott Apollo is a very well designed and well built softbox. I love that it is on an umbrella frame and attaches to a light stand just like an umbrella. The fiberglass construction does a good job keeping it lightweight and durable, and it folds down to a reasonable size for transport. My only complaints are that it does not come with a sleeve or cover to store it in and that the 4 zippers arranged in a + formation on the bottom panel (where the light stand comes through) do not provide sufficient clearance to tilt the softbox downward very far. In order to tilt it downward effectively, you must slide the main shaft much further into the umbrella adapter bracket, which then puts your speedlight too close to the reflective surface inside the box to get a good light spread. This can be overcome by simply lowering your light stand and positioning the softbox at flatter angle. I would definitely buy this softbox again, and I am only giving it four stars instead of five due to the lack of a storage case at this price point.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No
               
              4.0

              Will go to good use!

              By Carol

              from Roscoe, IL

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Securely
              • Durable
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors
                • Portraits

                Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

                This is a handy product, can be used as a soft box or umbrella. It has a zipper opening on the bottom to just slip over your light. It's a little cumbersome getting the umbrella post through your light because the unit can only be so flexible, but it works out. It does the job as it is a nice size and - again - can sub as an umbrella. You might think it would be floppy with no ring, but it is not bad at all.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                INDISPENSABLE......

                By Windwalker

                from Monticello,Ga

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Securely
                • Durable
                • Lightweight
                • Long-Lasting

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors
                  • Low Light
                  • Night Time
                  • Outdoors
                  • Portraits

                  Comments about Westcott Apollo Softbox with Recessed Front (28 x 28"):

                  Whats to say ... it's a Westcott Apollo. I can't imagine not having this in my kit. If you take portraits it's a must have ... the light is awesome.

                  One thing, expect the white face material to be very wrinkled when you get this. An iron on low nylon heat easily corrects the problem. Then what I do is roll it up around a small wooden dowell and slide it in a cardboard tube left over from wrapping paper, throw it my grip bag and it stays pretty much wrinkle free.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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