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Westcott43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit
 
4.2

(based on 127 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (56)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (56)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

92%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (78)
  • Durable (38)
  • Easy to use (38)
  • Good color value (22)
  • Attaches securely (21)

Cons

  • Flimsy (18)
  • Not durable (5)
  • Heavy / bulky (3)

Best Uses

  • Portraits (80)
  • Indoors (47)
  • General purpose (32)
  • Studio (25)
  • Outdoors (21)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Semi-pro photographer (37), Pro photographer (29), Semi-professional (16), Photo enthusiast (11), Professional (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (105)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Very pleased

This is my first "soft box" modifier having shot only with umbrellas in the past so I can't contrast or compare with any other controlled modifiers like this one. Having...Read complete review

This is my first "soft box" modifier having shot only with umbrellas in the past so I can't contrast or compare with any other controlled modifiers like this one. Having said that, I am very happy with what Westcott has produced at this price. This thing really does collapse like an umbrella and gets pretty compact. I cant say you are able to wind it tight like an umbrella but pretty close. The diffusion panel seems a little cheap to me but again, for [$] it works well and being that I don't really have anything to compare it to it's fine. Tear down and setup is very easy and fast. Pretty much just like an umbrella. It will take you longer to attach the diffusion panel than it will to pop the whole thing open and put it on a stand.I think the light this produces is great. The Orb produces a nice wrap and glow to the light and of course creates more rounded catch lights. For my first soft light tool I am pleased and will be at some point picking up the strip light as well as the grids. As others have mentioned and because of the design you cannot just pop this on top of a stand with an umbrella bracket and get much tilt. You will need some type if boom arm or a VAL to get more of an angle on the subject. I use a magic arm and it works well just make sure your stand can hold the weight of both and that you have it bagged to keep it upright.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good size, basic build quality

Probably the most affordable option on the market and a brilliant umbrella like design. The quality control on these units is not great. I had one that won't stay open and another with very...Read complete review

Probably the most affordable option on the market and a brilliant umbrella like design. The quality control on these units is not great. I had one that won't stay open and another with very poor stitching.

The light it creates is very pleasing and it's extremely portable. Definitely get the kit with flash mount and stand as you get more for your money.

Note that you cannot hike this up high as you cannot tilt it too much. There "slit" for the stand is only so long and so you hit a limit when tilting it downwards.

Reviewed by 127 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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3.0

For those who can't decide between soft box / umbrella

By Yishan

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

I purchased this as I couldn't make up my mind between soft boxes or umbrellas. My only criticism is that you need to purchase a separate boom stand for more versatile lighting directions.

 
5.0

Beautiful light from the Orb

By Christopher

from Undisclosed

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

This thing gives really great soft light with just enough contrast from the silver inside. I use the grid as well to control spill. Sets up easily. I use mine on my Matthew's Chris stand boom, helps with tilting. Buy one.

 
4.0

Love It

By ThomJ4

from Meridian, ID

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

This gives a nice soft even light. It works great when shooting a group of people, and works well when shooting outside. The only drawback I found is that because of the way the light stand goes up through the bottom, you are limited as to how far you can tip it down. Tipping it up is no problem.

 
5.0

43' Apollo Orb recommended

By Wayne

from Middletown, Va.

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

Absolutely love my purchase of the 43" Apollo Orb. Its so portable and easy to set up and the effects (highlights) that it creates is amazing. I was blown away after its first trial, doing a portrait shoot in my studio. At first it was a little awkward getting adjusted to working with the front diffusion panel and after that it was easy going. I personally feel a must have for any studio and great for off site work as well.

 
5.0

Perfect for photojournalism; Beginner in portrait work

By Matthew

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

This kit is perfect. It was easy to set up and I was really impressed with how easy it is to move and raise once it is set up. I was warned beforehand to get one that wasn't topheavy. This one fit the bill. When my flash batteries died, it was very simple to get into and change those batteries out. I definitely want to buy another one. 

I had a strange experience with my speedlite kit because it was missing the diffuser. Westcott however got it to me in two days.

 
5.0

Great addition to any Speedlite kit

By firebum531

from Golden, CO

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

This is a great addition to my speedlite kit giving me additional flexibility in setting up lighting options. Easy to set up and take down and durable through moderate use so far. I would recommend the Apollo Orb kit for both its low cost and durable operability.

 
5.0

Perfect for small studio work

By Alex

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

I have only been able to use this for a few headshots and portraits, but it works great. I can travel with it to location, and it provides the softness needed. The softbox is probably worth the 150 alone, so getting a stand and mount was a bonus!

 
5.0

Apollo Orb 43" kit

By Vinman

from LI, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

Easy to carry and set up on site.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice, soft light. Perfect for portraits!

By Alpinista

from Atlanta, Georgia

Verified Buyer

Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

I was looking for a good quality modifier that I could use with my speedlight that wouldn't break the bank. I also wanted to make sure I found something that was portable and not bulk. This seems to check all the boxes. I am mindful of other reviews that question its durability so I'm very gentle with it. So far, I've encountered no issues, though I can see how it could be fragile if roughly handled and used extensively.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Should have bought one a lot sooner

By Changstein

from Detroit, Michigan

About Me Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Portraits
    • Traveling

    Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

    I have been using my 43" Apollo Orb with an ordinary speedlite attached to a wireless trigger to my Sony a7II and Fujifilm X-T1. the light I get is fabulous, soft and evenly wrapped around my subject.

    I also was able to install a Lumedyne head inside and I get the same even, soft light that wraps around my subject.

    The build quality could be better by using heavier materials - but I am not complaining at this price point.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    5.0

    43 inch soapbox

    By Big D

    from Michigan

    About Me Getting Started

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight
    • Reliable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Studio

      Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

      I have used this item a couple times already no problems I added a bracket installed two cans speed lights and it works great

       
      5.0

      Awesome product!

      By Clint

      from Tyler TX

      Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

      I love the softnes the Apollo orb creates. It's very durable and collapses like an umbrella making it easy to carry. It takes about a minute from the time I pull it out of my bag to getting it fully setup on its stand with my speedlites and ready to shoot.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Beautiful quality of light

      By symes

      from Raleigh, NC

      About Me Semi-Professional

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Great Quality Of Light

      Cons

      • Umbrella Mount Screw

      Best Uses

      • Portraits
      • Studio
      • Traveling

      Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

      This soft box is large enough to give a very nice all over smooth light for portrait work. I use it with a Canon 600 speedlite with the wireless transmitter.

      This design places the speedily(s) inside the umbrella and diffuser velcros to the front. With the Canon 600 this works well because of the wireless control of the flash. It would likely not work with an infrared controller as you can't see the flash once assembled. This is other slight catch because once you put the diffuser on access to the flash to change settings not easy.

      With the Canon setup or similar (Photix etc) you can control it all from the master unit on the camera so having the flash hidden isn't so much of an issue.

      Nice solid stand and easy of assembly. The umbrella mounting rod slots through the flash bracket and the tension screw for this rod is a bit small and fiddly to get it all secure, but doable nonetheless.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Great Grab

      By Bmo'sArt

      from Atlanta, Ga

      About Me Professional

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Everyday use
        • Portraits
        • Studio
        • Traveling

        Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

        This is a great source of light. It is bigger than I expected. I own a westcott 28" apollo and this is a huge upgrade at 43" Whether it's on location or in the studio, it provides very soft light. I haven't used it enough to determine the durability, but it is well built.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        4.0

        Inexpensive collapsible softbox for speedlights

        By Michael

        from Philadelphia, PA

        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Not Durable

        Best Uses

        • Portraits
        • Studio
        • Traveling

        Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

        I purchased this mainly for its portable nature. It folds just like an umbrella and fits into a rolling bag I own. This makes it perfect for shooting on location, which is something I frequently do. For the cost, it's reasonably versatile. The silver interior lends itself to contrasty light without the diffusion panel in place. With the diffusion, it creates wonderfully soft light, which is great for portraits. While mainly designed for speedlights, a small studio strobe or continuous light could be used, if you wish.

        If you haven't read any of the other reviews below, it should be stated now that this kit makes most sense if you have a remote system for adjusting power on your lighting. I use Yongnuo YN560-IV speedlights and a 560-TX, so I'm not constantly ripping the diffusion off to make changes to settings. Bear this in mind when making your purchase.

        The drawbacks I've found with this kit aren't terribly different than what other reviewers below have already mentioned. I agree that Westcott light stands are of dubious quality - I've already broken one of the two I previously received with their white shoot-through umbrella kits by snapping a plastic tension collar. The range of angular movement is also limited, meaning it can only tilt vertically by a few degrees. To achieve light from above, a boom arm on a steady C-stand is necessary. Lastly, the umbrella clasp isn't the most durable I've seen, but I haven't experienced an issue just yet. (Fingers crossed.)

        All in all, I'm satisfied with my purchase, and I'm looking forward to trying out other Apollo and RapidBox products.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Disappointed by one thing

        By JHPhoto

        from Marshall, MI

        About Me Semi-Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Difficult To Use
        • Poor Design

        Best Uses

          Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

          The size was great and with the name of Westcott I had a big expectation. The one thing that annoyed me the most is that the speedlite head is completely INSIDE the Orb. This makes it tough when you want to adjust the settings. It also limits the ability for it to tilt due to the zipper at the bottom. Because of these things I've returned mine.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Needs one more accessory: a paper clip!

          By fcphoto

          from Palm Desert, CA

          About Me Semi-Professional

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Cheap
          • Not Durable

          Best Uses

          • Very Light Use

          Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

          In all fairness, I will write a follow up review on this Apollo 43".
          The 1 Star is for the built quality only.
          I have just opened the package, which arrived a day earlier, very good.
          I tried to open the umbrella/octabox and ... it did not stay open. I was in my office, so with a simple paper clip jammed in the slot where the umbrella release is, it remained open. No big deal. You get what you pay for. The mount and the stand are a JOKE. I own C-stands and heavy duty brackets, again, no big deal.
          I don't think there is anything cheaper on the market with this kind of versatility and portability.
          I read reviews that say Apollo Orb gives a great light and I believe it. I will do my own testing within the time that B&H allows me for a return.
          DO NOT PUT ANYTHING EXPENSIVE ON THIS LIGHT STAND AND MOUNT!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No
           
          5.0

          Great!

          By Ricardo

          from Las Piedras, PR

          About Me Semi-Professional

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Durable
          • Easy To Use
          • Reliable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Home
            • Macro Photography
            • Portraits
            • Studio

            Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

            This kit is amazing. The stand is tall and sturdy, the Orb itself is made with very strong fabric so it's not breaking easy. Opens and closes like an umbrella which is great if you are out in the field. Best of all, it creates big beautiful light!

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Just get the Orb

            By Peter

            from British Columbia, Canada

            About Me Semi-Professional

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Not Durable

            Best Uses

            • Home
            • Portraits
            • Studio

            Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

            I wanted a good size portable octa and have been looking at the Apollo Orb for sometime. I decided on the kit and wished I just got the Orb instead. The stand is useless, can't even hold a sandbag on it and the grid makes the orb heavier. If your planning on getting the grid, use a c-stand. Done some test shots and wasn't happy with the diffuser and decided to buy the materials and got my daughter to sew it for me. Planning on using this orb for outdoors and hoping it will last, just going to be careful with it. Later I'll get a elinchrom octa.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Good but...

            By Brian

            from Detroit, MI

            Comments about Westcott 43" Apollo Orb Speedlite Kit:

            The orb is pretty great to use and is relatively easy to setup and take down. It's literally a deep umbrella with a diffusion panel. I used it this spring, summer, and fall in a pretty rigorous six month senior and commercial portrait shooting spree both on location and in studio with an Elinchrom Quadra Hybrid; it was fantastic. The light quality was pretty good! I only started having issues at about month five and 23 seniors down the line. The support struts started to rip and some of the Velcro and connections in fabric started to fray. Granted, I wasn't babying it and it isn't really designed for professional use. I pushed it. My only complaint is I wish it was made with stronger materials at the strut connections.

            I would recommend this product to anyone starting to learn off camera lighting in the field but to anyone who shoots consistently and on location, I'd find a more durable alternative.

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