Home > Product Review > Glow Hexapop 20-inch Portable Softbox (Review)

Glow Hexapop 20-inch Portable Softbox (Review)

2014/09/29

Glow Hexapop - Side ViewGlow Hexapop 20″ Portable Softbox by Flashpoint (R-series)
Adorama
$129.95 (free shipping)

If you’re an amateur photographer and just getting into lighting, you’re probably also looking for a few good choices to provide shadowless light to your subjects. Look no further than the Glow Hexapop line of portable lighting softboxes. A softbox is a cloth “box” that is black on all sides except for the side that faces your subject. This design keeps stray light from entering your lens as you take pictures. The softbox also spreads (diffuses) the otherwise harsh, concentrated light from your flash unit onto a white cloth sheet so that you don’t get the hard shadows, that “deer in the headlights,” or Rosemary’s Baby red eye effect from your subjects.

These softboxes are available exclusively  from Adorama.

Many photographers use the softbox light as an artistic eye reflection artifact for portraits. Look at a few portraits that include the subject wearing sunglasses or extreme closeups and you’ll see what I mean.

Glow HEXAPOP Includes

  • HexaPop 20″ Softbox
  • Speedlight Bracket
  • Stand Adapter
  • Zippered Soft Case & Strap

But the softbox isn’t used exclusively for portraits. You can use it for product photography, closeup photography, night photography, and limited daytime outdoor photography to provide gentle lighting in shadows (fill flash).

Glow Hexapop - Back viewThe Glow Hexapop 20″ softbox (Hexapop) is an ideal soft lighting solution because it’s fast and easy to setup, it’s very lightweight, you can use it on your camera for a truly portable soft lighting effect, or you can use it off camera for stable subject lighting. To use it off camera, you’ll need a stand, such as the Flashpoint Pro Air Cushioned Heavy Duty Light Stand (sold separately). You’ll also need a flash sync cable to attach your camera to the off camera flash unit. There are so many different sync cables available, that I can’t give you a single URL to accommodate them all. You’ll have to search for the one that connects to your camera’s hot shoe and then to your flash unit. Be sure to buy one long enough so that you can place the flash unit out of frame for your shots.

The video below shows the Glow softboxes in action.

The Hexapop folds down with a “POP!” into a very small bundle to fit into the included carrying case.

If you’ve ever wondered why your photos don’t look like those of the pros, lighting is the primary reason. The other two reasons are that they have very expensive lenses and they spend a lot of time in Photoshop. Most of you don’t need that level of perfection and can live with a few artifacts, stray lights, empty pixels, and a hair out of place. What you need is better lighting. You might also need Photoshop and better lenses, but it’s really hard to fix bad lighting without it looking fixed.

Why it’s Frugal: The Hexapop is a great value. The tough fiberglass rods will last a very long time. The material is also very tough. No part of the material is stretched enough to tear a seam. Solid construction plus the included accessories worth an estimated $75 by themselves make this softbox an excellent and frugal choice for amateurs and pros alike. Durable, complete, and a great value.

Glow Hexapop - Collapsed viewFor those of you who know a photographer, this softbox is a great gift idea. If you think your photographer has everything, he or she might not have this. Once your lucky recipient has unwrapped the Hexapop, you should suggest an impromptu portrait session to “try it out.” In about 60 seconds, you’ll see the diffused light hitting your face. It might be the single most used item in your photographer’s accessory list. Everyone needs great lighting and the Hexapop is it.

Rating: 8/10

Recommendation: By it for yourself or for your favorite photographer and watch the smiles happen.

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