Lastolite Strobo Beauty Box review

The Strobo Beauty Box from Lastolite claims to be many things - a softbox, a beauty dish and everything in between. How good is this in practice?

Lastolite Strobo Beauty Box

Now, what is this massive thing that looks like a piece from a giant game of Tiddlywinks? Its the Strobo Beauty Box made by Lastolite of course! Almost everything you need for an easy to set up portable studio.

Lastolite Strobo Beauty Box in case

The blue triangular shape holds all the pieces needed to use the Beauty Box in a variety of ways. With the inner diffuser and/or the outer diffusion material attached, this can be used as a small conventional softbox. If, however, you take the silver reflective insert and use it in conjunction with the circular mask, this can be turned into a “beauty box”, which can be diffused again with the outer diffusion material.

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry at all about fiddly tags or clips to get this Beauty Box working. The box itself is foldable and pops into form easily. All diffusion/beauty dish adjustments are made with velcro so any kind of look can be achieved in a short amount of time. The Beauty Box is then attached to the Ezybox Hotshoe Bracket MKII. The bracket itself can be altered to allow any type of flash to be mounted to it, and has a standard lightstand mount incorporated with it.

Lastolite Strobo Beauty Box, no diffuser attached

Lastolite Strobo Beauty Box, outer diffuser attached

Lastolite Strobo Beauty Box in beauty dish mode

Due to the simplicity of this system and easy carrying case plus the fact that it really doesn’t weigh too much, I have found myself using this modifier more often than others for a quick shoot or mess around with friends/clients.

Some workarounds have had to be found when using the Strobo Beauty Box. If you are using this on say, a Manfrotto 420B Boom Arm Stand, which has a slightly bigger shaft on it, mounting the Ezybox Hotshoe Bracket MKII becomes problematic with using an Nikon SB800 straight on the adapter. To sit central in the box, the vertical adjust arm wont fit flush onto the stand. This can be overcome by using an Umbrella Mount with a spigot to attach the Ezybox Bracket to the stand.

Changing the angle of the Beauty Box needs a workaround. When attached to a standard light stand, you can only really shoot in one angle. This again can be sorted if using the previous fix. If your flash head is long enough to poke through the hole into the box, you either have to mount the flash in reverse closer to the Bracket, obscuring buttons if you are trying to work quickly, or you have to use additional hot shoes and adapters to get the flash closer to the other side of the long hotshoe on the Bracket.

So with a little bit of playing around a bit more functionality can be added to the usage of the Strobo Beauty Box, but this shouldn’t detract from the fact that for around about £100, you will find yourself with a very portable, easy to use kit that can be used in a number of different ways to push your creativity upwards.

For more information and a list of dealers, visit the Lastolite web site.

David Monteith-Hodge
David Monteith-Hodge is an Edinburgh-based photographer.