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The 5 Best Softboxes For Product Photography

Before we get into further some of you might wonder what does a softbox does?

A softbox controls the shape and the direction of light and prevents light-spill from occurring.

They come mostly in rectangular shapes giving them the advantage to produce natural-looking light, by mimicking the window. But you can find softboxes also in a square and octagonal shape, they are all covered in white diffusion material.
Now at product photography, it is a tricky genre that requires a lot of control over the surroundings and a lot of knowledge and techniques on the photography aspect.

Without proper light the products may lose their colors and appeals, resulting in ruining all the effects. That’s where a softbox comes in hand.

In this article I will present, what I think are the best softboxes for product photography, and at the end of the article, you will find a comparison between umbrella light and softbox.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Most Flexible
EMART Softbox
EMART Softbox
10
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Best Portable
Neewer Softbox
Neewer Softbox
9
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Best Value
GEEKOTO Softbox
GEEKOTO Softbox
8.6
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Most Affoardable
MOUNTDOG LED Softbox
MOUNTDOG LED Softbox
8.5
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Best Light Field
HPUSN Softbox
HPUSN Softbox
8.6
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The 5 Best Softboxes For Product Photography

5. EMART Softbox – Most Flexible

The EMART softbox provides great lightning thanks to its two powerful CFL lights and its suitable both for indoors and outdoor photography, also thanks to its portability it will feel like you carrying the whole studio with you.
It is suitable for pretty much anything from portrait photoshoots to products, besides that it is also a great choice for YouTubers and Vloggers. The soft light it creates makes this EMART a great choice, and something that is highly appreciated by all photo shooters.

It measures 27.5 x 8.5 x 8 inches and weighs 9.53 pounds, it has an adjustable stand that has a rotatable head of 210 degrees, promising us lights in any direction, while the compact build and low weight make it transport-friendly.

The removable front diffusor spreads light into a soft huge light, while reducing any harsh shadow that comes into the product that we are shooting. Also, the rectangular silver reflector causes a wide coverage of reflection.

There are also the two CFL lighting bulbs that come along, they provide excellent lighting while not reaching a high temperature, what’s more, the CFLS will also help you to save 80% on your energy bills.

The Lighting Kit includes:

  • 2 Softbox – 20*28″ inch
  • 2 x Sandbags – 10″x11″ which are nylon material
  • 2x 105w CFL Lighting Bulbs
  • 2x Lighting stand – 29″ to 78″
  • 1x Carrying Bag

Please note that you should always pay attention to the whole kit since, for example, the bags prove to be a great help in portability. It helps with stabilizing the lightning equipment and each of them is rated for 25lbs.

Pros:

  • Great Flexibility
  • Great Lightning bulbs included

Cons:

  • Cheap build materials
  • The rubber nub at the top of the light is really fragile.

4. Neewer Softbox – Best Portable

Neewer is a well known company in the photographic equipment aspect. Their passionate team promises to bring us anything in fine detail and in quality, while being cost effective at the same time.

So is the case with their Softbox. A softbox that is designed to diffuse a stroboscopic light, resulting in better lighting, besides that, it also comes with a silver reflective interior and a flush front face. All this makes it a must have in any professional photo studio.

It measures 31.5 x 4.72 x 4.72 inches and weighs 14.1 ounces (0.88 pounds). It comes in an octagon shape and its “umbrella” body is made out of high density nylon material and a nice high reflective aluminum shaft. Being quite light and solid, makes it travel-friendly.

Since the light diffusion diameter is 32 inches (80 cm) it gifts us a wide range of applications that suits it really well for product photography, or even for portraitures.

Unlike the first option, the latter one from NEEWER doesn’t include a full kit instead the package contains:

  • 1x The portable Octagonal Softbox
  • 1x Front Cover, and
  • 1x Carrying bag

A light stand, flash holder, and flash are not included, you should buy them separately.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Portability
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • The slit design forces you to shoot only at 90 Degrees
  • The material could be more durable

3. GEEKOTO Softbox – Best Value

GEEKOTO is a small US based company and as the name implies it is made from a bunch of geeks and nerds that have one goal in mind, to produce high quality photographic pieces of equipment.
Let’s take a look at their Softbox.

The Geekoto softbox lighting kit is here to provide the photographers with perfect lightning effects for indoor shooting, with uniform and soft light, while also maintaining good color saturation. It is suitable for almost anything from portrait shooting, fashion shooting, to great product shoots.

It is made out of high-density nylon material and a high reflective diffuser. It measures 27.32 x 8.43 x 8.43 inches and weighs 8.93 pounds. It comes in a hexagon shape, so it can make the light-emitting surface larger, and create gorgeous and soft colors.
Also, it comes with a flexible height that is adjustable. It can easily be stretched from 26.9 inches to 75.2 inches.

While the softbox which is constructed from aluminum alloy can rotate to 210 degrees, suiting any angle you will find perfect. It can also collapse down to 66cm and extend up to 200cm.

And there are also energy efficient bulbs that come with a standard e27 socket. They come as a pair of 85W meaning both of them are equal to 800W. It also saves energy up to 80% and it has a longevity of approximately 8000 hours. Its 5400k color temperature makes it ideal for shooting. Even though for products like food I would advise going for 135W instead of 85W.

The kit includes:

  • x2 Softboxes
  • x2 Tripods
  • x2 Lightning Bulbs and
  • a Carry bag.

Pros:

  • Great value for the price
  • Easy setup
  • Good for both entry-level users and professionals

Cons:

  • Outlet cord is not long enough.

2. MOUNTDOG LED Softbox – Most Affoardable

Mountdog is a small multination company that allows people with their products, create specialized studios at a cheap cost.

Getting right on the topic this softbox from mount dog is more unique than the previous softboxes I mentioned. It updates the lightning with a LED bulb, which is more energy efficient compared to other bulbs. It is an 80W LED corn light bulb, with a standardized e27 socket, and it has a longevity of 8000 hours with a 6500k color temperature.

This bulb promises to deliver balanced pure white daylight light with no harsh shadows at all, no doubt that this light will prove huge help to any photographic environment.

The softbox also doesn’t fall short. It is 20 x 28inch and is made out of high-quality nylon and reflective silver fabric, so, it can soften the hard light and it eliminates the shadows at the same time. It also is one piece opening and folds easily, giving us nice portability. Yes, for sure it is adjustable with an angle of 210 degrees.

Mountdog promises that their softbox will satisfy all photographers, and it sure lives up to that, judging by the reviews of the people who use it. It is ideal for use in studios, homes and great for portraits, for modeling, and even for product photography.
The lamp holder is 27 to 80 inches and also adjustable. It is made out of aluminum alignments with 1/4 screw mounting on top so it can be helpful to any style of photo shooting.

Mountdog was generous on the kit, it contains:

  • 1 x LED Corn Light Bulbs
  • 1 x SoftBox with Bulb Socket
  • 1 x Light Stand
  • 1 x Carrying Bag

Note: if you need more than one softbox there is also the option to buy with 2 softboxes or even 3.

Pros:

  • Well Priced
  • Great LED bulb

Cons:

  • It can be too bright at times
  • No instructions, on how to set up the softbox it is a bit tricky.

1. HPUSN Softbox – Best Light Field

HPUSN is a company that specializes and strives to provide us with quality products, yes, great photographic equipment.

The upgraded softbox I am about to introduce from HPUSN is suitable for any studio. Whether you are doing portraiture shooting, fashion, children photo shooting, or yes even product photography, HPUSN promises to create perfect lightning effects for indoor shooting and at the same time to make the photos more attractive to the consumers. This is also a great softbox for food photography.

It comes in a hexagonal shape, which creates a larger light field, making it more coordinated with the background light and the subject. It is made out of a collapsible nylon cover and it is quite reflective thanks to the particle inner baffle. It has 2 white diffusers that help with the light softening.

It has a rotatable head of 210 degrees and at the same time an adjustable stand. The frame is made out of high-quality aluminum, while on top it is equipped with 1/4 screw installation. Thanks to the three-section column design, it can shrink down to 66 cm and extend up to 200 cm.

As for the Bulbs, we have the standardized ones like on the above options ( not the LED one) 2 of them each 85w, while both of them equalize 800W.

The whole kit contains:

  • 2 x Photo Bulb
  • 2 x Soft Box with Bulb Socket
  • 2 x Light Stand
  • 2 x Soft Box White Cloth Cover
  • 1 x Carry Case and Manual

Pros:

  • Great light range
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons:

  • The quality of the components could have been better

 

How to use a Softbox:

Using a softbox is as easy as it sounds , and thats make it the reason why so many photographers take advantage of a sotbox.

The softbox comes with a set of instructions that helps you set up the specific model. Once you done setting up you need to point the softbox towards the product , feel free to experiment around with the angles so you find the right kind of lighting pattern.

You can start it off by setting your softbox at a 45-degree angle from the product and raise it right in the middle , so the middle of it is slightly above the middle of the product while the point is falling downwards on it – this should create a great lighting effect if it doesn’t work for you.

Picking the Best Softbox:

Even though the rectangular shape is the most common one, they come in different sizes and shapes. Knowing the aspects and what you want to shoot will make things way easier for you to pick the best softbox, that will prove most useful to your shoots.

Shape and Size:

Indeed the lightning is the main factor but I would advise considering its size first. It is well known that a large softbox light will give you the best shadows. But yet again you should consider the larger ones if you do portrait photographs. If you have to do something that comes on a smaller scale like rings or amulets smaller softboxes would be the best choice.

Diffuser:

The extra duffers are a must when you with softbox lighting. It’s best for the diffusing to have a white surface that spreads the light better so it can soften the shadows and create a nice and buttery-smooth transition between light and shadow.

Light Bulbs:

The light bulbs are reliable tools within the softbox lights, they take less energy and are environmentally friendly, and what’s more, you won’t have to bother with the fear of breaking the light.

Just note that if it takes you hours of product shooting, make sure the light is at a low temperature so it won’t burn the subject.

Height Adjustment:

Height adjustment can play a big role too, so it creates the best light effect for product photography.

The one-tap lock on the stand makes the height adjustment swift and smooth.

Portability:

Most people don’t pay attention to this part, and then they regret what they bought. If you move a lot or shoot even outdoors, consider buying a compact and sturdy model that doesn’t weigh a lot.

But if you shoot indoor this won’t bother you much. Just make sure you put it in the right place.

Softbox Vs Umbrella:

I can’t tell you which one is the best since they are both popular among the product photography and each one of them has its uses.

Softbox:

If you are shooting product phots on the go the softbox will be a great help or in case you want direct lightning. If you feel like working in a professional photography studio softbox will accompany you at its best, and in a way, if you want to create more natural window lighting.

Umbrella:

Umbrella lighting lets you get better outdoor results. If you are a wedding photographer umbrella lighting is the answer, since most of them use it on their projects. If you need more spread-out lightning, an umbrella kit still will prove more useful.

Final Thoughts:

So yeah, to wrap things up, I guess you noticed already in the comparison above that softbox lighting is the best for product photography. Because with softboxes you can defuse and control lights to the perfect point. You might also be interested in which are the best flash diffusers, so we wrote an article on that topic too.

I made this article in mind to be as much help as possible for people who want to do product photography, if you want to know more about umbrella lighting or if you prefer it over softbox I would advise looking somewheres.