After having reviewed the Nanlite Forza 500B II, it’s only natural that we review some of the modifiers we bought at the same time.
One of the light modifiers you really can’t go without these days is the softbox with a grid for diffusion. We’ll see in this review if the offering from this brand, the Nanlite Forza Softbox SB-PR-90-Q Review, is a product you should consider.
Why the need for a softbox?
A softbox is a tool to diffuse the light. To achieve this, the tool has to expand, as much as possible, the source of the light. For example, in the 500B, the diameter of the COB chip of light is only a few cm, but with a softbox, it will become the diameter of the front diffusion sheet.
The bigger the light, the smoother the shadow and the transition between shadow and light will be. The light will be softer as well as opposed to harsh.
That’s why the larger the softbox the better the quality of the light.
One advantage the softbox has over other light modifiers, such as an umbrella or a scrim, is that, with the help of a grid, you can focus the direction of the light and avoid spills, whether on the side of behind the light.
Why choosing a 90cm softbox ?
Obviously, the ideal size would be as large as possible, perhaps somewhere around 150 cm. The issue with this is that 150cm is not practical to hold, setup, or carry around. A larger softbox also tends to be harder to control since the light really spills on a large surface, even with a grid.
Sometimes, while working on location, you might need a man to hold the light and the softbox for more agility. That’s where the 90cm seems to be a good middle ground between size and portability. The light coming out of 60-cm softboxes is just too hard, in my opinion.
Why choosing the brand Nanlite?
I have always been the type of person who, when I enter an ecosystem, tends to stick with products within that ecosystem.
If I believe that, for example, the Aputure Dome II is a superior product to the Nanlite Forza Softbox SB-PR-90-Q Review with its higher number of rods making the softbox rounder, at the end of the day, the most important thing is light quality, notably the CRI.
I believe that within a manufacturer’s ecosystem, everything has been engineered and dialed up to give you the best possible compatibility and results.
When you start mixing brands, you fall into some issues that are often not even solved in the forums of the web. I also think it’s easier to sell products in packs if they are from the same ecosystem.
My thoughts on the Nanlite Softbox Parabolic 90 Quick
The softbox comes inside a box and inside a handy bag for you to carry. There’s not much to say about the content of the package.
Inside, there’s only an already-mounted softbox with a rod system that you only need to arm and clip. There are two diffusion sheets inside the bag, one thin and one slightly stronger.
The thin white sheet feels like nylon, whereas the stronger diffusion sheet feels a bit sticky, like the inside layer of some thin raincoat. Both are very thin, in my opinion. I wonder how durable they will be and if they are easy to replace.
The product feels durable enough, though the zipper of the bag seems a bit light compared to a real YKK zipper. I had tons of products with free bags that had these types of light zippers that broke on me.
The softbox is using a Bowens mount, which is very easy to clip and unclip. The sheets of diffusion can be scratched on the inner layer of the softbox. It’s large enough to fit two diffusion sheets and one grid.
I just wish that the protection for the mount of the Softbox was a piece of foam as opposed to a sheet of PE foam film scotched together that will break after a couple of usages.
The quality of the light
At the moment, I don’t get to do a lot of tests. I still need to get more experience and play around with this new gear that I got last week.
To be honest, from using it as a front key light, I don’t think you would be able to distinguish it from, let’s say, a simple umbrella.
I think you’ll start to get the benefits of a softbox and a grid when you start to put them at an angle and add additional lights and fill.
Overall, I think it’s a solid product that doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but rather delivers a product with widely spread innovations such as clipping rods which makes for a quick setup.
They also have some scratching inside the parabolic softbox in case you want to put an inside diffuser like in the Aputure Dome II, although this is not necessary when combined with the Nanlite 500B II since the light beam is wide enough to fill all the reflectors inside the softbox.
One other advantage the Aputure softbox has over this one is that they have an included accessory top clip that magnetically gels on the light.
This is quite handy and a feature you might need if you work with daylight LEDs, which at some point or another you will.
The speed ring
This softbox uses a speed ring, so you can switch between bowens and other mounts. This mount can be fixed with a screw. I found that this screw tends to get lost, making the ring rotate and making mounting the softbox hard at times.
The grid of the Nanlite Softbox Parabolic 90 Quick is sold separately, and it seems to have less square than the Aputure Dome II.
With the Nanlite grid, the light is less controlled and spills on the sides. It’s a bit disappointing; fortunately, you can still buy the Aputure grid, and it should fit on the Nanlite softbox. It’s just a velcro system, after all.
The second you put up an electronic light, you’re fighting it. The color is wrong, the intensity is wrong, and the softness is wrong.
It takes more effort to make light look natural than it does to make natural light look shaped.
To me, that’s the preferred methodology for lightning.Greig Fraser Director of Photography
The price of this softbox is around 200 euros. This is slightly cheaper than the Aputure Dome II, which is sold for around 210–220 euros.
Since the Aputure includes the grid, which costs around 40 euros for the nanolite, it’s fair to say they are equally priced. I would even go as far as to say that the Aputure is actually a cheaper option overall, with better quality and more features.
8.0 out of 10.
The Nanlite Softbox Parabolic 90 Quick is a solid product overall. The modifier doesn’t have any cons or produce any form of defect.
It’s a softbox that will do the job perfectly, and thanks to its features, such as a quick setup time with clipping rods and velcro for diffusion and grid, this tool will certainly be easy to use.
Perhaps the only downside of this softbox is that it is, with the grid attachment, more expensive than the Aputure Dome II, which is better engineered and more featured.
I really think this product should be cheaper and should come with the grid included.
The Aputure Dome III has just been released, and it’s even more practical now with just two half of the rodes that can be clipped at the same time.
Nanlite Forza Softbox SB-PR-90-Q
Website : https://nanlite.com/
Page of the product : https://nanlite.com/parts-sb-pr-90-q?t=1693496342548#/en/SB-PR-90-Q
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