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Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Ok so I need to get an octabox for my AB B1600, I want the 36" foldable softbox by AB but I have come across a "generic" version by a company called Fotodiox on ebay.  The company is out of chicago, has a 2 yr warranty on the product, is "foldable" like the AB version but is all self contained and opens like an umbrella
http://cgi.ebay.com/EZ-Pro-Softbox-60-O … 239wt_1125
there is a video showing it (just not for AB but its the same).

Price wise, the Fotodiox is like $10-15 less for the same size and it comes with a speed ring just like the AB does but it ALSO comes with a grid which I know is like another 50$ from AB.

My questions are
a) has anyone have any experience with this item or any Fotodiox softboxes in regards to the build quality as my concern with anything like this bought on ebay that it will break or fall apart on me within a month.

b) if you were in my shoes (knowing im on a budget) would you stick with AB because you know the quality, their great customer service is all there and just bite the bullet on price difference?


PM me with any advice you have as I'd like to end my dilemma and order one or the other by the end of the week if I can smile  thanks!
Oct 26 09 04:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Eduardo Frances
Posts: 3,227
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain


M Images wrote:
Ok so I need to get an octabox for my AB B1600, I want the 36" foldable softbox by AB but I have come across a "generic" version by a company called Fotodiox on ebay.  The company is out of chicago, has a 2 yr warranty on the product, is "foldable" like the AB version but is all self contained and opens like an umbrella
http://cgi.ebay.com/EZ-Pro-Softbox-60-O … 239wt_1125
there is a video showing it (just not for AB but its the same).

Price wise, the Fotodiox is like $10-15 less for the same size and it comes with a speed ring just like the AB does but it ALSO comes with a grid which I know is like another 50$ from AB.

My questions are
a) has anyone have any experience with this item or any Fotodiox softboxes in regards to the build quality as my concern with anything like this bought on ebay that it will break or fall apart on me within a month.

b) if you were in my shoes (knowing im on a budget) would you stick with AB because you know the quality, their great customer service is all there and just bite the bullet on price difference?


PM me with any advice you have as I'd like to end my dilemma and order one or the other by the end of the week if I can smile  thanks!

Forget what I wrote, here it is the AB version (balcar)
http://cgi.ebay.com/EZ-Pro-Softbox-60-O … 518d317da3

This Octa supposedly is bigger than the offers from PCB, I would try it to tell you the truth.

Oct 26 09 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Ellison
Posts: 1,207
Brooklyn, New York, US


M Images wrote:
...
My questions are
a) has anyone have any experience with this item or any Fotodiox softboxes in regards to the build quality as my concern with anything like this bought on ebay that it will break or fall apart on me within a month.

b) if you were in my shoes (knowing im on a budget) would you stick with AB because you know the quality, their great customer service is all there and just bite the bullet on price difference?
...

I use these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/60-Pro-Softbox-Octa … 5ad3e89163

and I can say that I am impressed with the build quality.  I don't normally go banging my stuff around but I've put them through their paces and I'm like them very much.  The ones I got are the non-collapsible models (the exact ones on the link) and they are a serious BITCH to put together but I never break mine down anyway for the most part.

If they still have the same quality (haven't bought any in the last year or so) I would definitely go for it (the non-collapsible models anyway). 

HOWEVER, since you are talking about the collapsible models with a price difference of only $20 or so, I would get the ones from AB and feel okay knowing that I'm paying an extra $20 for the customer service IF I ever might need it.

If you can get the non-collapsible models though, I would go for the FotoDix ones...

Oct 26 09 06:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mark Ellison
Posts: 1,207
Brooklyn, New York, US


One thing I did notice was they really raised the prices on them. I remember when they were only like $60-70 for the 60" Octabox version.  That MoFo is $120+ now. 

Hell, I wish I would have bought more to stockpile now...
Oct 26 09 06:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Mark Ellison wrote:

I use these:

http://cgi.ebay.com/60-Pro-Softbox-Octa … 5ad3e89163

and I can say that I am impressed with the build quality.  I don't normally go banging my stuff around but I've put them through their paces and I'm like them very much.  The ones I got are the non-collapsible models (the exact ones on the link) and they are a serious BITCH to put together but I never break mine down anyway for the most part.

If they still have the same quality (haven't bought any in the last year or so) I would definitely go for it (the non-collapsible models anyway). 

HOWEVER, since you are talking about the collapsible models with a price difference of only $20 or so, I would get the ones from AB and feel okay knowing that I'm paying an extra $20 for the customer service IF I ever might need it.

If you can get the non-collapsible models though, I would go for the FotoDix ones...

Good to know you like the build quality, I am going to figure it translates over to the collapsible one.  I def am glad to know some others out there have used these.  I'd get the 60inch one but I plan to use this outside at places like the lovely beaches of Southern California.  WHich for those who dont know, can get very windy and I would think that at 60inch octabox would just pick up and get thrown with a nice sized gust if I am not careful.  That is my only concern but yes bigger is always better i totally agree.

Oct 26 09 09:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jinxt Photo
Posts: 38
Newport News, Virginia, US


I bought the 47" version of the octabox in question.

The build quality is alright enough to get by. The thing I don't like about it is the fact that the rear panel does not fit correctly and I get a bit of spill from it. It doesn't make any difference in the shots, but it just feels wrong that it doesn't come together like I know it should.

I mainly use mine on an AB1600 and while I'm quite happy with the quality of light I really wish I would have held out and spent the extra $40 or so on the AB octo.

As an aside, I think when they shipped mine I recieved the wrong one as the speedring did NOT fit the AB and the true size of it is pretty much exactly the same size as my 60" shoot-through umbrella from AB. I ended up having to buy the AlienBee speedring which made the total cost even closer to that of the non-foldable AB octo.

You won't be disappointed with the quality of light, and the build quality will hold up for some time, but if you have the same issues I have with it you may end up kicking yourself for not nabbing the AB octo in the first place.

I wish I had gone all out and bought the foldable octo cuz I tell you what, this thing can be a real pain to get set up and broken down.

For $230 I'd go with the AlienBee octo (I paid $90 for my 47" Fotodioxe that ended up being a 60" anyway)
Oct 27 09 05:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Cool thanks for more info.
Oct 27 09 09:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jon Owens - GB Studios
Posts: 42
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


im gonna let you guys in on something. I bought 2 of these http://cgi.ebay.com/Octagonal-Softbox-8 … 529wt_1167

they have been awesome and you can't beat that price. he ships them from texas and they came really quickly. also, I bought 1 of these cases from him http://cgi.ebay.com/Huge-Video-Studio-P … 036wt_1167

when I bought it, it was like $25. it is ridiculously nice for the money, and works great for carrying up to six AB heads really securely. the compartments are moveable as well.
The constuction on the softboxes are better than the AB boxes, and they come with grids and speedrings. I'm dreading when his prices go up, because i'm planning on buying another case, and a few more softboxes from him.

fyi
Oct 27 09 09:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Karl Yamashita
Posts: 3,290
Irvine, California, US


Jon O Photography wrote:
im gonna let you guys in on something. I bought 2 of these http://cgi.ebay.com/Octagonal-Softbox-8 … 529wt_1167

they have been awesome and you can't beat that price. he ships them from texas and they came really quickly. also, I bought 1 of these cases from him http://cgi.ebay.com/Huge-Video-Studio-P … 036wt_1167

when I bought it, it was like $25. it is ridiculously nice for the money, and works great for carrying up to six AB heads really securely. the compartments are moveable as well.
The constuction on the softboxes are better than the AB boxes, and they come with grids and speedrings. I'm dreading when his prices go up, because i'm planning on buying another case, and a few more softboxes from him.

fyi

The grids look a lot better on these Brad. I was looking into getting one but i ended up getting the beauty dishes.

Oct 27 09 10:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cecil Sharps
Posts: 1,993
MAYLENE, Alabama, US


i like the foldable octas better than the regulars.  3 mins of setup versus 30.

i got the same one your interested in from backdropoutlet on ebay for less.
It was in a bowens mount.

Fotodiox has chinese products.Some are a little more expensive than other ebay vendors.  He ships in a decent amount of time.  The only thing i don't like is you get on his mailing list and you constantly get spam from him.
Oct 27 09 10:52 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 9,990
Baltimore, Maryland, US


If you haven't played with them, octoboxes SUCK to assemble. And if you get a cheap one, they may only have a few assembly/disassembly cycles in them before they start to get all jacked out of shape. I'd go with the AB folding octobox in a heartbeat.
Oct 28 09 04:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SKITA Studios
Posts: 1,563
Boston, Massachusetts, US


Jon O Photography wrote:
im gonna let you guys in on something. I bought 2 of these http://cgi.ebay.com/Octagonal-Softbox-8 … 529wt_1167

How well do these fold down?
They make a fairly large 150cm one as well...

Oct 28 09 08:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Cecil Sharps wrote:
i like the foldable octas better than the regulars.  3 mins of setup versus 30.

i got the same one your interested in from backdropoutlet on ebay for less.
It was in a bowens mount.

Fotodiox has chinese products.Some are a little more expensive than other ebay vendors.  He ships in a decent amount of time.  The only thing i don't like is you get on his mailing list and you constantly get spam from him.

Hey Cecil, have you purchased one of these foldable fotodiox softboxes to comment on the build quality as ya I know its Chinese made which is where my concern regarding build quality comes from

Oct 28 09 02:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris N
Posts: 1,401
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Jon O Photography wrote:
im gonna let you guys in on something. I bought 2 of these http://cgi.ebay.com/Octagonal-Softbox-8 … AlienBees-

fyi

Are you able to post pictures of them?

I'm in the market for a large octabox for my bees as well.

Oct 28 09 06:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jon Owens - GB Studios
Posts: 42
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Chris N wrote:

Are you able to post pictures of them?

I'm in the market for a large octabox for my bees as well.

yeah I'll put some pics of mine up. They don't fold down like the newer AB ones. They are just traditional octaboxes. With practice, they are no problem to assemble. It's a good skill to have anyways.

Oct 29 09 01:03 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Chris N
Posts: 1,401
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Jon O Photography wrote:
yeah I'll put some pics of mine up. They don't fold down like the newer AB ones. They are just traditional octaboxes. With practice, they are no problem to assemble. It's a good skill to have anyways.

Thanks Jon, I appreciate it.

Oct 29 09 01:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cecil Sharps
Posts: 1,993
MAYLENE, Alabama, US


M Images wrote:
Hey Cecil, have you purchased one of these foldable fotodiox softboxes to comment on the build quality as ya I know its Chinese made which is where my concern regarding build quality comes from

Sorry it been forever to reply.

I don't have the fotodiox branded one.  I picked one up from backdrop outlet.  I'd put money they were manufactured by the same chinese company.

Over all i like the design.  Quick assembly and seems sturdy enough.  2 layers of diffusion material.  I can deploy this one, and have it ready to shoot in under 4 mins.(I got bored and timed it for my blog)

The old style one i have was from amvona.  They don't sell much stuff anymore.  It was a real pain to assemble.  Seemed sturdy enough, no bent rods but it would take me 20-30 mins to assemble.

Lots of the amvona stuff floats into ebay under the fancier brand now.

Nov 03 09 06:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JMX Photography
Posts: 2,097
Saginaw, Michigan, US


I got a couple from Amvona that have Fotodiox labels on them.  From my experience when everything is ok it great but if you have problems it can take a while to get them straightened out.  Like I got a 60" a few years ago and it shipped with a defective rod (it didn't have the proper thick base and wouldn't stick in the speed ring).  It took a while on the phone to get someone to ship me the correct part and then it took weeks to get it.  They were "processing" it for some time.  Had I needed it for something pressing I would have been pissed.  But to their (sorta) credit, they shipped me two replacement parts.   As a modifier it's great, nothing to complain about, especially considering it's price!  I eventually got a 7' octo as well as a strip and use those mostly now.
Nov 03 09 08:21 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
jimmyd
Posts: 1,343
Los Angeles, California, US


JMX Photography wrote:
I got a couple from Amvona that have Fotodiox labels on them.

Amvona's customer service sucks. Leastwise, my one (that will remain my only) experience with them sucked. I would never purchase anything from them again: "Not no way, not no how!" © The guy at the door to Emerald City.

Nov 03 09 08:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cecil Sharps
Posts: 1,993
MAYLENE, Alabama, US


JMX Photography wrote:
I got a couple from Amvona that have Fotodiox labels on them.

looks like fotodiox has gone from an importer to partnering with a mfgr.

http://fotodiox.en.alibaba.com/

Nov 03 09 10:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cecil Sharps
Posts: 1,993
MAYLENE, Alabama, US


holy crap.  what a rip-off.

i paid 75 for mine.
Nov 03 09 10:42 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JMX Photography
Posts: 2,097
Saginaw, Michigan, US


Cecil Sharps wrote:
holy crap.  what a rip-off.

i paid 75 for mine.

That's what I paid for my 7'-er  with an eggcrate!

Nov 03 09 11:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Cecil Sharps wrote:

looks like fotodiox has gone from an importer to partnering with a mfgr.

http://fotodiox.en.alibaba.com/

This is a little more comforting shows taht this isn't some like no name off label POS thing that they just slap their sticker on to would you agree.   Ok I think I am going to put my order in thanks to your input cecil smile going to get the 47inch one as for 10 bucks more it costs than the AB 36" + it comes with the eggcrate might as well get a bigger size am I right dudes?

Nov 04 09 11:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Cecil Sharps wrote:

Sorry it been forever to reply.

I don't have the fotodiox branded one.  I picked one up from backdrop outlet.  I'd put money they were manufactured by the same chinese company.

Over all i like the design.  Quick assembly and seems sturdy enough.  2 layers of diffusion material.  I can deploy this one, and have it ready to shoot in under 4 mins.(I got bored and timed it for my blog)

The old style one i have was from amvona.  They don't sell much stuff anymore.  It was a real pain to assemble.  Seemed sturdy enough, no bent rods but it would take me 20-30 mins to assemble.

Lots of the amvona stuff floats into ebay under the fancier brand now.

Amvona!  I know - they like all of a sudden disappeared, that was the first name that came to mind when I started searching for this as I too have purchased from them  I got a killer deal on a big 5in1 reflector for like 11 bucks from them a few years ago and I know their build quality is pretty legit on stuff.  Their website now seems to be a photo type deal site similar to how yugster is (which is still pretty neat having discovered that as if you catch it every now and then you can get killer deals from sites like that).

Nov 04 09 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
P-Studios
Posts: 1,359
Hayward, California, US


amvona.com is the best for the price grids gold and silver inserts just not foldable
Nov 04 09 11:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cecil Sharps
Posts: 1,993
MAYLENE, Alabama, US


M Images wrote:
This is a little more comforting shows taht this isn't some like no name off label POS thing that they just slap their sticker on to would you agree.   Ok I think I am going to put my order in thanks to your input cecil smile going to get the 47inch one as for 10 bucks more it costs than the AB 36" + it comes with the eggcrate might as well get a bigger size am I right dudes?

don't blame me for it. smile

the problem when the softboxes get so big is supporting them.

Nov 05 09 08:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
jimmyd
Posts: 1,343
Los Angeles, California, US


M Images wrote:
... going to get the 47inch one as for 10 bucks more it costs than the AB 36" + it comes with the eggcrate might as well get a bigger size am I right dudes?

In the world of light modifiers, size does matter.

Nov 05 09 08:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Cecil Sharps wrote:

don't blame me for it. smile

the problem when the softboxes get so big is supporting them.

its all good I had a 64" PLM (that i've returned) so AB told me to get the 13ft stand instead of the 10ft else the thing would just fall over.  I would assume with a 47" octa I'll still be alright. Especially considering the smallest sized PLM is 42"

Nov 05 09 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Cecil Sharps
Posts: 1,993
MAYLENE, Alabama, US


M Images wrote:
the problem when the softboxes get so big is supporting them.
its all good I had a 64" PLM (that i've returned) so AB told me to get the 13ft stand instead of the 10ft else the thing would just fall over.  I would assume with a 47" octa I'll still be alright. Especially considering the smallest sized PLM is 42"

Well i meant the weight of the box doing funny things to your mount on the monolight.

Nov 06 09 12:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Bradford Photography
Posts: 1,127
Waterbury, Connecticut, US


Recievd it last week. Feels like solid build quality and sturdy BUT I havent even used it yet and I have to return it.  internally it pushes open like an umbrella.  after the third time assembling it the little clip (like when you open a rain umbrella - the exact same thing) that snaps it open and hold it in  place well it didn't lock.  I found this out the hard way after i pulled it open thought i heard it snapped took one hand off to have it snap back down and slice my hand wide open.  I have called them to tell them what has happend I expect a call back in the morning as it was after their offices closed for the day.  I am really bummed about this as this is now my second return on things and I am really debating to have them refund me and continue my search or attempt to have a second one sent replacing it.  The label on these as well are not Photodiox but ProStudio Solutions.  Trying to find who makes (or anyone else who sells them) I found them cheaper (minus the grid) on www.photoxgear.com but the site seems kind of shady, especially when the "Purchase" tab is missing an R!  So ya I am just totally lost on what to do I swear I feel like I am cursed with bad luck and that I just am not meant to have an Octabox it seems!  What do you all think folks - what should I do?  I plan to chew their asses out when I hear back from them and even more if they dont call me back and I have to keep trying to reach them.  The thing that bugs me is that even though this is essentially a Defective product, I either can take the refund but I still have to pay for shipping back to them which probably costs more than what it cost for it to send to me and my refund will probably only include the price and not shipping OR my other option is to have them replace the item but if I want that I have to again pay for the shipping for them to send it back to me - how fucked up is that?  I'm debating on telling them that I want a new one and that they pay the shipping because I had to spend 2 hours in the ER waiting to have my hand checked out because of their product.  I think that's pretty fair to ask of them.
Nov 19 09 08:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
James Strength
Posts: 2
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, US


I have recently purchased a photodiox 70 inch octabox at a yard sale. I got it for $5.00. It is in great condition. It is however missing the poles. can anyone give me the measurements for the poles? I would greatly appreciate it. I can order them from photodiox but they are very expensive and I figure I can make my own from fiberglass carbon poles. My email address is jstrengthphotography@yahoo.com.

Thanks,
James
Jun 14 12 12:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
JulianRancePhotography
Posts: 279
Charlotte, North Carolina, US


I just ordered the 70" from Amazon and am looking forward to getting it.  I opted for the pole assembly instead of the umbrella design.  Something about the umbrella assembly scares me. 

I'll be sure to post my impressions of it once I get it in a few days!
Jan 03 13 01:01 pm  Link  Quote 
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