MagBox Pro 42″ Octa & 36″ Strip Review | The Necessary Addition to Your Studio Lighting Gear Kit
This year wasn’t filled with the typical gear drops that we’re used to, especially when it comes to lighting. As technology continues to advance, flash companies focus more on how to make powerful strobes as portable as possible. Now that I have dialed in which lights I take with me on shoots, the next obvious question is which modifiers make the cut? In search of finding the most portable on-location lighting setup, I decided to review the new MagBox Pro 42″ Octa and 36″ Strip softboxes. I have previously reviewed the OG MagBox (which you can read here) and had some critiques. Let’s see how these two lived up to the hype.
New MagBox Pro Specs
- Integrated Built-In Storage Pocket for Diffusion Panel
- New Super-Fast Zip on Fabric Diffuser
- Use with Optional Magnetic Grid for Fast and Easy Light Control
The MagBox 42″ is $219.95, which, in comparison to others on the market, falls somewhere in the middle. On average, softboxes of this size range from $50-$500 so this is a great deal. The one downside is that you’ll have to already own a MagRing or magnetic mount to make this work. You also have to purchase the grid separately. The Strip 36″ is $189.95, which is $10 more than the original MagBox 24″. Once again, it falls somewhere in the average range of price for softboxes of this size.
Let’s dive into the actual nitty-gritty of how these softboxes compare to their predecessor and what changes were made to make these some of the most advanced and portable light modifiers on the market.
- The softbox is easy to pop open and close, tested on beginner assistants and they were able to set it up in seconds.
- The collapsible clips to make it foolproof, they snap out and in depending on if you are closing it incorrectly.
- The diffusion panel folds into a softbox which is a welcomed change compared to the original MagBox. Before, the diffusion cloth and grid were rolled and stored in a separate bag making them wrinkle and fold.
- The new zipper system for the built-in diffusion cloth is absolute perfection. This combined with the magnet system on the inside of the rim of the softbox makes it one of the quickest softbox setups on the market.
Bigger, Softer, Better
- It’s like carrying a large window with you wherever you go. I understand that is the whole premise of owning a softbox, but 42″ makes a difference.
- It’s an upgrade from the 24″ inch in every way possible.
Different Options for Unlimited Outcomes
There are- now 3 different softboxes that pair seamlessly into the magnet mod ecosystem. this gives photographers any level the ability to transition through and level up to new gear. it’s also perfect for studio lighting and multi-point lighting setups that require different modifiers, colors, and diffusion.
Although both of these products truly deliver what they promise, there are some negatives to consider before purchasing your new softbox. The most obvious one is the size and portability of all of MagMod’s softboxes. While they make such incredible and portable magnetic light modifiers, the softboxes are big and bulky and aren’t the easiest to travel with.
Size & Packaging
- Even collapsed, it’s hard to find a bag that can fit it all. Pictured above is the upgraded MagBox Pro Case which was made to be longer to help store the new MagBox 42″. If you don’t buy this one, your best bet is a roller case, which still might not fit both.
- Although they collapse into their respective carrying bags, they don’t become smaller than that which makes it hard to carry if you don’t have a bag. The strip box could fit in a smaller light stand bag, but definitely not the softbox.
Pre-Requisite Accessories Needed
- Must have a MagRing or a speeding adaptor in order to mount lights.
- Need circular MagGels (corrective and creative) for color.
- You have to purchase the grids separately, however, each one comes with the diffusion cloth.
- This is considered a positive for those that have already invested in the MagMod ecosystem because it fits right in, but a larger initial investment for those that haven’t.
MagBox 42″ Softbox & MagBox 36″ Strip Review | Conclusion
Moved from just location lighting to creating a lineup of tools for portrait and wedding photographers. specifically, this rollout focuses on building a better, more efficient studio lighting setup to get you up and running in minutes. You can now purchase the MagBox Pro 42″ Softbox and 36″ Strip as well as any additional accessories.