MagBox 24″ Octa: Trial Run

MagBox 24in Octa

We can discuss my general obsession with magnets. We can focus on my more recent addiction to MagMod products in general. What we can’t discuss is my utter lack of a magnetic personality. Forget that last part. Let’s get back to the actual magnets, shall we?

Back in 2014, I stumbled across a Kickstarter project for an innovative set of speedlight modifiers by MagMod. I jumped on board and haven’t looked back. It is a rare shoot where I am not utilizing these tools, especially on location shoots. Not only are they top notch, but they completely replaced some of my less fashionable, less-rugged hand-made modifiers. So, when they announced their MagBox 24″ Octa softbox system, I dove in head first. Last week, the product arrived. With the help of my friend Nate Goodwin, I gave it a spin. Let’s see how it did.

Equipment List

MagBox No Diffuser

My MagBox kit came with two separate diffusers. For this session, Nate and I wanted to create a few headshots for him and give me a chance to check my diffusion options. First, we went with just the bare flash attached to the MagBox. As expected, this created harsh shadows and highlights.

MagBox Diffuser

Installing the fabric diffuser was very quick and easy thanks to the magnet magic I love. This tamed the light quite a bit. After this shot, I adjusted the ETTL settings by two stops to brighten the image. A quick tweak in lightroom to raise the shadows will definitely make this work.

MagBox Focus Diffuser

Finally, the frosted plastic Focus Diffuser. It is designed to limit light spill in a grid like fashion. The result is more light on your subject, similar to a beauty dish. In this shot, you can see that we have both a soft, diffused shadow and a brighter image.

I really like the look the Focus Diffuser provides, but in my small studio space, it was still more spill than I like. I hope to see a true grid in the future for this setup but, for now, feathering the light does the trick. That is exactly what we did to create the image below.

MagBox Focus Diffuser Feathered

The keen-eyed among you will undoubtedly notice that I’ve added a bit of fill to Nate’s left. Parking a white reflector to bounce light back towards him was all it took to complete this simple setup.

MagBox Setup

Overall, I am very pleased with the MagBox. I went all in and picked up the Pro Kit which includes a carry bag to contain everything, including the two speedlights. Add my camera bag and a light stand to make me “field ready” for location shoots. My beloved studio lights will probably stay at home instead of going on field trips now. The savings in trips to and from the car alone is well worth the price of admission for this ride.

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