LumiQuest SoftBox III

LumiQuest LQ119 SoftBox III


Street price
$43.95 USD
Manufacturer No.
3.5 out of 5.0 stars

The Lumiquest SoftBox III is a small, highly portable soft­box that attaches eas­ily to var­i­ous speed­lights. Deployment is greatly enhanced by the use of an optional speed­strap. It’s ideal for close por­traits where you need a soft but con­trolled light, espe­cially if you can place the light near the sub­ject (which is com­par­i­tively easy, since it’s much smaller than an umbrella). Its size lim­its its use­ful­ness on-cam­era, espe­cially on a rangefinder.

Size & Weight

Folded flat, the soft­box mea­sures 7½″ × 9″ (19 cm × 23 cm) and is about ¼″ (.65 cm) thick at its cen­ter. Unfolded and attached to a speed­light, it projects 4″ (10 cm) for­ward. It weighs approx­i­mately 2.75 oz (78 grams).

I can eas­ily slip the folded soft­box in the back of my Billingham Hadley Small cam­era bag.


The Lumiquest SoftBox III arrives with self-adhe­sive Velcro®, which you fas­ten to a speed­light to pro­vide attach­ment points for the soft­box. We find that the adhe­sive on this type of Velcro® can get gummy in very warm weather, pro­vid­ing an unre­li­able adhe­sion. It’s also dif­fi­cult to remove if you change your mind & want to use a speed­strap later.

The soft­box folds flat, so you can tuck it in your cam­era bag, back­pack, purse, or satchel. Its small size also makes it less likely to be blown over in high winds when used with a light stand. It’s very easy to attach: just unfold it and attach the 4 vel­cro tabs to the 4 sides of your speed­light, either to the pro­vided self-adhe­sive Velcro® or to a speed­strap. Reverse the pro­ce­dure to remove it. 

LumiQuest SoftBox III
LumiQuest SoftBox III — Soft, Controlled Light in a Small Package

You’ll lose about 1¼ stops when using the Lumiquest SoftBox III; if you use gels, you’ll lose more accord­ingly. The large (aprox­i­mately 20× the size of a typ­i­cal speed­light flash head) sur­face area cre­ates very soft shad­ows, although the light is still some­what brighter in the cen­ter. It’s also big enough to block aut­o­fo­cus assist and inter­fere with auto-expo­sure, unless you employ TTL meter­ing. I don’t usu­ally use on-cam­era flash, but I some­times have to resort to it in small venues when pho­tograph­ing per­form­ers: you know the type, where the bass player is stand­ing in the cor­ner, com­pletely in the dark. If I can’t prop the light up against a speaker and use a wire­less trig­ger, I’ll stick it in the hot shoe as a last resort. Well, for­get about using the Lumiquest SoftBox III, because it com­pletely blocks the viewfinder (and any exter­nal viewfinder you might be using) on my rangefinder, mak­ing it impos­si­ble to frame or focus. Sure, you can flip it out of the way, frame and focus, flip it down, and shoot blind, but who wants to do that? Most rangefinder enthu­si­asts will pre­fer to use this soft­box for off-cam­era shoot­ing, only.


We rec­om­mend you pur­chase the Lumiquest UltraStrap speed­strap. The UltraStrap is an elas­tic neo­prene strap that stretches around the speed­light and fas­tens to itself by a small piece of Velcro®; more vel­cro around the exte­rior pro­vides an attach­ment point for a gel holder (such as the LumiQuest FXtra) and a vari­ety of light mod­i­fiers, includ­ing the Lumiquest SoftBox III.

Care & Maintenance

The soft­box is made of heavy­weight plas­tic, prob­a­bly vinyl (PVC), judg­ing by the smell and the material’s flex­i­bil­ity. If it becomes soiled, just wipe it down with a damp cloth. Mild dish soap should be okay, too. We don’t rec­om­mend using harsh clean­ers, but you can hand-wash it in a sink or basin and air dry it if it gets par­tic­u­larly dirty. You prob­a­bly don’t want to store it any­where that gets very hot; def­i­nitely don’t leave it in the car in warm weather.


We rec­om­mend you use a speed­strap, either the Lumiquest UltraStrap or the Honl Photo Speed Strap, with the Lumiquest SoftBox III. You should also con­sider using a gel holder; we like the LumiQuest FXtra. The Strobist has writ­ten a great intro­duc­tion to using gels.


The PVC is pretty heavy duty, but the hinged folds and “welded” seams are some­what thin­ner and can be expected to tear or wear out even­tu­ally. For most users, that will be many years in the future. A semi-flex­i­ble mate­r­ial is sand­wiched between the PVC lay­ers as a stiffener.

TQuest Couch demon­strates the LumiQuest Strobist® Kit, which fea­tures all of the items dis­cussed in this review.



  • Small, light, portable
  • Easy to deploy
  • Produces soft, con­trolled light
  • Can be used very close to subject
  • Well con­structed
  • Unlikely to be blown over by high wind, unlike larger modifiers


  • Somewhat expen­sive (to be fair, the price range on small soft­boxes is quite wide)
  • Needs acces­sories for ideal deployment
  • Blocks viewfinder on rangefinder cameras

I like the size, weight and ease-of-use of the Lumiquest SoftBox III, get­ting good results in a vari­ety of sit­u­a­tions as long as I use it off-cam­era. The costruc­tion is good enough to ensure years of use for most pho­tog­ra­phers, and the price, while no bar­gain, is rea­son­able. I rec­om­mend the Lumiquest SoftBox III to the pho­tog­ra­pher look­ing to add a good, portable, gen­eral pur­pose light mod­i­fier to his or her kit.

Full dis­clo­sure: LumiQuest pro­vided my review copy of the Lumiquest SoftBox III gratis.

About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

↑ Go back to the beginning of this page.
Mercury Photo Bureau underlying-calculable