The job of the Chimera Super Pro Plus XXS Softbox is to create soft light.
The softbox is composed of a black fabric exterior, 2 translucent white baffles (one inside, one on the front), a white interior and four flexible metal rods to create the frame. Using this softbox requires a Chimera Speedring (or similar device) to attach the frame rods to - creating the semi-rigid frame.
The back of the softbox utilizes Velcro to close the back of the softbox around the speedring and flash.
The advantage of using a softbox over an umbrella (such as the Photogenic Eclipse Umbrella) is that the light is more even, smooth and controlled. The veins and un-even underside of the umbrella are not reflected from the subject when using a softbox. A downside to the softbox setup is that it costs significantly more than an umbrella of the same size.
The Chimera Super Pro Plus XXS Softbox directly competes with some other manufacturers such as Photoflex. I choose the Chimera based on reputation (recommendations from others) and the size and features this model provided. Chimera has several models that would have worked for my purpose as well. The other models omitted some features such as the double and removeable diffusion layers.
I am pleased with my Chimera and how it functions. There is not much to get excited about (for me) with a small softbox, but the results are excellent.
Because of the Chimera Super Pro Plus XXS Softbox's XXS size (12" x 16"), it works best for macro photography lighting and small object photos. It will also work well for portrait photography if the subject is not too far away or if a very powerful strobe is used.
When used with a Canon 550EX E-TTL Speedlite Flash, The subject must be relatively close if f16 at ISO 100 is to be utilized. The Canon 550EX, although powerful, is not able to light a subject very far away at a narrow aperature opening with a slow ISO setting. Opening the lens up will produce better results.
Be sure to read the Chimera Speedring review to get a more complete idea of how the Chimera Super Pro Plus XXS Softbox functions.
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