The purpose of the Lumiquest Softbox is to soften the light from an accessory Flash
(such as the
Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash,
Canon Speedlite 420EX Flash
or the Canon Speedlite 550EX Flash)
Lighting coming directly from a small flash head is typically
harsh looking on your subject because there will be very sharp, strong shadows.
Using your flash's bounce capability is a good way to give yourself a larger light source. However, there is not always a white wall or ceiling available for bounce flash. This is where the Lumiquest comes in. The Lumiquest Softbox fits over your flash head. The flash is fired into the Lumiquest Big Bounce aimed directly at the subject. The softbox directs the light through a much larger opening giving you a larger light source - resulting in a softer, more pleasing light on your subject.
The Lumiquest Softbox has Macro flash applications as well. If a remote flash is used (using Canon's Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2 or using a wireless remote option for example), the softbox is much bigger than most macro subjects and makes a great light source.
Unlike some flash accessories, the Lumiquest Softbox II maintains the infra-red focus assist functionality of the flash. Keep in mind that you will loose some power from your flash while using the Lumiquest.
I found the Lumiquest Softbox to be only slightly effective. I could see a very modest softening of the shadows in typical people pictures, but not enough for me to put up with the design. The Lumiquest is rather large and heavy mounted to the flash. I didn't like the cinch straps - and they flexed with the weight of the Lumiquest. I also didn't care for the build quality of the softbox. It seems to be cheaply made - primarily vinyl. I suppose a higher quality material would make the device even heavier though.
The one application where I liked the Lumiquest Softbox was for macro photography. However, I couldn't get the flash head to stay at the angle I set it too. The Lumiquest's weight would cause the flash head to drop.