Permanent Tourist

A personal website by Mark Howells-Mead

Walimex octagon softbox for compact flash

I am photographing a wedding shortly, and wanted to extend my set of photographic equipment specifically for the occasion. I have worked with off-camera flash and a white shoot-through umbrella for several years, but the disadvantage of the umbrella is that a lot of the light is reflected back towards the flash and scattered behind the umbrella itself. By using a softbox, all of the light is directed forward and so you can be sure to get as much power from your compact flash as possible.

The model I chose is the 60cm octagon-shaped model by Walimex; in my case, ordered from Foto Walser in Germany, via (Although you can order directly if you prefer.) I chose this model because it includes a cold-shoe mount and solid steel bracket, which can be used for the remainder of the Walimex range; from spotlight snoots to barn door floodlamp-style modifiers. Also, at 60cm, it’s light enough to use with one hand for quick close-ups, if necessary, although it’s obviously designed to be mounted to a light stand or tripod using either of the two thread mounts on the bracket. (Each compatible with the two most common screw-mount thread sizes.)

A good feature is the bracket itself; the vertical mount screws directly to the stand – or a separate tilt-head, if you need to use the softbox below or above the subject – and the horizontal extension bar holding the flash can be height-adjusted according to which flash unit you’re using. Because the manufacturer had the foresight to make the cold shoe removable (it’s mounted to the bar using a screw-through connector), I can also swap it over with the flash mounted to my own SC-28 flash TTL cable. This allows me to avoid using the pop-up flash on the camera as a TTL commander, and have just one single light source if needs be.