The soft box I ordered came from all the way from Adorama in the States and arrived in only a couple of days which was impressive. A long parcel arrived at my door which I signed for and took it inside but I didn't unbox it right away, nope, it sat on my sofa for a couple of days first before I cracked it open. I used to use the traditional umbrella soft boxes, I have boxes from Godox and Phot-R which are very light and affordable but I found that the metal rods inside would bend very easily if they fell over (which they often did on windy days). So after much deliberation and checking out many different brands I decided upon the 38" ParaPop soft box from Glow.
This box was quite simple to setup. It came with a a speed lite mount which came already fitted to the parapop's main mount which looks like a silver disc with a series of white pegs running around the circumference. If you plan on using a strobe with this box like I do you will need to remove the speed lite ring by removing the three screws, once they are removed the speed lite plate comes away easily and you just need to grab the bowens ring, line up the three holes and replace the screws, job done... well not quite...
The next step is to unpack the actual box itself and insert each rod of the rods into the little white pegs on the silver mount. The rods are inserted into the holes and are held in place by an elastic loop. You will need to reach under the material and feel for the loop which will be right where the rod is fastened to the material. You can clearly see the black loop in the photo below, this has to be pulled up and onto the hook on the white peg which prevents the rod from sliding out again.
These steps have to be repeated for each rod and when finished the box should hang from the ring without sliding free. I demonstrate this with the photo below, just reach under the fabric, feel for the loop and pull to pull over the hook in the plastic peg. This part is a bit fiddly but it should take no more than a few minutes.
That's the hardest part done, the fun part is erecting each rod so that it resembles a soft box and you do that by pulling the white peg (and rod) toward the silver ring which should snap into place securely. Do this for each rod all the way around and what you should have is a fully extended soft box.
The next step is to attach the hot spot diffuser that is attached via button snaps on the inside of the box. As the name suggests it serves to eliminate hot spots on your subject by internally diffusing the light before it even reaches the outer sheet. Once that is attached you can put on the outer layer by attaching it to the velcro strip around the edge of the box.
This soft box comes with two layers of diffusion which is really good and there are others that have a third level where another layer f diffusion is stitched into the centre of the outer panel. In my case I will have the benefit of three stage diffusing as the strobe I own has a bulb with a frosted glass front which helps disperse the light.
A link to where I bought it is provided below