On-camera flash modifiers aren’t the most ideal way of lighting a subject, but sometimes you just simply don’t have the time or space to set up a light stand for off-camera flash. The Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite 2 is ideal for situations like wedding shoots where time is of the essence, so having a few ways to defuse the light from an on-camera flash is convenient to have.
Diffusing the light from a flashgun doesn’t have to be complicated. You can go DIY and stick a piece of tracing paper around the flash head, however, if you want a more long-lasting and robust solution, then on flash modifiers such as the Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite could be an option. Now on version 2, the EzyBox Speed-Lite is a 22cm x 22cm softbox-like setup which slips over your flash head, on-camera and aims to give nice diffused light across your subject.
Generally, it’s better to have as large a surface area as possible for a light modifier. The problem with on-camera flash is that you only have so much real estate above the camera before things start getting in the way of the lens. The EzyBox Speed-Lite solves this problem by trying to be as big as possible to diffuse light, but also small enough to be compact and still work on camera while not looking completely out of place.
The initial impression of the EzyBox Speed-Lite is that it’s not too big and not too small. Large enough that there’s a nice diffusion of light, but small enough to not be intrusive. The design is square shaped and folds down nicely into its own little carry bag. The front face of the EzyBox Speed-Lite is removable as is the interior baffle. The whole unit fits directly onto a flash with some nice Velcro straps and can be assembled in seconds. The Velcro attachment isn’t as sturdy as a softbox with a designated hole for a studio strobe, but it does the job.
As the front diffusers are removable, you can attach more than one within the softbox. This diffuses the light more and drops it by a few stops, but at least the option is there when you need it.
As a sidenote the EzyBox also comes in different sizes, if you just wanted to use them for off-camera flash.
One thing’s for sure, the Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite 2 grabs attention. It’s not often you see a huge black thing attached to a flashgun on-camera, but as experienced recently at a wedding shoot, it can sometimes save shouting ‘look this way.’
The EzyBox Speed-Lite is just small enough to not get in the way of the lens, but it can get in the way of the flash and AF assist sensors. This means you will have to see how well the TTL on your camera copes in low light and possible manual flash settings.
As this is for an on-camera flash, the light is very directional but far softer than a bare flash. It produces some nice catchlights in the eyes of a subject. Under chin and eye shadows are a lot more diffused and depending on your angle of shooting can completely disappear. This unit gives better results than a lot of the smaller on-flash light modifiers available, but the results are still very much straight ahead lighting.
The EzyBox Speed-Lite is just large enough to be used for off-camera lighting in a run and go situation. If you want to throw up a quick light stand at a wedding, this could be a handy solution. The light source is focused and directional as the unit is quite small, but with a bit of experimentation with flash distances, you can get some pleasing results.
How Does the Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite 2 Compare?
As there’s not much to the design, the real differentiator between the Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite 2 and other makes and models is the size. This is why we haven’t brought you the usual comparison table.
The Gary Fong Lightsphere, for example, is smaller and more portable but won’t diffuse light as well as the EzyBox. The Lightsphere also falls down when taken outside with no walls to bounce off. This means the EzyBox Speed-Lite could be the best solution when you can’t use a bounce or off-camera flash.
The main caveat with on-camera flashes is that they’re never going to be as good as off-camera lighting. In this sense, it’s easy to dismiss these on-camera flash modifiers as less than ideal, however, they all have their place as some diffusion is better than none.
For on-camera use, it works better than other much smaller units, but it can get in the way of the AF assist beam. Apart from that, it definitely does what it says on the package.
The size of the unit is initially offputting, but you soon get used to a large box hanging off your flashgun. The Lastolite EzyBox Speed-Lite 2 is lightweight and folds down nicely when not in use. When used as an off-camera flash, it may be a little small for most purposes, but for lighting up one person close up, it can do very well.