Gear Review: Westcott 20″ Rapid Box


A while back I tested a ton of flash gear from different companies in an effort to find the best gear to recommend to photographers getting a start in flash photography.

The Rapid Box was a fun soft box to use.  It was very high quality and durable, like all the gear I tested from Westcott.  It felt much different than the wc-rbcheaper soft boxes I have used.  In essence, the Rapid Box is a black umbrella with a silver interior.  It comes with a heavy duty speed ring attached to the umbrella.  Within the umbrella is a mount that easily attaches the separate deflector plate to create a beauty dish.  This set up permits you to use the Rapid Box as a normal soft box or as a beauty dish.  The white diffusing cover easily hooks around the outside of the box, which I preferred to the more common Velcro method as it was faster to attache and looked nicer.  Finally, the Rapid Box comes with a very solid L-shaped mounting bracket that holds the speed light and is easily adjustable to fit any speed light in the Rapid Box.

As you would expect, the 20″ Rapid Box is not very big.  This is great for transporting it and setting it up.  It comes in a nice bag and sets up very quickly as it is basically like setting up an umbrella.  The bracket attaches easily and adjusts without trouble.  It is probably the easiest set up I have every used for a soft box.  The issue I had is the small size of this Rapid Box means you do not want to get the box to close to the subject unless you are using the flash on a low setting.  I found the best results shooting with the box about four feet away from a single subject.  In most of my shooting, I found the best results with a white or silver reflector opposite the Rapid Box.

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The image to the left was made using the Rapid Box, without the deflector plate, placed about four feet to the front and right of the subject.  The Westcott silver reflector was held just to the left of the subject to try and fill in some of the shadows created by the light.

You can currently pick up this Rapid Box on Amazon for $149.  You can also add the matching deflector plate for $20 or look at their kit options where you can purchase a Rapid Box and deflector plate together.

Be sure to check out all of our favorite lighting gear at our Recommended Gear Page.

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