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 Apollo Orb modifier was probably my favorite to play with even though it was the most awkward to use given the size of the orb to the lightstand. This kit is perfect for someone starting from scratch as it includes everything you need except the speedlite. It includes a light stand, which is smaller and I would not ever use it with this large soft box in the wind. Indoors, it worked just fine. It was great for smaller spaces and was very easy to use.
The Apollo Orb is really just a giant umbrella with a silver inside. The kit comes with a flash bracket that holds an umbrella, which is great for beginners as you will want one of these for shooting with an umbrella. The orb then has an opening where the light stand goes through and you mount the speedlite so it is shooting into the umbrella and reflecting back onto the subject. It also comes with a white diffuser that attaches to the front with Velcro.
I really enjoyed using the Apollo Orb because it created a huge, soft light that was really easy to work with.
The image to the left was made using the Apollo Orb about three feet from the subject with the silver reflector on the table pointing up at the subject. In retrospect, I should have used the gold reflector due to the warm background to match the light better, but I was working fast as this person was not available for long. This light was great for capturing more than a head shot as it creating a big soft light.
This kit is currently available on Amazon for $149. Given that it includes the light stand and umbrella bracket, I feel like this is a great starter kit for someone looking to get a big soft box.
Be sure to check out all of our favorite lighting gear at our Recommended Gear Page.