I'm sometimes skeptical about products that bear a photographer's name, but when it comes to Joe McNally, that skepticism goes right out the window. I'm a huge fan of this talented photographer who generously shares his knowledge of lighting and who, from what I can tell, is a down-to-earth, regular guy. Combined with my (very positive) experience with an older model of the Lastolite by Manfrotto Ezybox Speed-lite modifier, the Joe McNally Ezybox Speed-Lite 2 Plus easily found its way onto my "gotta-have-it" wish list.
This 8.5 x 8.5-inch, super portable, mini softbox is perfect for working with flash guns and can be attached to the light whether it's on or off camera. At its core, the modifier is the same as the Ezybox Speed-Lite 2, but with a couple of added features. For one, it sports a white interior, meeting McNally's preference for a "softer/creamier" light. It also has removable inner and outer diffusers if or when you want a softer light (doubling the diffusers cuts exposure down by two stops). I particularly like that the outer diffuser is recessed (by 45mm), which helps reduce light spill. You'll also find a couple of magnets inside the softbox so you can easily attach Lastolite Strobo honeycomb and gel holders, adding a couple of different options to customize the light. The softbox attaches to the strobe via a silicon strap and folds up to fit into the bundled carry bag for a total weight of 0.55 pounds (with the bag).
At $79, the mini-softbox won't break the bank, so you can pick up more than one for multiple flashgun setups.
While you're over on the Manfrotto site, also check out the new Smoke.Concrete Urban Collapsible background from Lastolite. This two-sided, 5 x 7-foot background emulates hand-painted textures in smoke on one side and concrete on the other. It's a great neutral background that's a little urban and a little bit grunge, for $218 (with its own carry bag). (Find out more about it—and discover 11 more hot backdrops and props—in the June issue of Rangefinder.)