Generally, with a softbox, you want to go as big as possible. The bigger the source, the softer the light. If you have the room, getting something like the Light Dome 150 (with its 5-foot diameter) can be a fast way to get a soft source up and going.

The problem is that you don't always have room for bigger boxes, or even medium-sized boxes, for that matter. Working in a small space, or working hand-held, you need something more manageable. To fill that need, Aputure has now released the new Light Box 45x45.

Let's take a look at what this tiny diffuser can do.

Tiny Box, Big Soft Light

Measuring 45 centimeters on each side, which is just 18 inches, the square Light Box 45x45 isn't going to make your light as soft as the Light Dome 150, but it is going to take the edge off and add a touch of diffusion to your light. This can still be a huge benefit in comparison to keeping your light bare and shooting clean light at a source. 

60fps_fellow_filmmaker_footage_-_partnershipCredit: Aputure

Some might wonder where you would use this versus a 1x1 panel, but the key to remember here is punch.

First, this unit will be a little bigger (and thus softer) than a 1x1, but also, soft panels aren't always the punchiest light. By combining a small COB unit like the Amaran 60d with a diffuser, you should have a combination that punches a little further when you need the distance.

220922-aputure-23Credit: Aputure

With its standard Bowens Mount, the unit pairs well with the Aputure 300d and Aputure 120d, but it really sings with the smaller Amaran 60d. That's the tiny little unit that is easy to power with a V-mount battery or even 2x Sony NP-F batteries. It'll even work well with the Amaran 100D and 200D.

Along with the Light Box 45x45, Aputure has rolled out a new pistol grip for the 60d that should make for a truly easy handheld lighting experience. The pistol grip is always going to make this unit a great "hand-held practical" in a scene for when you want a character carrying a light unit in frame with some really powerful punch.

60fps_fellow_filmmaker_footage_-_partnershipCredit: Aputure

One of the immediate uses for this setup is the long walk-and-talk, which is frequently filled in with a battery-powered light on a pole. You can use a tube light, but those aren't super punchy. You can use a light lantern, but those spill everywhere.

By creating a little softbox, Aputure has rolled out a small unit that would be easy to hand hold safely but that takes the edge off of a punchy light. If you are going to have your bestie walking backward and adding a touch of nice fill to a moving scene, this combo is a super nice solution.

Expanding Your Possibilities

This doesn't mean that you'd never use a small box on a fixed light. When doing an interview in a small space, or trying to avoid intimidating an interview subject with "large" equipment, a little softbox can be incredibly useful. Especially working on an indie project in a tiny apartment, the ability to stick something small, softish, with a bit of punch in the tiny area outside the frame can be wonderful.

The Aputure 45x45 is available now and is a no-brainer if your work relies heavily on smaller COB lights like the Amaran 60d.

Is this something you want in your toolkit? Or is it just too small for your needs? Let us know in the comments!

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