I loved the Aputure Amaran HR 672C when it first came out, but really wished light modifiers – soft box, grid and snoot – were available for it. I wasn’t alone, and Aputure listened. How about that?
Back in November 2014 I reviewed a small LED panel the size of an iPad by a company I’d not heard of before: Aputure. The Amaran HR672C was great. In fact, it was the impetus for eventually selling off my ARRI Softbank IV kit and going all-LED.
Fast forward to NAB 2015, where I connect with the Aputure guys in person. Good people. Heck, they even asked for feedback on their products which – never one to be shy – gave them.
Fast forward a little bit more and now it’s the fall and the Aputure team is at Photo Plus Expo in New York. They show off a prototype of a diffuser and egg crate for the HR672C. A little bit after that, I (and I imagine, a bunch of others) get a package with a beta version of the diffuser and a note asking for additional feedback.
Then there’s a Facebook group, which Aputure uses to solicit even more feedback.
About a month ago (sorry it has taken me so long to report on it), another package arrives in the mail. This time it’s the final product, the Aputure EZ Box Softbox Kit [B&H|Amazon] for the 672 and 528 LED panels.
This is way cool. It’s simple, small, inexpensive at $45 + shipping, and folds up into practically nothing.
While one might expect it to be too small (its surface area is only 1.5x the panel’s own diffuser), given the size of the LED, its price point, its intended use and its output, I think they’ve hit the nail on the head. What I can tell you is that it made a noticeable, pleasing difference when I used it as a key light in a two light set-up for my recent comparison of Sony’s new a63000 [B&H| Amazon] to the a7R II [B&H|Amazon] and FS5.
Which, I must confess, surprised me. I liked it.
Do I wish it were even bigger? Yes, but I’m afraid the light output would drop off too quickly. Do I wish there was an egg crate and a snoot, too? Yes, and I hope they come.
To me, the Aputure brand is about excellent value, original products, and nice people. If you own either LED panel, this is worth a close look.
Full disclosure: Aputure sends me stuff from time to time for review. It often ends up somewhere in my bat cave under a pile of something or other, but I think I’ll leave the EZ Box on the HR672C permanently.