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GLOW EZ LOCK ARC Curved Strip Softbox – Update August 26 2019

Update August 26 2019

I have written a post where I use this modifier in combination with another Glow EZ product. You can find that post here.

Updated August 21 2019

A visitor stopped by and asked me if these modifiers will accept an PCB speed ring. So I took the time to measure it for him and others. I was formerly a devout Einstein user so I have some of those speed rings hanging around. Here’s what I found:

Like my other Glow modifiers the speed rings are easy to change. Remove the thumb screw and one other phillips head screw, loosen the other two and slide the speed ring out from the housing.

The diameter of the OEM Bowens speed ring is 5 15/16th of an inch or 150.8mm

A PCB speed ring is smaller than the OEM’s mount size.

The following three images shows the PCB speed ring compared to the OEM Glow Bowens speed ring….

All is not lost. If it ‘were me’ I would use InstaMorph to create some shims to take up the slack. But that’s just me….up to you. The important point is now you know the Glow’s diameter of the speed ring so if you want to change to another ring, just make sure it is the correct measurement. Hope this helps.

Updated August 5 2019

I had mentioned that I would be testing the quality of light before using these in my upcoming dance sessions. I wanted to try a different application by using these to replicate the shadowless glamour light a ring light produces. I’ve been doing this with my Saberstrip v2.0s for some time. But after testing the consistency of these modifiers across their face I thought that I’d try them stacked. I’ve always wanted to do a shadowless light shoot of multiple people all at once. Due to the size, shape and consistency of this light modifier I will be able to do so. I’m convinced that these will be a regular part of my on location and studio workflow.

This configuration is how I replicate a ring light glamour light. I really love what this has produced.

How it looks from my side. I opened my garage door. Doing so and taking a shot with my camera phone would blow out the entire image, so I left it closed. It is damn bright outside today. But the bokeh pattern is something I wanted rather than just a seamless shot.

Garage door opened. Pentax 645Z 1/1600th shutter speed, f3.5 ISO 160. 150mm lens

Garage door opened. Pentax 645Z 1/1600th shutter speed, f3.5 ISO 160. 150mm lens

Original Post

I use strip boxes quite a bit for my work. I recently received the Adorama GLOW EZ LOCK ARC Curved Strip Softbox. I have historically used two different strip light modifiers, first the Cheetah 12″x55″ Quick StripBox and the yet to be released SaberStrip v2.0 which uses the Flashpoint 200s rather than a speedlight. I have found that strip light modifiers are especially valuable for me during studio dance sessions.

Below is an example of how I use strip boxes to light dancers (this was NOT shot using the Glow ARC):

Strip boxes were used to light this shot. Three, one above on a boom and two to each side. All three I consider to be key lights.

One of the advantages Adorama states on their site of this curved configuration is: “Covers the subject with an even light.” Flashhavoc also mentions “The curved surface surface of the EZ Lock ARC’s front diffuser panel is designed to provide something of a more even light across the full length of the stripbox.” Since I use strip boxes quite a bit I thought I’d actually run my own test to see if both claims are true….

Before getting to that test I just want to say that one of the most remarkable modifiers I own and use  when not using focusing rod modifiers is the Glow EZ Lock deep parabolic. The quality of light, it’s complete ease to assemble and the price seems almost impossible!  But yet it’s NOT. So I have high hopes for the Glow ARCs as well.

The construction of the ARC is very similar to the EZ Parabolics. Like an umbrella it uses a rod and securely locks into place.

A VERY SHORT rod is used for the ARC

I always use the diffusion disk with my Glow Deep parabolic. I especially like the way it distributes the light into the modifier. So I was pleased to see that it is also included with the ARC. It’s interesting that in their instructions, no mention of the disk is included or illustrated……hum.

The diffusion disk attaches UNDER the locking mechanism.

It ‘may‘ be due to the fact that inserting the disk under the locking mechanism takes some finesse to do. There is a fine line between collapsing the modifier and inserting the disk. The good news is once it’s there I leave mine inserted because it can easily fold with the disk attached. So it’s just a first time kinda thing. The disk does place some tension on the expansion rods that is not present when the disk is not attached. Just FYI.

OK to compare the alleged even spread of the light to another comparable strip light I used my Cheetahstand 12×55″ Quick Stripbox. Prior to the Glow EZ line being released I loved how Cheetahstand made their Quick softboxes. Low and behold now they both use the very same mechanism which is fantastic. Why? Well because they’re so damn easy to set up and strike! Duh!

For the detail weenies out there, no these are not EXACTLY the same dimensions, but close enough for my little test.

Something to note, the outer diffusion panel of the Glow ARC has the same kind of Velcro on both sides of the attachment strip. Perhaps a grid is coming…? The Cheetahstand strip boxes include a grid.

The Cheetahstand uses a much longer interior rod compared to the Glow ARC.

For my light test I used the interior diffusion panel on the Cheetahstand strip box since I used the diffusion disk on the Glow ARC.

How I tested:

  • Strobe: AD600 at full power 1:1
  • Light Meter: Sekonic L-358 with light dome both extended and retracted (same results both ways)
  • 1/100th shutter speed, ISO 100 set on the Sekonic
  • Measured 4 feet from the face of each modifier
  • Center/Top/Bottom measurements for each modifier
  • Strobe fired six times for each position to ensure consistency 

Results:

Cheetahstand

  • Center f16
  • Top f14
  • Bottom f14

Glow ARC

  • Center f16
  • Top f16
  • Bottom f16

So…..

It’s true! The Glow ARC measured consistently even in my test! I have an upcoming dance session this month and I plan to test the modifier before using it live. Another thing to note is the interior silver material of the Glow ARC is an interesting fabric. Not shiny, not pebbled unlike any other Glow modifier I own. I plan to test the style of light using the Glow ARC with and without the outer diffusion panel. More to come…..

12 thoughts on “GLOW EZ LOCK ARC Curved Strip Softbox – Update August 26 2019”

  1. Mark, in viewing the photos of this unit on Adorama’s web, it really looks like the mount could be changed to a balcar for Paul Buff units.
    Can you comment on that?

    Thank you. Very nice review and interesting unit.
    M.J. Gray

    • MJ, I have added information regarding your question to this post. Thanks for asking it will not only help you but others as well. That’s the value of comments over private emails. Thank you!

  2. Wow, that was fast. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this.
    Turn about is fair play. I have previously used an insert that I remembered having a larger flange with an old SB. It was a FotoDiox EZ Box. Sure enough, here is the Balcar insert on Amazon. It will not require any work arounds to fit. Note the first review regarding Glow.

    I have also found one at Cheetah with appears to be 6″.
    Hope this is useful. I am very interested in this modifier and appreciate your review.

    Thanks again! Great work.
    Mary

    https://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Speedring-Insert-Standard-Softboxes/dp/B003EWNW92/

    https://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/sri152.htm

      • Just one other quick note. I “think” the parabolic and beauty dish SBs require the 144mm insert as opposed to the Curved Strip which uses the 150mm one. I have just ordered a Parabolic kit and the Adorama site has the Balcar insert specifically for it. This likely explains why the confusing reviews regarding the sizing. I do have the 6″ already available and have included the 144mm insert in my order from Adorama. The kit and the Strip Curve should all be here next week and I will confirm this conjecture upon receipt.

        Regards,
        Mary

        • Mary again thank you so much for your follow up! This will definitely help others who like you, want to change speed rings. I look forward to your findings to share here!

    • Amel, thank you for your kind words. Ironic that you just posted here. I JUST got done with a dance session using the new ARC modifiers. I will be posting the images here later this week. Suffice it to say that they worked very very well. Take care and check back in a few days.

  3. Hi Mark,
    I did receive the Glow EZ Lock Curve and the 6″ Balcar adapter rings mentioned above. The 6″ Balcar ring fits both the curve and the 38″ Glow Deep parabolic and works nicely. I notice the 48 inch deep para lists the size as 144mm for it’s ring, so be sure to check for the right size ring based on the modifier you choose. Better yet, call if you have questions as I was not able to verify this myself and am going by the listed specs.

    Further feed back. Although the rubber ring on the disk split in two, I liked the curve enough to order a second one. (Note: the disk will work without it as it is held snugly in place when the soft box is open. The one which slides back and forth on the Para did not seem to have a problem yet.) The second one arrived and was obviously a returned item. The rubber was missing from the disk, the bag with the diffusion material was torn open and the panel left attached to the velcro of the box. One of the screws and tabs was missing from the mounting plate. Fortunately they shook out of the body of the unit after a few minutes of looking. #8 O Rings can be found at Home Depot for less than $3 for a package of 10. They do not have a split to mount on the disk, but one in front or one on each side will serve to hold the disc in place if needed.

    Mary

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