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This post was most recently updated on June 26th, 2022

Have you recently bought a softbox and aren’t sure how to collapse the covers? Maybe you haven’t adjusted them in so long, and you can’t remember how you collapse the softbox?

Or perhaps you are considering purchasing a softbox and want to know how best to collapse the lighting covers? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you! 

We know how challenging it can be to collapse softboxes, especially if you haven’t had to do it before. It can be nerve-racking as you try to collapse the box without damaging it or its lighting covers.

Collapse Softbox Lighting Covers

The last thing you want is to damage your softbox and end up with a softbox you can’t use! But it’s hard to find the answers you want, and you are often rocking in a corner slowly instead of collapsing your softbox lighting covers. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers you need! Keep reading to learn how to collapse a softbox, and all you need to know about the lighting covers today! 

What Are Softbox Lighting Covers?

Before we dive into collapsing softboxes, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! As we know, a softbox is a light modifier that allows you to soften and increase the size of a smaller light source.

Softboxes allow you to control the shape and direction of the light more, preventing light spill and brightening the subject as you want. 

They are popular tools used by most photographers, whether they are beginners or experts. A softbox is usually a translucent cloth attached to a light source, like a strobe or speedlight, on a light stand.

You have a white or silver cloth for the interior and black cloth or covers wrapped around the box. You can also have diffusion panels placed over the box to add even more precision and control of the light. 

The covers we are referring to are the cloth that sits around the softbox. The white or silver cloth is placed internally and works to soften the light as well as diffuse it. 

The black external covers work to direct the light and prevent it from spilling out the sides. For your softbox to work effectively, you will want all the covers in place.

But when you are done with your softbox or disassembling it after a day shooting on location, you will want to do so correctly to prevent them from being damaged. 

So now that we have covered what a softbox and its covers are, let’s move on to see how you should collapse the softbox!

How To Collapse Softbox Lighting Covers

When collapsing a softbox and removing its covers, your first port of call is to check the user manual that came with your softbox. As softboxes vary in their assembly from brand to brand, you must check how your specific softbox operates.

You don’t want to follow someone else’s instructions and end up damaging your softbox in the process. 

If you can’t locate your softbox’s user manual, it’s worth searching online for a pdf version. Searching for the make and model of your softbox followed by ‘pdf’ can usually bring up a manual that you can download. We recommend doing this to always have a copy to hand should you need to check anything. 

Alternatively, you can also check out online tutorials for your specific softbox should you need any assistance. You can often find out how to adjust and collapse your softbox here too, just search for the make and model and see what comes up. 

But for those after some general guidance about collapsing your softbox lighting covers, we have the answers for you! 

The cloths for your softbox should have fasteners that attach them to the box. These could be velcro, zippers, buttons, or ties that attach the cloths to the metal frame. To remove them, you will simply undo the fastening.

adjust Softbox light

Be sure to check how the cloths are fastened to the frame to ensure you remove them correctly. It’s best to start with the external black covers, removing them first before moving to the internal parts of the softbox. 

Once you have removed the covers, you can dismantle the softbox into a more compact design. How you do this will again depend on the softbox that you have. Those with portable softboxes will notice this is far easier than those with larger or more bulky softboxes.

Larger softboxes are usually better suited to being static than assembled and disassembled after each use. 

It’s best to opt for more portable softboxes that will feature velcro that you can pull to remove the covers and break the softbox down. When taking your softbox apart, be sure to store the components safely.

You will want to place them in travel bags or any equipment bags you usually keep.

This will prevent dust from getting onto the cloths or in the softbox itself, which can impact the quality of your photographs. 

Take your time when collapsing the softbox, especially if it’s your first time, as it can take a while. As we mentioned before, each softbox collapses differently, making it hard to give one piece of advice that fits all.

However, looking for fastening and using these as your way to collapse the softbox and remove its covers is pretty solid advice and should apply to most softboxes out there. Remember to consult the user manual beforehand or any online tutorials that can help show you the best way to collapse your softbox.

The more information you gather before collapsing the box, the better luck you have at doing it successfully! 

How To Remove Diffusion Panels From A Softbox 

The same will apply to diffusion panels you might have placed over your softbox. Removing these can vary depending on the brand, so it’s always best to check with any user manual or online tutorials for specific assistance. 

Thankfully, many of these panels work similarly and attach to your softboxes via velcro.

To remove them, you will simply want to undo any velcro or to fasten that you used to secure the panel to the softbox. This is usually done in a similar way that you attached the panels to the softbox. 

Once the fastening has been undone, you can remove the diffusion panels from the softbox. Be sure to store them away carefully to prevent any damage to the panels!

Don’t forget to consult the user manual for your diffusion panels to ensure that they are removed correctly without causing any damage to them. After all, you spent your hard-earned cash on them; you don’t want them damaged! 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, how to collapse your softbox lighting covers! That wasn’t as hard as you first thought, was it? Collapsing your softbox doesn’t need to be overly complicated or challenging; it can be a simple task that signifies the end of the working day.

Just be sure to check the instruction manual for your specific softbox, as there can be some differences from brand to brand, and you are sure to be on your way to photographic success!