If I want to bring a darker mood to a portrait, or be in precise control of a rim light, then I go straight to a large stripbox like the LumoPro 16×48″ strip. I also use a grid on the front of them for more precise control. I probably use grids on my stripboxes 80% of the time.
To mount a strip box for use with hotshoe flash you’ll need to pick up the LumoPro double flash bracket. You can mount up to two flashes on this speedring and then mount the ring to a standard umbrella swivel adapter. If you are using something like an Alienbee or other kind of flash, then you can pick up a speedring for your type of strobe.
Normally, I hate softboxes that mount to traditional speedrings. I joke that they should be called slow rings. The reason I hate them is because they are a pain in the a$$ to set up and take down. LumoPro has solved a lot of the issues with putting a box together by installing a zipper that runs the length of the box. You unzip the box, put the ribs in the speedring, and then zip the box up. It’s genius!
If you want drama — get a strip and a grid. I like to use them really close to my subjects. Like, within two feet sort of close. They are beautiful lights. If you are using them with hotshoe flashes make sure your flash is set to a wide angle setting like 24mm so it’s spreading the light wide into the box. The middle baffle will spread it further. I’m getting very even coverage from flashes in these boxes.