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Archive 2011 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?
  
 
sic0048
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


I am interested in getting a new modifier and I'm thinking of getting either a Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium. I think I would like the Orb better due to the rounder eye catches, but I am worried about the amount of light spill compared to the Apollo Medium. The Apollo Medium has the diffuser screen that is set back a few inches from the front which helps control the amount of light spill. The Orb seems to have the diffuser screen right at the front which will not help with the light spill.

Does anyone have first hand experience with both modifiers? I'd love to hear some comments from first hand users.

Thanks!



Dec 30, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


Here is a good comparison: http://speedliting.com/how-to/westcott-apollo-orb-softbox/

Ideally you'd have both but if you plan to use them inside I would go for the apollo, the light is very well controlled with it. Also, the main problem with this design is tilting down, a 40inch modifier is going to be even worse than the apollo for this. Some people have an issue with square catch-lights which I don't understand because windows are square and skies above horizons are rectangular.




Dec 30, 2011 at 05:15 PM
sic0048
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


Thanks for the link. I plan on using it both inside and out. My inside studio isn't a perfect design, so I think the extra light control that the Apollo Medium offers is important.

The tilt issue is very easy to fix. There are actually a couple of different ways of getting around it. First, you can use a boom stand which will allow more range of motion. Second, you can simply use a second umbrella clamp. Use one umbrella clamp as usual to hold the flash at the end of the umbrella rod, but don't use this clamp to attach it to the light stand. Instead, use a second umbrella farther down the mounting rod (towards the umbrella splines) to attach it to the stand. That will give you total control of the tilt without interfering with the cover while still leaving your flash at the end of the mounting rod. This is the way I plan on solving the "tilt issue".



Dec 30, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Mark_L
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


The Apollo can just about do a full length shot with a bit of darkening of the feet and can cover two people, if you need more coverage than that the Orb may be a better choice.

One thing I forgot to mention that applies to both is that you really want a TTL capable trigger so that you can manually adjust the power remotely, reaching inside it to change the power level each time is annoying. Also there is no grid available for the apollo (and I suspect the orb suffers the same)

If you do want the Orb I'd be tempted to find a way to use a silver PLM with diffuser fabric since you will probably save some cash and get two modifiers in one.

Edited on Dec 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM · View previous versions



Dec 30, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Sid Ceaser
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


I've used the Apollo for just about everything for the last four or five years, love love love it.

However, I've yet to get the Orb. I'd like to try it out next year, extra funds willing.



Dec 30, 2011 at 10:26 PM
RDKirk
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


One thing I forgot to mention that applies to both is that you really want a TTL capable trigger so that you can manually adjust the power remotely, reaching inside it to change the power level each time is annoying. Also there is no grid available for the apollo (and I suspect the orb suffers the same)

Actually, there is (or once was) a grid available for the medium Apollo, presuming we're talking about the 28-inch model. It has an aluminum frame and opened/closed with a scissor-style action. I've got one, and it's a bit of a pain to mount, but it works decently.




Jan 03, 2012 at 05:20 PM
 

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RDKirk
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


As an update, Westcott is now producing all-cloth grids for both the Apollo medium (28-inch) and the Apollo Orb.

If you're concerned about controlling the spread, you have to look at using a grid. The "setback" of the square Apollos isn't really that significant if you really need spread control...it's really only a marketing point.

I personally use square modifiers indoors and round modifiers out doors.



Sep 17, 2012 at 03:24 PM
sic0048
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


I ended up getting the Apollo medium before any of the grids were released. Now that there are grids for both products, I would probably go with the Orb since it is bigger.

Actually if I was in the market for something right now, I would buy the Apollo 50" softobox because it is on sale for $169.00. Not only is it bigger than the orb, it is apparently better constructed too.



Sep 17, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Sid Ceaser
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


RDKirk wrote:
As an update, Westcott is now producing all-cloth grids for both the Apollo medium (28-inch) and the Apollo Orb.

If you're concerned about controlling the spread, you have to look at using a grid. The "setback" of the square Apollos isn't really that significant if you really need spread control...it's really only a marketing point.

I personally use square modifiers indoors and round modifiers out doors.




Grids for the Apollo. . . fantastic! I had no idea, thanks for letting us know!!



Sep 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


sic0048 wrote:
...The tilt issue is very easy to fix. ...simply use a second umbrella clamp. Use one umbrella clamp as usual to hold the flash at the end of the umbrella rod, but don't use this clamp to attach it to the light stand. Instead, use a second umbrella farther down the mounting rod (towards the umbrella splines) to attach it to the stand. That will give you total control of the tilt without interfering with the cover while still leaving your flash at the end of the mounting rod. This is the way I plan on solving the "tilt
...Show more

That is pretty much how I did it (see photos below) before I got a boom stand, with the addition of an L bracket to move the flash head closer to the center arm. It works well, but using a boom stand is even easier and has more tilt range. I turn the box "sideways" so that the zippered opening is on the side instead of the bottom, and the boom runs horizontally into it. By rotating the boom arm I then have 360 degrees of "tilt" adjustment, and turning the stand gives me 360 degrees of "pan" adjustment.

Another method is to use another tilt adapter outside the box, and a short length of pipe as a center-column extension to run from this adapter into the box; that way the change of angle happens outside the box. The problem with this method is that large downward tilt angles move the center of gravity of the box forward, resulting in less stability.













Sep 18, 2012 at 09:16 PM
jshalvorsen
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Westcott Orb or Apollo Medium Softbox?


I got both, and must say that the orb is a bit more flimsy when it comes to build quality. So if I could afford only one, the medium would be it. The Orb gives better light, but the difference is small, and the medium will last longer under heavy use.


Sep 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM





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