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Archive 2012 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together
  
 
SweetMk
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p.1 #1 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


I am a shoe string photographer (cheap!), but, I am interested in doing more. I recently acquired a 17" Larson soft box.

My first attempts at taking pics with the soft box amazed me! In reading other posts, as well as the sites that sell the soft boxes, it seems large rectangular soft boxes will give softer light.

I was wondering why I could not gang two 17" soft boxes together, stacked on top of each other, each with their own speedlight, to give the effect of a larger soft box?

I understand the concept that the larger soft box would soften the light more than a small soft box, from a single light. BUT, possibly the light from dual soft boxes could even be softer?

Dual speedlights would help insure I do not run out of light as fast. The soft boxes could be angled, simulating a "Lightbender". I just see much more versatility to this setup.

I have one soft box, I have multiple speedlights. The purchase of another small/medium soft box would be easiest on the budget.

Am I misunderstanding this concept? Am I heading towards disaster?



Dec 12, 2012 at 01:32 AM
myam203
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p.1 #2 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


You are correct. Putting two together would effectively create one larger light source. Go for it!


Dec 12, 2012 at 01:59 AM
SweetMk
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p.1 #3 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


Here is a pic of my current soft box.


Just a gratuitous pic to see if I can add a pic to a FM post! (My first FM pic)

My one concern about using dual speedlights: is there a chance that each flash will go off with enough time separation that I could invoke "blur" due to subject movement?

I could trigger the second flash as a slave triggered unit such as a Nikon SB26.

Or I could use a hard wired second flash.

Any help would be appreciated.



Dec 12, 2012 at 06:09 PM
henryp
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p.1 #4 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


SweetMk wrote:
My one concern about using dual speedlights: is there a chance that each flash will go off with enough time separation that I could invoke "blur" due to subject movement?


It's highly unlikely unless you're triggering them via Pony Express. Triggering dual speed lights in side-by-side soft-boxes is electronically the same as triggering a main and fill light.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Dec 12, 2012 at 06:18 PM
henryp
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p.1 #5 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


But, whether you had two distinct "start" / "stop" or a "blur" between the two would depend in part on your ambient lighting levels as well.

I disagree. The ambient light to flash ratio coupled with choice of shutter speed could introduce blur but that's not related to how the two flash units are triggered (nor to how many flash units are in the setup). The problem, if there was one, would be the same with one light or three.

Henry Posner
henryp@bhphoto.com
B&H Photo-Video



Dec 12, 2012 at 06:58 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


Henry .. You left out the salient part that was in reference to if you set one flash to rear curtain sync and one to front curtain. I thought that the OP was TRYING to induce some motion with a delay between the two flash setup. Then I realized I had misread it and he was worried about a need to avoid it ... thus I deleted it.

You were just "too quick" for me ... or I was just "too slow".



Dec 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
SweetMk
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p.1 #7 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


RustyBug wrote:
Henry .. You left out the salient part that was in reference to if you set one flash to rear curtain sync and one to front curtain. I thought that the OP was TRYING to induce some motion with a delay between the two flash setup. Then I realized I had misread it and he was worried about a need to avoid it ... thus I deleted it.

You were just "too quick" for me ... or I was just "too slow".


I hope my flash is that "quick"!

30 years of film snap shooting really overrides my knowledge of digital. The way Nikon so automatically balances flash with ambient really scares me (in a good way), inducing the "dual flash" questions.
I took some hand held pics of a handgun outside on an overcast day, in the shade, with the D7000 and SB600 and was amazed at the ghosting that occurred. Once you stub your toe, you are more careful where to walk!

I can not stay on the sofa just because it is dark, I guess I will get up, walk around, risk my toes and get that second soft box.




Dec 12, 2012 at 07:49 PM
alohadave
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p.1 #8 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


SweetMk wrote:
get that second soft box.


Or, and this is totally crazy, buy a bigger softbox. If you need to buy a second softbox in the first place, just buy one that is bigger, for the softer light.

Then, no light stand gymnastics are required to line them up, adjust them, etc.



Dec 13, 2012 at 12:42 AM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #9 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


+1 @ Dave ... having the two different sizes will give you the softer look and more versatility in your setups. A couple extra bucks, but worth it.


Dec 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM
SweetMk
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p.1 #10 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


RustyBug wrote:
+1 @ Dave ... having the two different sizes will give you the softer look and more versatility in your setups. A couple extra bucks, but worth it.


Actually, I JUST got a second Larson 22" soft box off *bay.

I can hardly wait to try it out. The larger soft box concept kind of made me think I would need more lumens of light than a speedlight would produce. And where would I store such a monster?

This looks like it will be a versatile pair of light modifiers.

Now I got to figure out how to mount a flash to a Speedotron Spin Ring.

Any hints?



Dec 13, 2012 at 01:58 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #11 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


SweetMk wrote:
...I JUST got a second Larson 22" soft box off *bay. ...I can hardly wait to try it out. The larger soft box concept kind of made me think I would need more lumens of light than a speedlight would produce.


Not likely, under most typical uses. I use a 28-inch softbox lit with a single 580EX (see first and second photos below), and I usually have it at less than 1/2 power...sometimes much less. I use my lights up close and personal, for really soft shadows, and there's power to spare at the apertures I usually use. (I like soft backgrounds, too.)

SweetMk wrote:
...Now I got to figure out how to mount a flash to a Speedotron Spin Ring. Any hints?


This would probaly work well (see second photo below):

http://www.kaceyenterprises.com/?page_id=461

For specific use on Speedotron ring, call or e-mail Jerry Kacey to be sure.


















Dec 13, 2012 at 04:49 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #12 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


SweetMk wrote:
...My one concern about using dual speedlights: is there a chance that each flash will go off with enough time separation that I could invoke "blur" due to subject movement?


Assuming you use shutter speeds faster than 1/60 and up to the maximum sync speed of your camera (usually 1/180 to 1/250, depending on the camera), subject movement shouldn't be an issue for most subjects on whom you'd be using a soft box.



Dec 13, 2012 at 04:56 AM
rico
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p.1 #13 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


And for objects that don't move at all, one can take multiple exposures while moving a single SB around. Exposures are then merged into the final image. Following experiment was to create a large on-axis fill for an office-size space (no key or accent lighting). I rolled a 4'x3' SB for three exposures to generate a 12'x3' effective SB.





Dec 13, 2012 at 05:58 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


Rico,

Could you help me on this one a bit more ... ?

Trying to understand how you did this ... I'm guessing the lighting placement was @ "1/4 points", and the three images were put on layers, with layer calculation set @ "lighter".

Is that in the ballpark ...



Dec 13, 2012 at 09:12 AM
alohadave
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p.1 #15 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


RustyBug wrote:
Rico,

Could you help me on this one a bit more ... ?

Trying to understand how you did this ... I'm guessing the lighting placement was @ "1/4 points", and the three images were put on layers, with layer calculation set @ "lighter".

Is that in the ballpark ...


Dark room, long exposure, multiple pops of the flash in different locations.

It's one shot, not layers.

Edit: Reading back, it could be done either way, I'd do one shot, but both ways work.



Dec 13, 2012 at 12:22 PM
rico
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p.1 #16 · Gang Two Soft Boxes Together


Single exposure was a no-go because the space had ambient lighting (fluorescents). I took my time placing the SB for each shot, and walked in front of the camera. Post can certainly be done with layers and tranparency, but I actually used my own stacking software.


Dec 14, 2012 at 02:33 AM





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