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| p.1 #5 · Grid a Lastolite Umbrella Softbox |
Of course, once you've spent US$70 on a Westcott Grid, you might just want to spend another US$130 and get an Apollo Orb to go with it.
I bought a 40 degree grid for my 16 x 22 Photoflex SB and it cost nearly as much as the SB because there's more labor involved in construction. I thought about DIY but it was just too much work.
Not sure what you are expecting an egg crate grid like that to do but here's my experience and reason for using mine:
I have a low ceiling in my shooting space and my hair light is always up against the ceiling at an angle facing towards the camera which created lens flare. I bought the grid for that reason and it solved the problem by cutting the side spill. I got the idea of using the grid that way after noticing on TV in wide shots of interview sets, etc. they seemed to use the grids on SB that way for spill rather than to control the footprint.
Before switching to the SB I'd used the AB reflector and set of 10-20-30-40 degree metal grids but didn't like the specularity and cooler temp of the bare flash vs. soft box key and fill for portraits. I haven't done any comparison testing of the relative size of the footprint of the 40 degree metal grid vs. 40 degree grid on the SB but assume it's similar because grid is grade by the angle of light out of the box.
Using just the grid on the 16 x 22 I still found the foot print larger than I wanted for the hairlight for solo portraits so I also added the circle mask under it seen in the photo above to better match what I'd been getting with the 20 degree on the reflector. Just something to keep in mind - I had the Photoflex mask (it came with the SB) but a mask can be made easily with foam core. When I want a broader "hair" light for family groupsI use the 10 grid and put the light on the floor and bounce it off the ceiling. That strategy also works great as a "hairless" light; soft accent rim light on bald heads.
As they say YMMV, I just wanted to pass along what I learned using mine. Regarding softbox choices the reason I went with the Photoflex Multidome Q3 series in large, medium and small is because they come standard with interchangeable white/silver/gold liners and have a wide velcro strip on the front edge for mounting accessories like masks, grids, and louvers in front of the outer diffusion panel. When I bought mine B&H had a special which included the $99 accessory package for free.
Using the silver liner and taking out the inner and front diffusion panels converts the SB into a highly specular source with a controllable footprint that's ideal for tasks like lighting a dog or cat where the specular reflections on the hair create the illusion of 3D. A diffuse source used for that task makes fur look flat and matted by comparison. I didn't plan to shoot pets, but that versatility has allowed me to experiment and understand cause and effect like that.
Edited on Feb 01, 2013 at 12:46 PM · View previous versions