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Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?
  
 
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #1 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Hello,

I'm to buy my first real softbox. I have the following gear (all Elinchrom):
- Dlite2 + portalite 60x60
- BXRi 250/500 Togo set (in shopping cart)

I want to be able to shoot
- groups of 6 people
- individual portraits
- white and black / spotted black backgrounds

Studio dimensions / constraints:
- Ceiling is at 260cm (about 8,5 feet)
- BG width is 3,6metres
- Distance from camera/softbox to BG paper is about 5 metres

Dilemmas:
1. I tried a deep octa 150 (borrowed from a friend) but I found that the problem is that when raised at max height, the catchlights are at iris height where I want them above the iris.
2. If I use a small softbox, like the 39DO or 24portalite, I can raise them up high enough but they'll be too small for groups of 6

So which SB would you suggest?

Thanks!

Stay good,
Ralph




Jul 22, 2013 at 11:12 PM
Sheldon N
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p.1 #2 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


The 53" Octa is a good "do it all" modifier.

The Deep Octas are best for 1-2 people, but I've used them on larger group shots too. Just pull the modifier back for coverage, and the light isn't too hard. They're surprisingly efficient too, which is nice. I wouldn't call them too small.



Jul 23, 2013 at 02:00 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #3 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Hi Sheldon,
Thanks for your reply! I've given the 53" octa some thought. When raised at max. height in my Studio the centre spot is at 260 - 1/2 x 135 = 193 cm = 75". This about the height of a tall man, but it may be just enough. Maybe I should just order that one and see how I go.

Would a DO 39" be suitable for a 5-person (grouped 2 behind, 3 in front) shoulder portrait? If so, maybe I'll just order one of those too.

Stay good,
Ralph



Jul 23, 2013 at 05:21 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #4 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Ralph,

I have most of Elinchrom's boxes. For a group shot of six I would use the 53" and their 41" white umbrella at camera position for fill. Or 2 umbrellas, or a 41" Varistar and an umbrella for fill. You are going to need some type of modifier or reflector for fill for a group that big. You probably won't like the results with just one soft box unless you get it close the camera and up high. As far as the Deep Octa is concerned if you're an Elinchrom guy it's must have modifier. But again you'll want something for fill unless you like a lot of contrast.



Jul 23, 2013 at 05:41 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #5 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Hi Gregg, thanks for your advice! I may use the portalite 24" for fill then and see how it works out.

I'm about to order the 250/500 BXRi + 53" Octa. For little extra they throw in a "hooded diffusor" (when ordered as a set it costs about 38 Euros extra). They say the hooded diffusor will aim the light a little more, to get a bit more contrast. Not exactly a Deep Octa, but a little more towards it.
Would you say a hooded diffusor is worth the money? Or is it a waste given my plans to get a Deep Octa 39" or 59" eventually?

Stay good,
Ralph

Edited on Jul 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM · View previous versions



Jul 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM
Sheldon N
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p.1 #6 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


I'd skip the hooded diffuser and save up for the deep octa.


Jul 23, 2013 at 02:47 PM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #7 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Hi Sheldon,
I had to make a quick decision so I ordered the diffuser before your reply, but I bargained to send it back if I'm not satisfied. This way I can try it out for free.

Stay good,
Ralph

Edited on Jul 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM · View previous versions



Jul 23, 2013 at 02:52 PM
 

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rabbitmountain
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p.1 #8 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Another split second decision I made: I ordered two of these:
http://www.fotoflits.com/elinchrom-background-reflector

In order to get an even lit white background. Any experience with those and if so, which setup works best?

Thanks.

Stay good,
Ralph



Jul 23, 2013 at 02:54 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #9 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Ralph,

I like the hooded diffusers if you can leave the soft boxes assembled. Otherwise they're a pain to use. They're pretty easy with strip boxes however. The Deep Octa is very versatile. I use it mainly with just the inner diffuser and a deflector.



Jul 23, 2013 at 04:14 PM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #10 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Hi Gregg,

My Octa 135 will be folded after each shoot. I'll give the hooded diffuser a go but based on your experience I might be returning it.

One other thing:
Which Deep Octa are you currently talking about? I was convinced to get the DO 59" until I found out that my studio ceiling would prevent flexible positioning, i.e. the heart of the DO 59 would go no higher than 6 feet 2 inches. This leads to catchlights at pupil level in standing subjects. I usually want the catchlight in the upper half of the eye.

Would you agree that this height constraint makes the DO 59" a bad option in my studio?

So based on that I thought that a DO 39" might be better, but due to the smaller size I figured I could only use it for waist-up and shoulder portraits.

I'm looking forward to your opinions.

Stay good,
Ralph



Jul 23, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #11 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


The 39. The 59 is a whole different animal. The 59 is an indirect Octa like the 74. While there would be nothing wrong with using it for a group shot you wouldn't really get the benefit of it's softer light by having to pull it back farther. Another really nice modifier for more than one person is the 41" Varistar used with the wide angle reflector. The Varistar produces a really nice light and the wide angle reflector is great for lighting backgrounds also.


Jul 24, 2013 at 03:10 PM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #12 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


Hi Gregg (and other too),
Thanks for your continued input. First I'll experiment with the 135 Octa, which I took delivery for yesterday along with the BXRi 250-500 set. This will be my set for group shots. Then for single subjects, I can use the 135 (with or without hooded diffuser) to create a very soft wrap. For harder light I can either pull back the 135 Octa or use a portalite from close distance. I'll add black triangles to the portalite corners to get an octagonal shape for the catchlights. That's for starters. After experimenting and figuring out what I want exactly I will return here to see which additional modifiers may suit the job.

Stay good,
Ralph



Jul 26, 2013 at 05:26 AM
windpig
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p.1 #13 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


The hooded diffusers are great. I have one on the 53" midi, large and small strips. They stay on, even when I fold everything up.


Jan 02, 2014 at 03:36 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #14 · Which Elinchrom Octa for groups of 6 people?


I took some great pregnancy photos with the bare 135 (53"). Haven't had the time to shoot with the hooded diffusor. I tried to attach it once but I didn't really succeed (didn't read the manual either so I'll try again on my next shoot).

Great to hear that you like the hooded diffusors. Could you tell me why, i.e. what do you like better with HD than without? Also, what distance are you shooting at with/without and how many people do you shoot simultaneously?



Jan 02, 2014 at 09:51 AM





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