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Archive 2016 · Could you recommend a good softbox?
  
 
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


A decent softbox that can accept grids and is big enough to use to take a full body portrait of a person sitting on a stool. I'll be using it with flash and am wondering if I will be able to use it with a strobe if I get one someday.
Also do I need one of those fancy looking octagonal ones or a rectangle is good enough?

Last but not least there is a good picture here and I'm wondering what kind of lighting was used to take it:
http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/40608186



Nov 21, 2016 at 08:22 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


The smallest if one is looking for overall illumination and not a shot with high contrast and lots of shadow, would be a 36"x48" however a larger one would also work but it is not as manageable. However, there are lots of lighting modifiers that would accomplish this, not just a soft box. Personally, I use Chimera products.

The example you point to, looks to me like two light sources were used, the main being high camera left pointing down with a fill positioned low camera left, smaller light source. The speculars are a a bit blurry but it looks like boxes vs round modifiers.



Nov 21, 2016 at 10:53 PM
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


Thanks. I don't know many light modifiers. Just umbrellas, softboxes and beauty dishes. Umbrella (have one) has the problem of light spill and "hot spot", beauty dish seems to be too specialized for me and so there remains the softbox. I'd like to know about others, if they are not too expensive.


Nov 22, 2016 at 12:43 AM
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


Now I'm wondering if a 1'x4' strip softbox would yield more precise lighting.


Nov 23, 2016 at 02:18 AM
Chris Court
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


I have one of these (http://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/rb-90t.htm) which gives beautiful light quality, and comes with a grid included.

You have the option of ordering it with various speedrings. I picked the Bowens S-mount version as I have a Bowens-mount Rovelight. If you pick up one of these (http://www.cheetahstand.com/product-p/bkts.htm) you can use it with a speedlight as well.

C



Nov 23, 2016 at 03:41 AM
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


Thanks man, Cheetahstand is more cost effective for someone new like me, compared to Chimera. I can make a free standing strip box myself. Still am trying to decide between a rectangular or a round (or polygon) shape for the Cheetah.


Nov 23, 2016 at 02:44 PM
tdlavigne
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


Depends on what look you're going for and what kind of falloff you want. I'd probably lean towards 3' Octabox of whatever brand you can afford.


Nov 24, 2016 at 02:38 AM
 

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pixlepeeper
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


Well, I like the look and falloff in the image that I linked. Although that one is dark on the model's lower body. Depends on what I want to achieve in a photo too.

I think a prudent move is to start with an umbrella octabox with a grid such as Phottix Easy Up HD 32". Then later I can get a real (not foldable) 22" beauty dish and a strip box. It seems I should get a strobe as well.
Cheetah has a 33" as well as a 40" foldable modifier which dubs as a beauty dish and an octa so it may be good for me to experiment with and gain experience before I get more serious equipment. The problem with Cheetah is that it's difficult to find any independent reviews of their products.

Here is a photo I did using a light therapy box which measures about 1'x5" but is very powerful. I personally like it however as you can see model's shoulder is overexposed while one side of her face is dark.



http://retzart.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/57023986e4572.jpg



Nov 24, 2016 at 03:25 PM
tdlavigne
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


If you're going for the beauty dish look I'd suggest getting a real beauty dish. Maybe things have changed in recent years, but I remember when all the collapsible/softbox type "beauty dishes" came out....none had light quality approaching what a real dish could provide.

Didn't want to suggest a beauty dish since you were asking about softboxes, but I suspected that first image was a dish anyway. If you're just looking to experiment before you drop a ton of money into stuff then I'd suggest the Fotodiox softboxes (found mine on ebay, but I think they have a store online). They'll probably last a year or two at most, but they're ~$50 each. So you can get 3 or 4 different softboxes for 1/2 what you'd pay for one the more expensive brands single softbox. Once you know for sure what you use the most and like the light-quality of you can get something more durable/high quality. BD's are a personal aesthetic thing so I'd just look through reviews and pay attention to the quality of the light, see if there's any hotspots, what the fall-off is like, etc.



Nov 24, 2016 at 09:39 PM
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


I looked at Fotodiox softboxes and then also found the collapsible ones. What's your take on the collapsible softboxes like Westcott Apollo or Phottix Easy-Up series? They are cheap and portable and you don't have to use a speedring with them but they have some limitations as well. For example they can't be positioned horizontally and also the strobe is confined inside the box so you can't reach its controls without partially removing the diffuser.


Nov 26, 2016 at 11:09 PM
tdlavigne
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


pixlepeeper wrote:
I looked at Fotodiox softboxes and then also found the collapsible ones. What's your take on the collapsible softboxes like Westcott Apollo or Phottix Easy-Up series? They are cheap and portable and you don't have to use a speedring with them but they have some limitations as well. For example they can't be positioned horizontally and also the strobe is confined inside the box so you can't reach its controls without partially removing the diffuser.


The only collapsible softboxes I've ever used were the Paul Buff/AlienBees ones. They work...and I could see the benefit, but they're bigger/heavier. If quick set up is important then I could see the point of getting one. I've been looking into maybe trying the Elinchrom Rotalux but can't quite convince myself to pull the trigger yet. Actually, now that I think about it...I did have an umbrella softbox (similar to the Easy Up from what I see via google) that I had for my speedlight maybe 2 years ago. Used it once and discovered the horizontal only thing...then I hacked up the diffuser and messed with my speedlight/umbrella holder and got it to where it would mount at an angle (maybe 30 deg. downward). It was passable, and only cost me around $20 on ebay, but I never really used it that much...not even sure where it is now. Oh and another thing I didn't like was that there was only one diffuser instead of the 2 that I'm accustomed to. I remember that I wasn't happy with the particular one I had as the light wasn't as diffused/soft as I was accustomed to from a softbox, but again...it was $20 and only ~22" or so compared to the 36"+ I was familiar with so take that with a grain of salt.

The Fotodiox ones that I have work, and they aren't difficult to set up (other than the 5ft octa) but I can tell that compared to the other brands I've used in the past they'll likely fail sooner rather than later. If it's the type of thing that will be only used once in a while or if it is just going to be assembled once and left in the studio then they're fine; but if you're going to be using them as your go to softbox and tearing down/setting up often I'd probably look into something more durable...or just use them as cheap throwaways while you learn/test out different things, and then go with something better. For ~$50 each they ok to start with, and even do basic jobs like ecommerce. Just keep some gaffer tape handy in case something tears lol




Nov 27, 2016 at 09:33 AM
rico
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


I use my medium Chimera SB once in a blue month, so it largely lives in a corner with the rods inserted. I can, however, deploy it safely and very quickly thanks to the quick-release speed ring. The combo is expensive, but will last a lifetime (it's already a decade old). It seems OP would be happiest with a small strip box.


Nov 27, 2016 at 09:53 AM
pixlepeeper
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Could you recommend a good softbox?


I ordered a 47" octabox with grid from PCB (not shipped yet). But I can't stop thinking about Apollo. It would cost much less not just the softbox itself, also because it is more light-efficient, I do not need a high powered light. But it seems the trade off, as @tdlavigne mentions it, is that the light is not diffused enough. I may order one to compare.


Dec 02, 2016 at 02:36 PM







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