What are the most effective ways in which one would utilize a small softbox; the most effective use-cases really that you'd recommend for it? For argument's sake let's call it 8"x9" (20cm X 23cm) in size, like the Strobist-recommended Lumiquest Softbox III.

Would you use this for indoor portraiture as a key light, or is it too small?

Would you consider using it for a fill light for an umbrella - again, indoors - or is it too small as a fill light, even up close?

Those are the two indoor use cases I can think for it. Strobist has some outdoor use cases in his blog.

Wondering what people's thoughts are: is this doable, or are people thinking, "No way, use a large light source for proper indoor portraits" (and if so, why).

  • \$\begingroup\$ ... and I'm referring to its usage off-camera as opposed to on top. \$\endgroup\$
    – Emmel
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 22:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think your question is probably a little on the broad side (okay, a lot really). You can accomplish quite a bit, especially once off camera, with all kinds of softbox sizes and it all depends on the look you're attempting to create. Bigger light is usually softer, but that doesn't mean smaller is bad. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joanne C
    Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 0:18

1 Answer 1


I can think of a lot of uses for the Lumiquest Softbox III (or other type boxes), too many to answer your question directly. In fact I think you've already begun to answer your own question. I use a similar set up with a Lastolite Professional 15" softbox for pocket strobe. I often use this unit as a key for head-shots, both indoor and out and use it as a fill for 3/4 and full body shots. I've also used it to add a little splash on editorial portraits and some indoor architectural shots.


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