It's not trivial to calculate from scratch the amount of light required (as you have no idea how much is absorbed, reflected etc. and it will vary according to how the lights are positioned).
What you can do, is find out what shutter speed your camera meter is suggesting currently and work it out from there.
You'll want to aim for 1/2f where f is the focal ...
I would vote for the softbox in that instance.
The softbox is an enclosed reflector, so there is very little stray light spill, and we assume all of the light goes forward to the aim point (it can't go anywhere else).
But stop and just look at a CFL lamp in an umbrella first. Of course most of the CFL light will go out sideways from the bulb, totally ...
The darker area under the figurines are reflections, not shadows. They are expected to have color similar to that of the figurines. Using a phone as the backlight, here is an image that demonstrates similar reflections. In addition to having similar coloration, the lettering is reversed.
Some options to consider:
Leave them as they are. Those who realize ...
"but the angle required to get a perfect reflection makes it impossible to take a picture where the entire pin is within focus."
This sounds more like a lens choice problem, that you do not have a lens that stops down enough or has the right focal length. I would start by measuring the depth of the lapel pin (at an angle) and use a DoF calculator to find ...
You can use a 'shift' lens (perspective control) or bellows to tilt or shift your lens. Lens can be expensive, but you can find adapters such as a 'lens baby' to attach a normal lens. also, Alan's answer (above) will help with lighting the subject.
Make a tent using white bedsheet or better white fiberglass curtain material. Fiberglass is fireproof if using hot lights. The object is placed inside the tent and lit from outside. The ideal is the white tent serves to totally diffuse the light so that from the object’s perspective the light is unidirectional. You can use white translucent sheets of plastic ...
You may find useful this wikipedia page
You can calculate the exposure value with the given formula:
EV = log2(N^2 / t)
N = the f-number (aperture) you will use
t = the exposure time you will use
they both depends on your camera: search a middle aperture for your lens and a time you will likely use (a rule of thumb is that the slower time ...