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18

Soft boxes typically have a more focused and sometimes more powerful quality of light while remaining soft. The biggest reason you might want to use a soft box over an umbrella is to control the spill of light. Where an umbrella will reflect light into a scene as well as transmit through the material, a soft box will force all light to either die or be ...


11

An octabox will give you nice round catchlights and produce generally more natural looking highlights and reflections. The straight edge of a softbox often sticks out when shooting with reflective surfaces more than a more organic curve or circle. On the other hand softboxes are easier to mask and gobo due to the straight edges, and more suitable to certain ...


10

Short answer: Yes, totally worth it, unless you want your softbox light to have a hot-spot and falloff. Details: Okay, so I was inspired to actually test this out, and with Stan's suggestion, to also add a Sto-Fen push-on diffuser to the mix as well. (Slight off-topic note: just as the wide-angle panel isn't really a light softener by itself, push-on ...


6

catch lights: round/octagonal with umbrellas, square with softboxes ease of setup - umbrellas are generally much easier to set up and attach to a stand stability - umbrellas tend to catch the wind outdoors and tumble more than soft boxes spill - umbrellas will spill more light which can be a problem in close quarters (however there are so-called umbrella ...


6

A regular softbox is not going to fit on this type of light. They are designed for strobes with a single bulb which acts as a point light source and attach via a small hole in the back. This light seems to consist of a series of florescent tubes and is thus a much larger lightsource to begin with, and will be pretty soft in it's standard configuration. You ...


5

You can translate cd/m^2 + Area directly into lumen. lumen = cd/m^2 x m^2. That is, 1 lumen of light energy will illuminate a square metre of area with a brightness of one candela. So your 1000 cd/m^2 source over 0.5 m^2 = 1000 x 0.5 = 500 lumen. Modern available LEDs are achieving 200 l/W (just) (Cree XM-L2 top flux bin, lowest Vf), with LEDs with ...


5

The ribs will be visible if you shoot a photo of the umbrella, but they are not visible on a subject in the normal position. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/the_old_curmudgeon/5207772689/in/photostream and the following photos, where I varied the zoom level of the strobe to see how much coverage of the umbrella as its varied. The light is uniform for all ...


5

I personally shoot product that needs to be on a white background on a photo table. It has a translucent plexi-glass that lets your use lights under the table to light it up to have an off white color, but a reflection - or more over exposed, to have a pure white background. Here is a photo of me shooting product with 2 34 inch Octoboxes as a key light. ...


4

For me the main difference is a softbox generally has better control of the direction of the light. The softbox will have a flat diffusion panel on the front and possibly a raised edge that stops light spilling off to the side. You can add a grid to it to control the spill even more. While an umbrella, has a curved surface that reflects or diffuses light in ...


4

This question (and its answers) is wa-a-a-ay old, but it could stand to have another couple of good reasons thrown in for good measure. The existing answers are good, but they don't touch all of the bases. The first addition is more pertinent to product photography, especially when photographing glossy surfaces (glass and polished metals, in particular). In ...


4

Quick Answer You don't need it, and possibly don't even want it. You do want a Sto-Fen or similar push-on diffuser, though. Details I know Stan knows what he's talking about, but I had some downtime this afternoon and my normal models are off watching the new Muppet movie with friends, so I decided to experiment a bit. The Setup Westcott Rapid Box 26" ...


4

Octaboxes tend to focus the light a bit more than square or rectangular softboxes. Some fashion and portrait photographers favor them for several reasons: More light out of smaller box because of focusing effect Interesting catchlights in the eyes. If you look at a lot of portraits, you can start to recognize the ones shot with beauty dishes, octabanks, and ...


3

You can use nearly any light, but continuous lighting has a lot fewer lumens of light per pound of weight than strobes. I use small, manual strobes. aka speedlights. Soemthing like a LumoPro LP160 works well, and can be triggered optically, so you can have multiple strobes. I carry three LP160s, my 50D body, a 17-55 zoom, a 50mm prime, and a 55-300 zoom in ...


3

Many objects can be photographed satisfactorily by putting them in a clean white bathtub and, if necessary, illuminating the bathtub with a simple multi-LED worklight (the kind you can find in a tool store for $10-15). The light reflects onto the object from around the bathtub and you have a uniform white background. Unlike a light tent or light table, many (...


3

I did some experimenting in order to answer basically this for myself in the question Is the Deflector Plate recommended when using a Westcott Rapid Box with the cover on? — where the "Rapid Box" in question is an internal-umbrella style softbox as you describe. Here's one of my experiments from that answer: You can see that with the bare flash, the ...


3

I have succesfully used a fabric called "Taffeta" (in my Spanish-speaking country, Tafetán). It is used for clothesmaking, so tailors and seamstresses may know where to buy or even be willing to give away small pieces. It is not expensive at all, but you may need to make a frame for it (Cardboard and pvc tubbing are my favorites. Thick metal wire a close ...


3

This is probably a cliché answer, but the first thing you should buy is a copy of Light, Science and Magic. It covers in depth how to photograph glass (bright and dark field). It requires a lot of trial and error to get right, but in addition to soft boxes and your white background, you'll almost surely need something subtractive - dark cards to flag the ...


3

The problem you had is that your flash was at it's maximum output. No amount of flash exposure compensation will fix that. For maximum flash effectiveness you want your shutter speed at exactly the maximum sync speed even if it does support HSS. If that's still not bright enough at maximum flash power output, then you have options: Move the flash closer ...


3

The short answer: It doesn't matter how many lumens your light illuminating the back of your softbox is. The background just has to be lit brighter than your subject. You need more light on the background so that you can intentionally blow it out without blowing out the product. Then expose so that the background is on the verge of blowing out. In post-...


3

This is from the perspective of another beginner in studio photography - what I did, what I'd have done if I knew what I knew now... & what I'd do next... I'd say, if you are going to be shooting any significant amount of video as well as stills, then the continuous lighting is a cheap & cheerful way to get into it. The downsides of that type of rig ...


3

There's a fundamental difference between the two examples in your question. One is a set with continuous lighting that uses lights that are basically not much different from the ones the fixtures in you home use. The other is a single strobe unit that can give you much more intense bursts of light, but only for very short time periods. Obviously continuous ...


3

When considering a light setup, you need to consider the following; Light output - With similar budgets, a speed light or studio strobe will generally provide more light than constant light Aperture Settings - The extra light from the Speedlight and strobes will allow for smaller apertures of f8.0 and above compared to a constant light Shutter Speed - ...


2

As everyone else is saying, better than nothing, so not completely useless, but in no way to be confused with a proper large softbox. You'll still be better off taking the flash off-camera rather than leaving it on-camera. You will still get an edge to your shadows. And there will be a hotspot. But if used in close, it can be worthwhile. I use a cheap eBay ...


2

Buy an old parachute off ebay, surplus store, or go to a fabric store and get some rayon, nylon, or ripstop nylon!


2

I use small flexible desk lamps. They're small and easy to transport, cheap, and provide bright continuous light. I believe you can now buy LED lamps, which would not get so hot, and would produce a more neutral light. Not sure if they would be as bright, but if you're shooting on a tripod, as I assume you would be, then might be a good choice. ...


2

There are a range of possibilities. Since the tent itself will tend to diffuse the light you probably don't need any sort of external diffuser on the lights themselves. Since the products you'll be shooting are most likely inert (not moving) then you don't need a strobe to freeze motion, although a strobe isn't a bad solution. My first suggestion would be ...


2

I've seen one yesterday, and as a complement of my question, I can tell that there is a real problem with this kind of softbox. If the flash is inside the softbox, you can't incline it much, really not. It has to be almost always vertical. Don't even think of putting it at 45° with a single tripod because the base of the tube cannot go through the border of ...


2

Open-n-use has a similar meaning to the much more common "plug-n-play" adjective of computer peripherals, it means you just open it up like an umbrella and start using it right away. Essentially it's an umbrella softbox hybrid that opens quickly like an umbrella, but has a front diffuser screen like a softbox, giving a softbox like quality of light but ...


2

I would do a bump flash (bounce it off the ceiling like Matt Grum mentions) in a white room with a piece of white cardstock behind the flash to redirect a little of the light straight forward. The Speedlight 600EX has a little card for this purpose built right in and it does a fantastic job with bump lighting.


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