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Help me "Harden" the Light from a Softbox ...
Old 12-22-2006, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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HELP!!!!

I'll be visiting a great old B&B, and I'm taking some photo gear to shoot the wife. I want to limit the volume of stuff I have to carry up a very, very long flight of stairs (superclamps rather than light stands, etc.), so I was thinking that I'd leave the Bee 7-inch reflectors at the studio and just use my smaller softboxes (which can obviously do double-duty.

My boxes are all silver-lined. If I want to "harden" the light to get an effect similar to the standard reflector, I know that I can just remove the front cover and the inner baffle, right? If I want an "intermediate" level of softening, would you remove the cover and leave the baffle, or remove the baffle and put the front cover back in place?

Thanks
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Re: Help me "Harden" the Light from a Softbox ...
Old 12-22-2006, 10:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You can also mask the source to make it smaller or move it further away (if you have room). The general rule of closer + bigger = softer. The inverse is also true.
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Re: Help me "Harden" the Light from a Softbox ...
Old 12-22-2006, 10:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Space is limited, which is why I limited my question. I should have included that information. Sorry.
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Re: Help me "Harden" the Light from a Softbox ...
Old 12-22-2006, 10:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The inner and outer diffusion panel will each produce subtely different effects. The primary function of the inner panel is to knock down the hot spot produced by the head due to the direct exit path of the light. So if you want a hotter center with a more distinct fall-off towards the edges, remove the inner panel and install the front panel. If you would rather have a more even distribution of light, then install the inner panel and leave the front panel off.

Try it both ways, take notes, and see which you like better.

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Re: Help me "Harden" the Light from a Softbox ...
Old 12-22-2006, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Dude, they're 7" reflectors not beauty dishes, they can't weigh more than a few ounces - just take them, seriously.

That said, you could bring some cinefoil with you to flag of the softbox to create a smaller light source (with or without the front panel), but the roll of cinefoil will be heavier than the reflectors...
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Re: Help me "Harden" the Light from a Softbox ...
Old 12-22-2006, 12:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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MCherrry,

Very good point.

I eventually decided to take two of my AB Mainframes, so I could use gels and/or barndoors, so my original question becomes a non-issue. The Mainframe is just a 7-inch reflector with an added slot for the gels.

Thanks for the input.

Luego
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