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Well, aside from the shape ...
Old 09-20-2004, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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and the price, [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
what's the advantage/disadvantage of getting an octabox vs. a large rectangular softbox? And why should I consider other softboxes not made by alienbees? What brand of softboxes do you use?



I appologize for all the questions, but I'm trying to set up a home studio and would like to know my options.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Marvin

By the way, anyone here using their Matte-Surfaced Pan Reflector?
What's the difference form a regular silver/gold reflector?
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Re: Well, aside from the shape ...
Old 09-20-2004, 11:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 5ft octobox, a 7ft octobox, a 3x4 box, and a bunch of other lighting modifiers, mostly from photoflex.

The boxes are more "directional" than the octobox. The Octobox has significantly more frontal area than a 3x4 box.

I prefer my 5ft octobox over just about everything else I have. The 7ft is nice, but its so big, handling it in small quarters becomes a concern.

Build quality and light quality coming from different size boxes are the difference.

There's no right or wrong here.

The octoboxes do not project out physically from the light as far, which may be a consideration if you are in tight quarters.

If I had to narrow all of my choices down, and could only go with one or two, I would get a 5ft octobox and a 3x4 box.

My photoflex boxes have gold and silver inserts and various diffusion panels. You can alos get baffles and things to modify the light further.

The bigger the light, generally, the softer and more wraparound effect you will get.

I like my octobox because I can use it alone as a main light (no 2nd fill light) and based upon where I put it, I can determine how much shadow I get on the "fill" side without actually setting up a second fill light.

The 3x4 box transitions from from light to dark quicker as it has an edge on it. You can feather the 3x4 box with more control compared to the octobox.

But, with that said, you can get photos with each that look pretty much the same.

I simply find the octobox "easier" to work with compared to a 3x4.

For example, if I am shooting a girl in a large room, I can often use the octobox as a main light all by itself.

With a 3x4 box, if I am shooting a wide angle shot, the light falls off all around the edges.

That may be exactly what you want, so, it's a question of what you want.

If economy is an issue, I have been very happy with a couple of Appolo mono shoot through umbrellas that have a black shroud that keeps back light from scattering all around the room and they are only $30.00-$40.00 and quite frankly throw a nice even light that is quite comparable to some of my bigger boxes. I think they are called "halos". They are simply a white shoot through umbrella, that has a black "sock"that comes back from the the edge of the umbrella and velcros around the pan of a light to keep you from getting any "spill" from the back of the umbrella.

The deal with the Appolos, compared to a regular white shoot through umbrella, is that the shroud keeps you from getting a lot of light bounced around the room, and thus you can still feather them like a sofbox.

Plus they are very easy to set up and transport.

Considering they are cheap, throw nice light, and you can get 10 of them for the price of one big light, they are really worth looking into.

The Appollos have a little more "pop" to them, compared to a big soft box, but sometimes, you want that.

Light modifiers are like photoshop, you can get the same result 10 different ways. There's no right or wrong way, but one way may be easier, more convenient, or work better for your style.

Mark
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Re: Well, aside from the shape ...
Old 09-20-2004, 08:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Why not try light panels instead of soft boxes

Here's link to something from Dean Collin's stable.

light panels

I use them a lot, . I have 8 panels, three translucent and 5 reflective one side/black on the other. I can combine translucent panels and reflective panel to make a huge soft box - 8ft x 5ft square. I use strips of black material on the front to turn it into strip lights, circles, smaller boxes etc

As my studio is painted a dark grey, with a black ceiling, I don't have any stray light problems, I just use the reflective panel for extra efficiency from my 400ws strobes, then again if I need more power, I just put in more strobes.

I can make the light vary from directional by having the strobe with a parabolic dish pointing directly at the model and close to the panel, or diffused by making up the softboxe and pointing the strobe into the reflective material. With a reflective lid on top, I measure less than 0.1 stop of difference on the front panel between the top or bottom corner and the centre.

What you need to make them work is space - lots of it, image two soft boxes 8ft high by 5ft square. Not something that will fit in your average garage, but a whole lot cheaper and more versatile than soft boxes if you have the space.



Iain
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Re: Well, aside from the shape ...
Old 09-21-2004, 02:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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check out this link to Profoto-usa. youll get a sense of what deferant light modifiers will do. the Octa will also give a more round catch light.

http://www.profoto-usa.com/products/.../softlight.asp
 
 
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