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Softbox size for full length Glamour?
Old 10-02-2005, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I just orderd my AB set today but did not get the AB softboxes due to the reputation of not being well built, hard to take apart, etc. I need to know what size SOft box to get for my main light to do full shot glamour. Is an Octabox better for that? Also, my current budget only allots me to buy 2 softboxs for my 4 lights so I will be using a bounce umbrella and grids on the other two lights. Will a full size softbox be too big for head shots if thats what I am shooting at hte moment? Any suggestions here would be great. Recommendations on actual softboxes would be even better.

Thanks in advance,
Mark
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Softbox stuff...
Old 10-02-2005, 09:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmmm, the Alien Bee's box isn't any harder to assemble than than several others I've run across. Taking it apart is the EASY part. Getting it all together is what requires a little practice and dexterity.

I use the AB 30 by 40 inch job for full length shots. Works good for me from about 4 to 6 feet away and with the top edge a foot or so above the model's head and the face angled down. But if you can afford a bigger one... go for it!

A full size box is great for head shots. Just feather the light off the model and fire away. The light is very even, and wraps around the model's head. I rarely use a hair light, but if the model's hair matches the background color, you should probably use the hairlight.

Good luck with the Bee's. I think you'll like them. I do...



[b]1 Bee on the background cranked up, another in the softbox providing fill from camera right.



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Re: Softbox size for full length Glamour?
Old 10-02-2005, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mark,

I've had a Photoflex Large (36x48) Multidome for several (about 15) years and it's still working well. No harder to take down/set up than any of the others... if they're too easy to tear down, the rigidity of the box would be suspect, IMHO.

I use the Large Multidome with full length shots by backing up a bit more than I would if I had the Extra-Large (54x72). With the Extra Large, you can get that sucker right up to the subject, up to 6' tall, and have them lit directly by the box. That'd be my choice if I were buying a softbox, today.

Photoflex' web page

G'luck!


Here's Ashley, lit with my Large (36x48) Multidome... backed about 7-8 feet away so there's not really any light falloff from head to toe.

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Re: Softbox size for full length Glamour?
Old 10-03-2005, 01:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the Post. I was wondering the same thing. I will be getting AB's for my Birthday/Christmas. I was also wondering about the Brolly boxes. Are they just as effective as the Octaboxes and softboxes?

Zairia [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
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Re: Softbox size for full length Glamour?
Old 10-03-2005, 05:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Zairia.....I dont recommend the AB brolly box I bought one, and one of the ribs came apart inside the box a week after I bought it..

Don. OY!!!!
 
 
Re: Softbox size for full length Glamour?
Old 10-03-2005, 08:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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If you really want to do full-length, then I would recommend a full-length softbox, something 72" tall. Yes, you can back a 48" box up, but there's no substitute for the bigger box if you want evenly lit lighting head to toe with great wrap-around. A big softbox isn't too big for head shots, but it is unwieldy. If you just need to do a head shot, it's a lot easier to maneuver a 3' or 4' box around.

A big (7') octa-whatever is going to give you more or less the same quality of light as a big softbox. The catch-lights will be different and it wraps around more due to the larger surface area of the near-round shape. But what you buy really depends on what you want to do. For general purpose, a rectangular softbox or big octa-whatever is probably the most useful. You just need the space to open them up. For finer control over lighting a single subject or for faster falloff of light, try a narrower softbox. (2'x 6').

Value for your money, the Photoflex products are very good. The X-Large (54" x 72") LiteDome (for flash only) can be found for ~$200. To get a better box you have to spend about twice as much money. The absolute best, most even, softboxes I've ever used are the Elinchrom Recta and Octa banks. The head fires into the back of the box where the light is then reflected forward, so the illumination is dead-even corner-to-corner and edge-to-edge. The downside to them is that they're ~$950, so unless they're making money for you they're hard to justify. Also, I'm not sure if you can use non-Elinchrom heads in them.

Hope this helps,

-Chip
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Re: Softbox size for full length Glamour?
Old 10-03-2005, 11:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As an alternate suggestion how about the $50 Gigantic Softbox? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] PVC pipe, an few PVC fittings, 3 yards of white rip stop nylon and 6 yards of black ripstop nylon. Build one white panel and 2 black ones 6' tall. Place them in the shape of a softbox and light them with as many heads as you want. Move the heads closer to the panel to get more direct light and further away to get softer light. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

Just an alternate idea... [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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Another approach...
Old 10-03-2005, 10:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Jeff Moody did a setup at one of JT's early weekend shoots in which he had a sheet stretched across a 6 by 8 foot frame. Probably wasn't just a sheet and the dimensions may be a foot off or so, but you know what I mean. Behind that he placed 3 stands holding flash heads and spaced out may 2 or 3 feet horizontally apart. Sort of converted part of the room into a HUGE softbox.

Anyway, you could stand between the sheet and the model and fire away. There was enough wrap around that your shadow wouldn't show up in the images if you stayed back a bit from the model. It was very even and flattering light. (I think part of that was that the room walls were bright red and added a slight coloration.)

But anyway, I've wanted to try that again, and actually started collecting bits and pieces to build the frame. Using PVC, it'd be a breeze to build. My version will be kludged together from an old aluminum 3-panel hospital screen with the curtain material replaced with stretched ripstop or some such.




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