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HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-25-2006, 02:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm wanting to buy an Octagonal softbox and I'm thinking about going with the Westcott ones. No real reason other than I know that they make quality stuff and I think that seems to be right in my range. The prices just went way down too on B&H and I want to buy ASAP before they go back up or something.

The 5' one is only 349 now and the 7' one is only 599 ($150 off).

I love the lighting these produce but I don't quite understand one thing....

on the B&H site it says to use the 7' for full body shots and the 5' one for 3/4 length shots.... is that true? Does that mean that the 7' one will not perform optimally if I want to do waist up shots?

Here is what kinda confused me...

http://www.pbase.com/szuszyn/image/56327789
that shot was done with what looks like the 39" or 53" Elinchrom octabank.
here is the setup from that shot...
http://www.pbase.com/szuszyn/image/56327792



Also....
I saw an HBO special on Timothy Greenfield-Sanders shooting the Porn Star Portriats book and he was using huge octabank (which looked to be at least 5 feet) about 5 feet up angled downward about 45 degrees off to his side. I love the lighting he achieved using that setup and that's pretty much what I'm wanting to do.

here is a pic to give you an idea of waht I'm talking about from that exact show...
http://www.hbo.com/docs/img/programs...nkingxxx02.jpg




Anyone with experience using these things please reply.
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-25-2006, 08:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well there are two things that I see that might be the case. In the first image I see a second trypod on the left. Maybe it was not used but maybe it was. In the second image the softbox looks like it would light up one side very well but not having a light from the other side or above would produce a very dark shadow on the models side. I would think you would need the light more in the middle then so far offf to one side like that. I love softboxes and I want to get a small one for a hair light. My 5 ft box does a good job on a full body shot but I am sure a larger one would be better.

Mike
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-25-2006, 11:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Saw the show and bought the book... It's a seven foot or larger box he's using. I've rented and used the 7 foot Wescott box and LOVE the results for full length fashion shots with low ratio glamour lighting. The light wrap is incredible. Here's a shot from my portfolio done the that box on an Alien Bee 1600 strobe.



I'm torn between the big octo and a 4'x6' rectangle. I've used both and I prefer the octo. I may have to pop for the big octo right now if it's on sale. Is that on the B&H web site or did you call for a special price? BTW, the build quality on the Wescott box is superb! I've used many different manufacturers softboxes, and I've not seen one better constructed.

Here's a full length standing shot where the box was only 4' away from her.



I also have a 48" octobox that is good for about 3/4 length bug no more. The light falloff when you get the box close to the model is too great at the knees. You can really see the difference.

Thanks for the information!!! Good luck.
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-25-2006, 12:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyLeeMR2
I love the lighting these produce but I don't quite understand one thing....
on the B&H site it says to use the 7' for full body shots and the 5' one for 3/4 length shots.... is that true? Does that mean that the 7' one will not perform optimally if I want to do waist up shots?
The bigger the light source the softer the light, the more wrap-around effect, and the more evenly illuminated it's going to be. The 7 footer will perform admirably for anything from head shots to full length. You have to back the 5 footer up a couple of feet in order to get even illumination for a full length shot. This makes the 5 footer a smaller light source and therefore more contrasty. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It all depends on the look you want. Contrast is good for color saturation and texture.

If all you're ever going to do is head shots and/or parts work (like shoes, watches, jewelry, etc.) then the 7' is overkill. You can achive the exact same results with a smaller modifier because it easily covers the area you're working with. It doesn't make sense from a cost or space standpoint to use a big modifier to shoot small subjects. But if you're going to shoot full length, groups, or larger subjects in general a single, larger modifier is much easier to control than multiple, smaller modifiers.

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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-25-2006, 12:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i have a 4' octo which, i'll admit, i don't use much since i obtained a mola beauty dish. but when i was using the octo, i didn't see the need for something bigger. personally, i like the light fall-off in full-length shots, keeping the the focus of the image where i thought it should be, i.e., from mid-thigh to the top of the model's head. if i felt i needed to add some light to the model's lower extremities, a piece of white foamcore usually would accomodate this.
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-26-2006, 01:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Chimera has a 5' that with a kit can be expanded to a 7'. Thats what I went with so if I need a larger light I can just buy the extension kit. So far I'm happy just having the five footer. The 7 footer takes up more room than I have. I used it on this shoot.


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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-27-2006, 04:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Wow thanks a lot guys you've all been a big help! Great welcome to this board for me!
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-28-2006, 07:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Photoflex also makes a nice octodome, I have a 5' and a 7' unfortunatly i dont have room to keep the 7' up. but boy its fun when it is up,
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 03-28-2006, 08:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idofotos
Photoflex also makes a nice octodome, I have a 5' and a 7' unfortunatly i dont have room to keep the 7' up. but boy its fun when it is up,
How's the build quality on the Photoflex? Even at $599 the Wescott is $150 more. I have a 3'x4' rectangle Q39 multi-dome and it seems to hold up well to setup/teardown, but the build quality on the Wescott is amazing.

What are the rods made from on your Photoflex 7 footer?

I'm itching to buy one of these monsters.
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Re: HELP! 5' or 7' Westcott Octabank? Studio pros check in!
Old 04-02-2006, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srwatters
How's the build quality on the Photoflex? Even at $599 the Wescott is $150 more. I have a 3'x4' rectangle Q39 multi-dome and it seems to hold up well to setup/teardown, but the build quality on the Wescott is amazing.
What are the rods made from on your Photoflex 7 footer?
I'm itching to buy one of these monsters.
I think the Photoflex are well built, Where the Larsen and Chimera are maybe better is the quality of the front fabric and I think the story is that the cheaper ones tend to shift color over the years but I dont see it in mine and not sure with digital its a big deal. Personaly if I could I would have the larsen starfish, but just cant afford one now. The big Octodomes are tough to assemble so you dont want to take them up & down altho i you did it more it might get easier. Hope this help a bit
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