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Help with softbox selection
Old 08-26-2010, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm currently running 2 150w/s and 2 600w/s monolights and 2 24" x 24" softboxes and 2 41" umbrellas. The small softboxes are great for portraits, but for anything larger I find the umbrellas work better, but I get too much spill in small rooms, and I honestly dont like the look with my umbrellas.

I'm looking to add 3, maybe 4 softboxes to my kit and I'm stuck on what sizes I should get. I'm going to be doing headshots, full body shots and some on bed type shots.

Is there a few sizes I should be looking at? I was thinking a 30x60 and a 9x70 strip, and a 32x48.

Thanks
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Re: Help with softbox selection
Old 08-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well you just gave me an idea for a future blog article, though I cover it in my books. First, you have to understand what each light modifier does, and why use them. As example, if you had every light modifier in the world, why would you chose a beauty dish over a soft box, a strip box over soft box, and umbrella over reflector? etc?

I would focus more on the quality of the light for your intended results then decide on which light modifier. With that said, based on what you said you're shooting, as a minimum, every photographer should own at least a medium, 3x4 softbox and I would consider adding two medium, 48-inch strips and perhaps a 4x6 large softbox (think standard window sized light). There are helpful articles on Lensdiaries.com but I will work on a nice blog post just for you ;-) soon. Think Chimera too.

With that said, there is no need for a ton of any light modifiers, soft boxes included, instead of quantity of boxes, think less, better quality. You can't use them all at once and if you do, interesting. See the lighting diagrams with some of the images on LensDiaries.com Thanks, all the best, rg sends!
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Re: Help with softbox selection
Old 08-26-2010, 01:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks and I look forward to reading the blog when its done.

One question though. I'm using some Flashpoint II monolights (Adorama brand) I know they are not the best, but I bought them used and got a killer deal on them, and since I don't shoot for a living they are not a huge investment, and have been 100% reliable.

The only downside to them is that I cannot find a speedring that allow attaching, say a Chimera or Elinchrom Octabox to the monolight since they use a proprietary connector (I think). So I'm stuck with Flashpoint softboxes for now.

But... Are most of the softboxes close enough that the rods from "brand a" will fit into my speedring, or is the correct combination absolutely necessary.
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Re: Help with softbox selection
Old 08-26-2010, 02:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure about that brand or its construction. If they work for you great, but remember, the experience and final result always has room for improvement, don't get stuck on them, move up if you can. It's like using an 85mm F/2.8 lens then using an 85mm F/1.2, you'll huge differences and once you go up, you never want to come down when it comes to quality.

On the blog, it'll never be finished as it will always be growing and improved up--right now, it's very useable and ready for viewing and for registering. It's taken off tremendously and it's only seven weeks old with an amazing Alexa rating, not to mention, almost 400 members have registered for it already, no need to wait.

Wishing you the best, lots to do before my Maryland workshop this weekend. Thanks, rg.
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