A&P Recommend me a light modifier for general use

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by xenon supra, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    I don't do a ton of off-camera lighting, but I seem to be booking more and more portrait sessions and I'd love to start using it a bit more.

    I currently have a 60" Westcott Umbrella
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/largeimages/197057.jpg

    I have an SB600 and an SB800 (two Nikon speedlights).

    I've got 2 pocket wizards, so I need to buy 1 more in order to fire the SB600, but from what I can see, the SB600 doesn't have a sync cord input? :dunno:

    I'd like to pick up maybe another umbrella or one of those Parabolic Light Modifiers (PLM) that everyone seems to really like.

    I don't normally ask such broad questions, but can some of you guys give me feedback on what should come next? Normally I can do just fine with my 60" umbrella, but I know my shots would improve if I learned a little more and had some more modifiers.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?
     
  2. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

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    I think the 60 incher is perfect... as long as you're not shooting outside, on a windy day. Ask me how I know. :eek5:
     
  3. turbodude

    turbodude Just a photographer OT Supporter

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    a softbox. or a softlighter
     
  4. adamlewis88

    adamlewis88 New Member

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  5. Gvidon

    Gvidon New Member

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    Umbrella is a great place to start, really becomes helpful on rainy days.
     
  6. adamlewis88

    adamlewis88 New Member

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    :mamoru:
     
  7. alexromo

    alexromo New Member

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    omnibounce
     
  8. siniquezu

    siniquezu New Member

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  9. iRate

    iRate New Member

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    PLM or a softbox
     
  10. ok_computer

    ok_computer OT Supporter

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    softbox for SURE. way way more useful than umbrellas
     
  11. bobasaur

    bobasaur New Member

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    got mine a few weeks ago. Haven't had time to use it yet b/c of my new job.:wtc:
     
  12. adamlewis88

    adamlewis88 New Member

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    Why are softboxes more useful than umbrellas?
     
  13. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    sense. this makes none.


    If you're really looking for the best general use modifier, it has to be a convertible umbrella.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/169871-REG/Bowens_BW_4046_Umbrella_Silver_and.html

    It can be a silver bounce diffuser, a full white shoot through and a partially masked shoot through.

    No other single diffuser gives you 3 distinct light sources.

    As far as the umbrella vs softbox debate... They're just different kinds of light. To say one is even vaguely more useful than the other, let alone 'WAY' more useful is just silly.

    and if you want a compromise, try out a brolly box umbrella:

    http://www.amazon.com/CowboyStudio-40-Reflector-Studio-Brolly/dp/B002ZY4N48

    I use these now, and they're pretty sick. You get the softness of a shoot through umbrella with NO spill from the rear, and the inside of the black area is silver, so it gives it a little more punch.
     
  14. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    Brolly box umbrella is perfect. I'll probably pick one of those up. thanks all for the responses and thanks jared.
     
  15. turbodude

    turbodude Just a photographer OT Supporter

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    i still prefer a softbox. Far more spill control.
     
  16. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    any specific ones you'd recommend for use with a speedlight?

    I owned 2 small softboxes a few years ago and I really like the portability and ease of the umbrella a lot more.
     
  17. ok_computer

    ok_computer OT Supporter

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    umbrella has too much spill, almost uncontrollable. I guess if you're into just throwing a shitload of light all over, it's not a big deal, but a softbox is far more versatile and controllable.
     
  18. derekOT

    derekOT New Member

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    .



    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/564656-REG/Westcott_2202_Apollo_Speedlight_Set_.html

    $110, good 28" softbox, light is bounced off the back first so the spread is more even

    50" is $250
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/62236-REG/Westcott_2348_Apollo_JS_Softbox_with.html
     
  19. IntheWorks

    IntheWorks windin film.. takin pics Moderator

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    PLM is pointless if you're just using speedlites. I have one, and I've used it with both my elinchroms, and my speed lite and it's no comparison, you just don't get the same light with the speedlite.

    go with a small softbox since you already have an umbrella.
     
  20. turbodude

    turbodude Just a photographer OT Supporter

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    Westcott 28" is a common favorite.

    it has an umbrella design, and is very portable. And also has a recessed front diffuser, for even more control.

    I dont like brolly boxes because they offer the same light as a umbrella just with less spill in the rear, you still get the same uncontrollable light in the front.

    You already have a 60" umbrella, i would def add something else to the kit. Whether it be a softbox or a softlighter, or maybe some grids.

    and in case anyway says anything about an umbrella being the same as a softlighter, please make sure you own both and have used both extensively before making a comment, i have and they produce much different light.
     
  21. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    The westcott 28" is nice. So is the Lastolite Ezbox.

    I think my biggest gripe about softboxes is the setup. There's no easy way to work with them with speedlights. Unless you pay out your ass.

    If I shot in a studio, i'd have softboxes, no doubt.

    But the amount of spill you get with a shoot through umbrella is minimal if you shoot close and at a lower power, and if you're shooting a group, the spill is actually helpful.

    I guess it just comes down to just how important the differences in light quality are to you vs. speed and ease of use.

    I'll prolly pick up a ezbox at some point in the future, but right now my brolly boxes are doing awesome.
     
  22. AbortionSurvivor

    AbortionSurvivor Active Member

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