Best Softbox for Alienbee's ?!?!?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ccdan, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. ccdan

    ccdan TPF Noob!

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    I currently have 2 Alienbee's (B400 & B800) which I have been using with white shoot-thru style umbrella's and they have been working great so far. However, with a studio/white room change I have to position one lite differently and don't like the outcome now. Veins in the umbrella are showing up on the reflections of the object. So I'm ready to invest in a softbox and see that Alienbee's sells many of them. Not sure what size to get?

    I photograph wheels/rims which are ruffly 21x21x21 (varies) but do have some delima as there's not a whole lot of room in the studio/white room. The following options are avilable:

    Softbox:
    24"x36"
    32"x40"
    30"x60"

    Octabox:
    35"
    47"

    Also I have no knowledge of a grid. I know what it looks like but not sure what it does or if it would benifit me to have one.
     
  2. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have their 47" octabox and love it for portraits. It takes up some room though if you're in limited space. I would think if you are photographing wheels and rims for product photography though that instead of a soft box, you would use a medium size light tent. Seems that would benefit you more. Ultimately, the "best" equipment/accessories depends on your needs.

    The grids like the 10,20,30 and 40 degree ones change the amount of spread from the strobe. Colored grids change the color of the light.
     
  3. ccdan

    ccdan TPF Noob!

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    Here's my current setup which the wheel is in a light tent. The front has to be completely off which is where I run into the reflection issues.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Rather than shooting through your umbrellas, turn the light around and reflect the light back out of them.

    Or, because you are using a light tent already...lose the umbrellas completely.

    As for softboxes, the bigger the light source (and the closer) the softer the light. So for the softest light, get as big as you can. Of course, the biggest one might be too big and unconvenient, especially for a smaller subject like that.
     
  5. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    Just shoot with the lights more to the side and top?
    You don't have to hit it from the front. Shoot through the light box.
     
  6. ccdan

    ccdan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies! I have tired almost every emaginable combo of lights turned this way, that ways, up, down, etc. The setup shown produces the best results for me.

    I just had a chance to take a look at it seems like the 32x40" will work best. The 30x60" is just too tall. I do have decent room for 35" tall & wide so I can do the 35" octabox too but not sure which would be better in my case. I'm leaning twards the softbox still but never saw an image using an octabox.
     
  7. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    how bout posting an image of some of your results.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thats exactly what I was going to suggest. Crank up the power and use the bouce from the umbrellas or crank it down and use it without any umbrellas at all.
     
  9. ccdan

    ccdan TPF Noob!

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    Either way the vains of the umbrella show up in the wheel. I'll try to get a photo on here for you all to look at.
     

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