Choosing the right umbrella for an SB600

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by whtge8, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. whtge8

    whtge8 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Im looking for an umbrella to use for my SB600 that im starting to use off-camera. I assume I would need a somewhat smaller umbrella to amplify the light more since its not as powerful as say an alien bees. Also im not sure if I should be getting a silver one with a black back or maybe a convertible white/black umbrella. That way I can shoot through it, but im not sure if the SB600 provides enough light to be able to do any good shooting through an umbrella. Please give me any advice you can, or maybe even some photos with a setup similiar to this to see what can be done.
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,818
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I wouldn't worry too much about it.
    Shooting through or bouncing out of, are often fairly similar in terms of the power required. I believe that a silver inside will give you more bounced light, but most prefer a simple white umbrella.

    One thing to consider is size vs convenience. A larger umbrella can give you a softer light, but it may be inconvenient to carry & use a large one. Also, power might be an issue because of the distance and light spread required from the flash, to properly take advantage of a larger umbrella.

    I'd suggest a fairly standard white umbrella. It's more about how you use it anyway.
     
  3. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,500
    Likes Received:
    478
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I like shoot through umbrellas, and have gotten great results with wescott 32 inch ones.

    I usually keep them in close, so I don't need something HUGE. And when I do, i'm not usually shooting speedlights anyway.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    All with the little 32 inch umbrellas and sb 600's.
     
  4. whtge8

    whtge8 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Awesome, makes for an easy decision. How much of a difference will it be if I bounce off a white umbrella with a black backing? Not sure if I should spend more for a convertable one or not.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    38,229
    Likes Received:
    5,006
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    The widest the SB-600 can zoom is 14mm. I think you'd be hard pressed to effectively fill an umbrella larger than 45". Anything bigger would only function as a sail.
     
  6. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,818
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'm not sure how much it would matter in terms of light output. Probably not much difference at all. But the advantage of a black cover is that it can somewhat help to control light spill.
    If you are shooting indoors, the light might be bouncing around off of the walls etc. This could be troublesome, especially if you are trying to shoot low-key.
    Umbrellas aren't really great for constraining light anyway (that's where a softbox is great) so it may not be much of an issue.
     
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,796
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    For speedlight use, the Photoflex brand's formerly RUT model umbrella, aka the convertible model, is a good choice with Vivitar 285 or the Nikon SB 600 or SB 800 flash. I believe they have changed the specification away from the old three-letter RUT designation. 30 to 32 inchers work very well with speedlights.

    You need to be careful of buying cheap, Chinese made light modifiers--many will color your light quite unpleasantly. it is well,well worth the money to buy name brand umbrellas; Westcott, Photoflex, Speedotron, Lastolite, and Photek all make QUALITTY umbrellas that deliver a pure, white light.

    I prefer reflecting umbrellas over shoot-through ones because they control spill light much,much better. With a shoot-through, about half the light goes through the umbrella and toward the subject, and the other half bounces back and all over the shooting area, causing a lot of what is called ambient spill; with really powerful flashes, like 400 to 1200 watt-seconds, shoot-through umbrellas throw spill light all over the place. One advantage though is that the ambient spill can also act as a slight bit of fill light; in small camera rooms I have seen MWAC type family portrait shooters use one large shoot through umbrella, and in their low-ceilinged shooting areas, it provides main light AND fill light. Not that it looks professional, but it does create a low level of fill. if you want to simply bring up the light in a room, a big shoot-through with 200-800 watt seconds blasted through it will do that,especially if placed near a white wall, where the light going through goes one way, and the light blasting out the back side hits a reflective surface and adds to the overall light level in the room via bounce.

    Using larger umbrellas, like 45 inch models, a speedlight really cannot disperse its beam wide enough to "fill" that large of an umbrella all that efficiently, but you can move the flash very close to a shoot-through umbrella, and get a soft central area of illumination with very dramatic fall off or feathering of the light; the speedlight will shoot through the very center quite nicely, and the edges will have a scant bit of light.
     
  8. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    The Great White North
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    get a convertible umbrella. they are $5 more maybe than the straight white ones, but allow you to do both. The nice things about convertibles is you can use it as a shoot through to light a large area, or shoot into it and close it down slightly to have a smaller light source with very little spill.
     
  9. whtge8

    whtge8 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I thought convertable meant it had a removable black backing?
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    35,456
    Likes Received:
    12,796
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yes, covertible does mean removable black backing. I like the Photoflex brand of convertible umbrellas, which I use as reflecting umbrellas much of the time--with the black backing on.

    This 30 inch convertible model works great for location lighting with a speedlight

    UMRUT30 Photoflex Convertible 30" White Umbrella
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2009

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
how big an umbrella with canon sb600 speedlight
,
photoflex 45 convertible umbrella
,
photoflex vs westcott
,

photoflex vs westcott umbrella

,
sb-600 shoot through umbrella
,
sb-600 with umbrella
,
sb600 umbrella
,
sb600 umbrella setup
,
umbrella sb600
,
what size umbrella for sb600