Lumiquest vs Stofen

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Overread, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    FIGHT!

    Ok I was going to get a:
    Lumiquest softbox:
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0016CT0J8/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m=A2ABEQSX6JRGVR

    and a:
    Stofen OM-EY
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0007DDK7A/ref=ord_cart_shr?_encoding=UTF8&m=A2ABEQSX6JRGVR

    for my Canon Speedlite 580M2, but on looking at the Lumiquest website it appears that they attach to the flash via a strip of velcro attached to the top of the flash unit - which is where the Stofen appears to attach too. Now of course once the velcro is on there its more of a perminant fixture - which would prevent the Stofen from attaching to the flash unit. I looked on the Lumiquest site more and they do have a clinch strip which is removable, but as being outside, hunting bugs and all things is one major use of the Lumiquest I intend I don't think a removable strip is going to work well - plus its designed from a point of not getting gunk on the flash as opposed to being take-on take-off.
    So does anyone own either or both of these and is able to confirm what I suspect and if I am right which should I go for? The Stofen attracted me as its small and easy to pack - something that I could use when out with family and such without the need for the Lumiquest - which is much larger
     
  2. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    I have been using just the Stofen for about 2 years now and it does fine on its own, why not get that to start with and if you feel you need it, get the other to add on
     
  3. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    I think you can get a strap from lumiquest that velcros around the flash so it is removeable. Of course you have to pay extra for it though!!
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Those are two completely different accesories.

    Firstly, the softbox softens the light by enlarging the light source. It's still not all that large, but larger (and therefore softer) than a bare flash head. I've heard they can be a bit bulky and hard to work with when you are on the go.

    The Omni Bouce is made to be used when bouncing the flash off of a wall or ceiling etc. It separates the light so that some of it can bounce and some of it goes directly to the subject for fill. It probably throws some light in other directions, which may or may not bounce back and help you. I've seen many, many photographers using this thing outdoors...where (IMO) it's utterly useless. To make light softer, you need to either move it closer or increase the size of the source. The OB, by itself, does not really enlarge the size of the source (it's not really bigger than the flash head) so it cannot soften the light. What it does do, is rob some power by absorbing light and destroying the beam properties which reduces the working range of the flash. Great tool indoors but not so much for purley softening the light.

    And if all you want to do is throw some fill light forward while bouncing...then a simple bounce card can do that.

    There are several other devices that are also meant to throw some light forward while bouncing. The Lumiquest 80-20 and the Demb Flip-it are a some that I have used.
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    in short.. depends...

    Do you want a softbox or "bare bulb"?


    I'm primarily shooting outdoors with fill. Therefore, I generally use the lumiquest Ultrasoft (more efficient) over the DIY plastic over flash trick (stofen soft but inefficient).
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  6. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    for the lumiquest i made a elastic band, which i put on the flash head. I judt put the flaps of the softbox under the band and its on. So no velcro on my flash. Works pretty good.
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you for the responces all:
    Big Mike - thank you so much for that - you cleared up my thinking regarding the different diffusers -

    usayit - I never noticed the ultrasoft - looks to be similar to the stofen, and yet connets the same way as a softbox so I think that would work well as an alternative if sticking to the lumiquest line

    looking more at their range and taking advice from here it seems as if a Stofen design is not strictly what I am aiming for with my lighting control and that the softbox is the better option - in that case I have considered getting a softbox and a minisoftbox - the mini one for those occasions as with the stofen, when I don't want or have the space for something large on my camera

    Any more comments?
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually, I think you are referring to Lumiquest's "Ultrabounce" which is similar to the stofen design:

    [​IMG]

    What I use more often is the "Ultrasoft":

    [​IMG]

    which I find a good balance between efficiency and diffusing the light. Of course this is all personal choice in how you want to balance softening and efficiency. As Big Mike said, the softboxes work by enlargening the light source. Lumiquest makes a good quality product which in essence is a "system" of light modifiers for dedicated flashes. Once the velcro attached to your light, you can build a system lumiquest add-ons as you wish.

    With that said, 90% of everything on that website can also be built at home as DIY projects. You can do so at a fraction of the cost lumiquest is asking and there is something to be proud in DIY projects. Thick foam (black and white) sheets, velcro straps, velcro sticky tabs, and gaffer's tape is pretty much all you will need to make gobo's, snoots, bouncers, diffusers, etc.... a google will find many sites with instructions/ideas.

    If you don't mind carrying a bit more equipment and a good soft light source is what is important to you, I would actually skip on the lumiquest and work with a flashpack, light stand, umbrella bracket, and umbrellas instead. You'll see a much better effect experimenting with bouncing off or shooting through umbrellas.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    hmm do they sell the umbrellas and rest in camouflage? Only I think the wildlife might spot me with a full lighting setup - even the insects ;)
    Seriusly though I am starting to come round to the think of Lumiquest and using different diffusers for different situations.
    So the next big question is - how waterproof are they? Being as I am outside a good while and not inside shooting (just realised that I really ought to have put what I shoot in the opening section - wildlife and macro) I want to know how much rain (if any) they can take
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My guess is that they will survive rain. I am unsure what type of material is on the inside but they are covered in vinyl and the diffusers are soft rubber/plastic.
     
  12. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks again usayit - :)
     

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