My softbox for flashgun Sb-600 - comments please

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by PushingTin, May 14, 2009.

  1. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Hi all

    I am very impressed with myself for actually attempting to build something instead of going out and buying a ready made product - but thats cause I am useless at building things :p

    Ok, so I got the idea from another design on the internet and decided to give it a go and build a softbox for my Sb-600 flash.

    So this is what it looks like - ugly, yeah for sure - but does it work? I am not sure..... results to follow.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ok so now here is the test I took: (Please dont look at the photo for composition or anything, was just a random test purely to see if the lighting would be any better)

    Camera was on a tripod and the settings stayed exactly the same for every shot.

    Test 1: Flash gun only pointing straight at the subject (note the harsh shadows)

    [​IMG]

    test 2: Flash gun with softbox attached

    [​IMG]

    Test 3: Flash gun only pointing at ceiling for bounced light

    [​IMG]

    Test 4: Flash gun with softbox pointing at ceiling for bounced light

    [​IMG]

    So it looks like flash gun with no softbox pointing at ceiling gives the best results? Maybe with tweaking the settings, adding more power to the flash while pointing up would give better results, I dont know.... I wanted to test using the same settings for a comparison.

    I am a newbie when it comes to lighting, so just playing around with it...

    Any thoughts? Please comment - Thanks
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Nice work on the DIY. What is the front material? Fabric/paper?


    This is usually the case. Remember that to have softer light, you need a larger light source. A large portion of the ceiling is a lot bigger than the softbox, thus the light is softer.
    I think your last example didn't work because you may have surpasses the capabilities of the flash. Something like a soft box can eat a lot of light, thus requiring more flash power. The ceiling also eats some light and with the distance up and back, it was just too much. Try upping the ISO...but as you can see. When bouncing, you get pretty good results without the softbox, so it's probably not worth it.

    A flash accessory like this is for when you can't bounce and have to shoot directly.

    A lot of people get caught up in flash accessories...and a lot of people make a lot of money pushing these things. Sure, they can make a difference...but only in the right situation. Many times, they just make things worse by using up flash power.
    The important thing, is to try to understand what the light is doing and what will give you the best results in each situation.
     
  3. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Thx Big Mike for the comments which make 100% perfect sense.

    Front material used is paper in conjunction with a plastic almost like an overhead projector paper but not as clear, dunno if material would make a better difference or not.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  4. Big Mike

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

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    I was just asking because it looked like normal (printer) paper...which would eat a whole lot of light. I wouldn't use something that 'solid'.
    If you can get it, thin white nylon fabric would work well.
     
  5. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Thx will try that
     
  6. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    I have changed the softbox from paper to material and its made a HUGE difference.

    I prefer the photos taken with the softbox now...

    Here is the latest test:


    Test 1: Flashgun only direct at subject

    [​IMG]

    Test 2: Flashgun and softbox direct at subject

    [​IMG]

    Test 3: Flashgun only pointed at ceiling

    [​IMG]

    Test 4: Flashgun and softbox pointing at ceiling

    [​IMG]

    All settings were the same on camera and flash.

    Softbox gives the "warmer" light.
     
  7. Big Mike

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

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    That's much better.

    Although in the 2nd round of testing, your 3rd shot (flash only at ceiling) you got a darker result than you did in the first test..they should have been the same, shouldn't they?

    Maybe it's just a difference in the i-TTL metering...it can sometimes be inconsistent when there are small changes.

    As for the warmer light, that can happen...but did you have the WB set to auto, or to a fixed value?

    I don't know if you can check this, but I'd be curious to know what power level the flash was using, with and without the softbox. Of course, you can get softer light by bouncing with the softbox...but if it uses a lot more flash power, that will increase your recycle times and eat up your batteries faster. Not to mention that it will have to work a lot harder if you go into a bigger/taller room.
     
  8. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Yeah come to think of it I have changed the lighting in the house since the first test - i have switched a certain light off (near the aeroplane) and put a different set of lights on in the lounge (a little further away) which is the probable cause of the inconsistent lighting between test of softbox with paper vs softbox with material test.

    WB on AUTO

    Thx again for the idea of changing to material and for all the comments
     
  9. Defy

    Defy TPF Noob!

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    just another point: you can also play with the zoom setting on the flash to control the light intensity.

    and get the flash off the camera!!!! (if it is not already!)
     
  10. farmerj

    farmerj TPF Noob!

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    I like #2 better.

    You can see the details in the running gear better than #3.

    Big change in WB between the soft box and the straight flash.
     
  11. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    For the first series, I actually like 4 better - highlights are starting to blow out on number 3. #4 is a more welcoming shadowy kind of light then the technically more properly exposed 3 (but that's just me - I realize 4 is starting to lose detail in the shadows but I prefer blown shadows to blown highlights).
     
  12. PushingTin

    PushingTin TPF Noob!

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    Thx for all the comments and tips
     

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