Question for the strobist

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by eric-holmes, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When using strobes with umbrellas or softboxes, do you use an actual flash (by that I mean an off camera flash that is also used on-camera) or do you have those strobes like those of alien bees or any brand of your choice? I understand that you can use flashes with umbrellas but all softboxes I see have round mount rings. I was just wondering what most prefer to use.
     
  2. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I prefer to use flash. They demand less power and have more mobility. I think typical strobes are designed more for studio work. However since we do on location shoots flash is the way to go for us.
     
  3. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How can you mount a regular flash in a softbox?
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    There are brackets of various types, as well as a number of DIY solutions. Most softboxes have a "speed ring" at the rear of the box, which has a series of receptacles (holes, about 3/8 inch in diameter) into which the four steel or fiberglass rods go, and on the bottom or sides of most speed rings are a hole or two, which is, or can be, threaded, to accept a 1/4 x 20 National Coarse thread on what is known as a "spigot" in the grip/lighting field. Spigots are made of brass, and are available in many types, like 1/4x20 male with 3/8 female on one end, female-female, and so on. Spigots can be threaded onto the tops of tripods or light stands, and also fit down (and upward) into things like Umbrella Swivel Mounts and the bottoms of professional light units like Alien Bee lights or Speedotron and other lights.

    These days, the 5/8 inch diameter spigot is pretty standard; years ago, many lights and light stands had the smaller-diameter studs on top and or used smaller-diameter spigots.

    Basically, you need a threaded bolt of some kind,and the best kind is called a spigot. That threaded bolt or spigot is threaded into a hole on a speed ring, and that allows the speed ring to be attached to a light stand, a tripod, or to an umbrella swivel mount. A speedlight flash can be stuck in the middle of the speed ring's opening circle, and held there by a racket, or by a ball bungee, or any other way you can figure out how to affix it--rubber bands, tape, styrofoam, whatever.

    The Strobist blogspot has a good illustration on using a ball bungee to hold a speedlight in position in a softbox. FlashZebra.com has spigots for sale,as well as umbrella swivel mounts. here is a page where you can see an umbrella swivel mount, a brass spigot, and a ball bungee used to mount a softbox and speedlight Strobist: DIY Ball-Bungee Speedlight Soft Box Mount
     
  5. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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  6. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From what I have seen, most people use shoot thru umbrellas for off camera flash work. Maintains that ease of setup and ultra high mobility factor.





    p!nK
     
  7. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yea that is kind of what I am thinking. It seems to have a much easier portability factor.


    Thanks for your informative post Derrell.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    strobe = flash = strobe.

    Don't let the terminology fool you. It's the exact same thing with a different name.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are softboxs out there that looks like a umbrellas such as those from Westcott And should be pretty portable.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSs7A2EgLqM"]YouTube - Westcott Apollo Flash Kit[/ame]
     
  10. Big Mike

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

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    I use both, depending on my needs. Sometimes I use a 'flash unit' and sometimes I use a 'studio strobe'. The studio style light has more power but needs to be plugged in or requires a portable battery pack. The flash unit runs on AA batteries and is much smaller & lighter to pack around.

    I haven't used a softbox in an outdoor situation, I'm hesitant to even use an umbrella outdoors because it makes the rig very unstable and even a slight breeze could blow it over.
     

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