Recommended reflector size

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by pokopelo, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. pokopelo

    pokopelo TPF Noob!

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    Hello I’m planning on buying a set of reflectors, maybe white/gold… I’m not sure about what would be the best size, I plan to use them when shooting portraits with natural light outside, I was thinking on going with a 32”, but not sure if 42” would be better. Any thoughts? Thanks…
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I bought a 42 just recently. If you're going to want it for full body shots and fill, then you're going to want a large size. Maybe even a rectangular one.
     
  3. Big Mike

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

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    For lighting, bigger is better...up until it becomes too big to handle or carry around with you.

    I'd recommend on of those '5-in-1' reflectors. The last layer, the diffusion panel, can make for some of the best light.
     
  4. 7/24

    7/24 TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike is right. If you have an assistant working with you, buy the biggest thing you can find. If it's just you, a 42 works well. Another option (on the cheap I might add) is to go to your favorite home improvement store. Look for some R1 insulation. R1 is foam board with a coating of silver mylar sold in sheets. Once you cut it down to a manageable size, it's a little more rigid than a regular reflector. Good luck.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    One size doesn't work for every portrait situation as mentioned above, so really you need a couple different sizes and shapes.

    I wouldn't anything smaller than the 40+ round 5-in-1 reflectors.

    Lastolite makes some nice reflectors and diffusers and their web site has some great videos on how to use reflectors.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Square and rectangular reflectors have more surface area per size than the round ones do, but are a bit harder to transport. On the other hand, square and rectangular panels are easier to prop up, and can easily and securely be clipped together, clamped together, taped together, or even leaned onto things and they tend to STAY PUT without the need for elaborate grip arms and weird clamps. In my book, 48 x 72 or 48 x 48 are the sizes to look at. While square and rectangular reflectors might be a bit more of a hassle to transport, they make up for it by being much more stable and more-easily angled,propped,joined, and needing less grip equipment to keep positioned.
     
  7. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can't find any square reflectors on B&H.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  9. eric-holmes

    eric-holmes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok, Yeah I seen those. I was hoping to get something cheaper like the round reflectors. Those are way beyond my budget.
     
  10. Kansasdude

    Kansasdude TPF Noob!

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    Another option if you want to do it on the cheap is to use an automotive sunshield. I picked up a couple for $1 each at the Dollar Store. Silver reflective on one side, White on the other. Place it on a stand made from PCV pipe and you have yourself a low buck reflector. Once you get a feel for what a reflector can do you can decide if you want to spend the $$ for a professional piece of equipment.
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Then you need to work on your communication skills. ;)
    Particularly if you want to seriously attempt having a photography business.

    At any rate, necessity is the mother of invention.

    Buy some foam board and cut your own if you're strapped for gear $$$'s.

    Another option many photographers take is to make their own from PVC piping and ripstop nylon or some other reflective material.
     

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