Reflector question....

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tjones8611, May 21, 2010.

  1. tjones8611

    tjones8611 TPF Noob!

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    Im considering purchasing a couple of reflectors to use outside with portraits this weekend. Any recommendations on size? Is bigger better?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The bigger the light source the more diffuse the light will be - so a larger reflector will act as a larger light source and thus give you more diffuse light. However a smaller reflector would be easier to use to direct light, say upon a key area, whilst a larger one would be a more all over covering.

    Further consider the size when working with it - especailly outside - a large reflector will need an assistant (idealy) or a tripod to hold it still in place. You can also use other weighted supports to hold it up instead of a tripod - but the larger the more wind it will catch.

    Also try to go for the 5in1 types if you can - that way you get serveral covers (gold, silver, white, black and no cover which is a diffuser) which you can use for various things (black is to block out a light source)
     
  3. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I find them most useful when they are smaller actually. You can always use more than one if you need to, but if they are too big they just tend to get in the way or fly away if it's windy. I like them about 18" wide? Bigger ones are nicer for some things but I hardly ever ended up using the big ones in the kit I bought. The smaller ones, those I use all the time. Just a note those reflective car window shields are kind of nice for group shots. If you get the right kind they act pretty much like photo reflectors. They're pretty cheap, a little heavier than pro reflectors, and they fold up and out of the way easily too which comes in handy. I do have the one good set, but I've also been known to make them out of all sorts of things actually. I have one set that's actually made of aluminum foil and different colors of clear saran placed over the foil. I brought those to school and my one design teacher just about had a cow laughing at me, but hey, they WORK!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Bigger throws more light back. I personally think that square or rectangular reflectors are a much better choice for outdoor use than round ones; square-edged reflectors can be secured to the ground with simple "turf stakes", and anchored at both sides. Round reflectors tend to slop around more, since there is a very small area of contact with the ground. Round reflectors rely more on grip accessories to position them than do rectangular ones. Rectangular reflectors have more surface area per width than round reflectors. Round reflectors were never,ever used until fairly recently, once the idea of using bendable wire was discovered, and that allowed manufacturers to create these new, collapsible round reflectors, which touched off a huge marketing blitz.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And ankle weights make great portable anchors for stands if you are single handing it.

    You should look into black reflectors (sounds nuts I know) for subtractive lighting. This can make a World of difference in a portrait!
     

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