Softbox diffusers

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by inTempus, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Are softbox diffusers useful when compared to things like the Fong Lightshere or Sto-Fen diffuser? Do they soften the light better for portraits?

    If so, what's a good one?

    I've only been able to find a Pixco diffuser and they are like $15. Is it worth the money? Is there a better one?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Big Mike

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

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,822
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I assume you are talking about a softbox that attaches to a hotshoe type flash?

    There are many, ,many flash accessories, and most of them have their strengths and weaknesses...they work better in some situations than in others.

    When we talk about the 'softness' of a single light source...there are two factors. The size of the light source and the distance to the subject. This is where a softbox is good, because it's typically a good bit larger than the flash head, which softens the light. The 'Fong Dong' and especially the Omnibounce do not significantly increase the size of the light source...so by themselves, they don't significantly soften the light.

    One of the best methods for softening the light, is to bounce it off of a large surface like the ceiling. This can give your subject a nice soft light that comes from above, which tends to look fairly natural. The problem then is that the light from above may cause shadows on their face, just like mid day sun. This is where a lot of flash accessories come in. They split the light so that some goes up to bounce and some goes directly to the subject to fill in shadows. A simple bounce card can do the same thing.

    The Lightsphere sends light out in all directions and if it hits something and comes back, it can give you a really soft light. But if there is nothing to bounce the light off of...it's wasted. Good for small rooms, not so good in larger rooms and practically useless outdoors.

    There really isn't a 'best solution' for flash accessories. The right one for you will depend on your style. Better than a flash accessory is knowing how to use your flash effectively.
     
  3. pixeldawg

    pixeldawg TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Wow Mike, what a great post from you. THe only bit I would add to this information is that:

    The shadow issue is, of course, that of exposure. If the flash and ambient light are correctly balanced, this becomes a non-issue and will give a very natural appearance.

    As far as studio soft boxes, I really like the Alien Bee's. Not too expensive, easy to use and they throw off some really nice light. I have the 3X5 foot softboxes for all four of my strobes and love them.
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Oahu
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  5. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,692
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Indiana
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks guys! And thanks for the links, I love bookmarking those things.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
flash diffuser softbox review
,
micnova softbox review
,
pixco diffuser
,
pixco diffuser review
,
pixco flash diffuser review
,

pixco softbox

,

pixco softbox review

,
softbox diffuser review
,
softbox flash diffuser review
,
softbox vs diffuser