softbox vs umbrellia

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by BLD_007, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. BLD_007

    BLD_007 TPF Noob!

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    What is the difference between a softbox and a shoot through umbrella? Other than shape, the shoot through umbrella does the same thing as a softbox, right?
     
  2. keith foster

    keith foster TPF Noob!

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    I am not sure I am using the right terminology but... a softbox keeps the light from just going everywhere, so even though it diffuses the light it also keeps it rather directional and focused depending on the size of the box.
    A shoot through umbrella on the other hand will diffuse the light and send it everywhere or at least scatter it more than the softbox will.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Please see this thread http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...um-photo-gallery/187123-umbrella-softbox.html

    No, shoot through umbrella and a softbox create different lighting patterns.
    Used on a confined space with a low ceiling, a shoot-thru umbrella will cause a huge amount on spill light to scatter off the walls and ceiling, causing what is called "ambient spill", which tends to act as fill light.

    As Keith pointed out, a softbox has a bit more directionality to its light than a shoot-through umbrella.
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Yes, that's the biggest difference...an umbrella will tend to spill light all over the place while a softbox constrains the light to one direction. You can add a gird to the front of a softbox to constrain the light even more. This can be very important if you are trying to shoot something low key in a smaller space with reflective walls etc.

    Also, the shape is different. Umbrellas are round(ish) and most softboxes are square (although there are octaboxes too). The shape of the modifier will dictate the shape of the light and affect things like the shape of the catch lights and the fall-off properties of the light.

    HERE is a link from the thread that Derrell posted.
     

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