Using Softboxes

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Beth81, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. Beth81

    Beth81 TPF Noob!

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    Well I've finally decided that I want to venture off into fashion photography. I'm choosing to use softboxes instead of umbrellas. So my question is. I still only have the Nikon d60 with a 18-55 and 50mm lenses. THATS ALL so far. So where can I go to buy some decent portable softboxes? What brand? What size? etc??? I know the larger softboxes are what I need for people shooting. I read that somewhere.
     
  2. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    I shoot people with two fairly small softboxes. It's all about what you do with them.
    It is nice to have a large key light for single person shooting.
    Sometimes a strip box is best for that application. It's like a soft box but rectangular.
    You should have a look!
     
  3. Beth81

    Beth81 TPF Noob!

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    What size are your boxes and where did you get them from?
     
  4. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Is there any reason you are going for a softbox over the cheaper and more portable umbrella? Yes the light has a subtle difference between a softbox and an umbrella, but if you're just starting out and want to learn, I would recommend two 45 inch umbrellas for 1/4 the cost of a GOOD softbox.

    If you do choose to get a softbox, I would go with the Westcott Apollo line, as they go on like an umbrella without the need for messy speedrings.
     
  5. Big Mike

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

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    Take a step back...you are asking about tires, you don't have a car yet.

    First choose your lights, then choose accessories/modifiers (softboxes etc) to go with them.
     
  6. Beth81

    Beth81 TPF Noob!

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    I had only planned to use the softbox because of the softer look you get in the final results. Of course I'm not familiar with either or.
     
  7. Beth81

    Beth81 TPF Noob!

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    LOL Ok then which lights would you recommend?
     
  8. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    Your D60 doesn't work with Nikon's Creative Lighting System so you don't have to use Nikon flashes, but you will need a way to fire them off camera. The easiest route is going to be a set of remote triggers. Of course they vary greatly in price so you'll want to account for them when you're pricing your flashes. If you want Nikon flashes, SB600's are around $225 new and are a good flash. I'm guessing you haven't looked into how expensive it can get for a small off camera light kit if you're already opting for softboxes over umbrellas, but look into your flashes first and that will probably tell you which of the two you'll have the money to use.
     
  9. Big Mike

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

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    Firstly, lets try to decide if you want to go with studio 'strobe' lights or with 'flash unit' style lights. (I won't even mention constant type lights).

    Studio lights are bigger and they require AC power (either plugged in or a big battery pack). Flash units run on AA batteries so they are very portable but they don't have the power or recycle times of studio lights.
    So if you plan to shoot in studio situations mostly, a studio style light system may be best. If you want to be more portable, then flash units might be more appropriate.

    For flash units, you could stick with the Nikon family and get the benefits of Nikon's creative Lighting etc. But several of those flashes will cost about as much as decent studio lights. You could get cheaper flash units (and learn to use manual flash). Something like THIS could get you started.

    For studio lights, there are many options and a wide range of prices. The cheapest lights that I would recommend would be from AlienBee or the Elinchrome D-Lites.
     
  10. ANDS!

    ANDS! No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Of course it does. All she needs is a commander unit (the SU-800 is cheaper than an SB-800/900) and one or two SB600's.

    Umbrellas and Softboxes produce soft light. A softbox will wrap more around the subject, and create a more directed (focused) light, while an umbrella will throw light out more. They both have their advantages and disadvantages and neither is used exclusively for any style of portrait lighting.

    Before buying anything, I would buy the CHEAP Nikon Introducting to Creative Lighting DVD. There is a wealth of information that will actually help you to start understanding what you're about to get into, what you need and what the process looks like.
     
  11. adamwilliamking

    adamwilliamking TPF Noob!

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    skyports

    pocket wizards

    anythings possible

    to add to ANDS i think the only real difference is contrast with an umbrella and even tones with boxes of softness
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  12. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, I meant that the on-camera flash would not act as commander to Nikon flashes, not that it was totally incompatible with CLS. I was going to explain the SB800 commander mode, but the idea of her buying an SB800 to control 2 SB600's seems like a ridiculous recommendation when you can get some Lumopro 120's or Vivitar 285's fired with Cybersyncs or Cactus triggers for a fraction of the price. No need for an all Nikon setup though unless you really want to shell out the $$$.
     

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