Maybe a dumb question -- what size of reflectors?

jedirunner

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So my 7 year old heard me talking about reflectors the other day. She quickly grabbed her mom and took her aside. Found out later the conversation was basically "Let's get dad some money to buy some reflectors for Father's Day!"

So here I am with $25 from my kids to buy some reflectors at amazon, and wondering a couple things:

1- Is there any reason to not just buy the cheap reflectors?
2- What size would be reasonable? I'm anticipating occasional use to add some lighting to the dark side of a flower I shoot, and more often for trying to add some light to the kids when they mis-behave (when they mis-behave the punishment will be they have to pose while I practice portraits!)

I'm thinking about this right here:
http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-42-Inch-Premium-Reflector-Collapsible/dp/B003Y2KC7W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1371483115&sr=8-2

Thanks for any comments on these.

Kevin
 

HughGuessWho

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A reflector is essentially a light source. The rules of light from a reflector is essentially the same as any other light source.
The LARGE the light and the CLOSER the light, the SOFTER and BETTER QUALITY the light.
Don't overthink it. A reflector is just another light.
 

cgipson1

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The Fotodiox reflectors seem to be decent quality. The larger the better, but they can get unwieldy at times...
 

kathyt

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That one looks like a pretty standard size with all of the right colors you would need. I have one similar but from Calumet.
 

Designer

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Kevin; those collapsable ones are great for packing up and carrying around to various locations. Another option could be the large sheets of white foamcore. I bought several of these large sheets (40 inches by 60 inches) for $7.99 each.
 
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jedirunner

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jedirunner

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I've got one ordered, and will start playing with it later this week.

Kevin
 

hirejn

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Reflectors are a place to go cheap, IMO. I wouldn't worry about brand or price. The ones that cost more are usually specially designed, like the Joe McNally TriGrip. Photographers also make their own reflectors with white and black Gatorboard. What matters is color and size. The size in proportion to the subject is important. However, I wouldn't say softer isn't necessarily better. It's just softer. Better is a subjective way to describe what best serves your needs. I like soft, but you may not and it doesn't serve every look. For a flower, a 30" reflector is huge in proportion to the subject, so you would get very soft light, maybe even flat light, but for one or two people it may be too small.
 

KmH

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Maybe a dumb question -- what size of reflectors?
Several sizes and shapes are needed to shoot people.

The round 40" or so are ok for head shots.

If you want to do a full body shot us a rectangular reflector that is somewhat bigger than your subject.

Sometimes, instead of a reflector you need to diffuse light and that's where the convertible or 5-in-1 reflectors come in handy. You might even put a diffussion panel over your subject and then use a reflector to bounce light in under the diffuser to get light at the angle you need it.
 

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