PCB LiteMod System..... Anyone Use It?


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Jul 18, 2007
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I'm looking to get at least one set of Barn Doors ($49USD), a Snoot ($49USD) and the Gel Holder ($19USD). The Snoot and Gel Holder requires the UMF Mainframe ($55USD). Does anyone have any practical experience with them?

These are mainly intended for portraiture. Should I be considering more than 1x set of Barn Doors? I have 3x WL monos and enough softboxes and grids for the 7" reflector at the moment...... well, maybe a grid for one of the softboxes.

Can't offer any opinions on PCB products, but as for barn doors, I have one set around somewhere, and that's always been at least one more than I have needed.
You know, in smaller, indoor studio type scenarios where the actual distance form the lights to the subjects is not "all that far", as in apartment and garage type studios, I think a honeycomb grid, barn doors, and a diffusion "device" like Speedotron's snap-on white mylar diffusers (think flat,fire-proof milk jug-like coloration) makes lighting people and scenes much easier than any other way I have seen or found. A few years ago, shortballer left TPF and struck out on his own, and he and I were talking via PM about lighting people, and he was having issues with a grid+barndoors...he said he had tried it numerous,numerous times, but the light looked simply "too hot" for what he wanted to achieve.I told him to add a diffuser to that setup,and he did, and was immensely pleased. The thing is, the light coming from a 7 inch or 11 inch or 16 or 20 inch metal reflector is a LOT "hotter" than an umbrella or softbox is, due to both size, and its un-diffused nature. But also, at close range there's the Inverse Square Law making the 7 inchers pretty darned hot at normal distances...

Barn doors keep lens flare from happening. 2-door barn doors also allow you to close the light off and make a nice, tall "Strip" or "stripe" of light. 4-door barn doors need to have tapered leaves if they are to be of any real use, and only the BEST 4-d barndoors have tapered leaf shapes; the cheap, offshore made 4-doors with straight leaves are utter cvap.

Snoots...I have a few...I think they largely suck. I got them with stuff I bought...they really are not all that useful...I think they are mostly a waste of time. Barn doors OTOH, allow you to aim lights at the sides and tops of subjects, and keep the light beam narrow, but also keep the lens from flaring. Honestly though...I'm not that fond of using 7 inch reflectors with grids on PEOPLE.Backgrounds, yes, but not on the subjects..Seven-inchers are so SMALL!!! That makes them "hot" and "hard light" sources indoors at closer distances...I think the bigger 11.5 inch reflectors are really where you want to put the money...they quality of the light from a 50 to 65 degree 11.5 or 16 inch reflector is MUCH,much different from a 110 degree beam spread "umbrella" reflector fitted with a grid and 'doors and diffusion screen...

If what you want is the ability to create hairlights, rim-lights, or side-lighting that is not WHITE-HOT light indoors in a small studio, the bigger reflectors like 11 to 20 inch, are MUCH easier to work with. 7's are so small, that a foot or two makes a huge difference. But yeah, barn doors + grid + diffuser = lots of control.

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