Soft box shape pt. 2. Round, octagon, square....

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Soocom1, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Soocom1

    Soocom1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So I am going to ask if anyone has used or has preference to any specific soft box shape to that of round, square, octagon, and continuous or strobe?
    Advantages/disadvantages?

    I have always had umbrellas.

    I am replacing all my long used up and bent up umbrellas and strobes that failed and need ideas.

    Like many others, budget.


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    What application? If you're doing portraiture, then you will want strobes, not continuous.

    What shape of catchlight do you want to see reflected in your subject's eyes?

    Some people like "brolly-boxes" that are somewhat more portable, as they fold up like an umbrella, but if you leave your lights set up, then that negates the main reason.

    I would probably go for rectangular, and get one or two grids to fit it. I think you can find an octabox that will accept grids, but that is where I would start. Consider your modifiers as a system, and that includes getting ones that accept your strobes. All the same mount makes for a happy photographer.
     
  3. Soocom1

    Soocom1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A goodly amount is still life and some product.

    I have done quite a bit in times past, but back then there were only umbrellas.
    Softbox lights were either non existent or pricey.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Dimensions are far more important than shape, and if you're shooting other than portraits, I really wouldn't worry; buy what suits your space, budget, and lighting.
     
  5. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    It depends on the intended use. My beauty dish can be used as a key, fill or kicker, and has a nice catchlight. The big octabox can be used as a key or fill, also makes a nice catchlight. I've never really seen any advantage to a square soft box. I have a couple rectangular soft boxes that I use for fill, and several reflective umbrellas that I mostly use outside because they're more portable.

    Whatever you get, grids are available and will be needed at times. Another consideration is, unless you have a dedicated space that you can leave them up, make sure they can be easily collapsed/folded. You'll pay more but it's worth it. I bought a cheaper so called "foldable" strip box, what a PITA. Takes forever to disassemble/fold/set up.
     
  6. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All of my traditional style soft boxes are rectangular Chimeras, typically used for product work but often used for portraits. I also use umbrellas, strip boxes and have a round parapop style soft box. I make the choice of modifier based on what I am shooting and the look I am after, everything is shot with strobe.

    May I suggest you offer some subjects you like to shoot, that might narrow down the search?
     
  7. Soocom1

    Soocom1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Mostly still life/product.

    I have shot that before, but in those days it was some umbrellas and Photo floods that cranked the heat up to a low 5000 f.
     
  8. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Then I would suggest rectangular soft boxes, many these days also include velcro egg crate grids for more control. For product it is impossible to get the output of strobe in any continuous light. Even with the advancements of LED's, colour rendering index is not on par with strobe or even tungsten hot lights for that matter and for product, colour integrity is king.

    Hot lights, yeah I remember those days, thank goodness that is in the past. LOL
     
  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One of the few times I live LEDs
     
  10. mrca

    mrca No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Product, I would start with rectangular soft boxes, say a 3x4 and some strips. For portraiture, especially headshots, I don't want hard corners on my catch lights so it's octas or beauty dish. I know windows have hard corners, but I have control and want to control that as well. Same with size of pupil. I want enough iris to work with in post and control it with my modeling light power.
     

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