Softboxes or umbrellas??


TPF Noob!
Jun 20, 2005
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Aurora, CO
Ok so im looking to get a relatively inexpensive light kit to use at my home with some of my portrait/glamour work, and i want to know which style is preferred. I have never done any portraits in anything other than natural light and i dont want to wait until i take my portrait/fashion classes to start doing some personal stuff. Freestlye has 2 light kits I am looking at, 1 with 2 umbrellas, and the other with 3 softboxes. I dont want to spend a fortune because in the near future I will have fulltime access to a fully equipped studio, but I would like something for my personal use. If you have any examples with either type of lighting it would be greatly appreciated!
who makes it/where can i find it? hopefulyl somewhere here in the states! i appreciate your input! im trying to get some ideas that way i can make a good purchase! i already bought a stand w/ a white and a black backdrop, so im on my way :D
Check out amvona on ebay. Look for softbox umbrellas - mix between umbrellas and softboxes. I use these with my Alien Bees and they work great. MUCH easier to set up than softboxes and gives the diffusion that an umbrella doesn't give.

Just my opinion!


Edit: I see you're wanting lights too.. Check out . I have two of those.

Good prices, nice equipment.
those are pretty sweet, and a indeed a good price, but a little more than i can spend :( im looking to spend about 500 on a kit. I will probably get the softbox kit from freestyle, and mooch my neighbor's unwanted umbrella if he will let me. he's got more lights than he could possibly ever use, should give me some!

thanks for the input guys/gals!
don't hesitate to buy cheaper (not big name brand) light kits. there is a kit that's running around on ebay that's like 300 bucks that includes LOADS of stuff with it. i thought about it a while back and asked some different people about it on another forum. the reason i never saw it was it wasn't a common brand around here (dont ask me the name, i forgot :) ). turns out that the quality of them is quite nice. one pro fashion photographer I asked uses them and elinchroms (although the elinchroms a little more now that he got those), and says they are both great. you may want to look into that. otherwise, you could fit a couple 160w/s or 1 32 w/s and some light modifiers from white lightning or alien bees for that budget.

about softboxes and umbrellas...

i personally like the light from softboxes better, as they are slightly softer. They both put off great light, but the softbox has a tad more 'direction' and you can create better effects with it (like the edge of the light and stuff) than with umbrellas. If you take your stuff around alot and set it up, umbrellas are a better choice. at a home studio, I'd use softboxes and umbrellas for fill if needed.
ill do some looking around on ebay, thanks! In that case i will probably go with softboxes definately, and add an umbrella at a later date. The kit wont really be moved around, but my "studio" is going to actually be in my garage at my grandparents house. They dont have cars and its a SPOTLESS, clean, heated garage, but there is some dust and stuff in there from time to time, so when im not using them i will carry them to my bedroom(i dont live there so i wont have to take them all the way apart and put them back in the case. thanks :D

*edit* what other forums do you frequent? not that there is anything wrong here, i <3 tpf, but im at a computer all day, and im a forum addict :D
i also love this place, it's much more personable than other forums im in. for professional advice (not that there arent some great pro's here, but there's alot more at this place) on just about anything, try you'll need a 'bought' email top sign up, so yahoo, hotmail, etc. emails wont work.
i agree, everybody here is very great, like i said, im just looking for stuff to read during my long days! thanks!
ooh ya, i bet for a wedding that easy setup is key, but ya, mine will be semi-permanent. i just found out that my parents are going to help me pay for half of the setup! so that will allow me a little extra to work with. yay!

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