Specifications of softbox

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by k.udhay, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. k.udhay

    k.udhay TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I want to buy one softbox to use with my flash YN560III. How do I decide on this? What are the general specifications of a softbox? Do all softboxes go with all external flashes? Do softboxes come with the tripod-like stand or to be purchased separately? Thanks.


     
  2. FotosbyMike

    FotosbyMike No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Almost all softboxes will work with a speedlight , but you will need to get a Speedlight speed ring for that specific softbox you choose. No softboxes normally don't come with a light stand unless you buy a kit and then most of those stands are cheap. If you are doing a studio setup I would skip the light stands and buy C-stands they are way more friendly. But if you plan on doing some location shots lights stands are nice because they are normally they weigh less.

    Softboxes come in all shapes and sizes, anything from 12"x12"(30x30cm) up to 12'(4 meters), square, rectangle, octabox, stripsbox...etc. I would stay some what small like 32"x40"(81x101cm) or 30"x36"(76x91cm) or a 35"(88cm), octabox and/or 10"x36"(25x91cm) stripboxes. The reason I wouldn't go to big is because most speed lights are not going to have enough light to fill up these larger boxes, what happens is you have more light in the center and as you more to the edges the light starts to fall off creating a gradation in the softbox.

    Next thing to look for is make sure the softbox has a second layer of diffusion, one internal white diffusion and one external. But no matter what once you start putting light modifiers on you flashes and strobes you will start to lose light power from your strobe. Also remember softboxes large the light source(flash) bigger which helps to make the light softer but softboxes also help direct the light to where you want it to go on the subject.
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A bit of photographic theory here. Lighting softness is determined by the size of light source when compared to the subject. The larger the light source is when compared to the subject, the softer the lighting. As an example cloudy days produce soft lighting because the light source is very large (the entire sky). On a sunny day lighting is hard because the sun is relatively small when compared to the subject and far away.

    In general you won't gain all that much softness from a small soft box mounted to a speedlight unless you are very close to a small subject. The softbox, of course, makes the light source larger but to get meaningful softness for portraiture it needs to be fairly large and fairly close to the subject. That is why you see studios equipped with large diffusers mounted on stands.

    If you are stuck with something mounted to a speedlight you may want to consider using bounce flash. Bounce flash is so effective because it creates a very large light source. Another is to acquire a large piece of white poster board. You can place your subject near an open window and use the poster board to fill shadows by placing it on the other side of the subject.
     

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