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Thread: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

  1. #1

    Default Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Hi,

    I'm looking to experiment with various lighting setups and is looking to get myself a softbox for my external flash (not studio flash) but I'm deciding between an umbrella softbox vs a square/rectangular softbox.

    Anyone has experience with these and care to share the differences in performances?

    Currently looking at this 2:
    http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/32-inch-80cm-...#ht_3996wt_912

    and

    http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/Softbox-Speed...ht_2950wt_1139

    And oh I already have an umbrella holder..if thats any useful info..

    Any comments is greatly appreciated!
    Capture your memories, for they are not forever.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    You may want to consider Photoflex's Octodome if you are aiming to get "rounder" catchlights.
    Canon Eos 500D | 18~55IS | 50f/1.8 | 55~250IS | 580EXII |

  3. #3

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Noctis View Post
    You may want to consider Photoflex's Octodome if you are aiming to get "rounder" catchlights.
    hi, thanks for your suggestion. May I ask how much does that cost? Actually im not to concerned about the shape of the catch lights yet..just looking for a budget way to experiment with soft lighting.

    Thanks!
    Capture your memories, for they are not forever.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    I prefer shoot-through umbrellas in a budget setup, if that counts for anything
    Exploring! :)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Hi, are you referring to those semi transparent umbrellas? Are there significant light loss in those setup?
    Cuz I was thinking that in a softbox, any light that reflects back into the box after hitting the diffuser screen has a chance to bounce back out so resulting in slightly more light...

    Hmm.. I just did a search on ebay and these umbrella seem to be much more expensive? almost $30ish or more, or am I searching wrongly?
    How much did you get yours?
    Last edited by Aimevous; 13th January 2011 at 12:22 PM.
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    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimevous View Post
    Hi, are you referring to those semi transparent umbrellas? Are there significant light loss in those setup?
    Cuz I was thinking that in a softbox, any light that reflects back into the box after hitting the diffuser screen has a chance to bounce back out so resulting in slightly more light...

    Hmm.. I just did a search on ebay and these umbrella seem to be much more expensive? almost $30ish or more, or am I searching wrongly?
    How much did you get yours?
    I don't have a studio setup of my own, am afraid, so I can't be certain of the costs.

    Have used both the shoot-through umbrella (yes, like a semi-transparent umbrella) and the soft-box in a studio.

    Softbox gives a nice big spread of light, but would require quite a powerful light source (eg. studio strobe). If there is an additional diffuser panel inside, the power required will be even greater. Not so economical, I would say.

    Shoot-through umbrella allows you to get really close to the subject. By the inverse-square law, if you halve the distance from the light source, you require 1/4 the amount of light power. Therefore it is quite a cost-effective method to get softer light.
    Exploring! :)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimevous View Post
    Hi, are you referring to those semi transparent umbrellas? Are there significant light loss in those setup?
    Cuz I was thinking that in a softbox, any light that reflects back into the box after hitting the diffuser screen has a chance to bounce back out so resulting in slightly more light...

    Hmm.. I just did a search on ebay and these umbrella seem to be much more expensive? almost $30ish or more, or am I searching wrongly?
    How much did you get yours?

    Try here
    Umbrella
    http://store.tagotech.com/index.php?cPath=23_26

    Softbox
    http://store.tagotech.com/index.php?cPath=23_56

    You can also DIY the softbox or umbrella even the stand.
    There are many clips in Utube that show you how.
    Good luck.



    Abdullah | www.PictureU.biz | Instant Photography for Events |

  8. #8

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I don't have a studio setup of my own, am afraid, so I can't be certain of the costs.

    Have used both the shoot-through umbrella (yes, like a semi-transparent umbrella) and the soft-box in a studio.

    Softbox gives a nice big spread of light, but would require quite a powerful light source (eg. studio strobe). If there is an additional diffuser panel inside, the power required will be even greater. Not so economical, I would say.

    Shoot-through umbrella allows you to get really close to the subject. By the inverse-square law, if you halve the distance from the light source, you require 1/4 the amount of light power. Therefore it is quite a cost-effective method to get softer light.
    hmm, sorry I am a bit confused. Could you kindly enlighten me further on the power thing? Why would a softbox require more power than a shoot thru umbrella? Since both of them are firing through a material? Won't an umbrella result in lesser resultant light due to the non transmitted light being reflected backwards into the environment? Isn't a softbox slightly more efficient in this sense?

    As for the distance, I understand the inverse square law, but is there a reason you only mentioned umbrella and not a softbox, can be placed near to the subject? I've seen light setups where the softbox is <1m away from the model...

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by AAljunied View Post
    Try here
    Umbrella
    http://store.tagotech.com/index.php?cPath=23_26

    Softbox
    http://store.tagotech.com/index.php?cPath=23_56

    You can also DIY the softbox or umbrella even the stand.
    There are many clips in Utube that show you how.
    Good luck.



    Abdullah | www.PictureU.biz | Instant Photography for Events |
    Thanks for the links!
    Yep I did consider diy-ing and I'm actually trying to DIY a few other light modifiers right now but I was looking for a bit more durability and portability. Looking for something collapsible.. can't really find the materials for diying the collapsible softboxes..

    Thanks again!
    Capture your memories, for they are not forever.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimevous View Post
    hmm, sorry I am a bit confused. Could you kindly enlighten me further on the power thing? Why would a softbox require more power than a shoot thru umbrella? Since both of them are firing through a material? Won't an umbrella result in lesser resultant light due to the non transmitted light being reflected backwards into the environment? Isn't a softbox slightly more efficient in this sense?

    As for the distance, I understand the inverse square law, but is there a reason you only mentioned umbrella and not a softbox, can be placed near to the subject? I've seen light setups where the softbox is <1m away from the model...

    Thanks!

    The distance from the light source (eg strobe) to the front of the softbox is much greater than vs a shoot-through umbrella.
    If you've seen a softbox from the side, it's pretty deep. If you have an additional diffuser panel inside the softbox (to spread the light more evenly), the loss of efficiency is even greater.

    There are YouTube videos about why a shoot-through umbrella is more efficient. I watched a couple and I would agree. Don't have the links with me though.
    Exploring! :)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    the umbrella softbox will be easier to setup. the spread is wider as well.

    the normal softbox takes abit longer to setup. there is lesser light spill so easier to control lighting direction.

    the umbrella one u showed is meant for a studio strobe. not sure what is the pricing for 1 meant for a camera flash.

    btw, umbrellas have a tendency to catch the wind and topple in outdoor environment if u haven't used 1 before.

  11. #11
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    I don't have a studio setup of my own, am afraid, so I can't be certain of the costs.

    Have used both the shoot-through umbrella (yes, like a semi-transparent umbrella) and the soft-box in a studio.

    Softbox gives a nice big spread of light, but would require quite a powerful light source (eg. studio strobe). If there is an additional diffuser panel inside, the power required will be even greater. Not so economical, I would say.

    Shoot-through umbrella allows you to get really close to the subject. By the inverse-square law, if you halve the distance from the light source, you require 1/4 the amount of light power. Therefore it is quite a cost-effective method to get softer light.
    but msut take into account of light spilling left right center

  12. #12
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    but msut take into account of light spilling left right center
    ahhh yes... You do have a point!

    Exploring! :)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Another alternative to a shoot through is actually a $2 daiso translucent umbrella with the handle taken off. It's slightly more transparent, but I think it's all right since flashes aren't very powerful. It's been working for me, so no complaints

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    ahhh yes... You do have a point!

    umbrella also very useful in rain. i got saved once cause i brought it out for a photoshoot
    ok just jk. i dun think they are water proof

  15. #15
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenleonhart View Post
    umbrella also very useful in rain. i got saved once cause i brought it out for a photoshoot
    ok just jk. i dun think they are water proof
    but... they're umbrellas.... why wouldn't they be?



    hehehehe



    Actually, I used it indoors and the spilling light was not really a bother. But it's certainly something that one has to be wary of. Thanks for bringing that up!
    Exploring! :)

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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by lekzhiyang1994 View Post
    Another alternative to a shoot through is actually a $2 daiso translucent umbrella with the handle taken off. It's slightly more transparent, but I think it's all right since flashes aren't very powerful. It's been working for me, so no complaints
    This is the one also recommended by Bro Francis (nic: Palangsi) for portrait photography using flashes. Watch out for outings (FOC) organised by Francis where he demonstrates their uses. He also demonstrates reflector application using $5.00 car windscreen sunshades.

    Cheers.
    LEW

  17. #17

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Oh.. looks like I've got a lot to learn!

    Hmm.. the the transparent umbrellas, is it those totally translucent type? May I ask how does the light get diffused this way?

    But $2 is well within my budget
    maybe its time for me to head down to daiso to take a look!


    On a side note, actually I thought of using those windscreen reflectors but I never figured out how to keep them straight (i.e. rectangular).
    Capture your memories, for they are not forever.

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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    PP Palangsi. He can explain better.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    You gaffer tape them to the ground or wherever u need then bounce your flash off them.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Umbrella Softbox or Softbox?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimevous View Post
    Oh.. looks like I've got a lot to learn!

    Hmm.. the the transparent umbrellas, is it those totally translucent type? May I ask how does the light get diffused this way?

    But $2 is well within my budget
    maybe its time for me to head down to daiso to take a look!


    On a side note, actually I thought of using those windscreen reflectors but I never figured out how to keep them straight (i.e. rectangular).
    transparent would be the clear ones. I don't think they're too advisable.
    translucent would be the blurry ones, like frosted window. This is the one I was referring to.

    have fun shopping!
    Exploring! :)

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