Author Topic: Best softbox for a one light set up?  (Read 2266 times)

Offline EC

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Best softbox for a one light set up?
« on: September 13, 2007, 03:08:50 AM »
Hi Frank,

It took me a looong time to get over the White Lightning / Alienbees temptation but I have finally narrowed my choices down to either a profoto acuteb 600r or Ranger RX Speed AS (leaning towards the Ranger at the moment). Either of these packs  will be used primarily for outdoor location shoots (w/ occasional indoor non-studio locations as well) . I plan to use just one head for the time being -- until I can afford another head or pack -- so I want to maximize the usages of the box I choose. In other words, what softbox would you recommend if you could only pick one to use. I shoot mostly fashion, lifestyle, and portraits. A typically style of outdoor shooting that I like doing is to balance (and also overpower) a bright sunny sky, sunset, etc with my flash setup. I like soft yet defined contrast in my shots. I will need the box to do as much as possible: headshots, 1/2, 3/4 full... I know this is a lot to ask from just one softbox but which do you think would do the best job at this:

Elinchrom 190cm Octalite
Elinchrom Rectalite
Plume 180cm Hexoval
Deep throat rotalux
Rotalux Midi (135cm)

Convenience is also a factor -- I know the 190cm Octa is huge, but I like the fact that it sets up much easier / faster than the rest of the boxes I listed (so I've heard).. What size does the Octabox fold down to? and how heavy is it?  I actually chose to go with profoto 600R or elinchrom ranger because they seem to be the only lights that I can afford and that are designed to work with the 190cm Octalite properly... I have an opportunity to pick up an Elinchrom 175cm RectaLite for a very good price at the moment -- could you tell me how this box differs from the 190cm Octalite, in terms of light quality?

Can the Octa or Recta do more than the smaller Elinchrom boxes or even  the Plume that I listed above and perhaps even beat them in most situation in terms of light quality without sacrficing too much inconvenience (as far as carrying around is concerned)?... Would you be kind enough to provide some samples shots that have been done primarily with the Octabox (preferable as the only source of light used)?

My apologies for all the questions, but I am really having a hard time deciding on this =).

Offline frank

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 09:03:06 AM »
Hi,
I would buy a CHEAP umbrella softbox (watch out that they fit the RX).
And the deep throat.

The deep throat is my personal favorite for outside work, but for full bodies it CAN be a little bit too small due to the focused beam.
On the other hand I shot some full bodies with it just fine, but to make sure buy one cheap umbrella softbox, they are often very cheap and are setup in a second.

Offline TMR Design

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 08:32:23 PM »
How would a device like a Photek SoftLighter II or Photek Illuminata II work? Are these the types of devices you mean?
Robert
TMR Design
Robert Mitchell Photography

My Gallery: http://robertmitchellphotography.zenfolio.com/p621574131/

Offline EC

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 10:28:25 PM »
Thanks Frank! The Ranger "to go set" that I'm looking at comes with a Varistar 85cm Umbrella -- would that be to expensive?  On the second thought, don't answer that ;D. I didn't realize that you had already written an excellent review of the OctaLite. For those who might have missed this, it's on page 22 of Issue #2  "El Octo Elinchrom the last softbox you will EVER buy," found HERE .

Elinchrom's new Deep throat will probably be what I will end up going with -- I just wish that they made it one size up... I'm guessing that might make it too large for a deep throat.

TMR... I've heard those are good boxes too, but different in light quality compared to the Octa... then again this is only what I've heard.

Offline frank

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 10:49:33 PM »
Hi,
For location work you can use the umbrella softboxes.
I will be using a 135cm version from Elinchrom soon.

The deep octa is wonderful, love it as much as the large octa to be honest.

Offline EC

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2007, 01:29:20 AM »
Are you talking about the existing 135 cm Rotalux,  or a 135cm version of the Deep Throat?

Offline frank

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2007, 09:46:52 AM »
I'm sorry varistar 105cm I mistyped :D

EOS-MarkIV

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2007, 04:08:20 AM »
Franks,

I am still confused about few things here.

Can list your Softboxes with star rating or recommendation?
What do you use (modifiers) to shoot Portraits, Fashion and action?
What deflectors do in above shooting styles?
After buying Big Octa 190CM, do I still need to invest in beautydish?

Is Elinchrom Rotalux 100x100 Softbox ok for food and product shots on location?

Cheer

Offline Tomagado

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2007, 06:22:15 AM »
Franks,

I am still confused about few things here.

Can list your Softboxes with star rating or recommendation?
What do you use (modifiers) to shoot Portraits, Fashion and action?
What deflectors do in above shooting styles?
After buying Big Octa 190CM, do I still need to invest in beautydish?

Is Elinchrom Rotalux 100x100 Softbox ok for food and product shots on location?

Cheer


I've asked the same before, and have since learned the following.

Every tool can be used to accomplish different effects, it's not a matter of "should I buy this or that", the process of selection should be based on which tool you'll get the most use out of, and add specialty  modifiers ( fresnel, barndoors, softlite, etc) as you can afford.

I'd say it's not about the modifiers getting star ratings, they are all top notch tools. It would be like asking "which is better, a phillips or a flathead screwdriver? :) .

I would suggest buying Franks DVDs to see what he uses, and much more importantly HOW he uses them.

Cheers,
Thomas

Offline frank

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Re: Best softbox for a one light set up?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2007, 09:12:52 AM »
correct Thomas.

If I had to choose TWO modifiers only it would be the Deep Octa and the 1.90mtr Octa.
But I would dearly miss the striplights.
Also I would miss the Fresnel and the open reflectors.

It all depends on the mood you want to set.
There is no one does all solution.

Otherwise there would be one softbox on the market :D