Thursday, 29 April 2010

120cm Octagonal Softbox – Video

I’ve always wanted to give a octagonal softbox a go. I’ve heard wonderful things about the light quality that such a large light surface produces. A few weeks back I finally got the chance to use one during a video shoot for smick.co.uk.

The more observant will notice this is the shoot is connected to yesterdays post. So if you want to know what was done to the images in Photoshop click here.

So what’s the verdict? Well lets start with the plus points.

First the light really is amazingly soft and I was only using the smaller 120cm version. A 400w flash head was easily able to fill the softbox with light and a quick check with a light meter showed the light drop off was pretty good at ½ to ¾ stop centre to edge. That gives predictable, controllable illumination making my job a lot easier.

As you’ll see in the video the large size of the softbox also enabled me to use it as an illuminated background making a it perfect for head shots where a white background is required. Just remember set the background light 0-3/4 stop brighter then the key light.

Another nice thing about the octagonal softbox is the eye catch light it produces is rounder then the rectangular softboxes I usually use. Having said that it’s not something my clients have mentioned so it may be one of those “photographer” things.

Now for the drawbacks and there are a couple.

First is its size. The very thing that makes it a great light is a big problem when space is limited. My studio is pretty small and the octagonal softbox made it feel even smaller. You also need to watch the balance. I found by using a sturdy lighting stand fitted with a DIY sand bag weight at the base kept things stable and avoided any expensive accidents.



If you to see the video in full or find out more about the Octaganal Softbox follow this link http://www.smick.co.uk/index.php/portrait-lighting-tutorial-using-120cm-softbox/

4 comments:

SZIKOSZA said...

Is this your daughter from "Pure white background" tutorial ? What a change. Small princess. Great tutorial Gavin as always.

Bartosz

henk said...

I know it's just a personal thing, but for me the reflector wasn't so nessecairy; I like shadows to be there!
But I really enjoyed ths tutorial, as always!
greetz, Henk

Prasanth Iranikulam said...

Nice tutorial !
Thank You....

Jordan DeMoss said...

The massive octagonal softbox is very interesting but right now I have no intention of buying it. Tons of great portrait tips though - reflector, fan, etc.

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