Jun 25, 2013

The Phlearn Guide To Softboxes

The Phlearn Guide To Softboxes

These umbrella-like creatures can appear intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of them they’re a breeze to use! Join us as we cover everything there is to know about softboxes.

Softboxes, What Are They Good For?

Absolutely something. Unlike umbrellas which produce a concentrated directional light, softboxes imitate the Light cast by windows. The Light from the strobes is diffused not only once, but twice when fired through a softbox. This softens the light considerably, making softboxes a great weapon of choice for portraits.

All Shapes And Sizes

Softboxes come in a variety of different shapes, each good for different purposes.

  • Stripbox: This is a skinny rectangular softbox. Its narrow shape makes it good for casting rim/Hair Lights on subjects without affecting other parts of the image.
  • Octobox. A softbox with 8 sides. Its rounded shape will cast natural looking catchlights in the eyes of your subject, making this a great choice for your key Light.
  • Regular Softbox. These can be used for just about anything, from key Lights to fill Lights.
  • Grids can affect the way light is emitted from a softbox. They help to eliminate fall-off by directing the light into a straight beam.

Where To Find Them

All of the softboxes we use are manufactured by Paul C. Buff. You can also find a slew of different softboxes on websites like Adorama and B&H.

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    Adam Krause

    shot looks great. can you give f stops for key light and fill light?

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    Febian Shah

    Could you make a video recommending a few lights for beginner strobists?

    • user image

      if you want a really good studio light that has a good range in power and is really cheap for what you get. get the Einsteins from Paul C buff he talks about in the video!

  • user image

    Thanks for the video. It would have been really cool to see snaps with ONLY the key light, then ONLY the fill, then both combined, etc, to see how each light adds to the scene.

  • user image

    Beautiful video. I have been looking for this kind of information for quite a little bit. Can anyone give a quick explanation of why to use the beauty dish and what are the PROs and CONs.

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    Gregg Hasenjaeger

    Good video. I was looking for these lights and wasn’t finding much. I didn’t know they also made their own softboxes. I too would like to know what kind of boom stand that was and what other light stands you use.

    I’m about 5 hours north of your location and would like to come down and see your studio and equipment and maybe pick your brain a little bit.