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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 30 May 2017 (Tuesday) 11:31
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[ Test & Review ] 10" Reflector for Overpowering Sun & Doing Groups with 600Ws Strobe

 
MalVeauX
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Florida
Post has been edited 4 months ago by MalVeauX.
May 30, 2017 11:31 |  #1

Hey all,

Wanted to isolate & update this information from my previous thread, for anyone else interested in an inexpensive efficient modifier for their strobes for taking on the sun at a distance.

My strobe is a Rovelight 600B (600Ws) for reference.

I originally started thinking I wanted a more efficient large modifier for outdoor due to a recent group shoot where I felt the lack of power from the 600Ws strobe. I started looking at other 60 inch umbrellas that were silver lined for bounce to increased efficiency (was getting F18 at full power 1/1 off my current 60 inch umbrella bounced at 6 feet approximately). Then I started looking at 7 foot umbrellas. I'm not doing this with an assistant usually, so this poses huge problems. Well, I scrapped that, it's just too much to handle, and the wind would murder me even with my typical bungee+stake setup outdoor. So I looked at what others were really using for outdoor in bright light and found that I was going the wrong direction. I needed to be looking at smaller modifiers that were highly efficient and just be ok with a litter harder light sometimes to be able to do what I want. I had no plans of getting a more powerful output strobe at this time due to cost. But I'm ok with trying more modifiers, can't have too many right? Based on what I was looking at, it seemed like a larger reflector was the way to go, but I didn't want too tight of an angle (to get obvious gradients on edges of groups), so looked for a little wider angles.

This is exclusively for outdoor with my Rovelight 600B (600Ws strobe; HSS capable). I needed Bowens Mount to keep it universal. I wanted it to be inexpensvie, but was willing to go to $100~150 for a good modifier.

Here's the reflector I picked up:

PhotoSEL 10" Reflector (Bowen's Mount) ($48 shipped) (external link)

It advertises 65 degree output angle. I wanted to test how efficient it was. I was looking at a lot of reflectors and reading about designs and it just seemed that the larger reflectors had better efficiency for output in general. I didn't want to go into a $100+ thing without knowing for sure, as I was very intrigued by the "fireball" maxilite 16 inch modifier, but didn't want to go quite as far as that plus an adapter to make it work. I would love another +2 stops of output, but I don't think that's going to happen just from a modifier at this point, it's more just not losing as much output perhaps. I'm not an expert on that. Anyhow, I found this modifier after going through a few stores online and never found any real good material on any of them, as there's so many generic modifiers out there that are not some big ticket name that you'll find reviews for. I'm ok with that. $48, well, for science!

+++++++++++++++

It fits my bowen's mount just fine, no crazy amount of play, and not tight, so that's good. I was worried it would be poorly machined and be loose and dangerous, or too tight and not fit and get stuck or something. Turns out its no different than the stock reflector that came with my light. So brownie point there for being correct. It's not heavy, but it is bulky since it's 10" and made of metal. It makes a dong' sound when you tap it. It's painted matte black so it doesn't reflect hard light around it. It's still very portable, as I can attach it to my light and it goes over my shoulder no problem. Much more portable than my previous methods with big 47" and 60" modifiers in addition to the stand and light. Simple.

With the light meter (based on 1/100 & ISO 100) and manual mode 1/1 power on my light (no HSS employed) and the 10 inch reflector:

Approximately 6 feet: F35
Approximately 12 feet: F20

At close range, you can certainly beat down the sun a few stops with room to spare. But I'm less interested in 6 feet. I'm more interested in using that wider angle spread and shooting at 8~12 feet, so that I can squeeze a group together and still at least match the sun, if not maybe drop it by 1 stop. I'm almost able to get a full stop over sunny 16 at 12 feet with this modifier on my strobe, so that alone, I'm pleased with for $48. But, that still leaves the question about how it actually looks. I went in knowing full well that it would be harder light than I'm used to, but I'm ok with that to at least test and learn from it.

Also, my main goal is generally to be able to fill in bright sun at a distance. And then sometimes, overpower the sun at a little closer range by a stop or so. The distance is so I can tackle groups in the sun (not massive groups, like 3~4 in general) at full body length, and sometimes environmental with wide angle.

I know that I lose about a stop of light, or so, by going into HSS. So while I cannot meter the light in HSS, it at least gives me a ballpark to consider knowing what it does without HSS.

To judge HSS, I wanted to just do a real world example. It's murderously hot outside right now, so I didn't ask my girls to come out and play. Instead, I scarified myself. I needed a good reason to taste one of my cigars anyways.

+++++++++++++++

Test setup:

Rovelight 600B (600Ws strobe)
PhotoSEL 10 inch Reflector
Yongnuo YN622C transmitter (to allow HSS) via PC sync cable on strobe
Cheetah Boom Stand

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4246/34181894403_2d771c2ae6_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/U5x9​jX] (external link)RoveLight600Ws_10InchR​eflector_Demo (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Canon 5D classic
Canon 35mm F2 IS
Yongnuo YN622C transmitter
Light meter: Sekonic L478D
Remote: Generic Pixel Oppilas for wireless camera triggering

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4219/34181857133_dbdf1ddd58_z.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/U5wX​fn] (external link)12_Foot_600Ws_10InchRe​flector_Demo (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Shot around 10am this morning here in Florida.
Sun was at approximately 44 degrees.
I'm the subject and I am approximately 12 feet from the light.

Camera settings (values compared to sunny 16, 1/100 F16 ISO 100):

1/5000s (-5.6 stops from 1/100s)
F2 (+6 stops from F16)
ISO 50 (-1.0 stop from ISO 100)

This drops exposure -0.6 stops for a little underexposed ambient light which is something I often go for (ie, drop ambient by 2/3rds of a stop, or 0.6 stops).

Light settings & distance (using HSS):

Approximately 12 feet distance
9 feet up on stand, angled down slightly towards subject bust
1/2 power in HSS mode

Results:

Just a test selfie to judge the light's look, efficiency and overall ability to do what I needed. Photobombed by my yard cat. At least the cigar was good!

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4252/34860282891_41718c4f07_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/V7u4​Ac] (external link)600Ws_10InchReflector_​12Feet_Demo (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

+++++++++++++++

So looking back at the results, I know I can drop ambient by another stop or two, and move the light closer and easily overpower the sun, much more efficiently than with my other modifiers. Even with HSS enabled, and losing some power to that, I was still able to produce key level output against ambient settings that drop sunny 16's ambient down a little, at 12 feet, and at 1/2 power, so I had more room to drop ambient and more room to increase the light output, again, at 12 feet. This gives a lot more versatility to solo shooting (I don't worry about this going down in the wind, it's stable and doesn't catch air like umbrellas do), and it really opens up more options to use my 600Ws strobe on groups in the sun.

So far, I'm not disappointed with the $48 modifier.

And this was just a test.

Next I'll put it to the real test and do an actual shoot with it with some kids in the sun soon.

Very best,

My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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mmmfotografie
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May 30, 2017 12:45 |  #2

It is just a reflector. Outside this is easier to use than inside because of the sharper shadow.


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MalVeauX
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Post has been last edited 4 months ago by MalVeauX. 2 edits done in total.
May 30, 2017 13:08 |  #3

Yup, can't imagine ever using this inside for anything realistically.

The goal is/was to find a modifier for outdoor use, to over power the sun, at a distance that allows for 2~3 people full body length with a 600Ws strobe in HSS. Hard light and hard shadows are a given with this kind of thing, so will have to be careful with poses & positioning. When shooting fill, it will be less harsh and soften shadows a little.

Very best,


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RicoTudor
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May 30, 2017 18:12 |  #4

Excellent test, and follows Fireball deployments by Scott to overpower the sun. Clever use of knee-length grass to hide the double shadow. :)


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MalVeauX
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May 30, 2017 18:29 |  #5

RicoTudor wrote in post #18366861 (external link)
Clever use of knee-length grass to hide the double shadow. :)

I cropped it a little for composition purposes initially. I cropped out the gradient on the bottom of the frame, I probably should have angled my light higher.

But during my tests, I did take a look at the spread to see how the angle is. Looks like it could manage 3 people shoulder to shoulder, approximately, without too much fuss, especially if used as fill so that there's not a strong gradient.

There is a gradient of course as I stopped down ambient.
And the angle is apparent. The right side of the frame is more accurate*.

* The left part of the frame is the known gradient from my strobe's HSS long burn' method, where a small gradient can be noted sometimes and it's always oriented to where the top of the sensor (pointing towards the hot shoe) is, something to do with how the shutter and long burn interact with the timing. This is not relative to the modifier though, this is constant no matter the modifier. So I generally just crop that edge off if it's super obvious (like on white sand, etc).

Very best,

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RicoTudor
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May 30, 2017 18:36 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #6

If the gradient is constant, you can generate a reverse gradient and fix images in post. OTOH, edge gradients can be an artistic plus, just like circular vignettes.


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windpig
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May 30, 2017 19:46 |  #7

RicoTudor wrote in post #18366861 (external link)
Clever use of knee-length grass to hide the double shadow. :)

:-P:-P:-P


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Kliphe
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May 31, 2017 05:51 |  #8

On the cheetahstand website they sell a similar thing (Colt 45) they have a video where they talk about the spread of light matching the distance to the subject. 2 feet away is a 2 foot circle, 8 feet away is an 8 foot circle and so on.


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MalVeauX
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May 31, 2017 09:13 |  #9

Kliphe wrote in post #18367234 (external link)
On the cheetahstand website they sell a similar thing (Colt 45) they have a video where they talk about the spread of light matching the distance to the subject. 2 feet away is a 2 foot circle, 8 feet away is an 8 foot circle and so on.

Interesting, I'll have to take a look!

Very best,


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MalVeauX
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Jun 09, 2017 20:16 |  #10

Did my first real use of the reflector to see how harsh it was on skin:

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4246/34396948133_5e916ab099_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Upxm​iT] (external link)IMG_5887 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4274/35076230221_acb23f0d19_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VryR​d2] (external link)IMG_5886 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4290/35166006006_820337a701_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VzuY​qo] (external link)IMG_5885 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4271/35076229221_43303bcb11_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VryQ​UM] (external link)IMG_5891 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4223/35076228021_e27f918267_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VryQ​y6] (external link)IMG_5894 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4277/35166004536_632f7a60cf_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VzuX​Z3] (external link)IMG_5893 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4242/35076227381_6fae3c4a0b_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VryQ​n4] (external link)IMG_5899 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4204/35076223541_cc31b736cd_c.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VryP​dR] (external link)IMG_5922 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 4 months ago by Wilt. 2 edits done in total.
Jun 09, 2017 23:34 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #11

What kind of distance between light source and subject were used for these shots? With our without HSS?
And what modifier...the 10"?


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MalVeauX
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Post has been edited 4 months ago by MalVeauX.
Jun 10, 2017 06:27 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #18375057 (external link)
What kind of distance between light source and subject were used for these shots? With our without HSS?
And what modifier...the 10"?

Approximately 6~7 feet.
HSS was used for everything.
Power ranges from 1/16th to 1/4th for these.
10" modifier is the one this entire thread was created to talk about in the initial post.

+++++++++++++++

From that afternoon, the setup:

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4263/35166002766_394c65ac94_b.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/VzuX​sw] (external link)Demo_02_06092017 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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jake14mw
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Jun 10, 2017 07:24 |  #13

MalVeauX wrote in post #18374936 (external link)
Did my first real use of the reflector to see how harsh it was on skin:

...

Very best,

These are fantastic. Great job. Great lighting, great expressions. Thanks for showing the setup.




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Talley
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Aug 21, 2017 09:25 |  #14

Missed this. Great images and excellent write up.

I think for high noon full sun shots you really have no choice but a reflector like this one. I did read the same about the cheetastand 45 that the full circle is exact size as distance. For this reason I'd be more interested in getting that reflector just to help me do the spacing for groups. Plus with 45° vs 65 you tend to get more concentrated power too.

PhotoSEL makes one as well for $60: https://www.amazon.com ...=reflector+bowen+45​&psc=1 (external link)

I think 8' distance would be just right and then it comes down to placement for the harsh shadows.


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MalVeauX
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Aug 21, 2017 10:04 |  #15

Talley wrote in post #18433141 (external link)
Missed this. Great images and excellent write up.

I think for high noon full sun shots you really have no choice but a reflector like this one. I did read the same about the cheetastand 45 that the full circle is exact size as distance. For this reason I'd be more interested in getting that reflector just to help me do the spacing for groups. Plus with 45° vs 65 you tend to get more concentrated power too.

PhotoSEL makes one as well for $60: https://www.amazon.com ...=reflector+bowen+45​&psc=1 (external link)

I think 8' distance would be just right and then it comes down to placement for the harsh shadows.

Yea, the 45 is great for tighter grouping and distance. I went with the one I did for the wider spacing for larger potential groups while still maintaining the output of my 600ws to still be able to at least fill shadows in full sun, which it can.

I'm still enjoying the reflect more than my previous modifiers that were all focused on large surface area for soft light. Sometimes I want it softer, for sure. But, the convenience and durability of a metal reflector and the efficiency output is just great. This experiment lead me to putting a 5.5" reflect on my speedlite and shoot that in full sun at close range (mom as assistant) and it really worked well too on the beach and in St. Augustine, etc. I have my big reflectors for my indoor studio family stuff we do. A good 60" goes a long way inside with less space. But for outside, I really favor the reflectors now. If nothing else, due to not having to worry about wind. Setup is faster. Storage is simpler. Nothing bends or breaks. Just a metal bowl with a hole in it.

Haven't had a lot of opportunities lately with this Florida weather and kids with cootie-funk. :(

Very best,


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[ Test & Review ] 10" Reflector for Overpowering Sun & Doing Groups with 600Ws Strobe
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