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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 02 Dec 2017 (Saturday) 00:27
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What's the best bang for the buck entry level flash modifier for a speedlight?

 
Aressem
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Dec 02, 2017 00:27 |  #1

Just like the title states. Trying to help a friend out. I used to live in this part of the forum for a few years but have been too busy with the life the past couple years to keep tabs on all the new stuff. What are your recommendations for a cheap, collapsible modifier for a speedlight, as someone's only light source? I'm thinking a convertible umbrella, although I'm sure by now there are some great, affordable small softboxes... maybe?


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FarmerTed1971
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Dec 02, 2017 00:30 |  #2

Stofen or bounce flash.
All those small attachable softboxes I think are mostly gimmicks and are not anywhere near as good as an off-camera solution.


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Aressem
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Dec 02, 2017 00:34 |  #3

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18508622 (external link)
Stofen or bounce flash.
All those small attachable softboxes I think are mostly gimmicks and are not anywhere near as good as an off-camera solution.

I'm referring to OCF... Modifiers for OCF. ;)


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Osa713
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Dec 02, 2017 00:37 |  #4

So many cheap options now a days vs a few years back.

For OCF a reflective umbrella is so cheap. Even these collapsable softboxes would work if you need more light control.

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FarmerTed1971
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Post has been last edited 15 days ago by FarmerTed1971. 2 edits done in total.
Dec 02, 2017 00:37 |  #5

Aha! I picked up the Westcott RapidBoxes. They are relatively inexpensive and a snap to get going. I think they are perfect for a a single speedlite solution.

Yes, and a cheap umbrella is always a great option.


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ksbal
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Dec 02, 2017 09:36 |  #6

How about an octabox?

godox 47 inch (external link)


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Osa713
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Post has been edited 14 days ago by Osa713.
Dec 02, 2017 11:12 |  #7

ksbal wrote in post #18508793 (external link)
How about an octabox?

godox 47 inch (external link)

This will work also, it all depends on what you are trying to light. For portraits a single speedlight might be pushing it as far as recycling time and killing ambient indoors but it’s doable.


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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 14 days ago by Wilt. 7 edits done in total.
Dec 02, 2017 11:39 |  #8

Let us first clarify a few definitions...

  • Light (at the subject) can be 'direct' or 'indirect'.
  • Light (at the subject) can come from a 'small source' or from a 'large source'


  1. A modifier makes a very small source into a 'insignificantly larger' source, or into a 'appreciably larger' source
  2. A softbox is a 'somewhat larger direct source'
  3. A reflective umbrella is a 'somewhat larger indirect source'
  4. A transmissive umbrella is a 'somewhat larger direct source' and can also serve (via the spill off walls and ceiling) as an 'appreciably larger indirect source'
  5. Ceiling bounce generally results in 'appreciably larger indirect source'
  6. A Stoffen is a 'insignificantly larger DIRECT source' which also serves to turn the ceiling into a 'appreciably larger indirect source'.
  7. A Lumiquest 80/20 is a 'somewhat larger DIRECT source' which also serves to turn the ceiling into a 'appreciably larger indirect source'.


When there is no ceiling or nearby walls, indirect (bounce) is useless and unavailable -- unless you are bouncing from an umbrella or other reflective panel. But that is the same as the effect you get from a direct source of the same area (large softbox).

There are lots of debates about what makes a 'cost effective' solution. Some solutions are very cost effective, but there are times in which they are USELESS too, when the cost is infinitely high compared to the effect they provide.

Any and all of the above can be used at the camera, and/or they all can be used for OCF.

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TeamSpeed
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Post has been edited 14 days ago by TeamSpeed.
Dec 02, 2017 11:43 |  #9

Might want to add a reflective umbrella to that list, it is a softbox, but also an umbrella.


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Wilt
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Post has been last edited 14 days ago by Wilt. 4 edits done in total.
Dec 02, 2017 11:51 |  #10

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18508890 (external link)
Might want to add a reflective umbrella to that list, it is a softbox, but also an umbrella.

I did list umbrellas as generally indirect reflective (#3), and I have added the transmissive umbrella to the list.


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TeamSpeed
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Post has been edited 14 days ago by TeamSpeed.
Dec 02, 2017 12:38 as a reply to Wilt's post |  #11

I would consider a reflective umbrella as a direct source, not an indirect source. It acts no differently than a transmissive umbrella or softbox really, the reflective nature just distributes the light better and reduces hot spotting, but all the light emits out the softbox portion of the reflective umbrella..


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Wilt
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Post has been edited 14 days ago by Wilt.
Dec 02, 2017 13:12 as a reply to TeamSpeed's post |  #12

It is, after all, semantics! After all, the ceiling becomes a 'direct source' by extension of your line of thinking! :lol:

But I do tend to agree, that my prior labelling of a reflective as 'indirect', on further pondering even I would tend to call something aiming light directly at the subect as 'direct'.


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ksbal
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Post has been edited 12 days ago by ksbal.
Dec 04, 2017 11:52 |  #13

Osa713 wrote in post #18508865 (external link)
This will work also, it all depends on what you are trying to light. For portraits a single speedlight might be pushing it as far as recycling time and killing ambient indoors but it’s doable.

It works well outside when you are in the shade. Or a cloudy day. This was with older speedlights, the godox/flashpoint Li-on speedlights recycle in 1 to 2 seconds.

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MalVeauX
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Dec 04, 2017 12:00 |  #14

ksbal wrote in post #18508793 (external link)
How about an octabox?

godox 47 inch (external link)

I will 2nd this one.

The problem with umbrellas is that if they're shoot through, a speedlite cannot fill a large umbrella, so reflective surface umbrellas can give you more bang for your light when limited to a speedlite. Having a reflective umbrella with silver just makes it even more efficient to make the most from the low power speedlite and spread it more evenly on a larger modifier where speedlites have trouble spreading out. Adding the diffuser panel makes it a softbox but it's still a fairly efficient softbox for its size relative to a speedlite's output. And taking the diffuser off, one can get different output too. Very versatile and it controls spill. For a one-modifier-approach, the brolly box for a speedlite is easily one of the better tools for a general approach,and at $30, it's crazy good for the money.

I have these in several sizes. They're great.

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K ­ Soze
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Dec 04, 2017 12:14 |  #15

Most bang for the buck? A white wall. White cardboard or foam core. I have 6 studio lights and quite a few different styles of modifiers, but I am amazed how well a single speed light and some white surfaces work when I need them.


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What's the best bang for the buck entry level flash modifier for a speedlight?
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